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Issue No.: 574 | April 2015

A Lesson in Public Life from Rajaji and Masani


If men were condemned to demonstrate rigid consistency on what they stand for, through half a century, dogmatism would be the rule in public life which would be a reductio ad absurdum. I venture to confess and claim that I have an accommodating mind, but one that does not forget truth or the public weal at any point. A fervent and patriotic resolution attracting the approval of a great body of people on the one side, and an unanswerable objection, on the other side, with a mass of people behind that protest – it is not an easy issue on which one could take a decision and stick to it rigidly. With hope, at each step, I have moved from position to position and I trust my views as formed from time to time will not be misconstrued as mere political opportunism but understood in their true evolution.

Excerpted from "My Inconsistencies”, Swarajya, August 10, 1963

The Liberal should learn to be realistic and shift his gun from time to time. The trouble with most people is that they are conservative. If a man is a Socialist, he goes on being a Socialist even if the whole situation is transformed. If a man is a Conservative he goes on being a Conservative even if his Conservatism becomes meaningless in a particular context; a certain amount of flexibility and fluidity is required. Mahatma Gandhi was a very pure man. That is why he was called the Mahatma but he kept on saying: "Consistency is the virtue of an ass.” He was a man who appeared to contradict himself every now and then, and that is because he was dealing with different situations at different times and he quite rightly took a different attitude to them. ....But there was a thread running through his inconsistency – It was a thread of clean methods – truthful and peaceful methods...that the ends do not justify the means... that your means have to be clean if your objective is to be preserved. 

MINOO MASANI in ‘Democracy and Development’
published by the Indian Liberal Group (1968).





Other Articles in this Issue

Parliament is Back: Doing its Job - Finally!

The Functioning of the Lok Sabha

S. V. Raju


Kisan Mehta, R.I.P.


From Our Readers

Jamsetji Tata

Ali Khwaja

Amartya Sen’s Outbursts on Being Denied a Second Term

N. S. Venkataraman

Growing Saffronization

Firoze Hirjikaka

Nagaland Lynching

Firoze Hirjikaka

Our "Inconsistencies"

A Lesson in Public Life from Rajaji and Masani


The Land Acquisition Bill

Hypocrites All!

S. V. Raju

The Land Acquisition Bill Not Convincing

N. S. Venkataraman

Point Counter Point : Every issue has at least two sides

Daughter of India

Ashok Karnik

Porbandar Boat Again

Ashok Karnik

Sensitive Documents

Ashok Karnik

Black Money

Ashok Karnik

The National Scene

Remembering Pandit Nehru’s ‘Tryst with Destiny’ Thereby Lies ... A Twist in the Tale

H. R. Bapu Satyanarayana

“Daughter of India” – The BBC Documentary - – Banning Not the Answer

Nitin G. Raut

Rahul Takes A Break

Firoze Hirjikaka

How to bolo the boli and chalo the boli


Ugly Truths about Young India

Dilip Thakore

Congress in reboot stage


Budget 2015-16

Budget 2015-16: An Evaluation

Ajit Karnik

Distortion, Damned Distortion and National Accounts Statistics

Sunil S. Bhandare

The 14th Finance Commission

S. Viswanathan

The Rural Perspective

Agriculture and Rural Indebtedness - VI

R. M. Mohan Rao

Foreign Relations in the 21st Century

Obama Came and Concurred: Convergences Enhanced and New Vistas of Cooperation Opened

B. Ramesh Babu

Pakistan’s Quest for Nationhood

Suresh C. Sharma

Warriors after War


Book Review


S. K. Rau


K. Natwar Singh

Educating Adults

Three Emerging Religious Icons for Maharashtra Politics

Sharu Rangnekar

Shortage of Qualified Teachers

Suresh C. Sharma

The Right to Sanitation as a Human Right

B. N. Mehrish

Sankranti Kanukalu (Gift on Sankranti)




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