Independence: A Wrong Approach As to independence, Labour fully recognises its importance. But Labour thinks that there is a wrong approach to the question of independence and a misunderstanding about its importance. The independence of a nation ex hypothesi does not tie it up to any particular form of government or organisation of society. External independence is quite compatible with internal slavery.
Independence means nothing more than that a nation has liberty to determine its form of government and its social order without dictation from outside. The worth of independence depends upon the kind of government and the kind of society that is built up. There is not much value in independence if the form of government and the order of society are to be those against which the world is fighting today. Labour thinks that more emphasis ought to have been placed on New India—and less on ‘Quit India’. The appeal of a New India with a New Order is bound to be greater than the appeal of independence. Indeed the vision of a New Order in a New India would very greatly strengthen determination to win freedom. Such an approach would certainly have stopped the many embarrassing questions which are being asked, namely, freedom for what and freedom for whom.
Secondly, immediate realisation of independence as a condition for support to the war effort, Labour finds it difficult to understand. This condition marks a sudden development in the attitude of some people to the war effort, and could be justified only if there was any sudden conspiracy to rob India of her right to freedom. But there is no evidence of any such conspiracy. Nor can such conspiracy, if there were any, succeed no matter who the conspirators are. In the view of Labour no one can deprive India of her right to freedom if she demands it with the combined strength of united people. If India’s independence is in the balance, it is because of disunity among Indians. The enemies of India’s independence are Indians and no others.
-Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar