Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee advocated that our policy towards Pakistan must be based on “complete reciprocity” and not a one sided reaching out by India. He refused to toe the line of those who argued that howsoever debilitating Pakistan’s behaviour, India should carry on a policy of negotiation with it. Such a servile attitude, Dr. Mookerjee firmly believed, would ultimately lead to national humiliation and weakness. He reminded Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru of the need to adopt a firm policy towards India’s recalcitrant neighbour by strengthening India’s military capabilities and by creating greater internal solidarity and stability. Nehru’s heirs in power today seem to have failed on all these fronts and Dr. Mookerjee’s prescient statement and demand vis-à-vis Pakistan continues to ring true even today.
“So far as Pakistan is concerned, what exactly is our policy? As I have stated repeatedly there must be an overall policy between India and Pakistan. We are supposed to be at war with Pakistan in Kashmir. Pakistan is the aggressor there…In all other matters, we are trying to carry on a conciliatory policy with them. Our policy must be based on reciprocity, complete reciprocity. If we get good treatment from Pakistan, Pakistan gets good treatment from us. If we do not receive good treatment, it is no use our merely saying that we carry on a policy of negotiation with them and ultimately become weak and humiliated…Are we so weak as merely to watch and appeal? Today, what is needed is that the people of India must get a proper lead from their Government. If, God forbid, the situation worsens, India will have to depend as much on her arms and ammunitions or military strength as on the united moral strength of the people…Today two things are vitally necessary. We have to strengthen our military position and if we cannot do it alone, we shall have to do it in collaboration with others with whom we can stand on a common ideology. Then, we shall have to strengthen internal strength and peace and satisfactorily solve the economic problem…so that we can create that solidarity and stability which would be impregnable both from the national and international standpoints.”
—Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee
(Participating in the debate on the “International Situation” in the Lok Sabha, December 6, 1950)