Person to Person broadcast over All India Radio, September 4, 1966
Earlier this week the draft outline of the Fourth Five Year Plan was presented to the nation. It is a product of considerable thought. It seeks to present a balanced pattern of development in terms of size and content in the somewhat difficult circumstances in which we find ourselves today. The document is before you and I would welcome analysis and comment on specific issues, specific programmes, but airing them as part of a comprehensive picture which is the total Plan. We are good at general criticism, the splitting of intellectual or ideological hair, as it were. But finding solutions to actual problems is quite another matter, and this is the task before us.
It has been said that the success of the Plan depends largely on our capacity to mobilise and enthuse the people and that past performance hardly gives reason for hope. I do not want to enter into a debate on this point. But I do want to say that our people have proved themselves in no uncertain terms. Only a year ago we rose as one man in defence of the values we cherish. Fortunately, the tragic conflict which engulfed the sub-continent ended within a few weeks.
The best tribute we can pay to the gallant men who fought and suffered and died on the battlefield is to ensure, so far as lies within our means, peace along our borders and a better life for our people.
We stand by the pledge that both India and Pakistan had earlier accepted to abjure the use of force in the settlement of differences. Let there be no doubt about this. It is our sincere desire to live in peace with our neighbours.
We want economic co-operation and we want our peoples to mix freelv so that false fears can be removed. Let leading citizens from Pakistan visit India, travel around and make their own assessment. We seek friendship, not conflict.
Conflict threatens elsewhere too. The Commonwealth Prime Ministers’ Conference opens in London in a few days. A problem of as much interest to us as to our African friends will be on the agenda— Rhodesia. The Rhodesian question and the recent International Court judgement on South-West Africa are matters which the world cannot ignore. The worst form of racialism and colonialism is entrenched in Southern Africa. This tyranny must end before there is a fearful explosion of hatred and violence. Both Britain and the United Nations have a special responsibility in this matter.
Let me return to problems at home. People ask whether devaluation has been a success and what follow-up action the Government has taken? I am surprised by this question. Devaluation is no instant remedy. It is no more than an instrument with which to promote further development and create conditions for greater self-reliance…