\v HEN India last week accepted
a £45 million loan from Russia which she had originally hoped to get from either Britain or America, an opportunity for the West was lost and a gain for Communism registered.
I heard this week of another opportunity which is in danger of being missed, in a vitally important sector of the Free World front.
Readers of this column were alerted years ago to the possibility that South India might go Communist. They were also made familiar with the name and work of Brother Joseph Vadakkan, a seminarian who was campaigning to awake his people to the danger.
Indeed, many seaders helped him by sending out in tens of thousands pamphlets and papers for use in his fight. Bro. Vadakkan addressed great rallies. He organised the "Anti-Communist Front," which brought together Christians and Hindus in a common struggle against a common threat.
His campaign was vigorous and intelligent; attacking Communism for its evils, but offering positive solutions to real problems, too. It was publicly acknowledged that it played an important part in keeping the Communists out of power in South India in the elections before last
THE Communists' reply was to
organise more carefully and on a vastly larger scale. They received help from all over India. Russia and China poured in films, and cheap, well-produced propaganda material for the literaturehungry masses.
The activities of Fr. Vadakkan (as he was by now) were cramped at every turn by lack of funds. A Communist Government was voted into power and Kerala became a base for the spread of Communism. A relentless attack upon Catholic education quickly followed and still continues.
Now the job is to get the Communists out again. Fr. Vadakkan's work is still recognised as outstanding both for its intensity and its effectiveness.
His newspaper, Thozhilali Daily (Daily Worker) received many bouquets but not enough financial help to do the big job it might be doing. Today its very future is at stake It used to receive Government advertising. Now, with the Communists in power, that source Of revenue has gone.
FOR 12 months since before the Communist success and more, Fr. Vadakkan has been trying to find some Western agency for aiding underdeveloped countries which will give him an old rotary press. In literate South India the influence of the printed word can be decisive.
He hears of millions of dollars going to all sorts of causes in other parts of Asia, but he has still to find an agency or organisation which will ship him an old rotary machine which, say, someone else has thrown out to make way for a more modern one.
For years Fr. Vadakkan (himself a former Communist) has shared his hopes and troubles with me. Now he writes: " 1 am suffering financial strain. Communist leaders one after another have filed nine suits against our small Daily. One has come from the leader of the Communist group in the Indian Parliament. Another has come from a Communist Minister.
,"At present my printing machine is very poor, and we cannot print sufficient numbers of the paper and our pamphlets. A small rotary press is badly needed." So-he and his colleagues have the would-be readers. but simply have not the facilities to give them the ammunition against Communism which might turn back the Red tide!
If India goes Communist, a majority of the world's population will then be living under Communist rule. The danger of the West going Communist may not at this moment be great, but the possibility of our being overwhelmed in time by an Out-flanking movement through Asia and Africa is real enough.
Here then, in South India, is one of the decisive sectors in the battle of our time. The West pours out its millions on every sort of superfluity,. and leaves its front line fighters frustrated for want of the barest necessities for the fight.
It has been truly said that those wham the gods would destroy they first make mad.
gOMEONE who thinks that she
can identify the "little Mongol boy named Charles" of whom I wrote recently, has written to say that his parents write regularly asking for news of their child and supplying his needs. There are,
unfortunately many Nile Mongol boss called Charles, and this may ' or may not, he the same one, but in case it is I am happy to put on record that this one does not lack love in his home.
I am also glad to take this opportunity of again drawing attention to the good work done by the Catholic Handicapped Children's Fellowship, and to he able to report that my recent reference to it has brought the secretary of the Fellowship many offers of help.
UNLESS non-Communists stir
themselves within the next twenty-four hours, a prominent Communist, Reg Birch, is likely to be re-elected President of the important North London District of the Amalgamated Engineering Union. His opponent is Jimmy O'Hagan, a well-known Catholic. Closing date is tomorrow, November 23.
Another Communist sympathiser currently running for an A.E.U. position is H. Howarth, President of the Sheffield District committee. The vacancy is for the post of national organiser. His opponent is Mr. G. Bone, President of the Tyneside District committee.