The Perambur Integral Coach Factory went into production today when Mr. Nehru performed his inauguration ceremony in the assembly shop in the presence of a large gathering.
As the Prime Minister pressed the button to unveil the first coach to be assembled in the factory, from a suspended crane it was raining rose petals. Instantly, the coach left the store to loud applause.
Mr. Nehru’s thoughts were dominated by the importance of the occasion which was to commemorate the anniversary of Gandhiji’s birthday. He said Gandhiji was not opposed to industrialization and therefore there was no contradiction between celebrating his birthday and the inauguration of the body factory.
Most of India included villages that needed to be rebuilt for the country to progress. Community projects had already covered more than 1,000,000 villages and would cover the entire territory within a few years.
The Prime Minister denounced casteism and the classification and stratification of society. The distance between officers and workers must disappear and anyone who considers manual labor below their dignity does not deserve their respect.
He said the new Perambur factory “is another big step in our march” and “faithfully represents our march towards industrialization”.
This factory, like all the other factories, did not lead to the development of village industries and the raising of the standard of living of the rural and urban population. Some people have taken a rather narrow and unbalanced view of Gandhi’s ideals without understanding all aspects of their multifaceted character.
Many, he thought, emphasized the philosophy defended by Mahatma Gandhi, without understanding the spirit behind it. For the functioning of a great movement in India and as the leader of the great struggle against a mighty empire, Gandhiji emphasized village industries.
The Prime Minister said that there could be no real progress in India’s material stature without large factories. We cannot even maintain the freedom and independence of the nation without the factories and everything they stand for. At the same time, he did not believe that there could be Indian welfare, large-scale jobs, without widespread village industries. “There is no conflict about this in my mind,” he said.
“Sometimes there can be conflicts. Basically, we have to move forward simultaneously and not one after the other. We cannot keep pace with the modern world without adopting the latest technology, whether for the large factory or for the small village industry. We cannot keep pace with the modern world unless we use the energy sources available in your world today.
“Today we are on the threshold of an atomic age. Atomic energy provides us with a huge new source of energy and you cannot ignore it. Even if you ignore it, others will not ignore it but will use it to their advantage. Therefore, we must use all sources of energy. We will have to have this atomic energy when the time comes. At the same time, everything must ultimately be judged in terms of human well-being, in terms of the well-being of millions of people in our country. ”
Therefore, said the prime minister, he was happy to come here on this auspicious occasion of Gandhi Jayanti and perform the opening ceremony. In India new factories were coming up and big changes were happening, through great river valleys and energy projects.
The Prime Minister said he was impressed by the “magnificent structure”, which had been built with considerable capacity and efficiency.
He said he saw the big machines working in the factory. Most of these machines came from foreign countries. “There can be no real progress or real industrialization in our country until the machines themselves are made in this country. As long as we have to rely on other countries for the means, we are dependent. “