March 6, 02

India & Her Great Future

 

         India, like every other nation – maybe more than others – is faced with a plethora of opportunities hedged in by sore problems and severe handicaps.

         One who is fully informed and inspired by the views of Sri Aurobindo can certainly visualize all these abundant opportunities.

         He can also trace the history of all India’s problems to their very roots to completely comprehend their roles today.

         Assuming the national and governmental leadership would listen to such a diagnosis, what will its solution be?

         Sri Aurobindo says Nature resorted to foreign invasion in order to give India geographical unity and succeeded.

         Human perversity managed to split the nation again.

         Is it soluble now? Is it necessary to unite India again?

         Today we see corruption everywhere, conscious flaming of communal passions and the GDP has been ranked 134/190.

         Until 1947, the Congress party was really the Freedom Movement.

         After 1947, a movement cannot suddenly become a party nor acquire efficiency in administration, or particularly create an administration for development.

         We see Gandhi was outstanding, but it is equally true that he stood outside the emotions of the party as well as the population.

         Nehru was of the same type, if to a lesser extent.

         Why were Gandhi and Nehru so isolated from the masses in this sense?

         The foreign policy was the creation of one man virtually.

         What was the value of non-alignment in practice?

         How do we assess these things?  and how to proceed further?

         It is true a movement for Freedom cannot settle down as a strong administration for development. What should have been done for us in independent India to have an incorruptible administration of development?

         If there could have been something like that in the past which the country missed, is there something that can be done now to compensate that loss?

         Sri Aurobindo desired armed revolution for Freedom. Had it been there in the twenties and freedom won at the point of a gun, those who had died in 1947 in communal riots would have died as heroes on the battlefield earlier. Still, it could not have given us an administration for development.

         The direct cause of corruption today is widespread poverty and the lure of dishonest earnings from the newly developing industries. If corruption is inevitable, communal riots are inevitable, it will not be an argument, as it can be given as the final argument of the fatalists.

         Suppose in 1930 or at least after 1947 the youth had been mobilized as a Prosperity Brigade and some token efforts of vocational training had been given, or a fling at rural industries had been there or at least the talk of industrializing the country had been there, there would have been some hope. But Gandhiji took the inconceivable view of Khadhi spinning for rural prosperity. He put the clock backwards.

         If the Muslims came 800 years ago to unite India by conquest but failed eventually, it is understandable that in 1947 they succeeded in breaking the union.

         The Englishman who united India and extended the unity to Burma, Ceylon, and Singapore left India on his own. This is equally not surprising.

         The final refusal of the Brahmin which Sri Aurobindo speaks of can be seen as the spiritual seed a few thousand years ago for Gandhi shunning armed revolution.

         The afflatus moved away from India where Spirit developed in quest of pastures elsewhere for the development of mind and vital.

         To preserve the Spirit, the Indian context resorted to Falsehood as a preservative. Hence poverty, a corollary of falsehood, is widespread.

         We see the phenomenon of Indians and Americans working together as if the circle of the evolutionary movement at both ends is meeting. But this is a silver lining, not a full dawn of glory.

         To Sri Aurobindo two things are possible.

1)      To bring the distant future now, &

2)      To correct all past errors.

         When there is a conflict between two and it remains unreconciled, after a time circumstances change and they come together. Foreknowledge can offer the parties before the conflict precipitates. It happens in many ways.

 

      The communal carnage in 1947 subsided when law and order was enforced. As there was no enmity originally, powerful law and order restored the original harmony.

      The Cold War gave way because the Russians, having come to know of Western prosperity, longed for it.

      USSR and UK came together in the face of a common enemy.

      Jealousy of a rising man gives way to a desire for his patronage.

      Prosperous modern Western life is too strong a lure to be resisted by Muslims or Hindus even where higher ideals of freedom fail. The freedom in the abstract may not attract, but the inherent, innate freedom offered by the Internet and computer never fails in its charm.

 

         Sam Petrodia’s STD booths wrought a telecommunication revolution in India. It is miraculous, but still it is a sporadic small venture.

         In every field--education, agriculture--such a powerful change can be brought about by small projects, but we shall think of the overall plan.

         The government is NOT interested in such a plan even when one is offered. The society cannot be easily stirred without the government coming in in a big way.

         More than the lack of interest in the government, the obstacle is the government’s active self-interest. Should we wait for the wave of corruption to lose its momentum or are we to confront it?

         How does this active self-interest, a euphemism for corruption, rise in terms of social energy organising itself into a viable activity? Here we move from moral considerations to political process and from there the first principles of energy organising themselves through direction into viable power, viable in its pristine pure state of amoral existence.

         Studying the growth or evolution of the human collective from this perspective Sri Aurobindo wrote The Human Cycle and later extended it to world politics in The Ideal of Human Unity.

         The idealistic Freedom Movement after the transfer of power in 1947 found no expression for its energy and has gone moribund. These are changes at the level of pure energy and take place in a trice according to the famous dictum of Sri Aurobindo that when the best is corrupted it becomes the worst.

         Such changes take place inside and await the social sanction for outer expression. The significance of the insignificant is from this phenomenon. The peeping of a great behaviour into our lives amidst unseemly appearances shows greatness is fully organized below. The rule is true in good as well as bad contexts.

         In the Congress, it appeared as unexpressed covetousness for power. Thereafter degeneration was the rule as there was no ORGANISED political party, nor had it any programme of action. Gandhiji’s constructive programme was like a car driver carrying a whip. He did worse than that, he drove a Rolls Royce car by two bullocks in Bombay.

         Except in Nehru’s mind, the idea of economic upliftment was not there in anyone’s mind. It was not on the agenda.

         How did Nehru come to have this idealism? Why only he, and not others? The Indian Freedom Movement was not a freedom movement in the original sense of the word. In that sense, it should have been an armed revolution. It is characteristic that no kshatriya was at the top.

         Gandhiji was a great leader, unsurpassed in his ability to command obedience. His inspiration was moral, the field he chose was political. No wonder the best of men fighting for freedom implicitly obeyed him on meeting him. Politics has never been moral. Politics is a field of effective self-interest with a touch of idealism. Henry Kissinger is an advocate of this approach. He pronounces that it is dangerous to place moral leaders at the head of political movements. That was his analysis of Nehru. It is true politics does need a strong dose of morality. It will work for him who is strong enough for that. Nehru and Patel who implicitly obeyed Gandhiji in Salt Satyagraha, Khilafat movement, Quit India call, etc., ceased to listen to him when real freedom was on the agenda. Worse still, they started listening to Lord Mountbatten, a military leader of the British Raj and accepted his leadership, against his will, in handling the most momentous crisis weeks after independence.

         The Indian freedom movement had no warrior as its leader. Gandhiji’s mission was an exercise in pious wishful thinking. Still Patel retained at the next level his capacity for action which was expressed in integration of the princely states. Nehru’s patriotism found greater expression in prosperity than anything else. The mass following was genuine, but genuinely blind in following the greatest of men whose presence in the Freedom Movement was an anachronism or beside the point. Therefore, Nehru was the sole soul after development. He had no field in which he could express his urges. The Community  Development Programme of which he was in raptures had no real life in it. Still it made commendable progress until it became a victim to a deficit in the plan outlays.

         Of any developmental inspiration, the only thing that surfaced as an idea was Rajaji’s ORIGINAL idea of transforming the village into a polytechnic. His idea excels even the resourcefulness of Napoleon in that it is a vibration of a genius in the widest context of collective evolution. It was not mooted at the All-India level. It was a stillborn child vitiated by its malicious motive born out of traditional ignorance.

         Here is a gem of a suggestion which when combined with the modern resources of Western technology will render each village into a veritable powerhouse that avails of the latest tools for the exercise of ancient spiritual skills.

         Similarly, ways and means can be devised to draw entirely upon the reservoir of Indian spirituality. If the above relates to skill and the totality embraces the complete personality of Bharat Mata, in every sector such a strategy is available to unleash the infinite energies of the field.

         It is not wrong to attempt progress in isolation wherever it is possible. However, a wider attempt at progress or the widest possible effort at prosperity may meet with one of the following two possibilities.

1)      It may be a non-starter.

2)      It may be a great success with attendant undesirable effects.

         In a society for a work to be successful, it must have the sanction of its will, support of energy, endorsement of its organisation and that society must have use for the results of that work – a usable product.

      Then we say the society is ready for progress.

      This is true of any organisation or individual.

      The rule is negatively stated as no society can be made to progress against its will.

         According to the above rule, I feel the following can be done if it is delivered through appropriate strategies.

      India can plan for a prosperity that can directly take it to a per capita GDP of $3840 from the present $384.

 

v      The rule that can accomplish this goal is to take initiative for everything we would do if there were external compulsion or opportunity.

v      What Sam Petrodia did for STD booths, what Farm schools can do for farmers are only two of the 200 small, isolated projects. The NGOs, interested individuals, universities and even the government must decide to do at once what can be done.

v      The present prosperity that is witnessed in the urban areas suggests that.

v      Incidentally, when this move is successful it will absorb all the energies of the nation and offer some economic progress to all sections so that there will be no energy for the communal agitations, labour trouble, public hartal, etc.

      Surely no project for which social infrastructure is not there can now be attempted. It depends upon the success of persuading the government to create them.

      If all high level industries are encouraged to raise themselves one or two levels--technologically and institutionally--their growth will induce commensurate growth all over the nation.

      To exhaust the resources of Insurance by extending it to fresh areas and more fully utilizing the existing schemes, the country can come alive at a level 7 or 8 levels above the present.

         To study the present in the light of Sri Aurobindo's theories of the past, one can see

1)      the frontier

2)      the potentials for progress

3)      the half-utilised potentials

4)      how every performance can be bettered.

      That will enable us to activate the nation, sap the energies of the negative activities and push up the frontier further.

 

         This is an idea, even if it is conceded validity.

         Can this idea be REAL at any level at all?

         He who is seized of this idea must make it real in his life or in the life of his organization, if he presides over one.

         In his own personal life, he does represent national life at one level--subtle physical or subtle vital or subtle mental or mental or vital planes. To receive the Force in that plane where he is in tune with the national life, the Force will activate that plane with his ideas.

         The measure of evolutionary truth that he is able to receive into him will be the measure of his effectivity.

 

Nehru

         Sri Aurobindo called him a pure Aryan type.

His eminence in the international life and what he sought there are a reconciliation of the very opposites.

      He was an aristocrat sympathizing with the poor.

      A democrat attracted to Socialism.

      A Gandhian who managed the national armies.

In this broad quest for reconciliation Nehru evinced the pure Spirit of  Indian religious inheritance.

         Leadership has always acted on its own strength. No leader has ever attempted successfully in practice to reconcile wisdom and strength in action. That quest has to this day remained a quest. If any nation can do it, India stands a good chance of doing it. The courage of Nehru’s total abandon qualified him to succeed in it. His drawback there was

      He had no grip of life’s realism.

      He unwisely accepted moral ideas in politics.

      He was sentimental.

      He presided over a militarily weak nation.

      In spite of Patel having had total success in integrating the princely states, the one state he took charge of rewarded him with failure. Here his personal emotional weakness betrayed him.

      It is characteristic that he was unfamiliar with Sri Aurobindo’s ideology in spite of having a disciple of His around.

         He was aware of the essential truth of Development well, but could not deliver it in a fashion that could benefit the nation. He was a hero of the freedom struggle, not the architect of economic advancement.

         Nehru’s quest was great, sensitive, serious and sincere, but he never tried to approach life’s realities in the context of national political exigencies. He handled the issues as and when they arose, but never developed a theoretical approach. So, his great work lay in the field of preserving India for democracy, discouraging fissiparous tendencies and guarding the borders on the West and North.

 

Muslims

         For centuries, Indian Muslims lived in perfect amity with their neighbours. There was absolutely no religious reason for the holocaust of communal flare up. This shows that the ultimate truth of life is not how long peace and amity prevailed and how sweetly but how powerful the negative excitement can prove if the occasion arises. Similar flare- ups were built up to the verge of explosion in the South among castes that lived peacefully. One sure way of bypassing this intentional political mischief, as was done in Madras, is to engage their energies positively. USA is emerging as a fully populated nation by immigrants.

 

The prosperity of the nation keeps the strife away. Hard work needed to sustain high income leaves no energy to feed fanaticism based on biological truths of the bygone past.

 

Princes

 

         Princes ruling over small patches of territories were the obstacle for Nature to unite India. The speed with which they were absorbed into India shows that the Force was active and the Kashmir trouble is not only man-made, but a symbol of Gandhian deviation and the final refusal of the Brahmin. Thus, Kashmir indicates the future reunion of Pakistan and perhaps, if Kashmir is solved the problem created in the society by Mind’s partial view will be resolved and India will reach Supermind.

 

         In  1942 when Rajaji was able to see the international issues rightly, Nehru the born internationalist succumbed to his own sentimental attachment to Gandhiji and went on a tirade against the communist. He was not personally touched by them. In 1947, as he was personally touched by materially important events, he discarded Gandhiji. Here we see the reality of concrete events.

         One good result of the Gandhian fad of ahimsa is seen in non-alignment. It requires extraordinary mental and moral courage NOT to take sides when the whole world is divided into warring camps. It really went far, giving Nehru, not India, an international stature. The status given to India was because of Nehru. The purity of Aryan sincerity rose to its zenith. Had it not subordinated itself to the dubious sentimentalism of non-violence, it could have given India the role of uniting the world.

         Nehru vacillated when issues did not face him squarely. When they did, he decided, like anyone else, as his strength permitted. Gandhi was a man of quick decisions. So also Lord Mountbatten. But Nehru never was. The reality behind Nehru’s indecision was his decisions were emotional, not moral, involving great commitments, which is not easy.

         Gandhiji’s mind was clear about his line of action. So also was Mountbatten’s mind. He was of the military and had his work cut out for him. Nehru was grappling with the eternal question before the world from the time of Buddha and the issue remained unresolved. The question is to practise the warm sympathies of a noble aristocrat, how the poor could be uplifted. He knew the theoretical answer--develop their consciousness--but as the world could not resolve it, he was in an eternal dilemma. Gandhiji could believe in Khadi, Rajaji trusted in the status quo, but for Nehru the issue was real and there was no answer. To this day, the world has evolved no answer.

         It is possible to be dissociated from religious worship. One sees in the West that hard work is prosperity. India was not going to give herself up to spinning or traditional rural life. Not only are material comforts phenomenally rising. The advance of scientific enquiry, the amazing new technologies are expressions of human spirit evolving in the mind and organising in Matter. No one can look on them silently or idly.

         The answer to that question is the answer to the question the rishis dared not ask and avoided. It is the question of reconciling Matter and Spirit.

          The USA wants to know. Having achieved material prosperity, the USA is in quest of Spirit. It reaches for Hathayoga, Tantra or the vital spirits mistaking them for the Spirit. The point is the Spirit is not the aim, but the Spirit expressing harmoniously the Delight of existence in Matter. If any serious response is to come, it will come from those who have accomplished in their own fields. The scientist and the businessman are eminent candidates, but we see the tip of the awakening is moving away from students to teenagers. Their response will be the true response, however truncated it appears.

         It is reasonable to think that Peace and Food along with guaranted employment and law and order in the newly emerging totalitarian regimes will awaken the spiritual individual, if the world comes by the Theory of Social Evolution. It is not impossible that evolution follow a reasonable course. But the evolutionary urge is too fast to confine itself to the path of reason as the path is too slow for its journey.

         Between the hurricane of the Force and the well laid out royal paths of reason, we see another phenomenon where the mental advances in science have learnt to organise themselves in matter as technology. Its latest version is the Internet made possible by the advent of computer technology. This being an organisation, it is integrating itself with all the existing organisations such as money, communication, education, and entertainment. It does everything necessary to create a subtle organisation. The world knows several subtle organisations. All institutions are in one sense subtle organisations. Internet is creating a subtle organisation through the medium of technology which is Mind expressing itself in Matter.

         The study of the Spirit becoming Matter in creation, Matter evolving Spirit in life and mind will help one see this process in the most modern technological advance.

      To take the Internet to any field is progress.

      To see the Spiritual Individual emerging in this process is to mentally participate in the evolution of the earth.

      To study the historical path Nature’s forces have traveled these few thousand years and evaluate our present issues in that light is enlightenment.

         To start from now and trace the causes of the two world wars, the liberation of 45 Asian, African countries, the formation of UN and a host of its agencies to pure energy of Nature and how it flounders at the level of force, power and skills is an eminent spiritual study of history.

         One can more easily do it in his own life, assuming his own personal life is a precise representative of the life of the world.

         The broad outlines are in the writings of Sri Aurobindo.

         The practices in Individual life are in the writings of The Mother.

         A practicing yogi stations himself at a higher perch of consciousness and lets that indirectly influence life in the subtle plane.

         A patriot who loves the well being of his people who cannot raise himself to yogic heights can also participate in this movement in ORGANISING his own consciousness in his own life along these lines. In that measure, he serves.

         He becomes an instrument for the Force in the subtle plane.

         One who progresses in his own life according to the Force is the instrument of it in his own domain.

         The prosperity of the West is due to Individuality and work.

         India was prosperous because her spirit was spilling over into her life.

         Spiritual Prosperity is that of the Spiritual Individual who lives the Spirit in his life.

         It cannot be a life of smallness or falsehood.

         A Life of Truth Consciousness is Divine Life.

         That Divine Life can have its potent seeds in the life of a devotee who has ushered himself into luck.

         Luck that is Spiritual Luck in human life converts human life into a potential field for Divine Life.