Swaraj – From Whence and for Whom?

Posted on August 15, 2010

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14/08/2010 12:13:08  SUNDARAM IAS

63 years after our independence, all the aam aadmis of India are working round the clock 24×7 only to keep firangi memsahib’s family in an unshakable position of unchallenged power derived from unsurpassed prosperity. I am presenting below a series of pictures to bring out the saga of service and self-sacrifice of Nehru-Indira Gandhi-Rajiv Gandhi-Sonia Gandhi-Rahul Gandhi-Priyanka Wadhera.

Here is a prose poem in a true Bibilical style:

At the beginning was the disaster of firangi memsahib
firangi memsahib was with the UPA Government
And the disaster of UPA Government was firangi memsahib!

Where UPA II Government injustice becomes greater than we are
Where firangi memsahib’s injustice becomes swifter than we are
Where UPA II injustice becomes stronger than we are
Help us not to tire!

Where UPA II Government injustice excels us
In knowledge and resources
Where firangi memsahib’s injustice excels us
In endurance and success
Where UPA II Government injustice becomes so great
That we shrink
At its glance
Help us not to despair!

Where UPA II Government injustice speaks with the voices
Of justice and of power
Where firangi memsahib’s injustice speaks with the voices
Of benevolence and of reason
Where UPA II Government injustice speaks with the voices
Of moderation and of experience
Help us not to become bitter

And if we do despair
Help us to see that we are desperate
And if we do become bitter
Help us to see that we are becoming bitter
And if we shrink with fear
Help us to know that it is fear
Despair and bitterness and fear!

Tomorrow August 15 2010, we would be completing 63 years after our Independence from British yoke. We are in the vicious grip of firangi memsahib’s Italian yoke!We seem to be in an irretrievable state of National Degredation. India today presents a general picture of cultural, ethical and spiritual malnutrition if not starvation. Vast sections of our population have lost all touch with the strengthening, invigorating and purifying spiritual traditions of our timeless culture. This is bad enough. This is sad enough. But what is worse and sadder still is that we have also failed to get ourselves ethically and spiritually re-nourished and re-strengthened by our own consciously chosen socio-political actions, consequent upon the attainment of our Independence as a free nation during the last five decades. The current malady in our society, if allowed to grow unchecked and uncontrolled, will only lead this country to an irretrievable chaos, turmoil and confusion.

The great philosopher-poet-king, Bharthruhari classified the human beings in any given society into four categories 1,300 years ago. According to him, in the first category, are the Sat-Purushas who are the good people, who always seek to promote the interests of others even by sacrificing their own interest. They practice the ethics of self- effacement and universal love, of renunciation and service. They constitute a very small minority in any society and they are the people who can live up to the teachings of Saints like Adi Shankara or Gauthama Budha or Mahaveera. They are the Salt of the earth. In the second category are the Samanyas who constitute the generality of the people and who strive to promote the welfare of others as long as it does not involve the sacrifice of their own self-interest. This, in modern parlance, would mean those who seek enlightened self-interest—the middle class, the men controlling business and men occupying high positions in society. In the third category, are people who destroy the welfare of others in order to safeguard their own self-interest and they are described by Bharthruhari as Manavarakshasas, veritable human demons. These people indulge in all kinds of anti-social practices inherited from the past and also drawn from the present. People indulging in corruption, food and drug adulteration and such other anti-social elements would come in this category. Most of our politicians in India today would come under this category. In the fourth and last category, are the people who are absolutely unethical and who are given to unprovoked and wanton anti-social violence and destruction as a daily way of life.

In the light of Bharthruhari’s analysis above, let us look at the Indian situation. The main problem in India today arises from the uncontrolled and unregulated mass manufacture of human beings belonging to the third and fourth categories described by Bharthruhari and this trend has been aggravated, especially since the attainment of our political freedom on account of the perverted functioning of our democratic system promoted, sustained and maintained by the Nehru-Indira-Rajiv-Sonia Congress Party. This is what poses a real challenge to our education and religion, our politics and social life today. This challenge has to be met by mobilizing all the intellectual, ethical and spiritual resources of the nation inherited from our own past and also acquired from modern experience. We must take conscious and deliberate steps to preserve and nourish the ever present and small minority of the first category of human beings described as Sat-Purushas by Bharthruhari and also described by Sri Krishna in the Bhagavath-Gita and Buddha in Dhammapada. The Samanyas belonging to the second category have to be ethically fortified, spiritually strengthened, educationally well-trained and materially supported to pursue the path of enlightened self- interest without coming into conflict with our vision and image of renascent India of the future. It is a sad but irrefutable fact that people belonging to this category have become mute and helpless spectators of wholesale and cold-blooded slaughter of all our traditional values in our national life. The current trend of endless and uncontrolled growth of people belonging to the third category, the Manavarakshasas, must be severely restrained and ultimately thinned out. Finally, the large scale emergence of people belonging to the fourth category who are the enemies of all mankind must be completely prevented. All these can be achieved only by refashioning and restructuring our educational system. The present educational system in our Schools and Colleges has completely failed in giving proper training and guidance to our youths and children who are going to be the leaders of tomorrow.

Knowledge does not comprise all that which is contained in the large term of ‘education’. The feelings are to be disciplined ; the passions are to be restrained; true and worthy motives are to be inspired; a profound religious feeling is to be instilled and a pure morality inculcated under all circumstances. All this is comprised in ‘education’. As Swami Vivekananda said:
“Let us strive to bring light to the world, light to the poor, and more light to the rich, for they require it more than the poor. Bring light to the ignorant and more light to the educated, for the vanities of education of our time are tremendous.”

What we need today more than any time in our past history is moral leadership, founded on courage, intellectual integrity and complete sense of balance.

We have a large number of educated, highly specialised and capable men in our country today. But they are all working in an uncoordinated and directionless manner like the blind men of Hindustan groping in the dark, without being inspired by a larger vision and animated by a larger purpose. They should remember the saying of Albert Einstein who was a specialist among specialists and who, at the same time, could be a specialist among generalists and a generalist amongst specialists.  He said: “It is essential that a student acquires an understanding of and a lively feeling for values. He must acquire a vivid sense of the beautiful and of the morally good. Otherwise, he—- with his specialised knowledge—- more closely resembles a well-trained dog than a harmoniously developed person”.

The tragedy of post-independent India is that we have lost our sensitivity to and sensibility towards the Quality of Life and become oblivious of the sense of values that should enrich and sustain it. All right thinking people in India are fully aware of the many things which are going wrong in India today. And yet there is a feeling of frustration, cynicism, helplessness, uncertainty and impotence everywhere at all levels of society.

Growing indiscipline everywhere and at all levels, complete erosion of all cultural, ethical, moral and religious values, the ever rising tide of communalism, regionalism, casteism and linguistic chauvinism, Himalayan corruption eating into the vitals of national life, total want of inspiring and enlightened leadership in all fields of national endeavour and finally a mounting wave of violence in all parts of India—- these and other destabilizing, disturbing and disintegrating factors have raised doubts in many responsible quarters in India and abroad about the very survival of India as a nation.

WE HAVE TO REALISE WHAT IT IS THAT IS THREATENED WITH DESTRUCTION AND WHAT IT IS THAT WE ARE CALLED UPON TO DEFEND?

As we are just at the beginning of the 21st century, what is the standard to which we as a nation should repair? Upon this STANDARD, it is written: ‘You have lived the easy way; henceforth, you will live the hard way’.

It is written: ‘You came into a great heritage made by the insight and sweat and blood of inspired and devoted and courageous men; thoughtlessly and in utmost self-indulgence you have all but squandered this glorious inheritance. Now only by the heroic virtues which made this inheritance possible can you restore it again’.

It is written: ‘You took the good things for granted. Now you must earn them again’.

It is written: ‘For every right that you cherish, you have a duty which you must fulfill. For every hope that you entertain, you have a task that you must perform. For every good that you wish to preserve, you will have to sacrifice your comfort and your ease. There is nothing for nothing any longer’.

Let us remind ourselves how in the last fifty five years we have at critical junctures taken always the road of the least effort and the method of the cheapest solution and of greatest self-indulgence.

So we are here today. We are where we are because whenever we had a choice to make, we had chosen the alternative that required the least effort at the moment.

THERE IS ORGANISED MECHANISED EVIL LET LOOSE IN THE INDIA OF TODAY. What has made possible its victories is the lazy, self-indulgent materialism, the amiable, lackadaisical, footless, confused complacency of free India after 1947.

We have dissipated, like wastrels and drunkards the inheritance of freedom and order that came to us from hard working, thrifty, faithful, believing and brave men.

The disaster in the midst of which we are living today is a disaster in the character of men. It is a catastrophe of the soul of a whole generation which has forgotten, has lost and has renounced the imperative and indispensable virtues of laborious, heroic and honourable men.

To these virtues we have to return in the ordeal through which we are now passing or all that still remains will be lost and all that we attempt, in order to defend it, will be in vain. WE SHALL HAVE TO TURN FROM THE SOFT VICES TO THE STERN VIRTUES, REMEMBERING THAT THE HARD WAY IS THE ONLY ENDURING WAY.

The crying national need of the hour is to substitute morality for egoism; honesty for dishonesty; principles for expedients and usages and precedents; duties for improprieties masquerading as proprieties; the empire of reason for the casual tyranny of caprice; dignity for insolence; nobleness for vanity; love of public glory for the love of filthy lucre; good people for ‘high society’; merit for intrigue; creative genius for brilliant manipulation; the charm of ‘high’ contentment for the satiety of ‘low’ pleasure; the majesty of man for noble lineage; a vigorous and happy people for a wretched nation of servile people.

In short the nation as a whole should uphold in a virile manner the virtues of a strong Republic that will replace the soft vices and absurdities of a perverted parliamentary democracy.  We have to put an end to both ‘Parliamentary Monarchy’ and ‘Parliamentary Anarchy’. By ‘Parliamentary Monarchy’ I mean a system of hereditary Government like Monarchy which survives by manipulating the apparatus of Parliament to serve and suit the private interests of one family or one small group as the case may be. By ‘Parliamentary Anarchy’ I have in my mind the conditions of anarchy and lawlessness created by elected Members in the Legislative Assemblies in various States and the Lok Sabha in New Delhi. We have to usher in a new era of ‘ACCOUNTABLE PARLIAMENTARY DEMOCRACY’ in India in order to open out to our people opportunities for a fuller and richer life. In order to make this happen we have to have enlightened and awakened dictatorship of the people, by the people and for the people.

At the beginning was the suitcase. The suitcase was with cabinet minister. The cabinet minister was suitcase. We have to put an end to this system of Government of suitcase-ability, by suitcase-ability, for suitcase-ability. By ‘Vicious Cycle of Suitcase-ability’, I mean the operation of a circular constellation of forces—economic and non-economic, religious and cultural, social and sociological—acting and reacting upon one another in such a manner so as to keep the Indian Nation in general and the Government(s) in India in particular in a state of self-preserving and self perpetuating suitcase-ability.

A great poem entitled ‘what happens’ graphically sums up the wretched position in India today:

It has happened
and it goes on happening
And will happen again
if nothing happens to stop it.

The innocent know nothing
because they are too innocent
And the guilty know nothing
because they are too guilty.

The poor do not notice
because they are too poor
And the rich do not notice
because they are too rich.

The stupid shrug their shoulders
because they are too stupid
And the clever shrug their shoulders
because they are too clever.

The young do not care
because they are too young
And the old do not care
because they are too old.

That is why nothing happens
to stop it.
And that is why it has happened
and goes on happening and will happen again.

Are we going to be wise enough and brave enough to bring about a ‘Total Revolution’ in India in the immediate future?

Post Script:

I served as the District Collector and Magistrate of the then un-bifurcated Tirunelveli District during Indira Gandhi’s draconian Emergency in 1976-77. I used to get a weekly newsletter called ‘OPINION’ published by Astad Dinshaw  Gorwala from Bombay who had served earlier in the Indian Civil Service (ICS) during the days of the British Raj.

A.D. Gorwala is one of the many unsung heroes of modern India. Born in 1900 in the small Parsi community, Gorwala joined the prestigious Indian Civil Service (ICS) in 1924 and served in the Northwest province of Sindh and elsewhere. It was Gorwala who established Bombay’s food rationing system during the World War II, a system that still operates, though with falling efficiency now.

After Indian Independence, A.D Gorwala quit the Indian Civil Service (ICS) after differences with the ministers and became a journalist. His critical articles were published in several newspapers including The Times of India. Despite freedom of expression being a fundamental right its unfettered exercise was always subject to some form of informal censorship even in the days of Jawaharlal Nehru. A. D. Gorwala’s column in The Times of India written under the pseudonym “Vivek” was discontinued at Nehru’s insistence for it was too critical of him and no other newspaper was ready to publish A.D. Gorwala’s column. This compelled A.D. Gorwala to start his own weekly Newsletter in 1960 which he named ‘OPINION’ to exercise his right to free expression to publicise his opinions. (Its annual subscription was Rs.2.) It was a unique 2-page back-to-back cyclostyled ‘paper’ that was held in considerable awe in its time. A.D. Gorwala fought for the citizens’ fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression. But that was exactly what the insecure dictator Indira Gandhi wanted to suppress. The veteran Gorwala showed great ingenuity in keeping his newsletter ‘Opinion’ in circulation until the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting got the Postal Department to refuse to carry the copies of that newsletter. In the fullness of time Indira Gandhi received her Divine retribution in the manner and measure required for all the atrocities she had perpetrated against the nation.

Through the medium of ‘OPINION’, A.D. Gorwala, a man of legendary integrity, fought a long battle against corruption in the 1960’s and the first half of 1970’s till the introduction of Emergency by Indira Gandhi in June 1975.

During the state of Emergency declared by that petty Indian dictator Indira Gandhi, the authorities, which had imposed press censorship in the country, ordered Opinion to be shut down. In the last issue of ‘OPINION’ before it was shutdown for ever by Indira Gandhi, A.D Gorwala wrote fearlessly as follows:
“THE CURRENT INDIRA REGIME, FOUNDED ON JUNE 26, 1975, WAS BORN THROUGH LIES, NURTURED THROUGH LIES, AND FLOURISHED BY LIES. THE ESSENTIAL INGREDIENT OF ITS BEING IS THE LIE. CONSEQUENTLY, TO HAVE A TRUTH-LOVING, STRAIGHT THINKING JOURNAL TO EXAMINE IT WEEK AFTER WEEK AND POINT OUT ITS FALSEHOODS BECOMES INTOLERABLE TO IT”.

No better exhortation to writers and publicists to preserve their integrity in the face of a dictatorial Government’s pressure can be found than in the following blazing and bracing words of A.D.Gorwala; “ The urge towards conformity, the pressure for turning all thought into the same mould, the resentment against bonafide criticism, more especially if valid and difficult to refute, is often strongly present in the decadent India of today. In these circumstances, on the publicist, speaker or writer, a grave responsibility rests. He must tell the truth as he sees it. It is not for him to endeavour to win the confidence of statesmen by altering the truth and suiting his words to the political aims of their policy. Nor must he allow the power and influence of owners of great wealth and mighty institutions to affect his task, whatever the good or harm they can do him. HIS PRIMARY AND ONLY DUTY IS TO THE PEOPLE. THEM HE MUST SERVE, WHETHER OR NOT THEY SUSTAIN HIM.”

These great and deathless words of A.D. Gorwala are my permanent beacon lights. I do not know whether my writings are influencing or affecting Public Opinion to any extent at all. And yet at the same time I can say that I have saved myself from some inner triviality and shame and this to myself has been some achievement. JAI HIND  (Article: Haindava Keralam)

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Posted in: Indian Politics