Monday, July 4, 2011


In the previous posts on this Blog, it was discussed why the existing system of governance of India needs to be changed; what will be the changed system of governance; and how the change can be brought about. The logical next question is who will do it. The obvious and real answer to this question is we, the people of India, have to do it. Who else? There is no point in faulting the past generations for their omissions and commissions in the matter. Also, it will be inexcusably irresponsible to leave this momentous task, which is crying for action, to future generations in the vain hope that another Mahatma Gandhi or JP or any other similarly charismatic personality would emerge on the scene for the purpose. We must realize our duty as well as capability to do it. In a historic perspective, we are not yet too far removed from the Mahatma’s times to be guided by his far reaching ideas and be inspired by his abiding ideals. When the world is how realizing the relevance of his ideas and the value of his ideals, we are after all their direct inheritors. Not only this, we inherit parts of many great men and women who appeared on this land and shaped the course of history and humanity. Their legends still continue to make impact on the life and living of people. In our spiritual tradition, aren’t we part of the Almighty God? Invoking all this excellent inheritance of ours, we can certainly accomplish this national task.

In the above mentioned context, let us be rather specific about various actors who are to be involved in carrying out different components of the national task of changing the system of governance for India. The first and foremost is the conceptual base of the task. The ‘why’, ‘what’ and ‘how’ of the task, expounded in the previous blog posts, provide this base. Although this has been put forward by founder members of the Forum for Change the System of Governance of India under whose auspices the current and its predecessor Blogs have been created, the real actor in this basic task has been the architect of India’s freedom Mahatma Gandhi under whose inspiring guidance India’s freedom struggle was waged. The practical visionary that Mahatma Gandhi was, he had always in mind what governance system free India must have for which India’s political freedom was the first essential step. In fact, he had eloquently indicated on several occasions that he was fighting against the colonial system of governance and not necessarily against the British colonial masters, thus implying fighting for a system of governance befitting India’s culture and genius. It was on this concept and vision of freedom for India that he had inspired the masses of India to join its freedom movement based on nonviolence and passive resistance. Even the idea that this movement would aim at driving out the British so that the Indians could occupy their positions and operate the same government machinery was repugnant to Gandhi. In fact, he had cautioned and warned against this misplaced idea for India’s freedom.

When India was going through the exercise of framing its Constitution, it had clearly the opportunity of implementing Gandhi’s prescription for governance of free India. Two factors, however, worked against this at that time. First, majority of the members of the Constituent Assembly represented by design the privileged sections of Indians who had vested interest in continuance of the existing system of governance sans the British. Secondly, those members who were in the forefront of India’s freedom struggle under the acknowledged leadership of Mahatma Gandhi lacked in understanding the depth and farsightedness of his ideas and hence in their commitment to them. They were too familiar with the British system and too enamoured of astounding developments in Soviet Russia to appreciate the intrinsic value, sustained relevance and overarching significance of Gandhi’s ideas. Gandhi tried his best to impress upon the Congress Party the wisdom and soundness of his ideas for independent India literally till the last day of his life. He, however, was too heartbroken on partition of India and its terrible consequences, felt too lonely since his prime followers assumed the responsibility of the government and was too short lived to maintain his characteristic perseverance and persistence in the matter. Thus, Gandhi failed in the ultimate mission of his life in his life time; was betrayed in the Constituent Assembly; and the nation, bruised for more than century by a degrading colonialism, lost a historic opportunity for its renaissance, resurgence and rejuvenation.

However, a person may die due to biological limitations or otherwise, but his ideas, particularly of an epochal person like Gandhi, continue to live, inspire and guide mankind forever. This has been in evidence on several historic occasions in the world. As for the instant task of changing the system of governance of India, this is rather an unfinished task left by the Mahatma for future generations of Indians to undertake and complete. The depressing experience of more than six decades of India’s post-independence journey has served only to bring the logic of the Mahatma’s ideas in sharper focus and to highlight the urgency of the task. In fact, in retrospect one may even think that the Mahatma’s thinking on the issue was too visionary for the people of his times. At the present, when people clearly see various ills increasingly afflicting the post-independence nation and they desperately want a change and a way out of the mess, the time is ripe for people to appreciate and accept the wisdom of Gandhi’s prescription for governance of free India. This task of ridding India of its debilitating illness for her revolutionary transformation is of course challenging but since the prescription is already available, it has been rendered rather easy.

For those of us who want and are prepared to contribute to the process of revolutionary transformation of India essentially on Gandhi’s prescription and deem it a duty as an enlightened member of this generation, the task is rather straightforward. Just as for producing any complex and sophisticated product such as a modern air plane or a computer, once its grand design based on scientific principles is firmed up, various component activities leading to the final product are comparatively straightforward and can be carried out by suitably trained persons. Similarly, as the grand design for India’s wellness and greatness commenstruate with her genius is given by a practical visionary like the Mahatma, the follow up task can surely be accomplished by lesser individuals like us. As this transformation is to be achieved through ballot rather than bullet, as outlined in the previous post on this Blog titled “Road Map for Bringing about Changed System, of Governance”, there are two essential requirements for the purpose; one, an efficient and disciplined organization and two, adequate financial and other resources. The task is to be accomplished in two distinct and interactive phases. In the first phase, firming up the conceptual and strategic framework along with a programme of awareness, education and motivation of the people is to be carried out, which will be greatly facilitated through extensive use of all means of information and communication including print, television, telephone, internet and public meetings. In the second phase, which will be taken up at a suitable stage of the first phase, political action and programmes will be taken up.

Thus each member of this generation, man and woman, can verily contribute to the accomplishment of this historic mission according to his or her inclination and capability. Such contribution can come by participating in various ways in the organization committed to the mission and / or by providing financial and other resources to strengthen the organization in order to enable it to carry out this onerous task, which is really the unfinished part of India’s unique freedom struggle. We of this generation must appreciate that the sacrifices called for and made by the freedom fighters under the live leadership of Mahatma Gandhi have rendered the path to be covered by this generation rather easy and tractable. Definitely, no such sacrifices are required for the task now. The most important and critical requirement for this task is perceptional, i.e., perceiving India’s problems in the correct perceptive. An enchanting pitfall in this perception is to hold individuals or groups responsible for India’s problems. This danger existed even in India’s freedom struggle when the popular perception was that the British people were responsible for India’s degradation and simply driving them out was the be-all and end-all of the solution. While Mahatma Gandhi constantly cautioned against this popular perception in his times, the then situation conspired to make India fall prey to this pitfall. Let us learn the right lesson from history, carry out the unfinished task for India’s real freedom. We owe it to ourselves, to the Father of the Nation who laid down his life for this, to millions of freedom fighters who made sacrifices to the cause of India’s freedom, and most of all, to our nation and its future generations.