Sunday, July 12, 2009

One India And Indivisble


INDIA is one and indivisible, culturally and spiritually; politically too she must be one and indivisible and is, as a matter of fact, already on the way towards that consummation, in spite of appearances to the contrary. It has got to be so, if India is to be strong and powerful, if her voice is to be heard in the comity of nations, if she is to fulfil her mission in the world.
It is no use laying stress on distinctions and differences: we must, on the contrary, put all emphasis upon the funda­mental unity, upon the demand and necessity for a dynamic unity. Naturally there are diverse and even contradictory elements in the make-up of a modern nation. France, for example, was not one, but many to start with and for long. We know of the mortal feud between the Bourguignons and the Armagnacs and the struggle among the Barons generally, some even siding with foreigners against their own country­men (an Indian parallel we have in the story of Prithwiraj and Jayachand), poor Jeanne d'Arc lamenting over the 'much pity' that was in sweet France. There were several rival languages – Breton, Gascon, Proven├žal, besides the French of Isle de France. Apart from these provincial or regional rivalries there were schisms on religious grounds – Huguenots and Catholics, Jansenists and Arians were flying at each other's throat and made of France a veritable bedlam of confusion and chaos. Well, all that was beaten down and smoothed under the steam-roller of a strong centralised invincible spirit of France, one and indivisible and inexorable, that worked itself out through Jeanne d'Arc and Francis the First and Henry the Great and Richelieu and Napoleon. But all nations have the same story. And it is too late now in the day to start
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explaining the nature and origin of nationhood; it was done long ago by Mazzini and by Renan and once for all.
Indeed, what we see rampant in India today is the mediaeval spirit. This reversion to an older-an extinct, we ought to have been able to say-type of mentality is certainly a fall, a lowering of the collective consciousness. It bas got to be remedied and set right. Whatever the motive forces that lie at the back of the movement, motives of fear or despair or class interest or parochial loyalty, motives of idealism, misguided and ob­scurantist, they have to be taken by the horns and dominated and eliminated. A breath of modernism, some pure air of clear perception and knowledge and wider consciousness must blow through the congested hectic atmosphere of the Indian body politic.
It will do no good to anyone to try to Balkanise India. The Balkan malady is no longer tolerated even in its homeland; it cannot be transported to India in this century and after this Great War. To be and remain free and strong and invincible, India must be and remain indivisible. The strength of the United States of America, of the United Soviets of the Russias, of the British Commonwealth (pace Churchill) lies precisely in each one of them being a large unified aggregate, all members pooling their resources together.
India cannot main­tain her freedom, nor utilise her freedom to its utmost effectivity unless she is one and indivisible. The days of small peoples, of isolated independence are gone – gone for ever even like Thebes and Nineveh, like Kosala of Dasarathi and Mathura of Yadupati.
India can be and is to be a federation of autonomous units. But then we must very carefully choose or find out the units, those that are real units and not fractions (especially irrational fractions) and at the same time lay as much stress on federa­tion as on autonomy. To choose or create units on the basis of religion or race or caste or creed, that is exactly what we mean by irrationalism, in other words, mediaevalism. The Units must be, on one side, geographical wholes, and, on the other, cultural (or spiritual – not religious) wholes
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