Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Indian System Of Governance

Disciple : It seems that our old Indian system was the best for us. How could it succeed so well?
Sri Aurobindo : The old Indian system grew out of life, it had room for everything and every interest. There were monarchy, aristocracy, democracy. Every interest was represented in the Government. While in Europe the Western System grew out of the mind. They are led by reason and want to make everything cut and dried without any chance of freedom or variation. If it is democracy, then democracy only. No room for anything else. They cannot be plastic.
India is now trying to imitate the West. Parliamentary Government is not suited to India. But we always take up what the west has thrown off. Sir Akabar wanted to try a new sort of Government with an impartial authority at the head. There, in Hyderabad, the Hindu majority complains that though Mohammedens are in minority they occupy most of the offices in the state. By Sir Akabar's method almost every interest would have been represented in the Government and automatically the Hindus would have come in, but because of their cry of responsible Government the scheme failed. They have a fixed idea in the mind and want to fit everything to it. They can't think for themselves and so take up what the others are throwing off.
Disciple : What is your idea of an ideal Government for India? It is possible in Hyderabad which has a Nizam.
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But how to do the same in an Indian Constitution?
Sri Aurobindo : Sir Akabar's is as good as any. My idea is like what Tagore once wrote. There may be one Rashtrapati at the top with considerable powers so as to secure a continuity of policy and an Assembly representative of the nation. The provinces will contribute to a Federation, united at the top, leaving ample scope to local bodies to make laws according to their local problems. Mussolini started with a fundamental of the Indian System but afterwards began bullying and bluffing other nations for the sake of imperialism. If he had persisted in his original idea, he would have been a great creator.
Disciple : Dr. Bhagwandas suggested that there should be legislators above the age of 40, completely disinterested like the Rishis.
Sri Aurobindo : A chamber of Rishis! That would not be very promising. They will at once begin to quarrel. As they say; Rishis in ancient times could guide kings because they were distributed over various places.
Disciple : His idea is of gathering all great men together.
Sri Aurobindo : And let them quarrel like Kilkeni cats. I suppose. (Said laughing.)
The Congress at the present stage–what is it but a Fascist organization? Gandhi is the dictator like Stalin, I won't say like Hitler. What Gandhi says they accept and even Working Committee follows him. Then it goes to A. I. C. C. which adopts it and then the Congress. There is no opportunity for any difference of opinion except for Socialists who are allowed to differ. Whatever resolutions they pass are obligatory on all the provinces
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whether the resolutions suit the provinces or not. There is no room for any other independent opinion. Every thing is fixed up before and the people are only allowed to talk over it like Stalin's Parliament. When we started the movement we began with the idea of throwing out the Congress oligarchy and open the whole organization to the general mass.
Disciple : Srinivas Ayyanger retired from Congress because of his difference with Gandhi. He objected to Gandhi's giving the movement a religious turn and bringing in religion in Politics.
Sri Aurobindo : He made Charka a religious article of faith and excluded all people from Congress Membership who could not spin. How many believe in his gospel of Charka? Such a tremendous waste of energy, just for the sake of a few annas is most unreasonable.
Disciple : He made that rule perhaps to enforce discipline?
Sri Aurobindo : Discipline is all right but once you centralize you go on centralizing.
Disciple : It failed in agricultural provinces and seems to have succeeded in other places especially where people had no occupation.
Disciple : In Bengal it did not succeed.
Sri Aurobindo : In Bengal it did not. It may be all right as a famine-relief measure. But when it takes the form of an All-India programme it looks absurd. If you form a programme that is suited to the condition of the agricultural people it sounds something reasonable. Give them education, technical training and give them (Fundamentals or Principles of) organization not on political but on business lines. But Gandhi does not want any
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such industrial organization and so comes in with his magical formula "spin, spin, spin." C. R. Das and others could act as a balance against him. It is all a fetish.
Denmark and Ireland organized in the same way. Only now they are going to suffer because other nations are trying to be self-sufficient. I don't believe in that sort of self-sufficiency. For that is against the principles of life. It is not possible for nations to be self-sufficient like that.


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