The Modern Youth & Gandhi
Lord Macaulay introduced English education in India, his stated
objective was that when the British left India, the English educated
Indians would think and behave like them. Most English educated
youth, till today, have the attitude that they are superior to other
Indians, and everything Indian — life style, religions, institutions
— is inferior.
To most English educated youth, Gandhi was a
person rooted in the traditions of rural India with a deep urge to
uplift the poor. They regard him as a good soul but are not sure of
his relevance in a modern globalising world. Little do they realise
that however hard vested interests may try to suppress Gandhi’s
views, he and his ideology will keep popping up like a jack in the
box to guide the destiny of the world. First, we need to understand
what ideologies are all about.
Ideology is a system of
principles forming the basis of a political and economic theory.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union and its socialist ideology,
capitalist democracy as practised in the West is being advocated as
the best form of governance. The issue is, "Can capitalism nurture a
sustainable world order?" Concerns are expressed that globalisation
and consumerism driven capitalism lead to over-consumption of
resources and aberrations such as global warming. They also foster
vulgar wealth alongside abject poverty that can, in turn, lead to
violence and anarchy-like conditions.
Based on several thousand years' democratic
ethos of India, Gandhi advocated true egalitarian (samata)
Political science has not defined democracy
properly. It can be best defined
as how the people, sovereign in democracy, would like the nation to
Given the choice, the common people will first
retain resources with local governments for handling all local
matters such as administration of justice, police, education,
healthcare, land, water systems and forests. They would then devolve
a portion of their revenues to the state for higher level functions
and coordination, but not to interfere in local matters. To prevent
abuse of authority, they would also institute their sovereign rights
to information, consultation, participation, and referendum.
Derived from basic principles, this can
be said to be the basic structure of universal democracy.
Gandhi laid great emphasis on "Gram Swaraj"
in which village parliaments control village resources and
decision-making. He described democracy as a series of concentric
governments serving the village at the centre. Such grassroots
empowerment nurtures an egalitarian economic system. Local
communities encourage entrepreneurs to innovate and invest in
business to produce goods and services useful to the society and
generates wealth to meet the needs of the society, and for
philanthropy, but not for ostentatious consumption.
It truly is capitalism with a human
Gandhi was opposed to any technology that de-humanised
the people through routine mechanical jobs. He favoured technology
that empowered the people in their own environment. In his book "The
Third Wave" , Alvin Toffler explained that technologies such as
information are truly Gandhian as they empower the people.
Such political and economic systems and
technological environment can make the world a confederation of
peace loving local governments. Globalisation of such an
ideology, not markets, is what is the need of the hour.
Youth & Egalitarian
In a world with mammoth political and economic
vested interests, it would seem impossible to realise such an
apparently idealistic political and economic system. This is
where the youth needs to accept the challenge.
To facilitate reforms, People First has
conceptualised a new institution - Sovereign Rights Commission -
with the authority to direct referendums, except on issues
fundamental to democracy or the integrity of the nation.
Better then the royal priest of bygone days,
more like Gandhi, such commissions will function as the conscience
keeper of the state, based on the values of the society as a whole.
Such an independent commission will hold
public consultations and local referendums. Based on these, it will
draft a new Constitution and direct referendum on the present versus
the proposed Constitution along with the next national election. If
the people vote in favour of the latter, it will authenticate it
this time truly in the name of the people as the supreme law of the
During debates in Rajya Sabha on September 2,
1953. Dr BR Ambedkar lamented "People always keep on saying to me,
so you are the maker of the Constitution. My answer is I was a hack.
What I was asked to do, I did much against my will. I am quite
prepared to say that I shall be the first person to burn it. It does
not suit anybody."
To give peace to the soul of Gandhi and
Ambedkar, the youth of India must launch a non-violent movement
demanding reforms through independent commissions with the authority
to direct referendums, raising slogans:
Let these slogans reverberate all over Bharat
to rekindle its lost spirituality. Let the youth court arrest by
burning an effigy of our exploitative Constitution and plead before
the courts that it was authenticated in the name of the people as a
criminal breach of their trust. This truly will be a second freedom
Rakshasa Raj samapt karo,
Ram Raj sthapit karo
Swaraj hamara adhikar,
Janmat Sangraha is ka dwar
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