Monday, October 03, 2011

India - A Civilizational State - Part 2

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Remembering a quote from TV series "Chanakya". This article is in continuation with the thoughts expressed in a previous article. Click on this link to access that article.

"यवनों ने भिन्न-भिन्न जनपदों के आस्था के भेद को नहीं देखा था. आक्रान्ताओं ने सभी के साथ एक जैसा व्यवहार किया था.  दुर्भाग्य ही था की सभी जनपदों ने मिलकर यवनों का सम्मिलित रूप से प्रतिकार नहीं किया.  क्यों??  क्योंकि हममे राष्ट्रीय चरित्र का अभाव था. यदि सभी जनपदों ने राष्ट्र के रूप में संगठित होकर यवनों का प्रतिकार किया होता तो क्या यवनों के लिए इस धरा पर विजय पाना संभव था? यदि सिन्धु की रक्षा का दायित्व सभी जनपदों के लिया होता तो क्या यवनों को सिन्धु को पार कर पाना संभव था? पर कठ, मद्रक, क्षुद्रक और मालव गणराज्यों को ये विश्वास नहीं हो रहा था की उनके प्रदेशों की सीमाओं का द्वार भी तक्षशिला हैं. जहाँ तक हमारी संस्कृति का विस्तार हैं, वहां तक हमारी सीमाए हैं.  हिमालय से समुद्र पर्यंत ये संपूर्ण भूमि हमारी अपनी भूमि हैं, हमारा अपना राष्ट्र हैं. और इस राष्ट्र की रक्षा हम नहीं करेंगे तो इस राष्ट्र की रक्षा कौन करेगा.   यदि हमने अबभी संगठित होकर राष्ट्र के रूप में अपना परिचय नहीं दिया तो आक्रान्ताओं का पुनरागमन हो सकता हैं और इतिहास की पुनरावृत्ति. यदि हम अबभी संगठित नहीं हुए तो आक्रान्ताओं का मार्ग प्रशस्त हैं. आवश्यकता हैं हमें एक छत्र के नीचे एकत्र होने की. ताकि ये राष्ट्र सुदृढ़ और सक्षम हो, शक्तिशाली हो, गौरवशाली हो, और हम अमृत के अमर्त्य पुत्र कह सकें की प्रशस्त पुण्य-पंथ हैं, बढे चलो बढे चलो.."   

Translation: It should be noted that the invaders did not distinguish between us based on our subtle differences in political frameworks and local traditions and culture. They identified all of us as Indians and treated everybody of us who came in their way with equal brutality and suppression. It was the misfortune of ths land that all the kingdoms and states did not put forth an united front against invading Macedonian army. Had we done so, would it be possible for them to invade India and cross Sindhu River? But Kath, Malav, Kshudrak, Madrak, Kekay were unable to grasp this common-sense that Taxila is door to thier kingdoms as well. The boundaries of our Rashtra lie as far as the expanse of our Sanskriti. This entire land from Himalayas to Indian ocean is our own Rashtra, is the seat of our own Sanskriti. It is nobody's but our duty to protect the sovereignty of this land. If we do not unite now, invasions will be recurring and the history will be repetitive. What is required primarily is to unite politically under one umbrella, thus facilitating the rise and revival of this glorious Rashtra.

In different places and times, different factors make people come together as a Rashtra. In europe that factor has been language since westphalia treaty times (broadly speaking). In China, that factor is race. In India, that factor has been Dharma or sanskriti. In Pakistan, that factor was religion (of course that stands defeated now, but that is what was envisioned). The role of common Sanskriti springing from dharmik traditions is the single biggest factor keeping India together. All regions where Indics are less than 50% in population are trouble spots. The Dharmik states like nepal, bhutan, myanmay, sri lanka were not antithetical to concept of India (LTTE and Nepali Maoists are minor nuisance. If India declares itself as protector and upholder of "Dharma", I wonder how many Nepali people or buddhists from SL, Myanmar etc will remain untouched). 

Unlike Westphalian states with unchanging boundaries where we require passport and visa regime, sanskritik state model does not require such considerations. Of course there were other methods in place in this model to avoid "contamination" of native life style (one of the measures being caste system). As an Indian who has roots in Indic sanskriti and way of life and trying hard to remove the deracination in my mind, I wonder why isn't Europe one country, for example. If India can exist as a nation-state, so can Europe. then I remember the differences.

A Maharashtrian guy will not complain about wealth generated by MH used up on regions like J&K and BIMARU states (Bihar, Madhya-Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar-Pradesh region). Yes there are fringes who do yell (Raj Thakre et al), but they do not have issues with center using revenue generated in MH in BIMARU. Their concerns are more local (no jobs for locals and hence hate the migrants). Raj Thakre does not oppose using the funds to develop BIMARU regions. This is starkly in contrast with Europeans. Take a German, or a Dane or a french for example. He is really pissed at Greeks, Spanish, Italians, Irish, Portuguese etc. While he is right that money he creates is used up for nincompoops of Mediterranean region, he not ready to allow it happen for larger good. In exchange they want to control the policies of the PIGS region (Portugal, Italy, Greece, Spain - European equivalent of Indian BIMARU), which further pisses off the PIGS. A Chief-Minister of Maharashtra won't expect that BIMARU frame their policies favorable to Maharashtra in response. 

Why such behavior? because the glue of Sanskriti is present in India and Indians know and cherish that glue. While this glue is present in Europe as well, they do not want to cherish or use it. Hence in current format, EU cannot exist as one rashtra, in spite of sanskritik unity. The local satraps in modern times cannot expand beyond the boundaries of westphalian state they are part of, this puts tremendous pressure on the frame of westphalian Rashtra. 

e.g. The forces which control or are part of Kabul-Karachi-Mumbai-Hyderabad-Vizag-ASEAN drug trade route have been in this game for centuries. Even after 65 years of partition  the separation of these forces isn't complete. Yet, India tries to act as westphalian nation-state. But a nation-state modeled on Westphalian system should have taken all the measures to stop this trade route, which would have drastically reduced the terror incidents. For large part of history, we did not accept the partition. that gave pakis a taqleef in mushy. Now the younger generation is slowly breaking off from partition. the youngistanis who support aman ki asha are silent over prospects of having pakis amongst us in form of unified India. The fact that India and Hindus are slowly accepting partition in their minds and severing all emotional ties with Pakjab, is what is making pakis go suicidal, because this connection was nourishing their raison d'être. 

But how does it fare to a complex system as that of India? In this process, Government of India (GOI) is slowly becoming an "exchange" (akin to a grain exchange or a stock exchange). Various lobbies control their respective ministries instead fo vice-versa. (e.g. No matter who is in power, Mukesh Ambani controls petroleum ministry). The cumulative effect of these lobbies shape the GOI policies (remember Infosis and Reliance forcing Prime-Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee during Operation Parakram). Contrast this with China. They seem to have declared that they will take back all those regions under their influence which they think are "China". And what is the motivation to do that? where to do turn to seek justification? History, of course. PRC is nation of hans, by hans, for hans. 

What is India's reason of existence? I have asked this question time and again. GOI will have to come clean on this one and it better be a right answer. State of India exists for Indians is a vague answer which none will believe given the recent behavior of politicians and babus. The typical answer found in preamble will not ease the situation as it is not consistent with actions of GOI ever since that preamble was written down. If they answer, India is rashtra of hindus, they have to define what hinduism is. Thus, even the opposition (the hindutva-vaadis of VHP and RSS and Bajrangis) are part of same fallacy. They are identifying Rashtra with something which they cannot comprehend of define. When asked, the sarasanghachaalak says," what is need to define a Hindu?". It is needed as that is what they are asking for, to be declared India as "Hindu rashtra". Thus, in my humble opinion, the "genuine secularist" side and the "H" side are seen as two sides of same coin. (Genuine secularist is one who is not working on pay-role of Islamists, EJs and/or Communists. others are sickularists). We are slowly becoming a westphalian rashtra, but doing that will widen the fissures amongst us as well. those fissures may or may not be linguistic, but may be urban-rural for example.

Westphalian state require enormous centralization of power. Is this really necessary in the gram-swarajya vision of Mahatma Gandhi? If India exists for welfare of Indians, how does centralization of power and economy help welfare of such vast and diverse set of people? It will be more efficient if government is decentralized and district size states are created. smaller the states, easier and more coherent is the administration. But this also gives rise to parochialism. These same questions are posed to Indian army as well. What is doctrine of Indian army? What is it that they are protecting? and against whom? Given the refusal of Indian Army to fight against maoists and satyagrahis, show that this serious thought is being given by the army brass.

We find from this previous article that people usually have tough time in rising over their "jaati connections". The Indic scriptures give a model which might work for India, but has it been tested and do we have data?

I Don't Know !!!