Chapter 7: Create a Context

Question 1



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The first question

Question 1


S. Shekharan,

I LOVE DEMOCRACY, I love freedom. But to transform a country which has lived for two thousand years in slavery is not possible through democratic means; it will take two thousand years or even more. The mind of India has become accustomed to slavery, and when you give freedom suddenly to slaves they go berserk. It is like suddenly throwing open the doors of a prison and releasing all the prisoners, making them free. What do you suppose they are going to do?

Democracy needs a certain context which is missing in India. That's why these thirty years have been just a failure. All the work that has been done since India attained its so-called freedom has not been of any value. In fact, we have more problems than we had before. We have not been able to solve a single problem; we have created thousands of other problems.

I love democracy so much that I am even ready for a fifteen years' temporary benevolent dictatorship to train the country, to teach the country how to be free. It will appear paradoxical, it will appear contradictory, but don't be deceived by the appearance.

It is easy to condemn and criticize my views because the paradox is so apparent. Any fool can say that it is contradictory. But life works in a dialectical way; it is not linear logic, it is dialectics. It is far more complex than you think it is.

Two thousand years of slavery is a long time, very long. The slavery has gone into the very blood and bones, into the very marrow of the nation. To uproot it, something surgical is needed. Just telling people to be free is not enough. And how can the surgery be done if democratic means are adopted? -- because "democratic means" simply means.telling people things, not doing anything, just telling people to be more understanding, to be more democratic, to be more independent. But that is not going to help. It is like telling an ill person to be healthy.

Something drastic is needed, something radical is needed, not only medical treatment but something surgical. That is possible only if for fifteen years at least -- that is the minimum limit -- the country lives under a benevolent dictatorship. Then compulsory birth control can be imposed on the people. Otherwise their freedom to reproduce is going to create so many problems that no government can ever solve them. By the time you solve a few problems, thousands more people will have arrived with all their problems. They don't bring land with them, they don't bring factories with them; they simply come empty-handed. And already millions of people are unemployed; half the country is starved.

This country can be happy only with a population of twenty crores. It is now reaching the limit of seventy crores, and by the end of this century it will reach the highest peak: one hundred crores. It will even defeat China, because China is under a dictatorial regime, they have been able to impose strict birth control. Right now they have more people, but by the end of this century India will be the most populated country in the world -- and of course the most poor, the most hungry.

And when there is so much poverty, so much starvation, talking about democracy is all nonsense. It is like playing a beautiful song on the flute before a hungry man. The song is beautiful -- I love the flute, I love the song -- but to play the song before a hungry person is absurd, it is ridiculous.

The so-called Indian democracy helps only to increase its problems, to increase violence, because when people are hungry they become violent. When they are not even able to live as human beings, what can you expect from them? These communal riots and all the rape, murder, arson, these show that the animal is surfacing. You cannot expect the great quality of being human from hungry people; it is impossible.

This democracy helps only the politicians; hence I will be condemned by the politicians. Morarji Desai has already said yesterday in Rajkot that "Acharya Rajneesh should not be allowed in Gujarat, he should not be allowed in Kutch, because he is against democracy."

Now just look at the statement: if it is a democracy then I can live anywhere, wherever I choose! You see the stupidity of the remark? -- I should not be allowed to enter Gujarat.

That's what I am saying, that it is better to drop this empty word "democracy"; it is just a beautiful word borrowed from others. In fact, because India was under British rule, all the great Indian leaders were educated in England. They saw democracy working beautifully there, but in England it has a context of one thousand years. They came back to India; they had seen democracy functioning perfectly well. It can function in England, but where is the context here? So they started imitating England; India cannot be England so easily.

These thirty years have been a time of sheer nonsense. India should think first about its own tradition, history, past, and in THAT context we should create a government. We cannot borrow a certain ideology from another context. Those trees cannot be transplanted into another climate so easily; first you have to change the climate.

India has no sense of a nation, has never had. In fact, it has never been a nation. In Buddha's time it was divided into two thousand kingdoms. It has never felt an organic unity; there exists no organic unity. There are divisions and sub-divisions, and they are all in conflict; they are all ready to destroy each other. Religious and political ideologies... so many that it is chaos.

England has only two parties, a two-party system -- a very logical way of running a government smoothly. India has hundreds of political parties. It is impossible for any party to be powerful enough or stable enough to implement any program. Hence they promise but they cannot fulfill. But the game can be continued: one party fails to fulfill its promises, then another party starts promising the people. One party has deceived the people, then another party will deceive the people, and so on and so forth.

But the politicians enjoy it because that is their great opportunity to rule the country. Nobody is concerned with the real problems of the country.

Democracy is not really a problem for the poor. They are ready to sell their votes for just two rupees, five rupees. Now in a country where people are ready to sell their votes for just five rupees, how do you think a democracy can function? Whosoever has the money will purchase the votes. So it is good for the people who have money, it is good for the people who are in politics, ambitious, it is good for smugglers because a certain freedom allows them to do whatsoever they want to do. It is good for the hooligans, the GUNDAS, because nobody can prevent them freedom of expression. It is good for all kinds of criminal elements, but it is not good for the people.

Ninety-nine percent of the people have nothing to do with democracy. They need bread, butter, shelter -- they don't have the very essentials to exist, to survive! And talking to these people about democracy is ridiculous.

I LOVE democracy. I would like this country to be democratic, I would like all the countries to be democratic, the whole world to be democratic, because I respect freedom as I respect nothing else. But a context has to be created, and two thousand years of slavery has to be destroyed.

The Indian mind thinks very selfishly: everybody thinks only of himself. That is the heritage of the Indian culture: it has made everybody very selfish. And they have rationalized it beautifully: they say that everybody suffers or rejoices according to his karmas, the acts that he has committed in his past life. It has nothing to do with the social structure, it has nothing to do with the government, it has nothing to do with anything else: it is a question of your own past life. So if you are poor, you are poor because of your past life; you have committed certain sins and you are suffering. If somebody is rich, he is rich because of his past life; he had attained great virtue.

You have heard it said you cannot purchase virtue with money -- but you can purchase money with virtue. In India that is an accepted rule: you can have more money by being virtuous -- not in this life, remember. If in this life you are virtuous you won't have any money! If in the past life you were virtuous, in this life you have to be as cunning as possible, then you will have money and you will have power.

Nobody is concerned with the whole nation as such. My concern is with the whole nation. When I say that it needs a fifteen years' benevolent dictatorship I mean that a certain discipline has to be created. People have to be forced to do certain things because they won't do those things if they are left on their own.

For example, every Indian thinks it is his birthright to give birth to as many children as possible, because to prevent him from giving birth to children is to prevent his freedom. And children are God-given. And he has a certain karma that he has carried from his past life: he has to be a father of one dozen children or two dozen children, and anybody interfering with it is interfering in his freedom. So in a democratic set-up it is impossible to impose compulsory birth control.

It is impossible to force people to be a little more industrious. The country has lived in laziness for thousands of years. It must be the laziest country in the world; nobody wants to work. Now in a democratic set-up it is impossible to MAKE them work. They will go on strikes -- for the sheer joy of not doing anything!

Almost half the time all the factories are closed, and even when the factories are open nobody is interested in really producing, creating. They don't have these values. They think that the world is illusory, so what is the point of producing and creating? Their whole creativity has become focused on reproduction! They don't feel any need to create anything else.

It is impossible in a democratic set-up to bring people to their senses. But I say a "benevolent dictatorship." And what do I mean by a "benevolent dictatorship" ? I mean a dictatorship which is used only as a means -- the end is democracy.

And my own feeling, my own observation is that Indira Gandhi is the right person, the one who can do it. First she is a woman, has a far more loving heart than any man can ever have. She is a mother and has tremendous love for the country. She has the grace to become a benevolent dictator.

The only problem is that once somebody is a dictator it is difficult to take power from his hands, it is difficult for him to give way to democracy again. But Indira is over sixty. In fifteen years' time she will be seventy-five -- she will have enjoyed the power more than enough. She will be really tired -- she is already tired. She is already bored with the whole thing. She is carrying it on because she loves the country; otherwise I don't see any desire in her to dominate the country. She has tasted power for a long time. In these fifteen years she will be getting older, wiser; she will be getting closer to her death.

And she is a woman, and up to now she has proved very intelligent, broad-minded. There is every possibility that a benevolent dictatorship can function through her. It cannot function through a man like Morarji Desai. He is a fanatic and utterly narrow-minded, utterly stubborn, and very ambitious. If Morarji Desai was in power I would not suggest no elections for fifteen years: I would suggest elections after every six months!

Because I see that Indira can be of tremendous help to transform the climate of the country... All that she needs is encouragement because she has been brought up in a very democratic family. For four generations she has been brought up in the climate of freedom, independence, respect for others. She has been educated in the West. Her father was almost Western, not Indian at all. Her father was the person who introduced democracy into India. She loves democracy.

The only problem is she is even afraid to be associated with the idea of dictatorship. If she can drop that fear... The West will condemn her, America particularly will condemn her, England will condemn her. The West will condemn her -- but they don't help in any way, so what does their condemnation mean? Let them condemn. This much sacrifice she has to make for the country. I call it a sacrifice because her name will become associated with dictatorship. That much sacrifice she has to make. If she can make that much sacrifice for the country, if she is ready to become notorious, then there is no other problem.

All these stupid politicians who are creating chaos in the country can be stopped, all smuggling can be stopped, all the crimes which go on growing every day to new heights can be stopped. The country can be trained in fifteen years to be more industrious, to be less selfish. And a country which is creative, productive, rich... It CAN become rich because the land is rich, its potential is great. Just a little less population...

So two things have to be done. One is birth control: nobody should be allowed to have children unless the medical board of the city or the town or the village approves. Secondly, euthanasia: old people who want to die should be given the freedom to die. These are two sides of the same coin: stop new people coming in and help the older people to go! Create a little more space in the country!

And for these fifteen years the whole context that is needed for democracy can be created. After fifteen years people will not be ready to sell their votes for anything, because they will have understood. They will not be just going on strike for any excuse.

I have not even moved to Kutch, we have not even purchased the land yet, and just three days ago the people who are opposing the move, they closed the capital city of Kutch, Bhuj. All the shops were closed, all the factories were closed, all the schools and colleges were closed -- as a protest.

I have not entered yet, I have not even got any land there, not even a single house, I have not even visited Kutch -- just the rumor that we are going to Kutch is enough! And they are creating so much nuisance in Kutch, in Gujarat, that in two places the police had to force people by LATHI charge, people had to be beaten to disperse.

In one place, Mandvi... the whole city of Mandvi is for me. They want me to be there because the would be commune will be close to Mandvi and Mandvi will have all the benefits of the commune. So Mandvi is totally for me. Bhuj is against me -- not against me really, but against Mandvi. They are jealous.

Once Mandvi was the most important city in Kutch; two centuries ago it was the richest city in Kutch. Then the River Sind changed its course and Mandvi became a desert, and of course when it became a desert it lost its glory. Then Bhuj became more important. Now Bhuj is afraid: if ten thousand sannyasins move to Mandvi the glory will again come to Mandvi. Bhuj will again become secondary, Mandvi will become an international center. They are not really against me; the conflict is very political: it is between Mandvi and Bhuj.

Bhuj people, politicians belonging to Morarji Desai's party, went to Mandvi to tell people to close Mandvi also. The Mandvi people gave them a good beating! One thousand people gathered and threw them out, and they had to escape, run away!

Now I have not gone yet and all this is happening. And the Gujarat government is puzzled because no land has been purchased, no land has been given to us -- nothing has happened concretely. It is just a rumor! But just for a rumor Indians can go crazy, as if they are just sitting on a volcano. ANYTHING is enough for them to strike, to protest, to make a noise and to create chaos.

This is why I call the country unintelligent. It has lost intelligence -- through the priests and through the politicians. Not that it does not have the potential of being intelligent, it CAN be intelligent, but it has to be helped. It needs tremendous help: first a surgical operation then nourishment. But the country has to be transformed into a new context. Just the old country having democracy is impossible.

India has never been democratic, remember. It has always been ruled by kings. It was always monarchic, it has never been democratic. Democracy is a foreign idea, a Greek idea; there are no roots in Indian soil for it. We will have to change the soil, we will have to change the climate, if it is going to happen. And the problem is: if you want to change the climate, the context, people will be against you.

Why are people against me? I am not doing any harm to anybody, but they are against me because I am trying to change their culture. But their culture is the problem! I am trying to change their religion, and their religion is the problem. I am trying to cut the very roots, the very causes of their problem. All this can be done very easily by a benevolent dictatorship, by somebody who is intelligent enough and loves and respects democracy, and is ready after fifteen years to give the country back its freedom.

And my feeling is that if Indira is gone, then I don't see on the Indian horizon any other Indian politician who can be so benevolent. Once Indira is gone, India will be in the hands of Hindu chauvinists. Then it will be a Hindu country, and then it will become impossible to change the context because they will go on emphasizing Hindu culture in every school, college, university. And that is the cancer -- what you call Hindu culture. That culture has to be removed. A better, far better human culture has to be introduced.

My feeling is Indira may be the last person who can do it. If she cannot do it, then this country cannot hope for much.

That's why I love democracy, I love freedom -- still I insist that for fifteen years it is better to put aside the idea. The time for it has not come yet.


Next: Chapter 7: Create a Context, Question 2


Energy Enhancement                Enlightened Texts                Desiderata                 Guida Spirituale



Chapter 7






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