The more the human mind becomes magnanimous or expanded, the more it rises above the sentiments of tribalism, communalism, provincialism, etc. Often I hear people say that nationalism is an appreciable sentiment and that there is no narrowness in it. But is this true? Nationalism is also relative, just like tribalism, communalism or provincialism. In some places it is more worthwhile than tribalism, communalism or provincialism, while in other places it is less worthwhile.
Let us consider, for example, the case of a Portuguese nationalist. The mental object of a Muslim communalist is certainly larger than that of a Portuguese nationalist, because the former desires the welfare of a greater number of people than the latter. This is because the number of Muslims in the world is greater than the number of Portuguese. Judged from this perspective, I cannot denounce the sentiments of a Muslim communalist in comparison to a Portuguese nationalist. Similarly, it has to be accepted that the sentiments of a Rajput casteist are broader than those of a Portuguese nationalist, because the former desires the welfare of more people than the latter. Likewise, the feelings of an Andhrite provincialist will have to be considered broader than those of a Portuguese nationalist. If one supports provincialism with seventy-five million Bengalees, it must be accepted that these feelings are more expanded than the nationalism of most of the nations of the world. (The population of most of the nations of the world is less than the population of Bengal.)
Hence it is observed that communalism, casteism, provincialism and nationalism are all of the same defective type. Those who are able to capitalize on one of these sentiments advocate it volubly. In fact, every one of these sentiments suffers from the defect of ism, and is completely filled with narrowness, violence, envy, mean mindedness, etc. Those who enter the field of social welfare by creating divisions between “yours” and “mine”, substantially widen the fissures of fissiparous intellect in human society.
Those who want to promote the welfare of all human beings, remaining above all sorts of parochial sentiments, have no alternative but to embrace universalism with their heart and soul – there is no other way. As universalism is totally devoid of any characteristic of ism, it is not proper to depict universalism as an ism. If everyone is looked upon as one’s own, no one remains beyond the periphery of one’s kith and kin. Naturally, then, there is no scope for violence, envy, narrowness, etc.
The more time is passing by, the more the glare of casteism, provincialism, communalism and nationalism is fading away. The human beings of today must understand that in the near future they will definitely have to accept universalism. So those who seek to promote social welfare will have to mobilize all their vitality and intellect in the endeavour to establish a world organization, abandoning all plans to form communal or national organizations. They will have to engage themselves in constructive activities in a straight-forward manner, instead of resorting to duplicity and deceitfulness.
Many people say that divergent national interests are the only impediments to the formation of a world organization, or a world government. But I say this is not the only obstacle, rather it is just a minor impediment. The main obstacle is the apprehension of local leaders that they will lose their leadership. With the establishment of a world government, the total domination which they exercise today in their respective countries, societies and nations will cease to exist.
Divergent national interests and popular scepticism may stand in the way of the formation of a world government. To allay baseless fears from the minds of the people, this task should be carried out step by step. Obstacles will have to be negotiated with an open mind, and the world government will have to be strengthened gradually, not suddenly. For example, to run the world government, two houses may be maintained for an indefinite period. The lower house will be composed of representatives from various parts of the world, elected on the basis of population. The members of the upper house will be elected country-wise. This will provide opportunities to those countries which cannot send even a single representative to the lower house due to their small population, because they will be able to express their opinions before the people of the world by sending their representatives to the upper house. The upper house will not adopt any bill unless it has been passed by the lower house, but the upper house will reserve the right to reject the decisions of the lower house.
Initially the world government should go on working merely as a law-framing body. The world government should also have the right to make decisions regarding the application or non-application of any law, for a limited period, in any particular region.
In the first phase of the establishment of the world government, the governments of different countries will have only administrative power. As they will not have the authority to frame laws, it will be somewhat difficult for them to arbitrarily inflict atrocities on their linguistic, religious or political minorities.
From: Problems of the Day
Copyright Ananda Marga Publications 2011