What is Democracy, Really?

By Taraka

“Humanity is outraged in me and with me. We must not dissimulate, nor try to forget this indignation, which is one of the most passionate forms of love. We must make great efforts in behalf of brotherhood [and sisterhood,] to repair the ravages of hate. We must put an end to the scourge, wipe out infamy with scorn and inaugurate by faith, the resurrection of the country.”
– George Sand

Outrage

What is democracy, really? Why is there so much slavery and misery if we live in a democracy? Why is there so much corruption and frustration, if the people do in fact run the country? As a people we are living a lie – the lie that the people of this country actually control this country – that ours is a democracy. In some countries with more social consciousness and historical legacies of freedom struggles, this lie of democracy is an irony, but in former western colonies with enduring legacies of exploitation, degradation and starvation, this lie is a tyranny – a tyranny that makes people tremble with impotent rage in the national cage of multinational capitalism.

“To be a revolutionary is the only way
to sincerely practice morality.”

In India, the world’s largest so-called democracy, we have a two-party tyranny. Not one of the parties has any internal democracy. Hence when one of these parties gets power, their internal lack of democracy becomes external in their governance of the country. One party is a feudal family dynasty (based on sycophancy) who like wolves devour more than their own body weight of the people’s wealth. In every single sphere of the polity, this party makes looting of the national wealth into a fine art and continually astonishes with their omnivorous greed. Then we have another party which is controlled by a group of religious terrorists who provoke riots so as to make the public into participants in their killing and their ideology of hate. How can the rule of either party be called democracy?

When a Prime Minister is not elected by the people but instead is appointed by the Rani of a party dynasty can this be called democracy? When a Prime Minister does not rule but is ruled; when a Prime Minister like Bharat (in the Ramayana) worships the chappals of his feudal family lord; when a Prime Minister bows down before the whims of a petulant, reluctant prince; when a Prime Minister fails to control the corrupt real estate deals of the husband of a feudal princess – can we call this democracy? When a Prime Minister repeatedly has directly overseen massive corruption (and indirectly overseen far, far more) and never is brought to justice, can we call this democracy? When a Prime Minister has openly said the country is run by crony capitalism and allows this state of affairs to continue, can we call this democracy? When a Prime Minister has presided over a national war on adivasis to forcefully hand over their lands to mining and other corporations, can we call this democracy?

When the would-be Prime Minister has overseen organized gang rapes in Surat in 1992 and state-wide religious genocide and rape ten years later can this be called democracy?[1] When one of the would-be Prime Minister’s state ministers openly known for having taken part in the genocide is murdered and the minister’s wife implicates the would-be Prime Minister, can this be called democracy? When a would-be Prime Minister has overseen the murder of people in fake encounters and then claimed he was being targeted by religious terrorists, can this be called democracy? When a would-be Prime Minister boasts of his state where one in three children suffers from malnutrition, where corporations have full freedom to seize and pollute farmers’ lands and where religious apartheid is institutionalized, can this be called democracy?

To all such present and future Prime Ministers, questions must be asked. Nearly hundred years ago, the master poet-seer Kumara Vyasa posed the following questions in his Kannada revelation of the devotional and moral splendour of the Mahabharata. These are questions we must make every ruler answer,

Are you giving due reverence to that which is beyond your abilities to comprehend and to wisdom and to experience?
Are you refraining from distressing your subjects just to balance your finances?
Are you sure, your subjects’ hunger-fires are not being fanned by of the fickle caprice of wicked men?
Are you sure, your promises are not mere words? Is your currency reliable?
Are you sure your army is well equipped and not merely posturing?
Are you sure, business and commerce is not encroaching what ought to be free?
Are your ethics not eroding?
Are you not underestimating your enemies?
Are you generous with your support to the good and the honest people?

“The ruler is a tyrant; the ministers, hungry tigers; the officers, roving birds of prey; who will listen to us? The country is burning. We can’t stay here anymore!” Are you sure your citizens are not thinking this?[2]

No matter what happens, no matter who wins the election, will the people come to power? Will the laws and the enforcement of the laws reflect the will of the entire nation as well as the letter and spirit of the Constitution? Will the rulers stop using the army against the people in exploited regions of the country? Will people stop being murdered, raped and discriminated against because of their caste? Will the reign of land, mining, construction and other mafias come to an end? Will the stunting of the growth, slave labour, lack of good education, premature marriage, abuse, sexual exploitation and premature death of the country’s children come to an end? Will the stripping of Mother India of her sari of natural resources by corporate Dushasanas come to an end? Will the Indian people continue to watch this crime in silence after having gambled Mother India away to Shakuni political parties in the dice game of national elections? How long will we continue to pretend that this is democracy in action? How long will we forget the words of the man who is proclaimed as the founder of this supposed democracy?

“The individual has a soul, but as the State is a soulless machine, it can never be weaned from violence to which it owes its very existence.” – M. K. Gandhi

Roots

Rather than lingering in lies, let us explore the roots of what democracy really is and what it should be? The word demos refers to the common people, in particular it originally meant the people in a city state. City states arose by exploiting and conquering the countryside and creating a system of exploitation to meet its ever-increasing demands. The people brought into the city state as servants and labourers were the demos. The slaves and foreigners constituted another class below the demos. When, the demos revolted against the tyranny of the aristocrats, priests and kings and established their own rule in the form of a direct democracy, this was the birth of democracy in the West. In the East democracy arose like the sun in the present region of Mithila (Bihar, India) with the Licchavi republic which was a limited republic like Rome. From the beginning these types of city states were based on the exploitation of slaves and also the exploitation and conquest of the surrounding lands and other communities. Polis according to the philosopher Heidegger originally meant a site of disruption, questioning, openness. For, when people of various languages, cultures and countries come together a proto-cosmopolitan spirit was born as they shed old customs and dogmas. However, this also includes losing their traditional moral values, spirituality and culture. This loss leads to the debasement of the demos and this is the reason as many philosophers have been against democracy as have been its advocates. The crying need to create new moral and spiritual values was not fulfilled by dogmatic, mass religions or by utopian philosophers. This emptiness and disease of culture and the spirit is not an abstract issue – it manifests itself in increasing injustice and violence towards the weakest both inside and outside the nation. Increase in the national wealth hence only leads to more oppression and imperialism.

When this inner pathology (born from increasing wealth) infects the body politic completely, then the exploitation loses all sense of restraint or morality and becomes self-destructive. This is the current state of affairs in India where as Arundhati Roy has said, the corporations, the upper and middle class elites and their government servants are cannibalizing the “nether parts” of the body politic. We currently see this in Operation Green Hunt. When this war on India’s indigenous people began, the Home Minister used the genocidal language of the Americans in Vietnam. He talked about mass bombing of the forest by the Air Force to “cleanse” the forests (i.e., slaughter the inhabitants) so as to hand the land over to mining corporations. Gerard Colby and Charlotte Dennett in their epic study[3] of the genocidal war of western elites on the indigenous peoples (adivasis) of South America has revealed that in Vietnam and in Brazil, the goal was to drive hundreds of thousands of people out of the forests and into the city slums where out of desperation they were easily exploited as cheap labour for foreign controlled industries. India’s elites have openly announced the goal of similarly transforming the nation into a largely urban “nation of slums.” We say nation of slums, because there is no planning to provide people with basic housing, sanitation, medical care, safe working environments or even food to survive. The planning of these national slumlords is being done in consultation with the western elites who in the 19th century carried out genocide of the American Indians and in the 20th century made this genocide the manifest destiny of the indigenous peoples of Central and South America. Now in the 21st century their eyes are on the prize of India which has one of the largest population of indigenous peoples (adivasis) in the world living on forestlands full of lucrative precious minerals for mining. It is small wonder then that the Indian government views the increasingly large population of current and future youth of India as a security threat.

The root meaning of the word demos is “division” or the power to divide. This is because the demos were divided or separated from the aristocrats and priests. Hence the demos, by nature is prone to sectarianism and factionalism, due to lack of any common, positive ideals, values and spirituality. This is one reason philosophers like Plato have said that to found a social and political order upon the demos is like trying to build a city on swampland. This is especially true in countries emerging from colonialism where education is minimal, where elitism (such as casteism) is rampant and where the endless injustice and anxiety of poverty render the demos easily susceptible to violent religious and ethnic passions. This is why the kratos, the power, strength of the people easily falls like sand through their fingers. The sand can be terrifying in a storm but otherwise is easily pushed around. This is why the actual rule or authority or kratos of the people is usually a fraudulent farce. In direct democracies such as found in ancient Greece, the people had some genuine power but in representative democracies, this power is simply the power to change the corporate puppets in government seats. The founders of representative democracy in the United States were largely anti-democratic and hostile to the demos. In most representative democracies like the UK only the rich had the right to vote until modern times. Currently in the US, since the Gore-Bush electoral debacle, systematic campaigns have been waged to strip poor people and racial minorities of the right to vote. This lack of power especially in Third World nations engenders lack of self-respect which results in destructive and debasing lifestyle that renders the demos heartless to the suffering of the slaves (dalits, adivasis) as well as the victims of ethnic (Marwari, Punjabi, etc.) imperialism in Manipur, Chattisgarh, etc. Furthermore, this causes increasing alienation and fragmentation. This culture of alienated, isolated people is encouraged by the corporate pseudo-culture. As the elites themselves are corrupted, they also lose all their inner strength and confidence which makes them even more tyrannical due to their increasing insecurity and greed. This is the condition of India and countless other nations on our dying planet.

The word used in many languages of India for a representative democracy or republic is Ganatantra. This is a word without a powerful but forgotten meaning. The propounder of the Progressive Utilization Theory (PROUT), Shrii Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar has revealed the hidden history behind this term. By far the most pervasive and revolutionary of legendary personalities in India is Shiva. Shrii Sarkar has revealed the truth behind these legends. Shiva was an actual historical personality like Krishna. 7500 years ago, Shiva was born in a non-Aryan community and had an Aryan father and an Oriental (Indo-Tibetan) mother. He was born in a time when brutal Aryan invaders were conquering the peaceful and spiritual Adi Bharatiyas (indigenous Indians of the Dravidian, Oriental and Austric communities). Shiva united these oppressed peoples, liberating them from narrow clan (gotra) differences. These dark-skinned refugees of Aryan imperialism were contemptuously called ghosts (bhutas). As Shrii Sarkar explains,

In olden days neglected and exploited people, who had fallen prostrate under extreme oppression, used to look upon Shiva as their supreme shelter. Shiva would crush this exploitation with His thunderbolt – He would strike the arrogance of vain and egotistic people with His trident, and reduce to ashes the mountains of injustice and tyranny. He felt great compassion for those afflicted people and, making them sit beside Him, advised them how to solve their physical, psychic and spiritual problems. Shiva used to live on a hill, and all kinds of people from far and near would flock to Him. He would call them with the call of His viśáńa, His long horn…Perhaps those persecuted people, whose lustreless faces showed no glow of well-being, who had been reduced to skeletons by their back-breaking labour, who had no soft bed of flowers on which to rest – those persecuted people, buffeted by hunger and exhausted by injustice – were not at all beautiful. That is why the arrogant tyrants of those days contemptuously called them “ghouls” and “ghosts”. But those so-called ghouls and ghosts were in fact the companions of Shiva. These unbeautiful representatives of the hungry masses of the world of that time were actually the simple and devoted followers of Shiva, His gańas who spoiled the yajiṋa [ritual animal slaughter] of King Daksha…Shiva wanted His beloved devotees, His gańas who took shelter under Him, to attain the highest spiritual realization, and so He Himself used to teach them the different processes of spiritual practice to remove all spiritual and psychic afflictions; and moreover He spared no effort to help His devotees to overcome all mundane and social difficulties. Whenever Shiva noticed tears in the eyes of His devotees He felt restless. In fact, everyone was aware of the tenderness and flower-like softness of His large heart.[4]

As this quote reveals, Shiva was first and foremost a revolutionary in the spiritual realm as the primordial preceptor of Tantra yoga. The verb Tan means “to expand” and the word trae means “to liberate”. Tantra then is the scientific practice which liberates the mind from debasing propensities, inhibiting complexes and limiting states of Consciousness. Gana-tantra or true democracy then is the science of liberating the ganas (suffering humanity) from inner vices and outer exploitation through inner and outer expansion by universal love. When the undeveloped minds of those prehistoric people underwent the revolutionary transfiguration of Tantric meditation they became radiant with power and hence were objects of fear to the superstitious Aryans. It was Shiva and his wife Kali (of the African-cum-Dravidian community) who led these Adi Bharatiyas into battle against the Aryans. Many progressive Aryans like Maharishi Dadhici joined Shiva and together with other disciples helped found the first cosmopolitan city of Varanasi. This was a city based on the ideal of sama-samaja (social equality) and was not built upon the conquest of surrounding regions. This is the forgotten polis (city state) of Indian history upon which the Prout movement seeks to make its culture (of justice, equality, spirituality and above all Cosmic family bonds of affection and bliss) the destiny of India and all of humanity. The people of this state were called ganas meaning the troops or the multitudes of oppressed humanity. By their meditation, surrender and sacrifice they become fused into energy flows of revolutionary activity or ganashakti.

The word gana comes from the word gań which means “to count, to add up,” but it also means “to consider, to imagine, to value or cherish and to attend to and care for”. So ganas are those oppressed peoples liberated in spirit by Tantra and who become true representatives (ganetas) of the exploited by considering and imagining how to liberate them, by valuing and cherishing their culture and by caring for their exploitation by joining them in their fight for all-round freedom. The collective spiritual practice by which these ganas were liberated is called the Ganacakra. This was a special form of collective meditation where all the ganas meditating and dancing around Shiva created a powerful collective spirit that gave them the power to fight against overwhelming odds and to establish brotherhood and sisterhood amongst all communities based on social equality and social justice. These disciples and Shiva constituted a mandala or sacred architecture of the energy of Pure Consciousness. To be a part of this mandala requires not only that one experience that Consciousness, but to maintain and transmit that experiences requires discipline, surrender and a profound sense of love and reverence for members of the mandala – that is, all living beings. Love is show by readiness to sacrifice comforts and even one’s life for suffering humanity. This is why in a ganacakra, disciples would take vows to sacrifice all their lives for this revolutionary righteousness (dharma). Only by becoming empowered (i.e. developing kratos) in this way can the demos or citizens of a democracy attain genuine self-rule (svaraj) and freedom. The Sanskrit word for freedom is svatantra which literally means self-liberation through self-realization. This is why Shrii Sarkar has said,

Whatever liberty exists in society today is the result of prolonged struggle by many individuals and groups. At the root of this struggle is the innate human desire for happiness – the longing to establish oneself in the supreme flow of bliss.[5]

Rearing Revolutionaries

History will record that the revolution in India has already begun. Today, history records that India’s freedom struggle began not with the formation of the Indian Congress by an Englishmen or even with the mass upsurge of 1857 but instead in the endless series of adivasi revolts against the exploitation of the British and their upper caste lackeys (babus). Tomorrow’s history will record that with the adivasi revolt in Lalgarh and in Orissa, the revolution of tomorrow took birth. Even aside from adivasis, countless youth of exploited communities have realized the truth of what the manifesto of the Hindustan Socialist Republican Association (of the martyrs Chadrashekar Azad and Bhagat Singh) said almost a century ago,

Revolution is Law, Revolution is Order and Revolution is the Truth. The youths of our nation have realised this truth. They have learnt painfully the lesson that without revolution there is no possibility of enthroning order, law and love in place of chaos and legal vandalism and hatred which are reigning supreme today.

Revolution is love. To really become anguished in one’s heart about the fact that countless children who died due to lack of nutritious food and medicine; about the countless children bought and sold like cattle as labourers, maids and prostitutes; about the beautiful forests and animals being slaughtered; about the more than 1.5 lakh refugees fleeing massacre and rape in Chattisgarh – is to become a revolutionary. To truly care, is to dare everything just to save one human being. Revolution is the only way out of the chaos of corporate exploitation and legal vandalism of the Constitution. If people say they are not revolutionaries it simply means they have no love or to be more truthful, they are afraid of the resplendent power of their own innate, divine love burning deep in the dense darkness of their hearts.

The Sanskrit word for revolution, viplava, comes from the word plu which means “to flow or to flood.” The prefix vi is a superlative. Hence viplava is that overwhelming flood or deluge which breaks all barriers and submerges everyone and everything in its currents. Many are naturally terrified of revolution out of fear of the consequences of confronting might of the corporate state. Yet mingled within the very core of that fear is the intoxicating thrill of such defiance. As Shrii Sarkar has stated that there is a joy in launching a struggle against injustice and that joy is part and parcel of aesthetics or the science of truly enjoying being alive on this earth.

History however has shown that revolutions thus far have failed to bring about lasting meaningful change. Furthermore most often when the revolutionaries do win they become even more tyrannical and murderous than the exploiters they defeated. For example, the Maoists in India are far more murderous than the Indian corporate government. They proclaim to be fighting for a classless society but in fact are controlled by upper caste males. They proclaim to be fighting for the welfare of tribals and other exploited people but they murder tribals on suspicion of being informants or for not obeying their orders. They claim to exist solely for uniting the proletariat against the state but they themselves are divided into factions that kill each other and they themselves cooperate with the state and mafias in the smuggling of precious minerals, coal and timber.

A seemingly minor but in fact more important fact is that the revolutionaries are often found to be more corrupt than the regimes they replace. There is no better example than the Indian National Congress and similar parties like the African National Congress. This is why the INC is said by many to stand for Indian Nepotism & Corruption because of its culture of corruption based on vice networks of family and caste. During World War II, this organization (founded by British and Indian capitalists) had no interest in following Subhas Bose into the path of revolution. Rather many of the leaders made fortunes selling supplies to the British army, while other leaders were denounced by Bose as stooges of capitalists who also funded the ashrams of Gandhi.

From the very inception of the PROUT paradigm in 1959, Shrii Sarkar created a meditation revolution in the spirit of the people of Bihar to give them the mental strength and spiritual inspiration to become moralists and to fight against inner and social vices. Rather than becoming a guru to help the wealthy get relief from stress arising from their suppressed conscience revolting against the crimes, Shrii Sarkar attracted police officers, clerks and rural youth who rejected the corruption of political parties and the dictatorship of communist party leaders. This led to a moral upsurge in Bihar that led the Central Governments to ban government officers from membership in organizations inspired by PROUT. A moral revolution is the foundation for any meaningful revolution. Buddha long ago created a moral revolution without money by simply walking on foot to every village (in places like Sharan District of Bhojpur) dialoguing and spreading moral values with the radiant power of his enlightenment. A similar moral arousal and mobilization is needed in India today.

Anna Hazare has begun this task of awakening the moral conscience of the country. Furthermore, he has said that this is the Second Indian Freedom Struggle. However, he has failed to define what this struggle is all about. This is why his moral force and the force of his movement have been lost. His handler, Kejriwal, has targeted only the corruption of politicians and Reliance industries. He has kept studiously silent about how India’s political corruption is driven by corporate influence, in particular western corporate control over the Indian economy and the Indian media. Foreign corporations are fed up of having to pay bribes to Indian politicians and above all they are fed up of being unable to swallow the Indian economy wholesale due to old government restrictions on foreign corporate control. Through the Ford Foundation they have funded Kejriwal with huge amounts of funding. This has been challenged by other parties but the fundamental fact is that all so-called democratic elections are anti-democratic as the huge amounts of money involved, forces candidates to sell themselves to mafias and corporations. To call a political order based on such “prostitution” (as Gandhi’s named it) a democracy is the height of hypocrisy. Unless the Election Commission creates publicly financed elections (where each candidate is given government funds of the same amount and given free and equal access to the media) there is no hope of India ever becoming a democracy and no hope at all of ending political corruption.

The failure of this recent moral crusade is due to a lack of moral courage in identifying the root of corruption not just in India but in the world. The root of corruption lies in the economic dictatorship of the world’s economies by a handful of financial interests who operate using banks and corporations. Those who profit out of this regime are corrupted by their blood money and those who are victims of this regime are corrupted by cultural imperialism and poverty. Hence if we really want a moral or dharmic (righteous) society we have to end economic himsa of the economic dictators of India and the world. This involves a movement for economic rights for every person to be guaranteed the rights to survival – such as food, water, clothing, shelter, education and medical care. This movement culminates in the struggle of every community and ecoregion for economic svaraj for economic democracy (ganatantra). This is a mission to create an economy of the local people, by the local people and for the local people. In the wake of Tagore’s assault on Indian nationalism rush towards political democracy in order avoid dealing with the social tyranny of the caste system, Dr. Ambedkar stated when presenting the Constitution to the Constituent Assembly,

On the 26th of January 1950, we are going to enter into a life of contradictions. In politics we will have equality and in social and economic life we will have inequality. In politics we will be recognizing the principle of one man one vote and one vote one value. In our social and economic life, we shall, by reason of our social and economic structure, continue to deny the principle of one man one value. How long shall we continue to live this life of contradictions? How long shall we continue to deny equality in our social and economic life? If we continue to deny it for long, we will do so only by putting our political democracy in peril. We must remove this contradiction at the earliest possible moment or else those who suffer from inequality will blow up the structure of political democracy which this Assembly has so laboriously built up.

Ambedkar clearly said that his motive in creating the Constitution was that every government should strive to bring about the ideal of economic democracy.[6] This spirit of the Indian Constitution has been willfully ignored and violated by every single Parliament in the last sixty years. This is because Ambedkar failed to guarantee direct economic rights to the Indian people such as proposed in 1944 by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt.[7] Furthermore the government has no power to control the crimes of capitalist merchants such as in hoarding food so as to create price inflation. Where the people have no rights, the government feels no need to even pretend to have any responsibility. The Right to Food movement like other noble movements in Indian history has ended up in the current fraudulent Right to Food bill which is designed to win votes by handing out a government dole so as to create a culture of dependency rather than a culture of dignity and self-reliance based on being established in the most basic right – of life itself.

Economic ganatantra is an economy based not on profit or even on meeting the basic necesseties of life of everyone. Economic ganatantra is based on creating an economic foundation for the full blossoming of the latent talents and genius of every human being by the power of an internal revolution of mediation and divine love. To teach meditation and bhakti (divine love) to the starving without helping them fight for economic svaraj is a form of himsa. To teach spirituality along with charity to the exploited is to reduce them to psychological slavery. Those who do this are the enemies of society. This is because someone who is a psychological slave not only is doomed to the damnation of exploitation and semi-starvation but because such a slave can never attain spiritual salvation which lies in the expansion of the mind and heart towards Infinity.

When we face the fact that almost 50 percent of the Indian population is malnourished and that as per the government’s flawed statistics more than 60% of the population is below the poverty line to remain silent is a crime and to remain inactive is nothing but a form of social himsa. To be a revolutionary is the only way to sincerely practice morality. In Indian traditional legends, morality (niiti) is the wife of danda a word meaning “punishment of the enemies of society who cause massive suffering.” One cannot have one without the other. When the government becomes agents of the exploiters of society, morality becomes inseparable from revolution. Prout advocates nuclear revolution or a revolution in every sphere of life such as spiritual, cultural, social, economic and political. This nuclear revolution is the goal of Prout samaja movements. Samaja refers to an ecological and cultural region such as Malwa, Bundelkhand or Avadh which are imprisoned in huge states (Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh) and hence suffer from chronic malnutrition, low levels of literacy, feudal exploitation, casteism and religious violence sponsored by political parties. Through movements for cultural freedom and renaissance, for ecological and economic democracy the revolutionary struggle for economic democracy is waged. Thus far movements have been merely reactive to corporate greed and government corruption – what India needs are countless new movements inspired by local and regional dreams for economic and cultural freedom and renaissance. The longer this struggle for economic democracy is postponed, the more and more we will suffer when the Global Economic Depression finally comes home to India. India today awaits people with the moral courage and righteousness (dharma) of Bhagat Singh who said,

Let us declare that the state of war does exist and shall exist so long as the Indian toiling masses and the natural resources are being exploited by a handful of parasites. They may be purely British Capitalist or mixed British and Indian or even purely Indian. They may be carrying on their insidious exploitation through mixed or even on purely Indian bureaucratic apparatus. All these things make no difference.

Love Revolution

To lack the courage for satyagraha and revolution is natural. However what is unnatural and evil is to focus our outrage on weaker and innocent people based on prejudices we learned in childhood of caste, religion, language, etc. We all know how a child who is bullied, instead of confronting a bully, will often themselves bully someone smaller than them so as to vent their anger. This is what has been happening since the Indian economy was so-called “liberalized” or sold to the highest bidder. The result of this has been that most of India’s population has become poorer and a small amount of people have moved into the middle class. This middle class, we know so well, is afraid to confront the criminals and corrupt government officials. However their anger at their victimization is exploited by politicians who focus their rage on a particular caste or religion. This is how fascism is building up in this country. Fascism comes from the yearning for a strong, dictatorial leader who will teach a lesson to the corrupt people and the people we are taught to hate. We all know that the Indian middle class is attracted to such fascist leaders as well to religious extremists that have taken over every religious group. Even the renowned universal-minded Ramkrishna mission has come under the control of religious extremists who have forced it to participate in their functions. This final coup de grace to the soul of Indian democracy coming after the body blows to democracy described above renders the nation truly piteous as described by Khalil Gibran,

Pity the nation that is full of beliefs and empty of religion.
Pity the nation that wears a cloth it does not weave,
eats a bread it does not harvest,
and drinks a wine that flows not from its own wine-press.
Pity the nation that acclaims the bully as hero,
and that deems the glittering conqueror bountiful.
Pity a nation that despises a passion in its dream,
yet submits in its awakening.
Pity the nation that raises not its voice
save when it walks in a funeral,
boasts not except among its ruins,
and will rebel not save when its neck is laid
between the sword and the block.
Pity the nation whose statesman is a fox,
whose philosopher is a juggler,
and whose art is the art of patching and mimicking.
Pity the nation that welcomes its new ruler with trumpeting,
and farewells him with hooting,
only to welcome another with trumpeting again.
Pity the nation whose sages are dumb with years
and whose strong men are yet in the cradle.
Pity the nation divided into into fragments,
each fragment deeming itself a nation.

So now, let us in a detached way, explore what exactly is fascism and its history, which we all think we know.Today all over the world we see the rise of religious fascism. This began first in Iran with the rise of Shiite theodemocracy where only “good” Muslims have the right to run for elections. In Pakistan, Maudadi laid the foundations for Sunni theodemocracy and in the current climate of extremist terrorism this is no longer sounding like a fantasy but a future reality. Kevin Phillips has already described the rise of Christian theodemocracy in America and the murderous Buddhist theodemocracy of Sri Lanka is also well-known and spreading to Burma. In India the frustration of the middle class at not attaining the wealth of the rich as well as the destruction of the economic base of this class who are often former feudal landlords who have lost land, control over lower castes and are forced to migrate to cities. Fascism in Italy and Germany was based on a similar population as per the research of Michael Mann. This middle class are often former backward castes or non-respected communities of upper castes. Hence they seek to proclaim their authenticity (to the upper castes) by trying to be pucca Hindus and hence being prone to supporting and participating in religious violence. This process of extremism among the emerging middle classes has been going on since the British era. However, earlier the influence of British political culture as well as the ideologies of socialism and communism.

With the death of communism Shrii Sarkar issued on more than five warnings that a dangerous ideological vacuum had been created and that if it were not filled with universalism and the fight for economic democracy, then something much worse than communism will take its place. Then in 1987 an 18 year old widow was said to have killed herself by setting herself on fire in the ancient Indian tradition of sati stemming from the sati of Madri of the Mahabharata. This attempt to revive one of the most heinous aspects of the Puranic religion fought by Rammohan Roy led to a large-scale movement. In 1989 a movement by Hindu extremists was launched to build a temple to the Aryan god Rama upon a mosque in Ayodhya. Throughout Indian history different religions have vandalized each other’s place of worship. For example, Jagganath Puri temple was originally a Buddhist temple and research indicates so also was the famous Tirupati temple. In Ayodhya itself, certain Hindu temples seem to many scholars to have been built upon the ruins of Buddhist temples. This temple issue was a galvanizing force in igniting Hindu rage stemming from a deep-seated inferiority complex arising from memories of the humiliations of the medieval Muslim conquests. On August 13th 1990, Prime Minister V P Singh implemented the Mandal Commission recommendations for reservation of government and educational seats for lower castes. The upper caste elite (comprising only 15% of the population) erupted in rage with violent protests. Then in September 1990, a leader of the Hindu fascist began a militant march across India that left innocent people killed in riots along the way. On October 20, 1990, Shrii Sarkar warned humanity that once again India was in danger of being partitioned because foolish leaders were once again raising communal (religious fascist) sentiments. Shrii Sarkar quoted Tagore and asked people in every house to prepare to fight the venomous forces of communalism.

We all know what has happened since then all over India and the planet. A recent study by political scientists Anjali Thomas Bohlken of the University of British Columbia and Ernest John Sergenti of the World Bank, using a statistical model, found that just a 1% rise in India’s GDP decreased the expected number of riots by more than 5%. The question is now that India faces the arrival of the Global Economic Depression, especially after the entry of foreign banks into lending to Indians, what will happen if the GDP declines 10% (as it has in many other countries) and the number of riots increase 50%? Just after the recent fall in the Rupee we saw bloody riots in Avadh started by a rumour that Hindu boys had been killed in revenge by a mob for protecting their cousin from harassment by killing the Muslim perpetrator. In fact the girl testified that the story of her being harassed was false. Hence a violent clash between young men led to bloody mass killings and rapes which sent 40,000 Muslims into refugee camps. Both groups of people from this impoverished region clearly said that the violence was instigated by political parties during the ongoing election campaigning. The current leader of the Hindu fascists is unique in that he has crushed other communal leaders in his state and functions purely autocratically without heeding anyone. More than forty years ago, Shrii Sarkar warned of such a debacle in Indian democracy, saying,

Likewise, if there is a dearth of intellectual pabulum and the intellectual standard of the people is not high, they can take “dos” to be “don’ts” and vice versa. Take for example, a communal riot where a little innocent boy is killed, and when the person who encourages the riot becomes the people’s leader. Where the intellectual standard of the people is low, people commit blunders – prompted by such leaders they become beasts. Those backward countries which have less socio-politico-economic consciousness in the people tend to have more immorality. In such countries the leaders misguide the people in order to collect votes. I call such leaders “political satans” or “political pigs” Such pigs become leaders only when the intellectual standard of the common people is low. In a country with shortages of physical and intellectual pabula, people ultimately become beasts and commit sins and crimes. To murder a person during a riot is both a crime and a sin.[8]

Long ago, the idol of many Indian middle class youth, Adolph Hitler said that love does not last and that only upon hate can one found a movement. Thus far in this 21st century we have been proving Hitler right. It is high time for a renaissance of the most unique revolution in world history – the bhakti revolution. During the Middle Ages, mysticism flowered all over the world in response to the tyranny of religions. Only in the Middle East and South Asia (India, Pakistan and Bangladesh) was seen a cultural and literary revolution that embraced new languages and folk culture. In the Middle East there was a mystical (sufi) cultural revolution especially in the Persian language and also in Turkish and to some extent in Arabhic. However in India, in nearly every language there was a cultural revolution based on Bhakti or Sufism (mystical love). Today India and the world need a renaissance of this forgotten heritage of love revolution. We need an Ishq or bhakti revolution free from Islamic and Hindu dogma. As mystical love creates the sentiment that every creature is a manifestation of the Divine Beloved, it destroys the feelings that someone is a mleecha or kaffir or untouchable. This prema revolution will create a powerful force for social unity and dynamism which can be used to fight economic exploitation and lay the foundations for genuine growth in the form of local economic ganatantra.

More than 5 centuries ago, a 23 year old premi launched a love revolution against Muslim extremists and Hindu priests. Caitanya Mahaprabhu led a kiirtan (singing the Beloved’s Name) revolution that combined the ecstasy of mystical love with the fight for justice. This was made possible by the agony and ecstasy of his viraha (heartache and separation pangs from the Beloved). He later even went to Afghanistan and made the fanatics there sing and dance kiirtan by the power of his love. In our era where the humanity and love of the collective heart is in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the hospital of our so-called democracy we need this love revolution like a drowning man needs oxygen. To become like Mirabai or Bulleh Shah or Caitanya is no longer a romantic idea but the only way out for the survival of India in these ominous times just as the sunset of the Global Economic Collapse darkens the skies of India. We need furthermore to take this burning divine love and infuse it into our intellectual, psychological and emotional lives. Shrii Sarkar, the Dharma Guru who was imprisoned during the Emergency era, created the Neohumanistic worldview that fights geo sentiment (national, provincial), socio-sentiment (racial, religious, caste, ethnic) and pseudo-humanist sentiment (speciesism, human violence against Nature). While in jail, He gave a call unto all of humanity to burst their bonds of narrow sentiments and thinking, saying,

Come out of Jail and your body. Embrace the whole world and the universe and they will identify with you.

This call to fight for righteousness (dharma yuddha) against the forces of hate and the exploiters who finance them is a call for economic democracy, for establishing a true political ganatantra based on the transformation by meditation and mystical love of ordinary people into spiritual revolutionaries (sadvipras). It is a call that was first heard in modern times in the manifesto of the Naujawan Bharat Sabha (Assembly of New Indian Youth) that was started by Chandershekar Azad and Bhagat Singh. It is a call that will pound in our hearts no matter how we try to ignore it. For it is the call of undaunted courage and sacrifice, saying,

We want people who may be prepared to fight without hope, without fear and without hesitation, and who may be willing to die unhonoured, unwept and unsung.

This is a call that we will answer today, tomorrow, ten months from now or even later. But answer we must, for it is the call of our humanity, of our destiny to establish a true Ganatantra on this ancient soil of Bharat Mata.

Footnote

[1] http://www.sacw.net/article6049.html

[2] dēśa-
prajeyanarthāgamada gaḍaṇege ghāsimāḍeyele?
kujanarabhimatadugradaṃḍa-
vyajanadali janajaṭhara vahniya
sṛjiseyele bhavadīya rājyasthitiya hēḷeṃda
āṇegapajayavillale? kī-
ḷāṇe ṭaṃkadoḷillale? ni-
trāṇadali saṃgarava hogeyale śauryagarvadali?
vāṇiyavanucitadali dharmada
lūṇeyavanahitaralupēkṣeya
kēṇavanu dānadali māḍele rāya kēḷeṃda
arasu rākṣasa; maṃtriyeṃbuva
moreva huli; parivāra haddina
neravi; baḍavara binnapavaninnāru kēḷuvaru?
uri uriyutide dēśa nāvi-
nniralu bāradenutta jana bē-
sarada bēgeyaliradalē bhūpāla kēḷeṃda

[3] Thy Will Be Done: The Conquest of the Amazon: Nelson Rockefeller and Evangelism in the Age of Oil.

[4] From Discourse 19 of the book, Shrii Shrii Anandamurti, Namah Shiváya Shántáya.

[5] From the article “Socio-Economic Groupifications” in the book, Proutist Economics.

[6] See G Savaraiah & M. Devarajalu Economic Ideas of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar.

[7] See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Bill_of_Rights

[8] Shrii Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar, “Three Causes of Sin”, A Few Problems Solved Part 6.

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