Chapter 7: Create a Context
The first question:
I welcome your stern steps to guide a country like India from slavery and poverty, etcetera. However I feel very sorry to hear you quoted as saying: “For fifteen years this country needs no democracy. It has not that much intelligence.” Please explain what you mean.
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, otherwise 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 is 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.