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Chapter 9: India: From Slavery to Freedom

The Indians understand only one language - that of enforcement. If you enforce something upon them they are very law-abiding. For two hundred years the English people ruled India and found the Indians very law-abiding. Lawlessness was never a problem before the end of the British Raj. But these thirty-three years of freedom have seen India falling apart, becoming a chaos - something which looks strange if you don’t understand the root cause. The root cause is that freedom is absolutely strange to Indian programming. India needs a totally different kind of government. Democracy is an imported idea.

Indians are very reluctant about importing technology, importing new methods, new machines. They are very insistent on the spinning wheel, on Indian self-sufficiency. They are afraid of science, technology. The whole of Gandhian philosophy is anti-technology, anti-science - but they have imported the concept of democracy.

India has never been democratic, hence democracy has no roots in Indian consciousness, not at all. Democracy is failing; something totally different is needed in the Indian context. Democracy cannot succeed - at least not now - unless a context is created.

The people who fought for Indian freedom were all educated in England. Mahatma Gandhi, Subhash Chandra Bose, Jawaharlal Nehru, all were educated in Britain. They saw democracy functioning beautifully there and they became immensely impressed by it. But English democracy has a long tradition.

When India became free it immediately imported the idea of democracy. Ideas cannot be imported like that. You have to create the soil, you have to create the right atmosphere. So Indian democracy is just like a paper flower: you can go on hanging it on your tree, but it will not give fragrance. It may deceive people who are not close to the tree, but it cannot deceive the tree, it cannot deceive you, it cannot deceive the butterflies and the bees, it cannot deceive the birds who sing on the tree - they know it is a paper flower. No bee is going to come to the flower. And how can you deceive the tree? The tree will not nourish the flower - it is not joined to it, and there is no way to make it part of the tree.

Before democracy can start functioning in India, India needs something like a cross between democracy and dictatorship, something in between - something which has the ingredients of both, the best of both.

China has succeeded in a shorter period. China became free after India, four years later, but China is in a far better state today than India - with a bigger population, with greater problems, but it has been able to solve them because it is not living under a democracy. It is a dictatorship. Russia could manage only because of a dictatorial regime.

I am not a supporter of dictatorship, I am for democracy, but democracy is possible only if we can prepare the ground for it. The parliamentary system that has been imposed upon India is so foreign to the Indian mind that it cannot function. You can see it in the Indian parliament - the behavior of the members is so childish. They are continuously quarreling, fighting. No work at all happens in Indian parliaments, simply unnecessary argumentation about pointless, meaningless things. Opposition for opposition’s sake: a sheer wastage of time and energy.

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