Chapter 21: My Message: A Matter of Life and Death
It is a cloud, a dark cloud. There is no “who is who” nobody is the leader and nobody is the led. Just the unconscious instinct predominates; and because it is the same instinct in all of us, a mob can function without any order, without any pope, without any church. But its function can only be destructive.
To create, you need a certain order - not organization but a certain order, a certain awareness, a certain individuality. But for destruction nothing is needed. You can became an instrument of destruction without any qualification. No university degree is needed, no skill, no craft - nothing. Hence, the great appeal of the mob - to attract people.
You can become a great mob leader, for the simple reason that you will not be asked to have any qualification. What is the great quality in V. I. Lenin? It is the quality to create a mob around himself and to manipulate its instinctive destructiveness for his political ends.
And the same is true about Mahatma Gandhi, Mao Zedong - any so-called great political leader. His only skill is in finding how to implant in the mob a certain idea. And because it is going to be destructive, there is no problem. Let me explain to you..
Mahatma Gandhi was the uncrowned king of India before Independence, because before Independence the question was destructiveness: the British Empire had to be destroyed. Everybody was qualified, and the whole country was under Mahatma Gandhi. But what happened? Even Gandhi had not expected it - could not have expected it, because he was not that conscious a man. He was surprised, taken aback.
When Independence came the same mob forgot all about him. The same leaders who were nothing before Independence - who were just changing around him in the hope that if he won the battle they might also get some power - those leaders became prime ministers, ministers, governors, governor-generals. And they all forgot about Gandhi.
No Gandhian has analyzed the phenomenon. It is of much importance, because this has happened to every political leader in the same way. From before the revolution to after the revolution there is a tremendous change. Mahatma Gandhi himself said, “I have become a coin which is no longer in currency.”
“A coin which is no longer in currency” He used to say before Independence that he wanted to live at least one hundred and twenty-five years, to see India completely renovated, renewed, rejuvenated. And after Independence he started saying, “I don’t want to live that long. I pray to God: “I have lived enough..”
What great change has happened? This is what he was living for up to now, and now he is victorious. It is his disciples who are in power, the country is independent, the empire that he wanted to destroy is destroyed. Now, what more success was he waiting for?
But at this crucial moment he realized that he did not know anything about how the human mind functions. He was a leader of a mob, and a mob is interested only in destruction. Now the question was of creation. The whole dimension of work had changed: the country had to be created.