India has no sense of a nation, has never had. In fact, it has never been a nation. In Buddha’s time it was divided into two thousand kingdoms. It has never felt an organic unity; there exists no organic unity. There are divisions and subdivisions, and they are all in conflict; they are each ready to destroy the other – so many religious and political ideologies that it is chaos.
England has only two parties, a two-party system – a very logical way of running a government smoothly. India has hundreds of political parties. It is impossible for any party to be powerful enough or stable enough to implement any program. Hence they promise but they cannot fulfill. But the game can be continued: one party fails in fulfilling its promises, then another party starts promising the people. One party has deceived the people, then another party will deceive the people, and so on and so forth.
But the politicians enjoy it because that is their great opportunity to rule the country. Nobody is concerned with the real problems of the country.
Democracy is not really a problem for the poor. They are ready to sell their votes for just two rupees, five rupees. Now in a country where people are ready to sell their votes for just five rupees, how do you think a democracy can function? Whosoever has the money will purchase the votes. So it is good for the people who have money, it is good for the people who are in politics, ambitious, it is good for smugglers because a certain freedom allows them to do whatsoever they want to do, it is good for the hooligans, the gundas, because nobody can prevent them freedom of expression. It is good for all kinds of criminal elements, but it is not good for the people.
Ninety-nine percent of the people have nothing to do with democracy. They need bread, butter, shelter – they don’t have the very essentials to exist, to survive! And talking to these people about democracy is ridiculous.
I love democracy. I would like this country to be democratic, I would like all the countries to be democratic, the whole world to be democratic, because I respect freedom as I respect nothing else. But a context has to be created, and two thousand years of slavery has to be destroyed.
The Indian mind thinks very selfishly: everybody thinks only of himself. That is the heritage of the Indian culture: it has made everybody very selfish. And they have rationalized it beautifully. They say that everybody suffers or rejoices according to his karmas, the acts that he has done in his past life. It has nothing to do with the social structure, it has nothing to do with the government, it has nothing to do with anything else: it is a question of your own past life. So if you are poor, you are poor because of your past life; you have committed certain sins and you are suffering. If somebody is rich, he is rich because of his past life; he had attained great virtue.