You have heard it said you cannot purchase virtue with money, but you can purchase money by virtue. In India that is an accepted rule: you can have more money by being virtuous – not in this life, remember. If in this life you are virtuous you won’t have any money! In the past life you were virtuous, in this life you have to be as cunning as possible, then you will have money and you will have power.
Nobody is concerned with the whole nation as such. My concern is with the whole nation. When I say that it needs a fifteen years’ benevolent dictatorship I mean that a certain discipline has to be created. People have to be forced to do certain things because they won’t do those things if they are left on their own.
For example, every Indian thinks it is his birthright to give birth to as many children as possible, because to prevent him from giving birth to children is to prevent his freedom, and children are God-given. And he has a certain karma that he has carried from his past life: he has to be a father of one dozen children or two dozen children, and anybody interfering with it is interfering in his freedom. So in a democratic setup it is impossible to impose compulsory birth control.
It is impossible to force people to be a little more industrious. The country has lived in laziness for thousands of years. It must be the laziest country in the world; nobody wants to work. Now in a democratic setup it is impossible to make them work. They will go on strikes – for the sheer joy of not doing anything!
Almost half the time all the factories are closed, and even when the factories are open nobody is interested in really producing, creating. They don’t have these values. They think that the world is illusory, so what is the point of producing and creating? Their whole creativity has become focused on reproduction! They don’t feel any need to create anything else.
It is impossible in a democratic setup to bring people to their senses. But I say, “a benevolent dictatorship,” and what do I mean by a benevolent dictatorship? I mean a dictatorship which is used only as a means – the end is democracy.
And my own feeling, my own observation is that Indira Gandhi is the right person, the one who can do it. First she is a woman, has a far more loving heart than any man can ever have. She is a mother and has tremendous love for the country. She has the grace to become a benevolent dictator.
The only problem is that once somebody is a dictator it is difficult to take power from his hands, it is difficult for him to give way to democracy again. But Indira is over sixty. In fifteen years’ time she will be seventy-five; she will have enjoyed the power more than enough. She will be really tired – she is already tired. She is already bored with the whole thing. She is carrying it on because she loves the country; otherwise I don’t see any desire in her to dominate the country. She has tasted the power for a long time. In these fifteen years she will get older, wiser; she will be getting closer to her death.
And she is a woman, and up to now she has proved very intelligent, broad-minded. There is every possibility that a benevolent dictatorship can function through her…