Is the house that Jack built habitable? I mean the house which was built by the West? We say no to it. Gandhiji says no to it. Why? Because we have no real voice in that house. Which is why in the house that is being built today, we must make sure that we have a legitimate voice?a powerful voice.
How is one to ensure it? By promoting a proper democratic order. The West says: Democracy is the best form of government, that it is the best form of State. Everybody has a voice in it.
But, democracy is congenitally faulted. How? Because while political democracy keeps expanding the freedom of the people, economic democracy keeps shrinking their choice. Today more and more people have their votes. But less and less people have a voice in how the world economy is run. This suits the West. Which is why advocates of capitalism prefer to be less communicative on this subject.
If India is honest to its professions, honest to the beliefs of its great nationalist leaders, it must take up the mission to correct this anomaly. Political and economic democracy must go hand in hand, not move in opposite directions.
The West has consistently opposed economic democracy. Even fought a war recently?the Second World War?to retain the inequitous privileges of the world capitalist system. It has in fact re-emerged as globalisation.
Globalism is not only capitalism in disguise, but also Americanisation of the world. Which is worse. And although globalism has yielded some benefits, it has also meant concentration of economic power in fewer corporations, in fewer nations. The emergence of China as the second world economic power (it is a capitalist state) will not make any difference to the capitalist structure of the global economy. That is why if an ethical flooring is to be put under the present capitalist system, the initiative has to come from India. This, I believe, is India'sgreat mission of this century.
But not all people of India are wedded to ethics. Some are for ?social justice?. Others are for Americanisation of India and the world. Is there a third group which supports Indian leadership of a world ethical economic order? I do not see it yet. And yet that is the only way for India. Our rishis have already visualised it.
Sri Aurobindo says that there are only two ways of organising human life: A world state founded upon the principle of centralisation and uniformity or a world union founded on the principle of freedom and variety. The choice is obvious. India is always for freedom. But freedom with justice.
We Hindus are a people given to universalism. But we are first of all nationalists. ?You cannot love the world unless you love your own country,? seems to be the Hindu motto. Only the Muslims are out of step in this country. To them, this country is Dar-ul Harb and Hindus are kafirs. They can never be brothers to non-Muslims. Obviously, Islam has a major problem to get over if it is to be in the mainstream of Indian life.
The Hindus have no such problems. Hindus have the guidance of men like the Mahatma. Gandhiji was nationalist and an internationalist. He called upon the people to keep the country'sdoors and windows open to the winds of the world. He says: ?It is impossible for one to be an internationalist without being a nationalist.? It is not nationalism that is evil, but narrowness, selfishness and exclusiveness, he says. Gandhiji fought for the good of all. To Gandhiji, mankind is one. Hatred of other nations and other peoples was never part of Gandhiji'snationalism. He loved the British, but disliked their system. ?My nationalism includes the well-being of the whole world. I do not want my India to rise on the ashes of other nations. I do not want my India to exploit a single human being.? Internationalism did not mean for him losing one'sroots. ?We cannot be international if we lose our individuality,? he says. In his message to the Asian Relations Conference (1948) he said: ?I will not like to live in this world if it is not be one.?
Thus, the framework of a new world order is already before us and the world. Non-alignment has already taught us to be above the battle. We do not mind people coming together because they like each other, but we have the strongest objection to people coming together because they hate someone else. Which is why India objected to military alliances.
Without some world order, there can be no world peace. And there can be no world peace unless our democracy is just. ?I suppose,? says Nehru, ?that Indians are, by and large, gentler than almost any people in the world. They dislike violence.? And that, good reader, is the true matrix of a new world order?a world without violence, just and of gentler people.