This kind of development crafted in western Judeo-Christian culture, protestant ethics and politico-economic thinking has turned out to be the ethnocentric mainstream economic thinking ubiquitously practiced as the epithet of development sliding myriad ways of defining life and development into the scrapheap of human history.
This blind mimicry of west has resulted in what is called as culturocide (Killing of many cultures). India is not an exception to this. It was the momentous irony of its tryst with destiny that on the ashes of long venerated Bharat, which metaphorically represented the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, was born the western India.
Independence on 15th August, 1947 provided the providential privilege to the makers of India's destiny to charter out the course of path on its highly vaulted civilizational terms not cat copying the west. The great Mahatma, Father of the Nation was very eloquent when he said, independence does not mean independence of the British people but of their culture and values. His words, looking from hindsight, full of so much wisdom and insight found little resonance in the subsequent deeds and words of the so called self prophesized leaders who took unto themselves the onus of building modern India.
Had Mahatma Gandhi lived a little longer and not been assassinated India would have spurted into a great debate between the Nehru, the disciple and Mahatma- the master(Guru) over the efficacy and relevance of their respective world views built into their models of development. The unexpected death of Mahatma brought an abrupt end to the debate and marked the triumph of Nehruvian model- a zero sum way of building India.
It was not mere his physical disappearance but the disappearance of the undimmed cultural and civilizational values for ever from Indian political landscape which he represented and stood for and upheld so staunchly, devotedly and endearingly to his heart. His clad loin khadada cloth up to knee and topi (hat) remained only as clich? for Congress Party to catch votes not as representing the values of self reliant economy which these carry till date in an age of expanding western economy in the name of globalisation.
Bred and nourished in western culture and moved greatly by its glittering materialistic way of life what Nehru crafted in India is a western style institutionally organized economy and life style characterized by profligacy, exorbitant and inordinate life style, greed, possession, short term thinking, exploitation of nature and amassing of wealth from a Newtonian perspective in contrast to Gandhi?s insistence on austerity, moderation, sustainability and non-possession. Nehru on the other hand tried to reduce Gandhi?s and civilizational Bharat into a western oriented industrialized economy India quite oblivious of the fact that every society and civilization has an economy and not an economy has a society.
This Nehruvian model includes all those Indians who relate to the corporate sector as investors, producers or consumers and remain tiny as they were in the colonial days. Nehru inaugurated the legacy of cultural disruption and superimposition of western culture started by the European colonialists and now it is brown skinned elite Indians combined in politicians, bureaucrats, business men, corporate and technocrats and scientists performing the white man?s roles. Closely connected with the western elites these Indians tend to see India modern in terms of mimicry of west in its media, business transactions, life style, literature, fashions, brands.
This fetishization of westernization has become the measure of superiority over his fellow beings. The same Newtonian view of mechanical universe as composed of differentiated particles, individualities and parts continues to disrupt India. This stands in sharp contrast to Gandhi's Bharat composed of inseparable, interconnected village republics as forms of social and economic organization. It would be a democracy not of representatives but a democracy of people, villages participating in decision making as key architects of their destiny.
It is not the present divisive politics of setting each against the other, thinking one at the expense of the other in terms of caste, creed, faith and community but the politics of Ahimsa (non-violence) that Gandhi advocated which means willingness to treat all beings as one?s very self, covering all within its enlarged self, a complete absence of ill will and good will toward all life. It is the same Congress Party which brought independence to India played a key role in following the British policy of divide and rule under the Nehru and his followers.
Without internalizing the long cherished and eternal values derived from its civilization and practiced and exemplified in his way of life by Gandhi into Indian political, economic and social thinking and way of life, grafting a western man in terms of greed, power, commodious living, and inordinate life style into the Indian citizen has been the hallmark of modern India throwing every Indian into the grand capitalist machinery as mere grist to be produced out as a mere consumer always in pursuit of bodily pleasures, power, wealth and sense derived comfort at the cost of other. If every Indian tries to attain the level of American living it needs five earths.
At this critical juncture when the apocalyptic climate change and degradation of the environment has already gripped the planet, many showing concern over this have found solace in the pronouncements of Mahatma Gandhi that the earth has enough to satisfy everyone's needs but not everyone's greed. In order to enable every human being to live with a dignity on this earth pursuit of values which Gandhi represented and India's Sanatan Dharma civilization stood for remains the desideratum. Civilization achieves greatness not by its sky touching monumental constructs but by the great persons looking beyond their immediate self atomized interests with a vision and insight that encompasses all within their enlarged self.
Rapacious and greedy persons taught by the west only bring the civilizations to the ruins as in the past many have been buried under the sands of time. It is Indian civilization for its eternal values beyond time and space which Mahatma Gandhi followed and metamorphosed into his life that stands relevant today. Every Congressman then followed Gandhi like Nehru with the sole aim of getting independence but not with the purpose of being metamorphosed into a moral citizen or being. Those few who followed him in the latter sense were marginalized out by Nehru and his successors. Gandhi tries to see every Indian as a moral and social architect to build Bharat as an ideal form of human organization representing the much adored 'Rama Rajya'.
The Congress party could not be transformed into such a social and moral architect as Gandhi desired after independence rather it emerged as a great contender for power not service to the nation and people. Gandhi was anathema to scourge of power politics very much knowing that its festering viruses will destroy the moral and social fabric of India. But alarmingly, Nehru, his successors and other political parties remained glued to Machiavellian pursuit of power at any cost giving a quietus to Gandhi?s dictum that moral ends must be attained to by moral means.
Today this ceaseless drive for power by politicians at any cost by any means which according to Hobbes ceases only in death has divided the nation much to the joy of external powers. Gandhi finds no difference between words and deeds. His life is an illustrious example of this being beautifully magnified in his pursuit if truth and non-violence. What has become bare and glaring enough is politicians' proclivity for promises and words to the people before elections without caring a little for their practicability and implementability.
Gandhi believed that an ounce of practice is far better than tons of theories. The historical necessity of Congress leaders to deliver speeches in order to muster support from people behind Gandhi during freedom struggle has been internalized in all politicians today into an ingrained habit of mouthing words only to deceive and delude people into their traps of power politics. Power reigns supreme over service to the people.
Whether it is capitalism or socialism the foundation remains same i.e. massive industrialization, economic growth, expansion of market and destruction of the environment.
Gandhi was very critical of Nehru's policy of industrialization of India as it would violate the conditions for human flourishing and ideal forms of human life. In contrast, he advocated cottage industry, self reliant economy and reliance on swadeshi that will be sustainable and environmentally salubrious. Nobody is unaware of the havoc that is wrought to the environment and the marginalized and tribal people by massive industrialization based on fossil fuels in terms of global warming and its hazardous consequences on human living on this earth.
To say that the need for a Gandhian ethical and political response seems more urgent in the arena of environmental change than in any other field is half truth. Defying Gandhi (Guru) thus in many ways by his foremost disciple Nehru and his followers have cost the nation great. Gandhis?s vision seems closer to Bharat than the western India. Indeed it was the Nehruvian turn after independence that distanced away from Gandhi and Bharat which could be seen as the watershed event accentuating the present crisis in all spheres. Nehru saw himself as the last Whiteman to rule India.
Today Mahatma Gandhi has been reduced to a mere lifeless most neglected statue to be reminisced only by his followers during his birth day and day of departure celebration with flowers not as token of their deep dedication and tribute but as a token of their being ascended to a power position by the use of his name and title.
The title Gandhi has been a vote pool for Indira Gandhi?s family and the members of Congress Party. Mahatma was assassinated once in 1948 but he is being assassinated every moment by the so called Congress Party whose existence, sustenance and identity owe much to him. His title Gandhi remains but the values he stood and fought for and the culture and civilization he represented throughout his life were rejected as rubbish.
The monumental structure that Nehru and his successors wanted to build as emblematic of modern India is today in deep crisis at moral, social, cultural, economic, environmental and developmental level it is because it is without a foundation that is Gandhi's Bharat. The foremost and most chosen disciple defied the master at all levels without knowing that his defiance would ultimately kill him prompting outsiders to claim that Gandhi was not Bharata's creation, it was the creation of west.