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Indian political approach : A poem

Europe and the new world have for long shaped our minds, it is perhaps a good time to look within. Here's my poetic take on Indian political thought.

  • India is an ancient civilisation, Our political thought is as old as its tradition.

  • Political thought in India is a work of ages, oral transmissions were carried out by sages.

  • It’s often argued, India lacks a strategic thought, It changed, once Manu, Chanakya and Buddha are sought

  • While in west dichotomies are assertive, Indians have looked at things in a continuous perspective

  • Man-society, nature-culture, Dharam-dhand aren’t separated, the Indian way of life is a lot more integrated

  • Manu was the first lawgiver of Indians, his manusmriti is treated as both pernicious as well as auspicious

  • Concepts of purushartha, ashram, Varnas and sanskar were emphasised, till date these institutions have survived

  • Responsibilities of kings were defined, women were relegated and sidelined

  • Kautilya wrote arthshastra a book on statecraft, it was a treatise on geopolitics, administration and ways to tackle graft

  • Kautilya belonged to the school of offensive realism, more Machiavellian than entire Machiavellianism

  • He discussed three types of warfares, a six-fold policy to give the enemy nightmares

  • Sam, Dam, danda, bheda were the mantra to victory, frequently used throughout the history

  • King was supposed to carry out expeditions, ari and Mitra were first put under considerations

  • A thorough assessment of 84 elements is to be undertaken, lest any ari or Mitra is mistaken

  • Corruption has been a malady since past, 40 ways of embezzlement even Kautilya would forecast

  • Buddhism was the Protestantism of the east, considered egalitarian, socialist, republican at the very least

  • Though Buddha was not a political philosopher in the conventional sense, yet he set the standards of good governance

  • Buddha gave the concepts of peace and non-violence, dhamma chakra was in salience

  • War was replaced by a battle of virtue, though violence in geopolitics is hard to eschew

  • For him kingship was a delusion, it’s a contradiction with one’s own collusion

  • Ashoka was his philosopher-king, whose compassion and toleration was fascinating

  • Modern Indian thinkers played an important role, Their ideas shaped the freedom movement on the whole

  • Sir Syed Ahmed Khan was in ambivalence, from Hindu Muslim unity he turned to communal intolerance

  • He was a votary of science and reason, reformer to the core, he had a modern vision

  • Delusional of Hindus, and aware of British might, sir Syed turned loyalist, legitimising the communal fight

  • He is the father of the two-nation theory, giving India its deepest injury

  • moderates laid the ground for a modern political movement, but their constitutional methods caused widespread disenchantment

  • Aurobindo Ghosh gave new lamps for the old, in contrast to moderates, his methods were bold

  • Prayers petitions and pamphlets were gone, calls were given for Swaraj to be won

  • Aurobindo Ghosh was a great synthesiser, ideas of east and west were never intertwined any wiser

  • He gave the idea of passive resistance, which laid the foundations for Gandhi's significance

  • One should follow the law of one’s own being, he said; India would chart its own course was impressed

  • For him nations were an expression of the universal spirit, to spread its spiritual message was for India’s credit

  • He also emphasised human unity, as aggregation was in the interest of humanity

  • His words seem relatable, now more than ever. Today’s issues need collective action to deliver

  • Gandhi was more of a political scientist than a philosopher, there hasn’t been a more successful mass leader

  • He is the father of Indian nationalism, to his credit, he did his own criticism

  • Most loved person after Jesus Christ, Mahatma Gandhi was an enigma, a zeitgeist

  • He talked about satyagraha and Swaraj, sarvodya and ram Rajya

  • For him ends and means were incongruences, his methods of protests were based on non-violence

  • For him ahimsa was an attribute of the soul, spreading the message of brotherhood was his ultimate goal.

  • Satyagraha was the insistence on truth, it was an article of faith, a necessity for today’s youth.

  • For him modern civilisation was satanic, minimisation of wants was given as a tonic

  • His critique of modern civilisation was a war of position, doubts were cast on white man’s burden and the civilising mission

  • Sarvodaya was Gandhian socialism, his constructive program fostered this tradition.

  • Gandhi favoured equality of dignity, bread labour, trusteeship, land reforms were suggested for amity

  • For Gandhi ethics and politics were the same, for whose division, Machiavelli gets the blame

  • For a babool will not give a rose flower, it’s essential to have justice with power

  • For Gandhi rights and duties are embryonic entities, the message of Gita was the essence

  • For Him state was antithetical to freedom, an instrument of coercion, Ram Rajya was his idea, an anarchist vision

  • M N Roy was one of the most learned personality, ambivalence was his inherent peculiarity

  • Over the years he criticised many dictums, L L Roy, Lenin and Gandhi were his notable victims

  • He shifted parties by the season, suspicion and scepticism being the reason

  • His ideas were ahead of his time, but lack of popular mobilisation was his crime

  • He criticised historic materialism, for him, the revolution wasn’t a change in the mode of production

  • The real revolution is ideological he remarked, radical democracy and cosmopolitan union of free persons, an idea he sparked

  • He gave Marxism a humanist interpretation, by criticising he retained the Marxian tradition

  • Radical humanism was his philosophy of freedom, a life free of fear and superstition

  • Though he was a political connoisseur, his vacillations made him a ‘remarkable failure’

  • Ambedkar was more of a politician, under him Dalits developed a collective vision

  • Annihilation if caste rejected Brahminism, the strongest critic of purity and pollution

  • Respect and dignity were demanded as a right, for him, Vedas and manusmriti deserved dynamite

  • It was under these ideas, Indian national movement took shape; politics developed a national consciousness, the British couldn’t escape

  • Moderates were for constitutionalism and liberalism, extremists for passive resistance and affronted criticism

  • While moderates prepared the field, extremists sowed the seeds. The crop was ready to harvest, Gandhi entered the conquest

  • Mass movements and the constructive programme was the Gandhian way, Indians reciprocated without going estray

  • Jinnah demanded another nation, Ambedkar was instrumental in the Dalit assertion

  • Congress became a dominant force, a national movement was now on the right course

  • Quit India movement was the war of manoeuver, with the end of world war 2, it was game over

  • Gandhi was instrumental in bringing the British down, India was to get rid of the crown

  • freedom came with its own cost, a large chunk of India was forever lost

  • 15 August 1947 is a watershed in Indian history, from hereon, India writes its own destiny

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