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Major Contemporary Issues
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 2
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 3
Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance
Professor, Department of Political Science,
Director, Gandhian Centre for
Peace and Conflict Studies,
University of Jammu,
Jammu - 180006
Gandhian Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies
University of Jammu, Jammu-180006,
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 5
About The Author
Anurag Gangal is Professor of Political Science and also Director of the Gandhian
Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (GCPCS) at University of Jammu, Jammu, Jammu and
Kashmir, India. Author has spent nearly quarter of a century as a teacher in the Indian University
He has been a Visiting Professor at University of Calcutta, Banaras Hindu University
and at University of Madras. For three years he has served as member of the Advisory Board of the
Jury of Mahatma Gandhi International Peace Prize.
Author has had practical experience in applying the Gandhian techniques in the
resolution of varied challenges faced by the Indian civil society and the local population of Jammu
and Kashmir. In this context, he has been fortunate to work with noted activists and academics like
Dr Kiran Bedi, Dr Savita Singh, Dr N. Radhakrishnan, Shri Tushar Gandhi, Professor David
Cortwright, Professor Yunus Samad, Professor Amitabh Mattoo, Professor Priyankar Upadhyaya,
Professor Anju Sharan Upadhyaya, Professor Frank Thakurdas, Professor William S. Titus,
Professor Vaid Ghai and so many others.
As an academic, the author is an established and widely recognised writer on
international affairs. He is known as a prolific writer and authority in the area of Mahatma Gandhi
and world peace; conflict resolution and conflict transformation. He has to his credit four published
books and about 25 research articles in national and international journals and also online
international research websites of academic institutions. He has published hundreds of topical
articles in various national and international newspapers and also in Peace and Conflict Monitor of
the University of Peace, Costa Rica. He is currently the Executive Editor, Gandhi Ganga, Research
and Activities Journal, GCPCS, Jammu University. He figures on the experts’ panel of several
institutions. Whatever author has been able to do till now is mainly the result of his academic
training he received from his father, Professor S. C. Gangal who was globally an acclaimed
authority on international relations and a renowned Professor of International Politics at the Centre
for International Politics, Organisation and Disarmament (CIPOD), School of International
Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Author of this book is also privileged to have
had his academic and research training learning at the feet of his teachers in University of Delhi
from 1976 to 1984.
Author has also been engaged in various national and international collaborations for
peace and conflict resolution studies and exchanges with institutions like students and faculty of
Fletcher School of Law, Boston University (United States), McMaster University, Hamilton,
Canada and Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti, New Delhi, India.
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 6
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 7
About the Book
This book is about Gandhian humanitarian view of challenges to life in a national and
international scenario today. Humanity cannot survive without the twin values of truth and
nonviolence even for an instant. Despite this self-evident facet of our lives, we humans are akin to
go for massive and diabolical violence and ever new inventions towards creating newer weapons
of mass destruction on public fronts, and in national and international politics. This is a great
Politics without these values of truth, nonviolence and judicious self-sacrifice is a
perverted form of what we generally know as politics. Politics is entirely opposed to any kind of
perversion. In effect, the main task of politics is to set right all perversions and disorders. This is
what people like Gandhi were doing all their lives.
Answers to present day diverse political and other dilemmas, indeed, lie in further
normalisation of the role and effectiveness of values and ethics in society and international politics.
History has very clearly given us at least two thousand and six years to keep
remembering our “golden” and “not so golden past”. We have nothing to lose but our modern
susceptible “captive minds” if we come out of this “dynamic historicity” – where we believe that
history repeats itself.
There is an oft quoted saying of Gandhi: “There is no way to peace. Peace is the only
way.” However, Peace is not what the term “peace” means in semantics. Peace is a crusade. It is a
movement – continuous and perennial – bringing about so many conflicts enroute. Peace is not
realisable without conflicts. Highly interactive conflict resolution attempts represent peace process
These processes lead to development as well. It is mainly political development that
affects every other sphere. It comprises a number of concerns such as nature of democracy,
political processes, economic policies and processes, people’s participation in social, political and
economic activities. Political development – as such – when observed and examined, takes us to
other related questions of international politics. These are relating to impact of population growth,
environmental pollution, widespread poverty, unemployment, proliferation of armaments,
expanding terrorist mafia and network, weapons of mass destruction and nature of conflicts in
different regions of the world.
Such matters imprint upon our mind diverse perils to world peace today. Mahatma
Gandhi has always been deeply involved in tackling these issues of global, national and regional
importance relating to peace and development. The present work, therefore, is an attempt to touch
upon various current issues and its relevant perspectives.
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 8
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 9
This work relates to a few aspects anent
relevance of the philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi or
Mohandas Karmchand Gandhi in the twenty-first
century. As regards his values of truth and
nonviolence – “as old as hills”, they are entirely
replete with moment to moment practical utility in
our day to day life. Humanity cannot survive
without these twin values even for an instant.
Despite this self-evident facet of our lives, we
humans are akin to go for massive and diabolical
violence and ever new inventions towards creating
newer weapons of mass destruction on public
fronts, and in national and international politics.
This is a great paradox. Human beings tend to
behave differently in interpersonal, national and
In view of this continuing predicament,
world teachers and stalwarts like Robi Da, Gandhi,
Neta Ji, Nehru and such others in different fields
must be forgotten now for, by just remembering
them, we are demeaning their value and
importance. Why should they be recalled
hypocritically as a mere ritual when they all have
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 10
given us already so much without ever expecting
even an iota of anything in return? Indeed,
“elephants can never forget a good turn done to
them”. Indeed, human memory is not elephantine!
Examples that these Indian leaders have set
and values of selflessness that they have put on rails
are missing in the present-day national and
international politics. Once in a while a few sudden
and momentary sparks of altruism do emerge here
and there. But they do not last. Politics without
these values of truth, nonviolence and judicious
self-sacrifice is a perverted form of what we
generally know as politics. Politics is entirely
opposed to any kind of perversion. In effect, the
main task of politics is to set right all perversions
and disorders. This is what people like Gandhi were
doing all their lives. Answers to present day diverse
political and other dilemmas, indeed, lie in further
normalisation of the role and effectiveness of values
and ethics in society and international politics.
History has very clearly given us at least two
thousand and six years to keep remembering our
“golden” and “not so golden past”. We have
nothing to lose but our modern susceptible “captive
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 11
minds” if we come out of this “dynamic historicity”
– where we believe that history repeats itself.
Whatever I am saying here is coming out of
my own utterly captive mind. I do not possess any
element of originality. I am not a wise person. I owe
all my ideas and analyses and observations to
Gandhi’s Hind Swaraj or Indian Home Rule,
Paramhansa Yoganand’s Autobiography of a Yogi,
George Orwell’s 1984 and other such writings.
There are so many other individuals who
have influenced me in diverse ways. Amitabh
Mattoo, Savita Singh, Priyankar Upadhyaya, Anjoo
Upadhyaya and a few others can be regarded as
contemporary inclines or influences upon me.
Above all others, my father S. C. Gangal;
and my versatile genius mentor Ram Dutt Magotra /
friend Ashutosh Magotra alias “Duwanee Wale
Hakeem Ji” is among those without whom my
existence is worthless.
I have learnt a lot from Tushar Gandhi and
Kiran Bedi also. My various visits to villages
around Delhi and Jammu have all led me to think on
the lines of the need for moving beyond Gandhi’s
time now. David Cortright has also had an influence
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 12
upon me specially through his book Gandhi and
There is an oft quoted saying of Gandhi:
“There is no way to peace. Peace is the only way.”
However, Peace is not what the term “peace” means
in semantics. Peace is a crusade. It is a movement –
continuous and perennial – bringing about so many
conflicts enroute. Peace is not realisable without
conflicts. Highly interactive conflict resolution
attempts represent peace process only.
These processes lead to development as
well. It is mainly political development that affects
every other sphere. It comprises a number of
concerns such as nature of democracy, political
processes, economic policies and processes,
people’s participation in social, political and
economic activities. Political development – as such
– when observed and examined, takes us to other
related questions of international politics. These are
relating to impact of population growth,
environmental pollution, widespread poverty,
unemployment, proliferation of armaments,
expanding terrorist mafia and network, weapons of
mass destruction and nature of conflicts in different
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 13
regions of the world. Such matters imprint upon our
mind diverse perils to world peace today.
Mahatma Gandhi has always been deeply
involved in tackling these issues of global, national
and regional importance relating to peace and
development. The present work, therefore, is an
attempt to touch upon various current issues and its
relevant Gandhian concerns and explanations based
largely on how to go for establishing and enhancing
nonviolent truths and their efficacy in our life.
Several people and institutions have helped
me in writing this work or book in different ways.
Apart from my colleagues at the Department of
Political Science and at the Gandhian Centre for
Peace and Conflict Studies at University of Jammu,
I am specially indebted to Amitabh Mattoo, Savita
Singh, Priyankar Upadhyaya, Anjoo Sharan
Upadhyaya. I also owe a lot to my students and
researchers working with me in the pursuance of
their academic strides into the world. David
Cortright, Yunus Samad and University of Tuft
Group visiting our Gandhian Centre for Peace and
Conflict Studies in August 2007 have also added in
their own way to my understanding of realities of
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 14
international politics and peace and conflict studies.
Sandhya Gupta from Fletcher School of Law and
Neeraj from University of Boston have also brought
me out from Platonic shadows of the cave into the
light of day.
My wife Renu Gangal and my son Purvansh
Gangal have put so much of efforts into my
academic and every other type of evolution that I
cannot but express my utmost sense of gratitude to
them. Without them and their support, I just cannot
move even an inch forward. There are so many
others who have helped me differently in my
extended family of blood relations. From a small
little child to the eldest member of this network,
everyone, has helped me even at the cost of their
own physical and material loss while forgetting
their all other difficulties for my sake. As such
Surbhi Gupta, my sister and her husband Atul
Gupta, my brother-in-law; Rama Agarwal, my
mother-in-law; O.P. Agarwal, my father-in-law;
Pradeep Agarwal, Rajeev Agarwal and Sunil
Agarwal – my brother-in-laws, Alka Agarwal, Abha
Agarwal and Kanchan Agarwal – my sister-in-laws,
Sanjeev Aggarwal, my very special brother-in-law
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 15
and his wife Rekha Aggarwal – my very special
sister-in-law; our children Anant, Ankita, Arush,
Akshi, Anushka, Arnav, Aman, Shivangi and
Shreya -- I owe them, each one of them, so much
that I cannot really repay what they have done for
me despite my best of efforts in this direction.
My publisher, office and library persons of
the Department of Political Science and of the
University of Jammu have also extended full
cooperation to me. I express my heart felt thanks for
all that they have showered upon me from time to
time. Some of my colleagues have been of more
help than others, specially, Karuna Thakur, Ellora
Puri, B. B. Anand, Kishor Sharma, Vishal Sharma,
Yog Raj Sharma and Ranjeet Kalra among several
others. I owe them all a lot for all the support
coming from them throughout.
Despite all help from various quarters
coming to me in writing this book, I, alone, am
responsible for my work and any mistakes or
anomalies that may appear in the book in spite of all
care that has gone into the final publishing of the
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 16
I am dedicating this book to my parents,
namely, my Father, Professor S. C. Gangal and my
Mother, Mrs Saroj Gangal and to my mentors
Duwanee Wale Hakeem Ji Shri Ram Dutt Magotra
and Pundit Ashutosh Magotra. Without their
Blessings, I would not have been able to devote my
life to creative pursuits at all. They are the doer(s)
not “I”. Their will be done, not mine.
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 17
About the Author 5
About the Book 7
1. Introduction: Major Issues 19
2. Globalisation 37
3. Kashmir Question 65
4. Terrorism 101
5. Conflict Resolution 121
6. Human Security 157
7. World Peace 197
8. Conclusion: Beyond Perversions 217
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 18
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 19
Introduction: Major Issues
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 20
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 21
Introduction: Major Issues
Relevance of the ideas of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi is
self-evident in view of massive disputes, conflicts, warfare and
massacres taking place in different parts of the world. These as well
as other challenges to world peace have only one option today. This is
the option of realising the truth and going the nonviolent way. Even if
Gandhi is put aside on the shelf, there are but the Gandhian openings
The question of relevance actually must not arise. Absolute
nonviolence in intent is necessary while nonviolence in general in
action will have to be observed. The nonviolence of the brave
alongwith violence of the brave will have to be there. Violence of the
brave is required when a person or group of people do not have
sufficient courage to go for nonviolent methods bravely. Such
violence may be used to deal with utter violent and criminal
exceptions in a given society.
Nonviolence and peaceful methods are not merely tools for
bringing more permanent peace for a society with more positive
orientation but they are our only alternatives to go for a normal,
healthier, creative and productive civil society.
On the other hand, the present day technological development
and its quest for “excellence” and efficiency are leading to a crises-
syndrome. It is aggravating a number of crises and problems all over
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 22
the world such as over population, proliferation of armaments,
pollution, poverty, peculiar unemployment, educational void,
starvation, malnutrition and ever increasing acquisitive instincts.
Aforesaid contexts are further subjected to the “toppings” of
corruption in corridors of power, plagiarism and cheating in
education, pervasive trends in the practice of hypocrisy and
sycophancy appear to be main reasons behind most of our problems
today. All this combined with increasing efficiency and technological
excellence further aggravates the situation. Technology is widening
its horizons without fulfilling basic needs of drinking water,
electricity, food for all and employment for all. Amartya Sen, an
Indian Nobel Laureate in Economics, presents a very interesting and
highly readable work entitled Development as Freedom, OUP,
Oxford, 1999. He rightly says that freedom includes nearly every type
of social, political, economic and individual standpoints.
Development is possible only when all these freedoms including
diverse facilities and opportunities are made duly accessible to
The scenario in India is still going in the different direction.
India has entered into its sixtieth year of independence on 15 August
2007. Yet the condition of a few handful of people is improving only
while majority of them are still suffering and reeling under great
scarcities and socio-economic and political burdens. India is known to
have set examples for other developing and poorer nations, especially,
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 23
in the area of technological upliftment and heavy industrialisation of
the economy in such a short time. In the latest context of
globalisation, civil society, good governance, human security, and
culture of peace as well, India is doing much better vis-à-vis a number
of other poorer countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America (AALA
Yet realities within the Indian social, economic and political
ethos cannot be ignored. One cannot but become quite sarcastic when
writing about such concerns. By all means, India is moving to fulfil
development, energy, communication and basic needs of the country
uniquely. India has technology and human resources both. No doubt
there are nearly seven 07 million Indian citizens who do not get
drinking water at all even after 60 years of independence. Is this not a
crisis situation!!! These Indians without water are apparently Yogis
who can live without water and food. Is that really so? What they do
not get for themselves, they are haplessly leaving it for others to
consume – provided food and water are made available for millions of
other citizens. Apparently, this is the situation.
This peculiar circumstance is their in other areas as well.
Leaders and businessmen are becoming ever richer not only in India
but also in the entire South Asia. India’s is merely a representative
case to understand the larger picture in Africa, Asia and Latin
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 24
Drinking Water Front
Again, in India, basic need of water presents an appalling
condition. A bit of sarcasm and satire naturally enters into its
explanation. This is an exercise by 07 million people into natural
voluntary (?) preservation of drinking water for those who need it
more. However, does fulfilling the need of one means sacrificing the
requirement of the other needy persons? This results into highly
saddening phenomenon. Urban dwellers then get at least a few drops
of soiled water in their glowing taps in tiled bathtubs and shining
kitchens. This is resulting from the sacrifice of “07 million Yogis”
who do not get any drinking water at all. This water is further
preserved into household utensils drip by drip by needy urban
dwellers. One utensil is filled up very fast in about twenty four hours.
Thus, taking a full bath may not be possible. But at least the purifying
touch of water can be felt by dipping fingers in the fulsome water
filled cans! Is this not a great achievement for a poor though speedily
developing India. Indeed, the credit goes to our water management
departments, power ministers, political energy boosters and power
brokers. Is this not an instance of sacrifice of the people, by the
people for the people? Clearly, power enriches and absolute power
Save (?) Electricity and Energy
Indian Government has gained a lot in energy saving through
least possible use of electricity in particular. That is why Indian
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 25
Government, through its media, is on a special spree to teach its
population how to save electricity in “voltage banks” for posterity to
use it in an emergency. What apparently Government wants here is
that people must learn to put off all their lights and electronic gadgets
whenever electricity comes alive for a little while again and again
after scheduled and un-scheduled cuts. This is the best way to practice
“limits to degenerating growth” and set examples for developed
nations not to waste their electricity 24 hours a day every week.
Developed nations, therefore, are going into a pit of modernity with
inherent threats of ever more chances of electrocution due to
continuous supply of deadly electric currents. Such free use and
supply of electricity is dangerous for the precious life of every Indian
citizen. Indian Government knows it fully well.
In India, threat of electrocution is much lesser because it is
provided to urban areas only about 05 to 06 hours a day, effectively
speaking. Therefore, the threat of electrocution is reduced with a boon
for longer and safer life for common Indian citizens and individuals.
This shows how really caring the Indian Government is! One wonders
if India intends to enter into the nuclear power generation also only in
this too caring a way.
Even during the 05 to 06 hours a day of palpitating electric
supply, it keeps coming and going every 15 to 30 minutes in order to
ensure safety and security of the people using it. Such caring electric
supply is also giving people training in national defence. This training
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 26
will come handy at times of warfare and bombardment by an enemy
country. People thus become well trained for “black outs” during
This electric rigmarole as a child’s play is carried on so
enthusiastically by our technicians and electricity linemen that it
ensures fully the quick discharge of inverter batteries at home and
offices in view of repeated defence training through recurring “black
outs”. Therefore, the electricity generation pattern and its intermittent
supply is also helping employment generation by providing ample
opportunities to expansion of inverter and battery production units.
The connection between them is growing day by day.
Education in Intuition and Logic
Aforesaid water and electricity perspective is closely linked to
educational priorities of India. In view of governmental stress more
on saving electricity than on using it, our belief in the development of
intuitive power of children is also emerging very clearly. Indian
Government is providing repeated and ample opportunities for self-
styled meditation specially when unscheduled electricity cuts take
place not only during the day but also at night. This is obvious
because above mentioned water and electricity saving does not allow
children even to study under the street light. Hence, there is no other
option but to go for meditation only. This helps them grow vastly
their intuitive power. As such, they pass their various examinations
through perspiration, inspiration, meditation and intuition! A highly
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 27
visionary population, indeed, is on the anvil in the sixtieth year of
India’s independence. India has a very bright future especially
through water and electricity projects of Government of India. What
to talk of the nuclear aspect then? It is also likely to go for similar
type of a very bright future!!!
The best part of this Governmental policy of learning through
perspiration and inspiration emerges when they teach to save what is
not there at all. In other words, Indian citizens learn to save electricity
although it is not with them fully for about 17 to 18 hours a day.
Graphical Savings in Banks
This training in developing a habit to save energy, electricity
and water is having multi-fold dimensions. This can also lead to very
strong financial base for the Indian nation. Such a continuous training
from their childhood, teaches our unemployed youth how to save
income without earning anything much! That is why our national
savings in the banks are now having an upward graph with
unparalleled positive magnitudes. Indians thus learn to save through
logic. They have learnt to create from nothing and that is what logic is
about! Saving energy, water, electricity and income is necessary even
though we may not be having them with us fully and permanently.
Yet, one wonders whether electricity can be put in a bank to be used
when needed! This policy of electricity saving may protect it from
ongoing electric thefts as well.
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 28
Indian Revenue and Income Tax
This is combined with Indian Revenue and Income Tax
kaleidoscope also. There are only a few big business houses that are
known not to be paying their taxes fully through maintaining multiple
level of accounts and projections. This is possible only in the private
sector and also in the public undertakings. Otherwise, in the area of
governmental and semi-governmental employees in thousands of
institutions, all levied taxes have to be paid to government. No
duplicate accounts can be maintained here.
However, in this area of salaried people in the government and
semi-government concerns and institutions, salaries are about five to
six times less vis-à-vis the private concerns and the corporate sector.
In comparison to equivalent jobs in developed countries like United
States, United Kingdom and Canada etcetera, salaries in India in
private and corporate sector are about four to five times less. While in
the public and governmental sector, salaries are about ten times less.
Despite this situation, taxes appear to be five to ten times higher in
terms of simple and objective mathematical calculations. Despite such
a pattern of taxes and salaries, Indian Government has to face
tremendous challenges in the generation of funds for national
Interestingly, a university teacher who gets around 30,000
thousand rupees salary per month in India will get nearly $ 5,000 per
month in a university in United States or Canada. This will mean
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 29
about rupees 2, 00,000 per month. Out of this monthly amount, about
60, 000 rupees will be given to taxes to the US or Canadian
governments. Their, even today, one can get a reasonable house on
monthly rent of about $ 1,000 and a brand new car for a small family
for about $ 2,000. Daily expense per person in United States comes to
be between $ 20 to $ 50 on an average.
In India, a person who gets a salary of 30,000 thousand rupees
per month, will be giving nearly 5,000 rupees for house rent every
month. A small car will cost him rupees 2, 00,000. His daily expense
per person will be between rupees 200 to 500. On this amount of
salary, an Indian citizen pays taxes to the tune of about 5,000 rupees
monthly after all the maximum savings and so-called rebates. Hence,
even the magnitude of taxes in India is also superlative in a peculiar
This simple and day to day mathematics is making Indians go
berserk. Their appear to be emerging prospects of a civil war in India
in view of such situations.
What does it signify? It shows discrepancy, imbalance, matter
of fact ways of the Indian Government and its advisors and experts.
They don’t see the common citizen while formulating their policies.
They are more involved in their theoretical excellence vis-à-vis other
international conceptualisations and practices. They are more
concerned with presenting a beautiful picture on paper and print.
Hyperbolic surveys are entered into and their explanations are
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 30
presented – and policies are formulated. Standards are also set for
action mostly on paper.
One very popular example of such performance of Indian
Governmental institutions can be seen in the actual functioning of
Bhartiya Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL).
Mobile Communication and Networking
This logic of improvisation and creation from without has
provided great support and strength to the communication networking
of the Indian Government. One small sample of success in this field
can be seen in the mobile phones networking of Bharat Sanchar
Nigam Limited (BSNL). This example is merely a tip of the iceberg.
The reality is, however, profound and even vast and massive. What is
this real instance of success? This is a continuous paradigm.
Recurring specially in smaller towns and border areas. Using BSNL
Cellone then becomes a matter of pride for common people. These
Cellone connections leads to marvellous responses form BSNL when
mobile numbers are dialled. This becomes a spectacular exercise in
ringing literary music!
“Try later”, “…not answering”, “Network busy”, “Error in
connection”, “Cannot allowed”, “Out of range”, “User unavailable”
etcetera. Recurrence of such things by themselves becomes rhapsody
Despite all this mis-management and policy dis-orientation,
India is still the best among all other developing and poorer nations of
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 31
Asia, Africa and Latin America (AALA). This, indeed, is a commonly
South Asian and AALA Countries’ Challenges
Poverty, pollution, proliferation of armaments, increasing
population, drinking water scarcity, unemployment, globalisation’s
onslaught, mutual and other nuclear threats, modern technology and
illiteracy etcetera are the major problems in South Asian and AALA
nations alongwith modern terrorism. These troubles further lead to
other mutual conflicts, tensions and skirmishes. At times, such
problems and conflicts result into massive mutual warfare as well –
causing vast destruction of precious human lives and material
valuable property. Most of these conflicts and challenges become ever
more complex and permanent in nature with every effort of resolving
For example, terrorism in India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Nepal
is turning into one of the most disastrous phenomena to deal with in
South Asia, South West Asia and West Asia. This problem has now
engulfed United States, United Kingdom, Italy and Australia also in a
very serious way.
The situation is such that political systems in almost all South
Asian, South West Asian and West Asian countries have failed
completely. Mafia is freely functioning while, specially in India,
judiciary is becoming hyper-active – crossing its own limits and
framework. On the one hand mafia is filling the power vacuum
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 32
created by political perversion and, on the other hand, judiciary is
functioning like an executive branch of government. Is it advisable
that each branch of government does not function on its own and its
work may be done by another branch? In these countries, only the
politicians, mafia dons and business community are prosperous. All
others are suffering from one or the other kind and level of poverty.
The poverty thresh-hold or the poverty line in India is generally an
income below 45 Rupees a day, i.e., about 1350 Rupees a month. Al
those earning this much or less than this amount are much below the
poverty line. About 25% of Indian population is therefore below the
poverty line. While, in reality, even those who earn even ten times of
this amount every month, they are also very poor with highly
dissatisfactory standards of living. In this sense, nearly 60%
population of India is very poor. In other words, about sixty crore or
600 billion Indian population is very poor. One wonders whether
Indian political decision makers ever see this reality.
Such is the case in other South Asian countries also. They are
actually worse than India. All the data mentioned above are also,
indeed, commonly known to all concerned based on various
governmental and nongovernmental sources.
Method and Purpose
The purpose of writing this book is three fold. First, it is to
bring together author’s scattered strands of ideas and thought together
into one volume. Secondly, it is to put forward quite a few un-written
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 33
and hither-to-fore un-spoken perspectives on issues like poverty, basic
needs thesis, proliferation of armaments, ecology and environment
and population explosion vis-à-vis questions of development and
human security and globalisation etcetera. Thirdly, the purpose is to
bring forth a meaningful debate on the ideas presented in this work.
The major present-day issues in national and international
contexts are discussed within the larger framework of the Gandhian
philosophy and its relevance today. This is being done here in an
analytical mould while giving more importance to ideas and themes in
comparison to statistical and mathematical data.
More space is given here to certain issues like globalisation,
Kashmir question, Human Security and other such aspects while
issues like poverty, pollution, proliferation of armaments and
population are generally discussed mainly in relation to other detailed
perspectives. Various issues that are not discussed into separate
chapters do show their lesser importance at all. These issues will be
taken up in a different volume latter. In the present volume, main
emphasis is on India, South Asia, Conflict Resolution and World
Peace including Human Security.
India and other AALA countries, specially South Asian
nations, face so many other challenges also alongwith above
mentioned anomalies of poverty and development. Some of these
challenges are common to all countries of the world, specially the
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 34
problems of proliferation of armaments, terrorism, human security,
globalisation, pollution, ecological decay and expanding mosaic of
diversified conflicts among and within nations. This set of problems
and challenges is further leading to emerging gaps, peculiar
syndromes and varied discrepancies between ever rising expectations,
technological requirements, existing social, economic and political
traditions and levels of development in AALA countries.
The only way to see the ‘light of day’ appears to be the road to
nonviolence, love and peace. Such a nonviolent option is commonly
known as the Gandhian way. Whether the world wants this or not –
there is no other way. As Gandhi often said’ “Peace is the only way”.
Gandhi’s way is straight and his path is seen easily. But it is difficult
because complexities of modern life make it so.
If political leaders and other official and non-official
functionaries of political systems in AALA countries keep on adding
one after the other complexity upon complications, then these
political systems will never be able to come to fruition for posterity.
Set standards, set goals, set and simplified methods will have to be
established in reality and not just on paper and files. Most of the
governments and leaders in these countries, specially in South Asia,
are ‘paper governments and paper leaders’ quite like ‘paper tigers’.
They will have to rise above their ‘paper nature’. Otherwise, the
present state of affairs will continue to haunt poor people and poor
nations of these countries forever – a situation where only politicians
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 35
are minting money and mainly they are becoming prosperous at the
cost of their own fellow poor citizens.
Further continuance of these paradoxical circumstances is
going to pose a very serious threat to those who are prosperous today.
They are soon likely to face a full circle civil war like the well known
‘French Guillotine’! This is not too far away. It is going to happen in
next ten years in South Asia. West Asia and South West Asia is
already suffering from it. Hence, let the political system in South Asia
and AALA countries start functioning, otherwise, as a political
scientist I can predict, only just about a decade is left to set things
right. No one is going to gain from a ‘guillotine’ and a civil war.
There is need for effective regeneration of political system in
AALA countries – such a system which is away from present-day
well established perversions of politics. This is possible only through
realising of the Gandhian values of nonviolence, truth and modernity.
Gandhi, essentially, is not against modernity, machines,
mechanisation and technology. No doubt Gandhi has criticised them
vehemently a number of times. Even then he is very much in favour
of these tools of modernisation.
Concurrent global trends are also somewhat Gandhian in
nature as regards the benevolent aims of globalisation and
liberalisation towards excellence, good governance, and evolving of a
civil society the world over. In other words, the ultimate aim is to do
away with the labyrinthine system of governments into evolution of a
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 36
civil society based on nonviolence because there is no room for
violence in anything even distantly related to a civilised world.
Violence of any sort is primarily linked to inhumanity, illiteracy,
crime, uncivil and animal like. Violence is never human. State and
government are institutions largely based on brute force and infliction
of fear on its inhabitants and citizens. As such, movement towards
civil society is a Gandhian aim while looking forward to a globalised
world. The world has to move only in the Gandhian direction if it has
to survive and prosper.
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 37
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 38
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 39
Mahatma Gandhi has seldom written about strictly modern
process of globalisation. He could not because present-day
globalisation was far away in his own time. He has still reflected on
related areas of international federation, world peace, exploitation of
the weak by the stronger nation, freedom, equality, dignity of the
individual, primacy of the individual in a socio-political system,
mechanisation, media and trade etcetera. As such, Gandhi has a vision
for unity of mankind, universal brotherhood and “…living association
of human beings…” the world over.
Similarly, contemporary globalisation encompasses
phenomenological paradigmatic evolution of technological trends
from the late-nineteenth to twenty-first century in the fields of
information, communication, multi-media, trade, commerce, finance,
international institutions / relations, national development, political
systems, and ecological patterns etcetera.
A common special feature of these predispositions anent
globalisation is the apparent unity of mankind found, among
others, in the “coming together” of even distant nations through
technology regulated regimes of internet, satellites, supersonic jets,
multinational corporations and constantly receding international
trade barriers. The modern surging ahead in multi-media
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 40
technology is bringing in its wake a global transformation. Entire
world has now become a “Global Village"1
International organisations and kindred activity towards
common global ends of sharing, knowing and coming together
through mutual excellence are manifest processes of “globalisation”.
The “Global Village” phenomenon is obviously an integral
part of globalisation. Marshall McLuhan coined this term “Global
Village” in 1960s to express his belief that electronic communication
would unite the world by brining together diverse cultures and distant
people of the world. Therefore, global village does not really
represent the “shrinking of the world” but widening of the electronic
instantaneous communication network for brining people into
togetherness. Nearly, all information and communication rests upon
the click of a “mouse”! Globally established really open society
without any walls is in the “offing”. This Global Village is very
different from the decentralised village-based economy and polity
preferred by India’s Father of the Nation – Mohandas Karmachand
Gandhi. For him:
• It is the individual(s) who compose a village, town,
city, municipality, metropolis, cosmopolis, megalopolis,
necropolis, state, nation-state and international society of nations.2
• It is their (individuals’) vows of satya (truth), ahimsa
(nonviolence), astaeya (non-stealing), aparigraha (non-
possession) and brahmcharya (chastity) that characterise the
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 41
foundation of the larger socio-political and economic edifice.
These are also known as panch yama of Patanjali’s Yogsutra.
• Gandhi begins with the individual in the village and
ends up with the individual in the comity of nations.3
• Discipline, vows and values are accorded highest place
in Gandhi’s “experiments with truth”. If these values and the
individual are “intact” in any system of technology and politics,
Gandhi is ready to embrace it fondly although he is generally
known to have written in his Hind Swaraj, “ I cannot recall a
single good point in connection with machinery”.4
The current movement towards Globalisation also appears to
be having a number of APPARENT Gandhian values such as:
1) global unity and integration,
2) fast growing antipathy to mass-violence (at least in
principle on a wider plain) specially in the aftermath of the
terrorist attack on New York’s trade centre on 11 September
3) an evidently receding trend in ideological clashes
among nations (specially between liberalism and socialism),
4) globally expanding mosaic of acceptance of the
Gandhian principle of nonviolence among nations and their
leaders (see specially India’s response and patience to terrorist
violence and attacks) and
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 42
5) end of or doing away with “war as an instrument of
national policy” at least among countries of the European Union.
In this age of Globalisation and increasing regional
cooperation, Canada appears to be functioning like a great catalyst in
the observance of Gandhi’s principle of the fusion of precept and
practice for attaining higher aims of human welfare. Gandhi’s
“practical-idealism” is reflected in a number of projects financed by
the Canadian Government in India and other developing and poorer
Canadians are also extending their hands of friendship to
Indian Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs). Canadians have
helped NGOs like Manav Kalyan Sansthan, and Conflict-
transformation and Peace Awareness Gandhian Society of India
(COPEAP) to deal with the menace of landmines in border areas
during 1999 to 2000.6
In this sense, at least, globalisation is certainly adding to the
solution of numerous challenges facing the humanity at large.
This hypothesis, however, needs to be systemically analysed.
Certain pointers arise. What else is Globalisation? What are the
‘other’ major characteristics of “globalisation”? Is globalisation really
necessary? Has it really become a part of our lives? Are there any
disparaging indicators of globalisation? Does globalisation serve the
cause of billions of poor people in Afro-Asian and Latin American
(AALA) countries? What is the relationship of globalisation with the
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 43
five “Ps”, namely, Population, Poverty, Pollution, Proliferation of
armaments and Peace of the world?
The Other Side of Globalisation
Gobalisation has its other aspects too. This refers to the
primacy of technology in the process of globalisation and its
First, it is technology and ideology. Secondly, it is
obsolescence in technology. Thirdly, it is inherent exploitation of
poorer people through technology. Fourthly, it is the environmental
threats through technology. Fifthly, modern technology is blind to
human values. Sixthly, this technology is leading to social and
political disruptions through utter materialism and ever-growing quest
for modern armaments. Seventhly, modern technology is creating
several problems like population explosion, poverty and
unemployment etcetera for poorer nations. Last but not least, it is
believed that globalisation is a continuous process towards a “new
and just world order”.7
Will it be a new world order or just a movement for inception
of a captive mind society and “think police state” of George Orwell?.8
Indeed, these posers need to be examined here, especially, on the
basis of Gandhi’s Indian Home Rule or Hind Swaraj first published in
1908. Gandhi has provided a very severe critique of industrialism,
modernisation, railways, allopathy and modern parliamentary
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 44
1. Science of techniques or technology has entered the
realms of meta-rationality and meta-materialism focussing on
speed, comfort, efficiency, accuracy, information, fusion and
fission leaving behind the philosophy of science based on twin
parameters of knowledge and reason. Technology is racing ahead
of “time” and “space” in the twenty-first century after cutting
across the limits of “philosophy” and biases of “ideology” from
sixteenth to twentieth centuries.
There are countless examples with latent and manifest
interconnections. One invention and concomitant development(s)
lead(s) to a further action, reaction and causal outcome(s).
• From the age of gunpowder, bullets and bombs to imperialism.
• From the age of aeroplanes, atom bombs, machine guns, radio,
telephone and electricity to colonialism, neo-colonialism and
effective “socialism of the vanguard of proletariat”.
• From the age of light machine guns, AK-47s, AK-57s, nuclear
arsenals, inter-continental ballistic missiles, cyber-warfare,
global terrorist network, satellites, computers, information
explosion and information dissemination multi-national
regimes to disintegration of erstwhile Soviet Union,
universalisation of technologies functioning alike in every
type of political system and globalisation through World
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 45
Trade Organisation, United Nations, European Union and
multi-national corporations (MNCs) etcetera.
2. Fast growing rate of obsolescence in modern
technology is generating a storehouse of dumps upon dumps of waste
material. It is not only the storage aspect but also the question of the
need for keeping pace with “technological convulsions”. It is very
obvious when ink cartridge of a desktop printer bought today would
not be available in another two years time. Even if it would be
available, users of the latest DTP flash will look down upon the
earlier DTP model and its cartridges.
• This trend is there in foreign trade and international
politics also. Whenever there emerges – on an average,
every second year – a new version of an aircraft and
warplane in a developed country, the old one is either sold
cheaply or “gifted” to a developing or poorer nation for its
“state-of-the-art” national security and defence from a
• This craze for the “latest” is visible in academics and in
the modern “love life” as well. Knowledge is becoming
not so much of virtue and wisdom but more of an
“amount, quantity and quality of information”. This
collectivity of information is now being regarded as
knowledge! Older and classical masterpieces of literature
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 46
in almost every subject or discipline are treated as
• The materialistic process of globalisation looks askance at
the science of spiritualism. Even the modern “love” is
increasingly becoming a “quick fix” affair. “Time” and
“space” are needed and time and space are scarce!9
dichotomy? Man is turning subservient to technology. An
unseen Frankenstein is hovering over us and we do not
want to recognise its shadows sapping our reflexes!
• George Orwell’s 1984 and its “think police” appears to be
in the offing.10
He shows in this novel that a time would
come when the entire world will be integrated into three
continents with the withering away of modern States. This
will be a situation of continental sovereignty and not the
sovereignty of nations or States. The network of
information dissemination will be so penetrating that it
will be able to detect what citizens of a continent would be
thinking. As such, whenever there will be a digression in
the prescribed standards of thinking the rulers will send
their Think Police to arrest the violator of thinking-codes!
Is globalisation moving in that direction?
3. “Technology” originates from two Greek words
“tekhne” and “logos” i.e. “craft” or “art” and “science” of craft and
art for practical purposes. Concise Oxford Dictionary brands it as “the
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 47
application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes”.11
“science” is away from “good” or “bad”. Does it mean that “little
thinking” goes into scientific use of a technology? How dangerous
such technology can be!
That is why technology is generally silent about the needs of
an individual due to implicit vested interests of “technological
sustenance” and incessant expansion. Modern technology, otherwise,
cannot work profitably. As such, individual needs and comforts are
converted into a requirement of masses. Only then technology works
wonders through mass-production, mass media, mass-democracy,
mass-education, mass-culture, massive-warfare and destruction
etcetera. This massive and top-heavy technology is very sweetly
spreading automotive glamour, comfort and efficiency across an
international network of poor nations via multinational corporations
and “needy” governments.
4. Despite widespread governmental and international
organisational environmental protection machinery, rationality of
human ingenuity is perspiring to reach even the “space” environs to
bring viruses like Respiratory Virus (SARS) and Acquired Immuno
Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) etcetera. All these viruses are lately
known to have travelled from Space through satellites and space
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 48
Technology is, therefore, polluting not only this spaceship
earth but also Space with “rebound impact”. One wonders what type
of rationality is this?
It is known in the vernacular that modern transport system and
air conditioning equipments are breaking the ozone layer time and
again as a result of adding chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) to atmosphere.
It is causing several skin diseases and ultra violet radiation. Still the
world is continuing with what is really not required in the present
The need of the time is to realise the “end or limits of
rationality” where human beings can live safely.
The Gandhian thought has a ready-made prescription for these
ills of modernity. What we require is simply to evolve a bridge
between materialism of the West and “moralism” of the Orient.12
5. Modern technology is generally blind to human values
since “science” is “value-free”. One instance relating to prevention of
AIDS may suffice in this matter. Most of the governments use mass
media to drive home a message that it is “necessary to use condoms to
prevent AIDS” today. None of them stress the need to enhance power
of self-restraint! Why? Clearly if they do so then who will buy
condoms? People are, thus, being encouraged towards ever-greater
“indulgence” in favour of technological and related vested interests!
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 49
The essence of social cohesiveness is being forgotten.
Indulgence in social immorality is becoming a fashionable act and a
social norm for everyone to follow and cherish. Is this a sign of
“modernity and technological advancement”?
6. Social disruption and promiscuousness is transforming
into a global phenomenon in the name of technological
“professionalism”! Human relationships are being projected into
biological and emotional needs through Internet and mass media.
Does this signify a feather in the development of civilisation? This
author has experimented with Internet and mass media for about five
years to pose this pointer now.
Familial fragmentation, especially, in the developed world is
so apparent that it is leading to mercurious dimensions. This trend is
infectious. In the name of technology, this inclination is widening
with the pace of human thought and imagination. Dissatisfied men
and women are seeking solace in momentary information
dissemination and exchange of ideas.
Is it really “modernisation”?
7. Modern technology is also creating several problems like
population explosion, poverty and unemployment etcetera for poorer
Increasing birth rates, decreasing death rates, illiteracy and
mass-deprivation of education and displacement of labour and people
-- as a result of technological efficiency syndrome -- leading to
widespread unemployment etcetera are factors responsible for
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 50
multiplying population among poorer nations of the world. The world
population is about 6.6 billion today. Nearly 70% population of the
world is living in the so-called third world developing and “under-
developed” nations. These nations have also about 70% natural
resources of the world as well!
Wide spread poverty and gross starvation among poorer
nations requires their poor population to go for God-given fertility to
empower their economic prospects and enlighten their sources of
easily available natural entertainment or relaxation. Any other type of
“development” is beyond their perception until “development” affects
their lives in any “meaningful” terms.
More than one billion population in the world is starving
Not more than one billion dollars are required for this
purpose. If the entire world goes fully vegetarian then this problem
can be solved almost “instantly”, as it were.15
Such a “sojourn” needs
commitment, devotion, sense of conviction and massive media-
attention. Who will bell the cat? This is, indeed, a difficult question.
8. Technology requiring globalisation for its mere sustenance,
as such, has become a gargantuan bird of prey leading to moral
degradation and uncalled for exploitation of natural resources
including manpower. This is disturbing a natural order of things,
human beings and inherent system engulfing even the rule of law.
One of the most glaring stances of such fundamental failure can be
seen in wide spread professionalisation of terrorism in the world.16
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 51
Gandhi on Globalisation
The prospects of present-day globalisation in the Gandhian
traditions of thought and practice are not very difficult to see today. A
few quotations from Gandhi’s writings may help open Platonic
“shadows of the cave” as it were. Writings and sayings of Mahatma
Gandhi and majority of commentators and critics of Gandhian
philosophy have shown not only inherent but also explicit
significance of the idea of oneness of humanity, individual’s dignity
and self-reliance for Swaraj in Gandhi’s practical-idealist perspective
of politics. Gandhi has never regarded himself as a system builder.
His experiments, however, have led him to evolve – for several
commentators and analysts like S. C. Gangal, Mahendra Kumar,
Raghavan Iyer, Savita Singh, Ramjee Singh, Johan Galtung and
others – a Predominantly Nonviolent State as his second best Ideal
and a Nonviolent Society as his ultimate Ideal for establishing a
vibrantly creative global and just political ethos where cooperation,
equality and nonviolence has replaced exploitation, inequality and
bloody warfare and mutual hatred.
Similar ideas are currently being propagated and discussed by
internationally acclaimed authors and statesmen alike even if they are
apparently not so much directly influenced by Gandhi.17
What is Gandhi’s concept of holistic process of globalisation?
It is a practical-idealist concept. Gandhi called himself a practical-
idealist. Gandhi has never written or said much about globalisation in
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 52
particular as a term with specific meaning that is being attached to it
currently. Yet he had foreseen almost all major trends and strands of
globalisation today in a positive and creative mould. For him:
It is impossible for one to be an
internationalist without being a
nationalist… Our nationalism can be no
peril to other nations inasmuch as we
will exploit none just as we will allow
none to exploit us.18
The satyagrahi must maintain personal
contact with people of his locality. This
living association of human beings is
essential to a genuine democracy.19
I have no doubt that unless big nations
shed their desire for exploitation and the
spirit of violence of which war is the
natural expression and the atom bomb
the inevitable consequence, there is no
hope for peace in the world.20
Mechanisation is good when hands are
too few for the work intended to be
accomplished. It is evil where there are
more hands than acquired…21
I entertain no fads in this regard [i.e.,
his avowed opposition to mechanisation
and capital-intensive technology]. All
that I desire is that every able-bodied
citizen should be provided with gainful
employment. If electricity and even
automatic energy could be used
without…creating unemployment, I will
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 53
not raise my little finger against it…. If
the Government could provide full
employment to our people without the
help of Khadi hand-spinning and hand-
weaving industries, I shall be prepared
to wind up my constructive programme
in this regard.22
Under Swaraj (self-rule) of my dream,
there is no necessity of arms at all.23
To reject foreign manufactures merely
because they are foreign, and to go on
wasting national time and money on the
promotion in one’s own country of
manufactures for which it is not suited
would be criminal folly, and a negation
of the Swadeshi spirit.24
Decentralisation of political and
economic power, reduction in the
functions and importance of State,
growth of voluntary associations,
removal of dehumanising poverty and
resistance to injustice … will bring life
within the understanding of man and
make society and the State
democratic….. The nonviolent State
will cooperate with an international
organisation based on nonviolence.
Peace will come not merely by
changing the institutional forms but by
regenerating those attitudes and ideals
of which war, imperialism, capitalism
and other forms of exploitation are the
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 54
[I am not against all international trade,
though imports should be limited to
things that are necessary for our growth
but which India -- and for that matter
any poorer country -- cannot herself
produce and export of things of real
benefit to foreigners.]26
Gandhian Prospects of Globalisation
On the basis of the above-mentioned parts of this research
work, an attempt is being made here to evolve a Gandhian strategy for
prospective road to globalisation especially in the light of quite a few
existing relatively harmful trends and patterns. Gandhi is one with
former United States (US) President Bill Clinton’s statement: “ the
central reality of our time is that the advent of globalisation and the
revolution in information technology have magnified both the
creative and destructive potential of every individual, tribe and
nation on our planet.” 27
Gandhi has a holistic approach to human problems, in which
reform or reconstruction should concentrate, more or less at the same
time, at all levels of human existence and activity, i. e, individual,
local, national and international levels.
Globalisation is an ever-accelerating trend of modern
“civilisation”. Gandhi, going much beyond Bill Clinton, finds in this
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 55
I. “…. people living in it make bodily welfare the object
II. “…. If people of a certain country, who have hitherto
not been in the habit of wearing much clothing, boots
etc., adopt European clothing, they are supposed to
have become civilised out of savagery.
III. “…. [Ever increasing mechanisation] is called a sign of
IV. “Formerly, only a few men wrote valuable books.
Now, anybody writes and prints anything he likes and
poisons people’s minds.
V. “…. As men progress,… [they] will not need the use of
their hands and feet…. Everything will be done by
VI. “…. Formerly, when people wanted to fight…they
measured between them their bodily strength; now it is
possible to take away thousands of lives by one
man…. This is civilisation.
VII. “….. [Earlier] men were made slaves under physical
compulsion. Now they are enslaved by the temptation
of money and of the luxuries that money can buy.
VIII. “ There are now diseases of which people never dreamt
before, and an army of doctors is engaged in finding
out theirs, and so hospitals have increased. This is a
test of civilisation.
IX. “…. Today [not earlier when special messengers were
needed to send a letter], anyone can abuse his fellow
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 56
by means of a letter [of email] for one penny. True, at
the same cost, one can send one’s thanks also.
X. “…now, [people] require something to eat every two
hours so that they have hardly leisure for anything else
XI. “….. This civilisation is such that one has only to be
patient and it will be self-destroyed.” 28
Gandhi has said and written anent vast areas of life and human
concerns. In this context, he has made a very bold exposition in his
Hind Swaraj or Indian Home Rule. On 24 April 1933, he says – on
page 04 in the beginning of this booklet, “I would like to say the
diligent reader of my writings and to others who are interested in
them that I am not at all concerned with appearing to be consistent.
In my search after Truth I have discarded many ideas and learnt many
new things. Old as I am in age, I have no feeling that I have ceased to
grow inwardly or that my growth will stop at the dissolution of the
flesh. What I am concerned with is my readiness to obey the call of
truth, my God, from moment to moment, and, therefore, when
anybody finds any inconsistency between any two writings of mine, if
he still has faith in my sanity, he would do well to choose the later of
the two on the same subject.”29
Real globalisation for Gandhi is possible only through Panch
yama of Patanjali, i.e., nonviolence, non-stealing, Truth, non-
possession and chastity. Global though sectoral reformation
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 57
programme for regeneration of every individual is needed for
balancing the negative effects of the process of globalisation.
It was Gandhi’s conviction that individuals – of whom the
nations and global communities are constituted – must have priority
in any scheme of reform or reconstruction.
Yet another idea in Gandhi’s scheme is that any durable
programme of reconstruction must be marked by a measure of
coordination and integration at various levels of social action through
voluntary effort. Press and media have a very significant role in this
sphere. Media, for Gandhi, must be having unmistakable autonomy
and self-reliance with little dependence on advertisement revenue.
The cultivation of nonviolence by the individual and the
establishment of non-exploitative economy at different levels will
lead eventually to the emergence of what he calls nonviolent
nationalism. Ultimately, these nonviolent nations will function under
a world federation or international organisation on the basis of:
• Political and economic independence without any type of
colonialism or imperialism and exploitation.
• Voluntary effort with dedication and commitment.
• Goals and means not imposed from above but developed from
• Equality for all. As such every nation must feel as tall as the
• Decentralisation at political and economic spheres.
• General disarmament.
• Unilateral disarmament.
• International society as a voluntary organisation.
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 58
• Common good of all.
• Bigger nations ready to “give” to the smaller nations.
• Amicable and peaceful settlement of all disputes.
• Small international police as long as the world is able to develop a
general belief in nonviolence.
• Free, open, alert and impartial Media.
• Preponderance to mutual sense of service.30
Such a blue print should be the guiding spirit of present-day
globalisation. In this pattern of globalisation, the individual has
specially a two-fold significance for Gandhi.
First, proper education and training to the individual for
understanding and imbibing the values of a normal society. A normal
fraternity, for Gandhi, is one where development does not pose
diverse types of threats to the individual and humanity. For evolving
such a normal course of life for true globalisation, a Global Education
Order must be established through value-related and need based
education. Nearly all aspects of human life are to be covered in this
programme ranging from material, moral, emotional and cultural to
spiritual needs of the individual. The individuality, creativity, identity
and voluntary efforts have to be the fundamental terms of reference in
the launching of such a global education order.
Secondly, Gandhi emphasises the role of the individual in
decision-making and in sharing the national and international
responsibilities. There is no place for undemocratic or authoritarian
regimes in Gandhi’s agenda for globalisation. To steer clear of
undemocratic or authoritarian tendencies, Gandhi suggests two more
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 59
correctives of (i) limited State power and (ii) socio-economic
decentralisation. As regards the former, Gandhi is one with
Thoureau’s principle that “that government is best which governs the
To quote Gandhi:
I look upon an increase in the power of
the state with the greatest fear
because…it does the greatest harm to
mankind by destroying individuality
which lies at the root of all progress.32
In order to curb emergence of authoritarianism, the size and
role of police and military, for Gandhi, has to be limited to dealing
with thieves, robbers, raiders from without and a few emergencies
only. It would be better if police and military perform largely the role
of a body of reformers.33
Gandhi looks forward to the emergence of a
world where “no state has its military.”34
Socio-economic decentralisation is yet another corrective
measure to curb undemocratic tendencies. Gandhi’s global vision
moves upward from the individual and a federation of village
republics to an international federation of nations in a society marked
by voluntary cooperation and decentralisation. Aldous Huxley, while
supporting Gandhi, says, “…democratic principles cannot be
effectively put into practice unless authority in a community has been
decentralised to the utmost extent possible.”35
The modern inter-linking of people and economies under
contemporary globalisation must give careful attention to the
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 60
Gandhian pointers in this age of technology for keeping away from
the pejorative aspects of concurrent science and development patterns.
Otherwise, globalisation will prove to be a “nine days wonder” only.
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 61
References and Notes
V. A. Patil and D. Gopal, Politics of Globalisation, (Authors Press, Delhi: 2002), pp. 01 –
11. “The term ‘globalisation’ was first coined in the 1980s, but the concept stretches back
decades, and even centuries, if you count the trading empires by Spain, Portugal, Britain and
Holland. The resolve of Western states to build and strengthen international ties in the
aftermath of World War II laid the groundwork for today’s globalisation. It has brought
diminishing national borders and the fusing of individual national markets. The fall of
protectionist barriers has stimulated free movement of capital and paved the way for
companies to set up several bases around the world. …. Supporters of globalisation say it has
promoted information exchange, led to greater understanding of other cultures and allowed
democracy to triumph over autocracy. Critics say that even in developed world, not everyone
has been a winner. The freedoms granted by globalisation are leading to increased insecurity
in workplace….. Many see globalisation as a primarily economic phenomenon, involving the
increasing interaction, or integration, of national economic systems through the growth in
international trade, investment and capital flows…, one can also point to rapid increase in
cross-border social, cultural and technological exchange as part of the phenomenon of
globalisation. The sociologist, Anthony Giddens, defines globalisation as a decoupling of
space and time, emphasising … instantaneous communication, knowledge and culture …
shared around the world simultaneously.” See pp 01 – 02. World Trade Organisation
(WTO), International Monetary Fund (IMF), International Bank for Reconstruction and
Development IBRD) or World Bank, United Nations (UN) and Organisation for Economic
Cooperation and Development (OECD) etcetera are a few major international organisations
regulating the process of globalisation.
Mahatma Gandhi places an individual at a prime spot in the social, political and economic
setup in society. There is a widespread misconception that Gandhi stresses “de-emphasis of
individual self in pursuit of higher goals.” David P. Brash and Charles P. Webel, Peace and
Conflict Studies (Sage, California: 2002), p. 05. Individual’s self-knowledge is the highest
goal and the best instrument to bring inner, national and global peace and development for
Gandhi. G. N. Dhawan, The Political Philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi (Navajivan,
Ahmedabad: 1957), Chapters 03 – 07 and pp. 312 – 351.
Young India, 17 June 1926; Harijan, 22 June 1935 and 15 September 1946; M. K. Gandhi,
Hind Swaraj or Indian Home Rule, Navajivan, Ahmedabad: 1938), p. 08, Preface by
Mahadev Desai. See also Raghavan Iyer (ed.), The Moral and Political writings of Mahatma
Gandhi: Truth and Non-violence, Volume – II, (Oxford, London: 1986), p. 181. Gandhi is
against “destructive” and “exploitative” mechanisation only.
See Business Times, April 1998.
Kashmir Times, Daily Excelsior, (both daily newspapers from Jammu, J&K, India),
Hindustan Times, files concerning such programmes in Jammu, Samba, R. S. Pura and
Akhnoor border areas alongwith a few seminars in Udhampur in J&K and also in Nagpur in
Maharashtra in India during 1995 to 2000.
Robert Jackson and Georg Sorensen, Introduction to International Relations (OUP, Oxford:
1999), pp. 206 – 212. See Nicholas Crafts, “Globalisation and Growth in the Twentieth
Century” , IMF Working Paper, WP/0044, Washington DC, April 2000; However, for
Gandhi, globalisation “ is SWARAJ when we learn to rule ourselves ….. But such swaraj
has to be experienced by each one for himself.” G. N. Dhawan, op. cit. n. 2, p. 281. The three
pillars of this one and integrated global world are: (i) It should be nonviolent, (ii) It should be
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 62
non-exploitative and cooperative and (iii) It should be based on the reform, regeneration or
education of the individual, and work its way up to the international and global level. See M.
K. Gandhi, Nonviolence in Peace and War, (Navajivan, Ahmedabad: 1948), Volume – I, pp.
28, 308 – 310. See also The Hindu (New Delhi), 05, 06 and 07 January 2003.
The famous novel 1984 by George Orwell, noted writer of political fiction whose relevant
work was published in 1948.
One wonders whether a “moral doctor” is needed today? This is suggested by Kimberly
Hutchings, International Political Theory: Rethinking Ethics in a Global Era (Sage, London:
1999), pp. 182 –184, see p. 183 particularly.
George Orwell, 1984 (Penguin: 1948), see especially the Appendix of the novel where
characteristics of the “think police” are explained in great detail.
Judy Pearsall (Ed), The Concise Oxford Dictionary (Oxford University Press, New York:
There is need for set global standards and well-established norms under the dynamics of
globalisation. Global Education Pattern (GEP), Global Ethics and Justice (GEJ), Global
Values (GV) etcetera are required to be evolved at regional and global levels despite evident
diversity of society, language and culture in the world. Only then globalisation can really lead
to the Gandhian oneness of humanity and the world. This will be a distinct move towards
justice and dignity of the individual away from dominance and exploitation. Even the current
agenda of research in international politics is moving towards studies on establishing
“justice” in global society. This is how a movement to bridge the gap between ethics and
material development appears to have already begun. See Robert Jackson and Georg
Sorensen, Introduction to International Relations (OUP, Oxford: 1999), pp. 171 – 174.
13 Anurag Gangal, New International Economic Order: A Gandhian Perspective (Chanakya,
Delhi: 1985), Chapter – II, pp. 34 – 64. Also V. T. Patil and D. Gopal, op. cit., n. 1. pp. 07 –
14 Jan Tinbergen, Reshaping the International Order (London: 1977), p. 30, 46. This figure
has currently doubled to nearly 02 billion people starving in the world today. See Brash and
Webel, op. cit. n. 2, p. 498.
15 Jan Tinbergen, Ibid.
16 Anurag Gangal, "Forms of Terrorism", B.P. Singh Sehgal (ed.),
Global Terrorism: Political and Legal Dimensions (Deep and Deep,
New Delhi: 1995). See also Peter Wallensteen, Understanding
Conflict Resolution (Sage, London: 2002), pp. 228 – 230.
17 Bill Clinton, Amartya Sen, Kofi Annan, George Bush, Atal Behari Vajpayee, Tony Blair,
Dalai Lama and so many others. In this age of gross and massive conventional / non-
conventional violence, Gandhi’s nonviolence is becoming highly relevant although it is not
being put to meaningful practice. Gandhi has had little to say about globalisation. He had
certainly written anent international federation of nations of the world.
18 S. C. Gangal, The Gandhian Way to World Peace (Vora, Bombay: 1960), p. 90.
19 G. N. Dhawan, op. cit., n. 2, p. 284. Emphasis added.
20 M. K. Gandhi, op. cit. , n. 7, Volume – II, pp. 163 – 164. Emphasis added.
21 Harijan, 16 November 1939.
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 63
22 Quoted in Ram K. Vepa, New Technology: A Gandhian Concept (New Delhi: 1975), p.
23 S. C. Gangal, “Gandhian Approach to Disarmament” paper presented at a seminar on “
Perspectives on Disarmament” held under the auspices of Gandhi Peace Forum(GPF),
Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, 11 April 1978.
24 From Yervada Mandir ( Navajivan, Ahmedabad: 1933), p. 96 – 97.
25 G. N. Dhawan, The Political Philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi (Ahmedabad: 1957), p. 341.
26 G. N. Dhawan, op. cit., n. 25, p. 96.
27 Brash and Webel, op. cit., n. p. 113. Emphasis added.
28 Raghavan Iyer, op. cit., n. 4., pp. 212 – 214. Parentheses and Emphasis added.
29 Hind Swaraj or Indian Home Rule (Navajivan, Ahmedabad: 1938), p. 04.
30 Anurag Gangal, op. cit., n. 13, pp. 29 – 30.
31 Young India, 02 July 1931.
32 N. K. Bose, Selections from Gandhi (Ahmedabad: 1948), p. 42.
33 M. K. Gandhi, Nonviolence in Peace and War (Ahmedabad: 1948), Volume – I, Chapter –
II and pp. 145, 324. See also S. C. Gangal, The Gandhian Way to World Peace (Vora,
Bombay: 1960), pp. 100 – 101.
34 S. C. Gangal, Ibid. , p. 100.
35 Encyclopaedia of Pacifism, (London: 1937), p. 100.
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 64
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 65
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 66
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 67
Any Kashmir watcher can say that majority of Pakistanis want
to be a part of a “sovereign democratic” Pakistan and not the one
ruled by military dictators. India must assure Pak citizens her full
moral support in realising this vision. Otherwise the Kashmir tangle
will never be solved. Indeed, as such, there are several related
contours anent the Kashmir question especially from a Gandhian
Only about one hundred and sixty years of the history of
Jammu and Kashmir since the Treaty of Amritsar is replete with
instability and blood-bath. This is not a very long time-span in
international politics. It - especially -“instability” generally occurs
from the very inception of a newly established political setup. But
why this blood-bath, time and again? Pakistan’s “non-Islamic”
desire for the merger of entire Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) with
her Motherland is not the reason for it. Even religion and the so-
called “two nation theory” are also not the real cause of it. In effect,
Pakistan means continuous expansion until the goal is reached
specially in the eyes of its rulers. How? It will be seen in the following
pages in this chapter.
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 68
Gandhi Relating to Kashmir
For Pakistan, this precarious situation is necessary for her
sheer existence and endless search of identity. This is also a
GANDHIAN perception not just because a few novices like are
saying so. Instead, Mahatma Gandhi has had very clear views on
diverse dimensions in this matter. The most relevant among
such opinions and Gandhi’s analyses are being reproduced
here in brief in his own words:
--Mahatma Gandhi had given his “consent” to
Indian Government’s defence measures in
Kashmir in 1947 because the Government was
not committed to nonviolence or “pacifism”.1
--For Gandhi, in the absence of a general belief in
nonviolence, it would be well to defend a
nation with all its violent might bravely instead
of surrendering cowardly. 2
--“I am firmly convinced that the Pakistan demand as
put forth by the Muslim League is un-Islamic. I
have not hesitated to call it sinful. Islam stands
for the unity and brotherhood of mankind, not
for disrupting the oneness of the human
--“There may be arguable grounds for maintaining
that Muslims in India are a separate nation. But I have
never heard it said that there are as many nations as
there are religions on Earth.” 4
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 69
--“The ‘two nations’ theory is an untruth. The vast
majority of Muslims of India are converts to Islam
or descendants of converts.” 5
--“As a man of nonviolence cannot forcibly resist the
the proposed partition if the Muslims of India
really insist upon it .But I can never be a
willing party to the vivisection.” 6
--“If eight corers of Muslims desire it, no power on
earth can prevent it, notwithstanding opposition violent
or non-violent.” 7
--“To undo Pakistan by force will be to undo
--“If India and Pakistan are to be perpetual enemies
and go to war against each other, it will ruin both the
Dominions and their hard-won freedom will be soon
lost .I do not wish to see that day.”9
--“To drive every Muslim from India and every
Hindu and Sikh from Pakistan will mean war and
eternal ruin for the Country.”10
--“What is the situation? It was right for the Union
Government to rush troops, even a handful, to
Srinagar. That must save the situation to the
extent of giving Confidence to the
Kashmiris….The result is in the hands
of God . Men can but do or die. I SHALL
NOT SHED A TEAR IF THE LITTLE
UNION FORCE IS WIPED OUT, LIKE THE
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 70
BRAVELY DEFENDING KASHMIR NOR
SHALL I MIND …. MUSLIM, HINDU AND
SIKH COMRADES, MEN AND WOMEN,
DYING AT THEIR POST IN DEFENCE OF
KASHMIR. THAT WILL BE A
GLORIOUS EXAMPLE TO THE REST OF
INDIA.” “Such heroic defence will infect the
whole of India and we will forget that the
Hindus, the Muslims and the Sikhs were ever
--“I am amazed to see that the Government of
Pakistan disputes the veracity of the Union’s
representation to the
UNO and the charge that Pakistan has a hand in the
invasion of Kashmir by the raiders. Mere denials cut
no ice. It was incumbent upon the Indian Union to go
to the rescue of Kashmir when the latter sought its
help in expelling the raiders, and it was the duty of
Pakistan to co-operate with the Union. But while
Pakistan professed its willingness to co-operate, it
took no concrete steps in that direction….”
“A war will bring both the Dominions under the
sway of a third power and nothing can be worse. I
plead for amity. And goodwill…. The understanding
should however be genuine. To harbour internal
hatred may be even worse than war.” 12
An attempt to bring above-mentioned select-references in a
nutshell will focus our attention on the major directions of an obvious
and clear Gandhian perspective in this matter. The major pointers
anent this entire context are apparently very challenging and
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 71
gratifying in nature. They call for wider perception on the part of our
Governments and people. What are these challenging though
highly gratifying Gandhian pointers? Are they having the
potential of enlightening our darker age-in several ways today?
First, Gandhi never wanted partition of India. It was personal
and political rivalry between Jawaharlal Nehru and Mohammed Ali
Jinnah that ultimately led to India’s vivisection while religion, so-
called two nations’ theory and protection of minorities’ interests etc.
became easy instruments used for serving one’s own personal
political aggrandizement through the public postures of fighting for
securing the cause of the people at large.
Secondly, Mahatma Gandhi would opt for violence
of the brave instead of nonviolence of a coward. Even in the current
Indian phase of proxy-war-and-invasion against Indian territory and
people by Pakistani agents/forces, Gandhi would go for-despite his
inner wish to the contrary-effective, brave and obviously violent
retaliation by our Army, Air Force, Navy, Police and other para-
Thirdly, Kashmir (i.e. all the Jammu and Kashmir
including the Pak Occupied Kashmir) rightfully belongs to India.
India, however, must be ready to part with her rightful claim if
magnanimity on her part so requires as the largest and most powerful
country in South Asia. If Pakistan has a few reasonable needs and
wants which India can help satisfy, it must be done with a sense of
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 72
duty towards younger partner. This is also a diplomatic and political
Fourthly, there is no truly original Muslim person
in the entire South Asia. All are converts to Islam. May be it is for this
reason that Pakistan is wrongly directing its national and external
forces of Jihad towards India.
Fifthly, rivalry between India and Pakistan is
continuously attracting other powers to enter the realms of
cooperation and conflict in South Asia. Therefore, this Kashmiri-
bone-of-contention is clearly having its very grave international
Sixthly, the nuclear power and armaments race has
further complicated the India-Pakistan tangle and the larger South
Just see how could Pakistan claim Jammu and
Kashmir when Pakistan-by itself-had always been one small
though important part of the larger whole i.e. India. How can one
part of a whole ask for sovereign rights over another part of a
larger nation like India? Is it possible through persistent violence
and terrorism in Kashmir? The beauteous land of Kashmir, despite
political instability, has mostly been without bloodshed with the
exception of the years after 1989.What a great tragedy of blood bath
is occurring now in Jammu and Kashmir almost on routine or daily
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 73
basis. All this is just because Pakistani Governments and agents do
not want India to move on peacefully towards continuous
development and prosperity. Pakistan is simply proving to be a
nuisance for India. Nuisance is like a bullying attitude which does not
end until the bullied decides to call it a day. This is high time when
India must decide to end this bullying by Pakistan. Otherwise, we
should be ready for our tryst with never ending terror and militancy
on Indian soil because the very existence of any Pakistani
Government and its governors appear to be depending more on Indian
discomfiture and loss of precious Indian lives than on anything else.
How to go for it? There are several ways and options. All of
them have apparently not been considered or tried till now,
especially, the Gandhian ones. We can see and analyze them one by
(1.) Mahatma Gandhi will prefer a nonviolent
action in this regard provided it does not come out of cowardliness
and one’s helplessness. One such suggestion can be of finding more a
political solution to the entire problem than largely a military
option. The first option in this matter is to openly involve our
political scientists for finding political solutions in this regard.
This applies even to current-- about more than a decade old --
militancy in Kashmir. Military, in reality, should not be involved in
dealing with a situation like that of Kashmir. When we have very
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 74
clearly identified forces of invaders only then our military can be
given orders straightway to throw away the aggressors outside the
Indian borders. Otherwise, involvement of military will prove to be
quite fruitless. What we need here is proper development of
infiltration detection and counter-terrorism measures including
commando operations at the behest of Indian Government. Such
“Counter Terrorism Commando Operations” can be planned
regionally and sector-wise in view of strategic location, language and
over-all attitudes of citizens of a particular area. However, at every
stage of development of such counter terrorist forces and at every
possible level of operations, the political scientists of the concerned
area must be continuously consulted because they are the best judge
in all matters relating to political strategy, war, peace, order and
disorder in society etc.
Other social scientists cannot do this job for that sharp
edge of political acumen rests with a political philosopher and
academic only. Politicians are merchants of political perversions in
the main today. Our military and politicians, therefore, need
deeper and real political expertise for having positive and
meaningful scenario before them. Real politics is away from
perversions and manipulations. 13
(2.) Another option for resolving the Kashmir
question is of opening all borders freely for respective citizens of all
the South Asian nations. There is an inherent people’s political-
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 75
psychology in such cases which works and resolves the immediate
problems threatening the socio-political order. Obviously, some
strategic and political vigil will be needed for a very long time in
the beginning. This aspect can be taken up at the level of a South
Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Foreign
Ministers meet and at a Summit meeting.
(3.) There is nothing wrong in conducting a
plebiscite in the whole of Jammu and Kashmir. According to the
concerned United Nations resolution, such a plebiscite can be
conducted only when all Pakistani foreign troops move out from
there. Otherwise, plebiscite cannot be conducted. Since Pakistan has
not removed its forces from our Kashmir till today, it is incumbent
upon us to fight these foreign forces tooth and nail until they are
pushed out of our territory. If we are not doing it for the last fifty-
three years then we are clearly not performing even our national duty.
(4.) However, Pakistan must never be merged
militarily with India completely in order to save the nation, region and
the world from ultimate ruin. Yet, Pakistan must be stopped from
spreading fear and terror in the name of Jihad. Otherwise, increasing
foreign interference in South Asia will soon transform this land of
traditional peace into a region worse than West Asia.
The above mentioned options are completely
Gandhian in nature inasmuch as they are to be opted for in the
absence of a general belief in the power of nonviolence. If any
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 76
other options are tried, the result will be further complicating the web
of Kashmir again and again. Even the option of maintaining the status
quo is also not going to solve the crisis. This approach is actually
escalating the situation year after year. This is the similar approach,
which Britain had adopted towards Hitler’s Germany. This policy was
later maligned as uncalled for “appeasement”. This policy of
“appeasement” is known as one of the major causes of the Second
Original Scheme of Pakistan
Historically, every Pakistani is, in essence, “an Indian first and
everything else afterwards.” These are Jinnah’s words about the
original scheme for the creation of Pakistan. Apparently, the very act
of the creation of Pakistan shows, in a way, acceptance of some or the
other kind of appeasement policy towards a handful of Muslim elite
by the Britishers and leaders of Indian National Congress. The
Kashmir Question is merely an extension of that policy today.
The original scheme of Pakistan, put forward by
Choudhary Rahmat Ali--post-graduate student-was an ambitious
plan to conquer a large part of the world from Myanmar to Turkey-
including entire West Asia-in the name of Islam, Musalman and
Jihad. For Jinnah, it was a “crazy scheme”.14
Jinnah's patriotism for India can be easily seen in:
United Kingdom, British Parliament’s Minutes of Evidence
given before the Joint Committee on Indian Constitutional Reforms
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 77
( session 1932-33 ),Volume-II,p.1496;Sangat Singh,
Pakistan’s Foreign Policy ( Delhi:1970 ), pp. 3-4, 55, 56, 57-70;
Sharifuddin Pirzada, Evolution of Pakistan ( Lahore: 1963 ),p.30.
These references tell us that: This Emmanuel College student
at Cambridge University had extended a very ambitious plan for the
creation of PAKISTAN obviously at the behest of the Britishers at
large. As such, each LETTER in the name of “P” “A” “K” “I” “S”
“T” “A” “N” represents a particular territory or geographical area.
Jinnah is on record to have called this plan “a crazy scheme” only in
these references. According to this proposal :
“P” = Punjab,
“A” = Afgania ( North West Frontier Province ),
“K” = Kashmir,
“I” = Iran,
“S” = Sindh ( including Kutch and Kathiawar ),
“T” = Turkistan,
“A” = Afganistan,
“N” = Baluchistan (representing last letter in Baluchistan).
THIS IS WHAT IN REALITY CALLED “PAKISTAN PAINDABAD
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 78
Pakistani intentions appear to be clear from the very
beginning. Accordingly, Pakistan is moving only in that direction
very cautiously. Calculated moves are there. See, first, the Pakistani
movement in Kashmir, Punjab and the whole of India in the form of
repeated armed intrusions, the so-called proxy-wars and several other
violations of international law from time to time. For Pakistan,
Kashmir is a window to the world for achieving her original plans of
conquering the planet, as it were!
Erstwhile Apple of an Eye
United Kingdom and United States are realizing their folly
now. Pakistan is bent upon destroying even its creators (United States,
United Kingdom etc.) like a Frankenstein currently in the name of
politics of Jihad. There is nothing bad in it if one’s intentions are
clear. But the foundations of Jihad cannot be laid down on
motivated political self-interests. IN THIS MATTER ABSOLUTE
SELFLESSNESS HAS TO BE GIVEN TOP MOST PRIORITY. This
is not to be seen as a cherished value now-a-days. Pakistani rulers are
using religion not as a purifying mechanism for ultra-perversion of
personal political ambitions but they are applying religion merely as a
utility or tool to subserve their very own interests.
A pertinent question, here, arises. Why the United
states, United Kingdom and other Western powers have somewhat
suddenly taken an about turn from favouring their erstwhile “apple of
the eye”-Pakistan? It is mainly because Pakistan is now openly
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 79
adopting dangerous postures towards them in league with quite a few
“religious minded” billionaires from West Asian part of the world. On
the other hand, major Western nations appear to be strategically
interested in Kashmir - especially its higher reaches - for a few
military/satellite related bases to keep, as it were, “an
instantaneous eye” on China, Russia and other Commonwealth of
Independent States, West Asia, Pakistan, Afganistan and on India’s
emerging nuclear and economic power status in the world. Even in
this age of “information explosion”, “ inter-continental ballistic
missiles” and “ laser weapons”; conventional elements and sources of
national interest and national power still have their own place and
importance: land, location, strategic environment, overall geography,
natural security and the “global reach factor” are amply available in
Kashmir , especially, for an “high-tech giant” like the United States.
In this presentation, it has been stated that Gandhi
was not totally opposed to India’s military help to Kashmir in 1947,
and would not have minded continuing it if necessary. Strictly
speaking, this is not in accordance with Gandhi’s widely known
approach to the resolution of conflicts -- national or international. But
the reason why he did not oppose it was because India as a nation of
the modern world was not a nonviolent State. Therefore, it could not
but provide its assistance in the defence of Kashmir only in this way
rather than sit back in a cowardly manner. It must be stressed, and
Anurag Gangal, Major Contemporary Issues: Gandhian Relevance 80
stressed strongly, that for Gandhi violence was always preferable to
Last but not least, Gandhi would have wanted (
like he advised the North West Frontier Province-NWFP-Government
in 1935 in the context of tribal raiders’ attack ) to find out
Pakistan’s legitimate grievances, if any, and remove them as best
as it can be possible to do so. It must be stated that this last
mentioned approach has also not yet been fully tried out. It’s high
time that a beginning is successfully made in this direction also at the
earliest and with an open mind. Despite all confidence building
measures, this all out approach is indeed missing.
Indeed, Gandhi’s nonviolence is not a set theory for
all times to come. It is highly dynamic in nature. It is always evolving
in essence. According to Gandhi, it can be practised by individuals,
by groups of persons and by nations alike. Thus he writes, “It is
blasphemy to say that nonviolence can only be practised by
individuals and never by nations which are composed of
One has to see Pakistani rulers and people from different
angles. The rulers in Pakistan have mostly been adopted the policy of
crescent oriented geographical and religious expansionism in the
name of the ‘unity and oneness of Islam’. That is what we have seen
in these pages here. Their crescent ranges from Myanmar to Turkey.
This is the most dangerous aspect of Pakistan’s foreign policy. Every