I had mentioned in my very First Address to the Indian Nation that the aim of the Indian Reunification Association (IRA) is not just to undo that historical British swindle called Partition and reunify India, Pakistan and Bangladesh under a secular government, it is also to point out the way how to raise the standard of living of Indians and give them decent lives.
Indeed, the second objective is much more important than the first. The worst thing in life is poverty, for poverty is destructive of all rights. What use is freedom of speech, liberty, equality etc to a man who is poor, unemployed and hungry? They mean nothing to him.
So the test of every system is one and only one : does it raise the standard of living of the people? Does it give them decent lives?
The reunification of India would be useless and an empty formality if it did not result in Indians getting better lives. In fact if for giving Indians better lives it is necessary to further break up India into smaller units we should opt for that.
But it is because we believe that we can never escape from poverty and other social evils unless we reunify under a modern minded, secular government that we aim at reunification. So reunification is a means to an end, not an end by itself. Let me elaborate.
Until the Industrial Revolution, which began in England in the 18th Century and then spread all over the world, there were feudal societies. These were primarily agricultural societies in which the method of production was so primitive (the bullock, buffalo or horse being used for tilling the land) that very little wealth could be generated. So the vast majority of people had to be poor: when the cake is small very few people can eat it.
This historical situation dramatically changed with the Industrial Revolution and further advances in science and technology. Now a unique situation has been created in world history. The tools of production are now so powerful and so big that enough wealth can be generated to give everyone a decent life, and no one now needs to be poor.
But that is only the potential, not the reality. For transforming the potential into reality a mighty historical people’s struggle, a revolution, led by modern minded leaders, is needed, after which there can be rapid industrialisation of India and raising the standard of living of our people.
Now let us specifically deal with India.
The policy of our British rulers was to keep India broadly un-industrialised and feudal, for if we industrialized, Indian industry would become a powerful rival to British industry. So the British kept us broadly agricultural with the feudal zamindari system, and allowed us to set up only some light industries like textiles, plantations, etc. but no heavy industries. So upto 1947 we had very few industries and very few engineers.
This situation changed after Independence when a heavy industrial base was created, engineering colleges like IITs set up etc. Today we have thousands of bright engineers (our IT engineers are largely manning Silicon Valley in California), there are Indian Professors in the Sciences, Mathematics and Engineering Faculties of Western Universities, etc.
This huge pool of technical talent coupled with the immense natural resources in India (India is not a small country like England or Japan but is a subcontinent) means that we have today all that is required to become a modern industrial giant like the USA or China. And yet the truth is that we are still abysmally poor.
Today India has massive unemployment. Even for a single chaprasi (peon) job which is advertised, there are a thousand applicants, many of them with Masters degrees.
According to the Global Hunger Index, 47% Indian children are malnourished, which is a figure higher than the poorest countries of sub Saharan Africa like Somalia. Over one third of the world’s malnourished children are Indian children.
The condition of healthcare for the Indian masses is appalling. There is no doubt that there are many state of the art hospitals in big cities, but these are exorbitantly expensive, and completely out of reach for our poor people who often have to resort to quacks.
Our education system is in shambles. The government gives huge grants to IITs and state of the art institutes of higher education, but at the bottom level of the education system where the foundation of knowledge has to be laid, the primary schools and high schools, very little is given, and most of these are in a terrible condition, with third rate teaching staff and facilities.
Our farmers have been committing suicide regularly (over 300,000 have already committed suicide) due to lack of remunerative prices for their products and staggering debt.
There is an acute water shortage and high levels of pollution everywhere.
7 individuals who bribed our corrupt politicians and bureaucrats own as much (if not more) wealth than the bottom 132 crore people of India.
Our political leaders are, with a few rare exceptions, thugs, gundas, rogues, rascals, looters, deceivers and crooks before whom the mafia would look like small fries. They are mostly corrupt, with no genuine love for the country, but only an insatiable thirst for power and pelf. They are experts in polarizing the people and spreading hatred on caste and communal lines to get votes.
This being the desperate situation in our country, what is the solution?
The solution is rapid industrialisation under patriotic modern minded leaders. It is only a widespread and large-scale industry which can abolish poverty, create millions of jobs and generate the wealth required for the welfare of our people.
But how is such widespread industrialisation to be achieved?
There was no doubt a certain degree of industrialisation after independence, particularly under the Second Five Year Plan and adoption of the ideas of Professor Mahalanobis. Some steel plants were set up, IITs and other technical institutes opened, etc. But now our economy has totally stagnated. Why?
To my mind there are powerful external and internal forces which will not allow us to industrialize any further, and which we have to combat if we wish to progress. Let me explain.
The cost of labor is a big chunk of the total cost of production. So if the cost of labor is less and the cost of production is less, one can then sell at a cheaper price and undersell his business rival. There is competition in the market, and one businessman eliminates another not with guns or bombs but by underselling him.
China had a Revolution in 1949, after which the Chinese leaders rapidly industrialized and set up a massive industrial base. This massive industrial base, coupled with the cheap labor available in China, enabled the Chinese to undersell the whole world in consumer goods (and now in many high end goods too).
The Western supermarkets are packed with Chinese goods, because these often sell at less than half the price of goods manufactured by Westerners (because Western labor is expensive).
Indian labor is cheaper than even Chinese labor! So if we set up a huge widespread industrial base we can undersell even the Chinese. Who then will buy the expensive goods of the industrialized countries?
So the unwritten unmentioned rule of the industrialized countries is: do not allow India to industrialize any further at any cost, and do everything to prevent it e.g. by making Indians fight on caste, religious, ethnic or regional basis.
It was for this reason that the bogus two nation theory (that Hindus and Muslims are two separate nations) was propounded by the Britishers using Gandhi and Jinnah as their agents. The purpose of Partition was two fold (1) India must not be allowed to emerge as a powerful industrial giant, and for this, Hindus and Muslims must be made to keep fighting each other (2) The subcontinent must remain a big market for foreign arms industries (India is the biggest purchaser of foreign arms in the world, spending billions of dollars on them, money which could have been used for the welfare of our poor people).
All industrialized nations in the world e.g. England, Germany, USA, Japan, Russia, etc. did their industrialisation under political leaders who understood the importance of industry and were determined to rapidly industrialize their country.
For instance, after the Meiji Restoration in 1868 the leaders who came to power set about rapidly industrializing Japan (by hiring technical specialists from Western countries, sending their youth to Western technical institutes etc). The result was that in 15-20 years Japan was transformed from a backward, feudal country to a modern industrialized one.
On the other hand, in India we borrowed the parliamentary system of democracy, which runs largely on caste and communal vote banks. Casteism and communalism are feudal forces, which must be destroyed if India is to progress, but parliamentary democracy further entrenches them. Our political leaders have no genuine interest in rapidly industrializing the country, their aim is to amass wealth and win elections for which they have mastered the art of polarizing the masses and spreading caste and communal hatred. How then can India progress under their leadership?
We have to use all our creativity and create an alternative to parliamentary democracy, a political system which enables India to rapidly industrialize. For this some kind of Revolution is inevitable in India, though when that will happen and what form it will take is impossible to predict.
But what can be said with certainty is that this Revolution will be through a historical united people’s struggle led by modern minded, secular and selfless patriotic leaders who are determined to sweep away the filth of feudalism and feudal ideas accumulated over centuries, and rapidly industrialize the nation.
Modern industry requires a huge market and immense natural resources. A reunited secular India will provide these. Also, on reunification we will stop wasting our precious resources on fighting each other, and instead use them to fight our real enemies, which are poverty, unemployment, hunger, malnutrition, lack of proper healthcare and good education, etc so as to give our people decent lives. That is the goal of the IRA.