Let Us All Work For the Greatness Of India

The Illusion of Economic Development: Part III



In the previous article, we studied the degraded condition of the health sector in the country as well as globally. While expenditure on health services has risen by leaps and bounds in the last few years, the actual delivery of the service has fallen in proportion.  Beset by mounting material and moral corruption, the treatment meted out by the doctors often worsens the bad condition of the patient. Even investment in better technology to enable the patients to bargain online and choose between doctors has limited advantages in a pervasively corrupt system where all the alternatives are bad in different degrees.

More than any other sector of the economy like education, justice, defence etc., the prevalence of the utilitarian spirit in the health sector is the most blatantly obvious. What is eating away at the system is that the moral infection is so deep-rooted that corruption has, unfortunately, become imperative for survival even for those who would have been honest had they not faced risk of being devoured by the system.

Beyond the issue of health and extending to virtually all the sectors of the economy, in a utilitarian system, – just like the proverbial bad coin that drives the good coin out of circulation – the rules and laws of the game and the people forced into playing it leave virtually no scope for an honest individual to survive.

The Justice ‘Sector’ in the Economy

Before we recount the numerous ways in which the judiciary has become a thriving sector of money-making and corruption in our economic development model, let us first acknowledge the unfortunate irony that ‘justice’ should even be considered a monetizable ‘sector’ of the economy. Yet this is the state of affairs to which a utilitarian society has led us. Legal practice, the world-over, has become a slave to money and power.

India is no exception. The revival of the debate on the appointment of judges has brought into focus one of the main problems seen to be plaguing the higher judiciary – how to avoid the appointment of unethical judges in order to prevent corruption in the system and ensure the speedy delivery of justice. It has to be clearly recognized that the problem is not one of formulating more laws, increasing the judge-to-people ratio and establishing more machinery, but to tackle the ethical corruption at the core of the judiciary. Given the cases where justice was either delayed or denied, it has been acknowledged by some legal experts that while there are enough laws, there is no alternative to ‘national character’ and willingness to ‘stand by the truth’.

A Chequered Past

Given its position as the bastion of justice, the judiciary has been seen as the righteous upholder of constitutional morality. However, given the controversial political positions it has taken on various social issues since Independence, the judiciary has often been accused of too much activism and ‘judicial overreach’ and has found itself in conflict with the Parliament. However, these were largely political conflicts and did not throw light on the progressive ethical degradation of the judiciary that was simultaneously going on all along.

During the last five decades, there has been a progressive degradation in the quality of the judges appointed to the apex and the High courts.1 The actual track record of the judiciary is at odds with the constitutional and legal sanctity bestowed on them. Even though there have been rising number of cases of judges involved in inefficiency, favouritism and corruption, there has not been a single case of impeachment – which is the only process of removing a judge from office – against the sitting judges of the Supreme Court or High courts since Independence.2

Recently, former Supreme Court judge, Markandey Katju, claimed that about 50% of the higher judiciary was corrupt, along with the majority of the politicians of the country.

“According to Transparency International global survey (2007), as many as 77% of Indians believe the country’s judiciary is corrupt, and 36% paid bribes to the judiciary last year. According to the Global Corruption Report (GCR) 2007, an estimated Rs. 2,630 crore was the amount Indians coughed up as bribes to the judiciary, higher than the bribe paid out in any other sector. The lower rung of the judiciary is most prone to corruption, where, according to the Centre for Media Studies (CMS) study, a majority of the bribe money went to lawyers (61%) followed by court officials (29%) and middlemen (5%).”3

Some of the issues facing the Indian courts are summed up in the box below:4

The travails of the Indian judiciary:

  • More than 3 crore pending cases due to lack of speedy trials. According to a report, while there are 2.64 crore undecided cases in the subordinate courts, about 42 lakh more cases are pending in the High Courts.
  • Increasing number of vacancies in High Courts and lower courts.
  • Poor mechanisms to deal with charges of corruption against judiciary. A recent conference of judges spoke about ways to strengthen vigilance mechanisms in courts.
  • Poor follow-up and punishment processes – While, in the aftermath of PILs, the courts have issued several strictures and threats of contempt of court against the guilty authorities, there is no follow-up. The issue just becomes a momentary show of activism by the courts.
  • Appellate tribunals appointed for special purposes are prone to inefficiency. They are hardly scrutinised as that would mean ending the appointments of retired judges who preside over these bodies. Moreover, since people always have the option to appeal in a higher court, there is no hurdle in the system. But the entire process reeks of expediency and elite comfort rather than dispensing justice.
  • Controversial system of appointments – Through the 1993 and 1998 judgements, the Supreme Court put in place the controversial ‘collegium system’ in which only judges could appoint judges. This was sought to be scrapped in 2014 when the government formulated the National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) Bill through the 121st Constitution Amendment, so as to ensure that even government and external people had a say in the appointment of judges. This was recently overturned by the Supreme Court in the name of preserving judicial independence from the executive, given that the judiciary has vested interests in a non-transparent system where there is no outside interference.
  • The corruption in the collegium system is quite evident. Several judges have pointed out that it is based on trade-offs and exchange of favours between parties and that judicial independence was under threat only during the one-party Congress era till the early 1980s.
  • According to an article published in a leading magazine, “Shanti Bhushan, a very senior lawyer of the Supreme Court, and former Union law Minister, had filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court several years back stating that half of the previous 16 Chief Justices of India were definitely corrupt (he named them in a sealed envelope which he gave to the Court), and he was uncertain about 2 more. Since then more Chief Justices of India who retired had serious allegations of corruption against them.” (Katju 2015).
  • The Indian Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure needs to be strengthened. The current rules, which date back to the colonial era, are in favour of the accused rather than the victim. Moreover, except in high profile cases, the delay is so much that cases come up for hearing after 30 years when either the accused or the filing judge or both may be dead.
  • The protection for the judges from criminal prosecution has been carried to so extreme a level with the Veeraswami judgement of 1991 that it translates into the fact that “a judge can commit any offence under the laws of the land but his or her prosecution can only be initiated with the CJI’s prior permission.” (Bhattacharjee 2015).
  • The courts’ inability to convict – In a host of high profile cases, justice is often delayed or denied, as the court cannot convict the real accused due to the absurdity of the evidentiary process of the Indian judiciary. Main reliance on every small proof means that witnesses can be manipulated, trials extended indefinitely, prosecuting agency bought, and facts changed or silenced.

Reduction of the Real Wellbeing

How can the service provided by the judiciary be expected to contribute to real justice or enhance the people’s well-being when lack of morality and corruption has reached such levels as to become obvious even to the common man on the street? Here there is a direct link to the deteriorating material well-being of the people. It is well-known from experiences of common people and everyday interactions that:

  • Right from the lower courts such as the shady and manipulative Tis Hazari in Delhi to the very top, sophisticated levels of higher judiciary, money is the mantra to gain access to justice. The judicial representative charges for all the processes. Lakhs of rupees are charged right from mere consultation to fighting and solving the case and then in the aftermath too, irrespective of whether the case is won or not. In fact, the role of money is so paramount that there are several people who pay their top lawyers every year even if there is nothing coming up, just to keep them in loop when the need arises. There are common cases of small land disputes between neighbours over a patch of area for which lakhs of rupees have been paid to lawyers.
  • The entire purpose of securing access to justice for the people is defeated given the complex legal processes in which the system is ensnared. Language is almost invariably a tough barrier for the common people who do not understand the complex legal jargon. This leads to even poor people having to spend money to hire intermediaries and advocates at the lowest levels to file a basic case or a petition. Even people who are relatively well-off and the youth have only obscure access to the judiciary to address their basic grievances. For instance, filing a case in a consumer court is, ironically, next to impossible. It is even acknowledged by many law students and advocates that the procedures are complex enough to rattle even a legal scholar. In fact, recognizing the weak grievance redressal mechanisms for the common people, a recent conference of judges had on its agenda a discussion of ways to strengthen alternative mechanisms like Lok Adalat and Mediation.5

Even though the Supreme Court has tried to address these problems since the 1980s through measures like the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) which is claimed to be more people-friendly, these have not been enough to bring about any true change except generate superficial ‘activism’. Even the so-called other ‘empowering’ instruments like the RTI (Right To Information) have been around for long but have failed to guarantee the well-being of the people. Whistleblowers are always under threat and till now there is nothing in place to guarantee their protection, rendering the whole system ineffective.

  • Is the system even interested in caring for justice and well-being? The understanding of law in the minds of the youth has become totally warped with the current education system. Lack of law and order and constant crises are now an opportunity for young people to get jobs in the field of law. Were there not these constant problems of law and order, many would be sitting unemployed and the GDP would be going down considerably. Look at how the eyes of young struggle advocates/professionals light up when they sniff the opportunity to assist in a glamorous case and see their names on the case files, so that they can boost their resume for better job prospects – what is sometimes referred to as ‘cheap thrills’ of those who struggle in the legal profession.

The state of the service of justice in India has been summed up aptly recently by a retired judge viz. “[I]t matters little whether we have the NJAC or the Collegium system or any other system, as the Indian judiciary is beyond redemption.”6

A Fundamentally Irredeemable System

India derives its system of justice from the English Common Law tradition. The British tradition of law evolved during the secularist centuries after the Renaissance period. It borrowed heavily from Roman jurisprudence and rejected entirely the Christian influences due to the perpetual conflict between the Church and the State.

To rule out any repetition of the instances of outright injustice and crude persecutions based on blind prejudices which characterised the Middle Ages, broad rules and procedures and principles – like the one requiring that an accused be considered innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt – were enacted to guide the courts and judges – who were now to be subject to provisions of the laws and acts passed by the Parliament – in their conduct. Another important development was a general acceptance of the principle of complete freedom of the judiciary from any interference by the executive branch of the government.

Be it the British Common Law tradition which depends on evidentiary process and objective proofs besides the judge’s subjective conclusions or the French inquisitorial system of ‘finding the truth’ instead of relying on objective evidence alone, the modern system of justice has become a tool in the hands of those who are able to manipulate it most successfully. It has next to nothing to do with delivering real justice and welfare to the people and everything to do with selfishness aimed at maximising personal gain.

Despite the fact that the moral and material corruption in the judiciary is out in the open in the public domain for every common man to see, all the reforms proposed in recent years are likely to make little headway in truly changing the system for good or even in preventing it from deteriorating even further.

Given the low level to which the national character has sunk…any of the proposed reforms in our judicial system cannot be expected to lead to any lasting improvement. Undoubtedly, they may change and even slightly improve things in the short run, but it is only a matter of time before the actors in the judicial arena are able to learn new tricks or rather dig new holes – the digging getting easier and easier as the layer of national character supporting the whole edifice gets thinner and thinner – to circumvent or bypass the obstructions created by the new rules and procedures (implementing the reforms) which soon end up making the judicial system even more cumbersome without making any substantial improvement in its actual functioning.

A prolonged misrule of over six decades to which the country has been subjected to even after Independence has progressively brought the functioning of all the organs of government to such low (and perverse) levels that, at present, our politics and administrative machinery seems to be taking on, increasingly, the appearance of a real nemesis for the country. Under its shadow, we have forgotten that when everyone is trying to get somewhere by stepping on everyone else, no one really gets anywhere.

The present state of our judiciary, like the functioning of the government machinery in general, is what it is because the principal actors in this field – the judges, lawyers and judicial staff – have become, in all the three instrumental parts of their nature (the mind, the life and the physical) utterly tamasic.

The judges, in general, with their hearts and minds firmly set and concentrated on the satisfaction of their physical self and its animal appetites are not able to give either their full time or their full attention to their onerous and difficult work and tend to be procrastinatory, particularly when not dishonest in the popular and narrow sense of honesty.

With the lawyers, the situation is ten times worse. It has become very very difficult to find a lawyer – especially in lower courts – who will not, if opportunity presents itself, betray his client for the sake of money or favours from the opposite party. Moreover, the lawyers also tend to be much more interested in having or at least making a show of having a ‘setting’ with judges or their agents than in honestly practicing law. Also, the lawyers, invariably, tend to be hugely procrastinatory unless they have an axe to grind or are under pressure for some reason or the other to make a speedy resolution of the litigation.

Although entirely moved by the same psychological forces, the story of the staff of the courts is something of its own kind. This organ of our judiciary is so entirely tamasic that it operates, almost entirely like a coin-operated machine. Every time one needs to get even the most trifling work done, i.e., every time one needs this machine to roll ever so little, fresh cash is needed, for these machines also tend to have such a short memory that even the most generous dealings or payments of the most recent past would not carry any weight with them. Each time fresh cash is needed.

As Sri Aurobindo has written about the British system, from which India derives its judicial system, “Under a civilised disguise these Courts are really the mediaeval ordeal by battle; only in place of the swords and lances of military combatants we have the tongues and technicalities of lawyers and the mutually tilting imaginations of witnesses. The victory is to the skilfullest liar and the most plausible workman in falsehoods and insincerities. It is largely an elaborate pitch and toss, an exhilarating gamble, a very Monte Carlo of surprising chances. But there is skill in it, too; it satisfies the intellect as well as the sensations. One should rather call it a game of human Bridge which admirably combines luck and skill, or consider it as an intellectual gladiatorial show. In big cases the stake is worthy of the play and the excitement, a man’s property or his life.

But woe to the beaten! In a criminal case, the tortures of the jail or the terrifying drop from the gallows are in prospect, and it is rather the hardihood of guilt than the trembling consciousness of innocence that shall best help him. Woe to him if he is innocent! As he stands there, – for to add to the pleasurableness of his condition, the physical ache of hours of standing is considerately added to the cruel strain on his emotions, – he looks eagerly not to the truth or falsehood of the evidence for or against him, but to the skill with which this or that counsel handles the web of skilfully mixed truth and lies and the impression he is making on the judge or the jury. A true witness breaking down under a confusing cross-examination or a false witness mended by a judicious reexamination may be of much better service to him than the Truth, which, our Scriptures tell us, shall prevail and not falsehood, – eventually perhaps and in the things of the truth, but not in the things of falsehood, not in a court of Justice, not in the witness box. There the last thing the innocent man against whom circumstances have turned, dare tell is the truth; it would either damn him completely by fatally helping the prosecution or it is so simple and innocent as to convince the infallible human reason of its pitiful falsity. The truth! Has not the Law expressly built up a hedge of technicalities to keep out the truth?”7

A Perspective on India’s Original Ideal of Justice

The system of judiciary arises when there is disharmony in the society and people are expected to behave in such a way that constraints need to be imposed on them. The most harmonious and desirable condition of a society is that in which there is no need of a judicial system at all. A more and more elaborate judicial system becomes necessary as disharmony grows in a society. This becomes clear when we see how the system of justice has evolved in the Indian tradition. In the Indian tradition, the evolution of inner and outer life of society and the individuals proceeds through the four yugas or ages – Satya, Treta, Dwapar and Kali Yuga.

The Satya or Krita Yuga is the Golden Age when men are full of might and wisdom. In this Yuga Vishnu incarnates as Yajña, as the divine Master in man to whom men offer up all their actions as a sacrifice, reserving nothing for an egoistic satisfaction. This is possible because people in this age, live in their inmost being in full harmony with Truth. This age of harmony and a condition of human freedom and natural and spontaneous coordination may have resulted in an entire absence of government. At any rate, given certain spiritual conditions which would constitute a government of God among men the elaborate arrangements of modern administration, made necessary because of human depravity and the needs of our Iron Age (Kali Yuga), would have been unnecessary. The question of a judicial system does not even arise in such an age.

The next age – the Silver Age – is called Treta, the age of Dharma where Vishnu descends as the Chakravarti Raja – the sustainer of society’s righteousness, its sword of justice and defence and preserver of dharma. He gathers a number of human communities under his unifying sway. This age is known for its righteousness and is popularly characterized as Rama Rajya. In this age, the Raja’s officials sleeplessly look after the good of the people and no elaborate judicial system is needed because there is hardly ever any occasion for disputes. The Raja Darbar itself may serve as the court because – as one can gather from the description of Sri Rama’s Darabar in Valmiki Ramayana – the petitions before it are so rare that the king’s ministers and officials are always looking for, but are rarely able to come across a petitioner or an aggrieved person – even an aggrieved animal!

In Dwapara – the Bronze Age, the age of doubt – there is a further decline in man’s character, powers and capacities. Intellectual regulation substitutes for the rule of Dharma. Ideas, thoughts and emotions assume much greater prominence, and doubt sets in in man’s heart and mind and he has to seek the aid of written word or Shastra to properly direct his actions. Vishnu takes the form of King or Ruler who begins to take the help of written word – but only help, there is no mechanical subjection to it like in the present, rather he uses his understanding and intelligence freely along with the highest available recorded wisdom of the race – the Shastra, to guide his actions.

In the Kaliyuga or the Iron Age, there is a further diminution in man’s capacities and powers as he begins to be increasingly subject to his instincts, impulses and desires. The written word is not sufficient to maintain order in collective life and subjection to some kind of outward machinery or system – which still remained very simple in oriental societies – becomes necessary.

In the modern Western materialistic cultures – which India is at present trying hard to emulate – system, organisation, machinery seems to have attained their perfection. Bondage to these has been carried to its highest expression and man’s inner spiritual freedom is getting increasingly slain in modern societies because of their passion for organising external liberty or/and equality. When the inner freedom is gone, the external liberty follows it, and a social tyranny more terrible, inquisitorial and relentless than any that caste ever organised in India, begins to take its place.

In the old Indian system, the judicial authorities – village Panchayats, Judges, Rulers and Royal courts – were responsible for finding the truth of the matter for which they were free to use whatever skills and ingenuity they were normally highly endowed with and to do whatever else was necessary to get to the truth of the matter. A prospective offender knew that, given the efficiency and unquestionable integrity of authorities, the chances of his offence going undetected were virtually nil and the result was that there were very few cases – a good indicator of the health and efficiency of the system – that ever reached the courts; unlike today, where, if one is prepared to put a sufficient amount of energy (time and money) into the case, one can be reasonably sure of winning or, at least, indefinitely postponing the final adverse verdict.

In such a state of affairs, no superficial proposals for reform as are being advocated today will work, since all laws and technological changes act as a double-edged sword that can also be misused. The victory can never be won unless we realize that the root of all our problems is not the politicians, the government officials, the lawyers, the judges, the common men or, to put it in one word, the ‘Others’ but rather, ‘Ourselves’. If we wish to have a perfect society, we must begin with our own perfection because, as Sri Aurobindo so beautifully points out, “A perfected human world cannot be created by men or composed of men who are themselves imperfect. Even if all our actions are scrupulously regulated by education or law or social or political machinery, what will be achieved is a regulated pattern of minds, a fabricated pattern of lives, a cultivated pattern of conduct; but a conformity of this kind cannot change, cannot re-create the man within, it cannot carve or cut out a perfect soul or a perfect thinking man or a perfect or growing living being. For soul and mind and life are powers of being and can grow but cannot be cut out or made; an outer process or formation can assist or can express soul and mind and life but cannot create or develop it. One can indeed help the being to grow, not by an attempt at manufacture, but by throwing on it stimulating influences or by lending to it one’s forces of soul or mind or life; but even so the growth must still come from within it, determining from there what shall be made of these influences and forces, and not from outside. This is the first truth that our creative zeal and aspiration have to learn, otherwise all our human endeavour is foredoomed to turn in a futile circle and can end only in a success that is a specious failure.”8

Conclusion: The Future of Economic Development

“The utmost widening of a physical objective knowledge, even if it embrace the most distant solar systems and the deepest layers of the earth and sea and the most subtle powers of material substance and energy, is not the essential gain for us, not the one thing which it is most needful for us to acquire. That is why the gospel of materialism, in spite of the dazzling triumphs of physical Science, proves itself always in the end a vain and helpless creed, and that too is why physical Science itself with all its achievements, though it may accomplish comfort, can never achieve happiness and fullness of being for the human race. Our true happiness lies in the true growth of our whole being, in a victory throughout the total range of our existence, in mastery of the inner as well as and more than the outer, the hidden as well as the overt nature; our true completeness comes not by describing wider circles on the plane where we began, but by transcendence.9

As we conclude this three-part series, we have before us a clear case of the illusion of economic development. As the modern economy consists predominantly of services, we have seen how all major economies today depend largely on the services sector for their economic growth. Therefore, it is reasonable to focus on the services sector to understand today’s economic development model. After analysing in-depth the three economic services – education, health and justice – we have an irrefutable case that under the present conditions, not only can there be no increase in welfare and income of the people, but people will progressively become worse-off and real incomes will actually decline as the current utilitarian system spreads its tentacles further.

While some of us often take solace in the idea that science and technology may make the system more transparent and under control of the people, this continues to be proved wrong – for the simple reason that technology is a double-edged sword that can cut both ways and can easily be misused for any selfish purpose. Good technology, infrastructure, options for online bargaining etc. may keep people under the illusion that they have greater freedom of choice, while, in reality, it is something else. This illusion is, in fact, so strong that people seem to have lost all sense of discernment. Even though they claim to understand mentally that everything around them is wrong, that they are suffering under this system and that all achieved scientific progress is not doing anything to increase their well-being, still they continue to pin their hopes on scientific progress.

It is the experience of every common man on the street that the everyday costs of basic commodities and services are becoming overwhelmingly expensive and as a result the real incomes are going down. With the quality of the goods also deteriorating, the situation becomes even worse. As we eat contaminated food, be it home-cooked or outside, breathe polluted air and fall ill, even our ever growing nominal income brings us no relief in our continued struggle for meeting our basic needs.

The three services of education, health and justice are the core services of the economy. With their rapid utilitarian commercialisation, their traditional purpose of ‘serving’ the people is no longer operative. These three fields, which play a key role in shaping the future of a country’s outer vitality, have become nothing more than rigorous engines of money-making. In all the three fields, the costs are rapidly going up, while there is absolutely no relief or returns on our efforts which continue to become more and more cumbersome and painful.

A Deeper Perspective on National Development

Development and progress are bandied about as the panacea of all evils of society. But what is their widest scope, the deeper implications and higher meaning, what are the psychological forces that push development? All this has been discussed and understood in a limited fashion, indeed only the surface has been scratched.

The driving force of a country’s growth is the psychological push of its people which in turn is powered by what motivates them. In the modern era phenomenal results have been achieved by the concentrated power of nationalism – pride in one’s country and concern for her well-being. An outstanding example is the transformation of Japan from a traditional medieval feudal culture into a modern industrialised nation in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. When Russia was defeated by Japan at the beginning of the twentieth century in the Russo-Japanese war, the rest of the world sat up in astonishment. No European country had been militarily defeated by an Asian one in modern times. Almost half a century later, as a consequence of the nuclear holocaust of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, Japan was on her knees. But thirty-five years on, in 1980, Japan had one of the highest per capita incomes in the world and it was feared by some in the West that if her growth continued apace her GNP might equal or even exceed that of the US by the end of the century. That potential was never realised as her people became more self-centred with the exposure to Western modes of thinking and their main feeder of growth – intensity driven by a certain selflessness – dwindled almost to stagnation. The current PM of Japan realises that without rekindling her national spirit Japan cannot be pulled out of the doldrums.

The Western gospel of utilitarianism, a selfish concentration on narrow aims causes greater and greater dysfunction in the various parts of society. Utilitarianism has been transposed into materialism and everything is valued according to its money-making potential. The quality of goods and services deteriorates even as they become more expensive. Medical care, education etc. are costing more and more while delivering less and less. Only the leavening of the spirit of nationalism has kept Western societies from sinking completely into the mire of destructive selfishness.

Until a few centuries ago India was one of the richest countries of the world (in 1700 the GDP of India was greater than that of the whole of Western Europe) and that too after centuries of repressive Muslim rule. But political unity and based on it, the spirit of nationalism is relatively new to India. Throughout her long history she has been united culturally and spiritually but not politically. There is, however, an even greater power, more enduring and free from the ultimate evil and destructive effect of nationalism, which can fuel economic development, even though being self-sufficient in itself, not expressly concerned with it. When an individual or a collectivity can rise beyond egoism, both its own and that of a larger collectivity – a nation or even humanity – and connect to its true spiritual self and can live in it to some extent, as ancient India was able to, then the power of this greatest potential begins to act visibly in all the fields of human endeavour. Once this power is aroused in a country there are no limits to her development. Not only physical development but also a psychological growth which can be the only true basis of happiness and fulfilment – witness the widespread dissatisfaction and psychological alienation and loneliness lurking just below the glamourous surfaces in modern materially developed countries.

Indeed, the problem has become so serious that the present top heavy material development, if not balanced, is poised to destroy all civilised societies in the world. True growth and progress can only be the results of an integral spiritual growth of consciousness whether of the individual or of the society or the nation. The conditions in which people live are the result of their state of consciousness. To seek to change these without a change of consciousness is a vain chimera.

In present times, India too has sunk into the morass of utilitarianism and in a worst possible way. As a nation, as a society, she seems to have forgotten her deeper well-springs of energy and has become lost in the chaos of conflicting narrow self-interests spiralling her into greater depths of depravation of every kind. A nationlistic pride in the country and her achievements may be the lever to pull her out of this degradation and set her on the road to her true destiny which is also her heritage from times immemorial – the intelligent will to live for the spirit not only individually but also collectively. Nationalism, which underpins the Modi government manifesto, can act as a bridge to carry India onto the path of integral self-fulfilment and enable her to play her true role among the community of nations. But, she must not forget that the spirit of nationalism, however necessary and useful at present, is just one stage in the greater psychology and has to be transcended to attain that for which India’s soul has always been striving – a progressive manifestation and expression of the Spirit in the terrestrial Nature.

“There are deeper issues for India herself, since by following certain tempting directions she may conceivably become a nation like many others evolving an opulent industry and commerce, a powerful organisation of social and political life, an immense military strength, practising power-politics with a high degree of success, guarding and extending zealously her gains and her interests, dominating even a large part of the world, but in this apparently magnificent progression forfeiting its Swadharma, losing its soul. Then ancient India and her spirit might disappear altogether and we would have only one more nation like the others and that would be a real gain neither to the world nor to us… It would be a tragic irony of fate if India were to throw away her spiritual heritage at the very moment when in the rest of the world there is more and more a turning towards her for spiritual help and a saving Light. This must not and will surely not happen; but it cannot be said that the danger is not there.”10

  1. Bhattacharjee, Jay. Swarajya. June 29, 2015. http://swarajyamag.com/politics/indias-judicial-reforms-a-never-ending-story/ (accessed October 19, 2015).
  2. Ibid.
  3. Infochange Governance. Infochange Governance. 2007. http://infochangeindia.org/governance/news/77-of-indians-believe-judiciary-is-corrupt-ti-survey.html (accessed October 22, 2015).
  4. PTI. The Pioneer. April 4, 2015. http://www.dailypioneer.com/nation/judges-conference-deliberates-on-critical-judiciary-problems.html (accessed October 19, 2015);
  • Ganjapure, Vaibhav. The Times of India. October 10, 2015. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nagpur/Just-who-is-afraid-of-Judiciary/articleshow/49294603.cms (accessed October 20, 2015);
  • Singh, Joginder. The Pioneer. June 29, 2015. http://www.dailypioneer.com/columnists/edit/reforming-judiciary-reforming-india.html (accessed October 21, 2015);
  • Katju, Markandey. Outlook. October 17, 2015. http://www.outlookindia.com/article/a-judiciary-beyond-redemption/295629 (accessed October 21, 2015).
  1. PTI. The Pioneer. April 4, 2015. http://www.dailypioneer.com/nation/judges-conference-deliberates-on-critical-judiciary-problems.html (accessed October 19, 2015)
  2. Katju, Markandey. Outlook. October 17, 2015. http://www.outlookindia.com/article/a-judiciary-beyond-redemption/295629 (accessed October 21, 2015).
  3. Complete Works of Sri Aurobindo, Vol.12, pp.47-48, Sri Aurobindo Ashram
  4. Complete Works of Sri Aurobindo, Vol.22, pp.1058-59, Sri Aurobindo Ashram
  5. Ibid., pp.757-58
  6. Complete Works of Sri Aurobindo, Vol.36, pp.503-04, Sri Aurobindo Ashram

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