Nurturing Young Minds

Nurturing Young Minds

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Total Revolution or Sampurn Kranti vs Integral Revolution or Samagra Kranti

Integral revolution or Samagra Kranti is a simple concept. It consists of two interrelated concepts: integral and revolution.
 We must first understand what a revolution is, and how it differs from evolution and development. Revolution, like evolution and development, is change. It is, however, rapid change. If the country achieves in 60 months what it achieved in the past 60 years, it would be called development, or, more appropriately, rapid development. If, however, what could not be achieved in 60 years is achieved in 60 weeks, it can legitimately be called a revolution.
Evolution of homo sapiens sapiens from homo erectus took billions of years. During this long course of evolution spanning milliions of years, Nature essentially worked on enlarging the brain of the two-legged species from three centimeters to around nine, adding many functions to the brain that were not yet available to other species, like self-awareness and logical reasoning. If, in the next ten years, through genetic engineering and other artificial means, further functions are added to the brain, like extra sensory perception that includes knowing events taking place at a distance, it would be a revolution. It is possible that natural evolution might have added this function in the normal course of evolution in another million years. If this course of change is made to shrink to a decade, it is without doubt a revolution.
Revolution, therefore, is very rapid change.
Both revolution and development imply change. However, in both cases, this change is in a direction which is considered by a vast number of people desirable and positive.  
Thanks to the quality of violence to attract attention, historians have been prone to portraying with greater vividness and interest such revolutionary changes that took place in human history as were induced by violent means. Due to the way the text books of history are prepared, it has often been presumed that whenever there is a revolution or a very rapid change in a desirable direction, it could only be through violence. The French Revolution was a product of violence. The Russian Revolution was also a product of huge organised violence. China underwent a revolution that changed the course of the history of nearly one-fifth of humanity again through violent methods. No wonder the word revolutionis found carrying with it the odour of violence.
Till the 1940s, the average life expectancy of the people in most parts of the world was around 20 years. After the discovery of penicillin in the year 1926, combined with further developments in the medical sciences and health services, the average life expectancy has risen to 67 years in India, and around 90 years in Europe, America and Japan. What could not happen in several millennia has happened in a few decades. This is a revolution, a silent revolution, not induced by violent methods, but by application of human mind, andorganised systematic endeavor. It may be said that technology is more amenable to peaceful revolutions than culture. However, there are instances in which great cultural changes have been induced through methods other than violence. The hierarchical caste system in India is one such instance. For more than a millennium the lower castes of India had to put up with lack of vertical mobility in social status, and, in certain cases, untouchability. In less than a century their social conditions have undergone a sea change. This has been partly because of social reform movements in India in the 19th and 20th centuries, stringent legal provisions against untouchability, and legal empowerment of those castes and communities. A similar revolutionary change can be seen in respect of apartheid in the USA. All this is nothing less than a revolution. And this cultural revolution did not come about through violence. Many historians would still insist that political domain is seldom amenable to revolutionary changes through non-violent methods. Such historians need to look into the vast political changes brought about through non-violent struggle in the not-so-distant past in India, under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. Political changes do certainly need struggle, sometime intense and protracted struggle, but struggles need not necessarily be violent. The negative social cost of violent revolutions is very high. The Russian and Chinese revolutions claimed millions of lives. The women, children and parents of the ‘reactionary’ people killed, or the members of the bourgeois class butchered, survived only to suffer an intolerable existence full of depression, agony and multiple deprivations. Violence always arouses both among the perpetrators of violence and the victims of violence intense negative emotions that sap happiness and breed misery. True that Russia and China progressed a good deal after the violent revolutions, but India is not very far behind. The USSR, which forcibly cobbled together through revolutionary violence various nationalities into one union, has already crumbled. It is to be seen how long China is able to suppress freedom and democracy through violent means. In the long run violence as the agent of change may prove counterproductive. Ahimsa has been one of the principal norms set by all religions of Indian origin, and it is not surprising that the Indian civilization is the only ancient civilization the flow of history of which never dried up through the millennia that it traversed. It has repeatedly proved it resilience, and its capacity to bounce back.
The point that is sought to be driven home is that revolutions can be non-violent. This platform for integral revolution, called the Samagra Kranti Manch, intends to bring about a non-violent revolution in India in the days to come. It seeks to bring about a change in months and years that could not happen in decades and centuries.
The Samagra Kranti Manch also intends to bring about an integral revolution or a Samagra Kranti. Samagra Kranti or integral revolution is a rapid change across the gamut of human affairs, including the political system, economic affairs, the state of society, poverty, education, religious and spiritual consciousness, and all other important spheres. It envisages a revolution in the conditions of the minorities, the Dalits, and the scheduled Tribes. This cannot happen unless there is also a revolutionary change in the consciousness of the majority community.
A society is usually like an organic entity. Its different organs and systems are interrelated, and clearly influence each other. In the human body, a hand can move forward ahead of the body, when the body walks. But the rest of the body has to catch up before the hand can move further forward. The same applies to the body of the society. One organ of the society cannot move forward too far, leaving behind the rest of the body. If it does, serious anomalies and problems arise. In the case of India, naxalism is such a problem, which has arisen due to a section of Indians moving too far ahead without the rest of the Indians, especially those in the rural areas, catching up with them in the march of progress.
India has been moving in slow motion. It has to gain momentum. It has two switch modes – from evolution to revolution, from stagnation to rapid change. But if there is rapid change in one sphere, leaving other spheres and changed, serious anomalies and problems will arise. The only way to prevent these anomalies and problems is to aim at integral revolution, a revolution that encompasses all important domains and spheres of Indian life.
Total Revolution is sometimes understood as complete change in all spheres. In this sense, it is important to bear in mind that there is a significant difference between integral revolution and total revolution. Total revolution, in the sense of complete change, is sheer impossibility. At any time there cannot be a complete change in a culture or civilisation. Nor is it desirable. For any change to happen constructively, it has to be managed properly. Change without proper change management can be disastrous. A civilization cannot be simply uprooted from its history and ethos. Whatever the pace of change, and howsoever great the pace of change, a civilization has to grow from its roots. If it does not, again serious anomalies and problems may arise. This is already evident at this juncture of growth of Indian civilisation, which, under the impact of the West, appears to be crumbling under confusion of systems and values. Not that the Sitar and the Guitar cannot come together to produce good music. But they have to be closely synchronized.  Or else, shrilling noise may be the result. In any case the guitar cannot take away the beauty and depth of the Sitar’s serene notes.
Integral revolution is not total revolution in the sense elaborated above. It is huge change, great change, but not complete and total change. But it is integral change, a change integrating and encompassing all different spheres and domains.