Disciple: What is your idea of an ideal Government for India?
Sri Aurobindo: My idea is like what Tagore once wrote. There may be one Rashtrapati at the top with considerable powers so as to secure a continuity of policy and an Assembly representative of the nation. The provinces will contribute to a Federation, united at the top, leaving ample scope to local bodies to make laws according to their local problems.
(27 Dec 1938 – Evening Talks with Sri Aurobindo – Third Series – by AB Purani)
“The old Indian system grew out of life, it had room for everything and every interest. There were monarchy, aristocracy, democracy; every interest was represented in the government. While in Europe the Western system grew out of the mind: they are led by reason and want to make everything cut and dried without any chance of freedom or variation. If it is democracy, then democracy only—no room for anything else. They cannot be plastic. India is now trying to imitate the West. Parliamentary government is not suited to India. But we always take up what the West has thrown off…. (Dec 27, 1938 – Talks with Sri Aurobindo – by Nirodbaran)
The parliamentary system is doomed. We should begin with the old Panchayat system in the villages and then work up to the top. The Panchayat system and the guilds are more representative and they have a living contact with people; they are part of the people’s ideas. On the contrary, the parliamentary system with local bodies—the municipal councils—is not workable: these councils have no living contact with the people; the councillors make only platform speeches and nobody knows what they do for three or four years; at the end they reshuffle and rearrange the whole thing, making their own pile during their period of power”. ( Feb 2, 1939 – Talks with Sri Aurobindo – by Nirodbaran)