Ideal government for India: Some light from Sri Aurobindo



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)


2 thoughts on “Ideal government for India: Some light from Sri Aurobindo

  1. Ravi Iyer June 16, 2014 at 3:29 am Reply

    I feel, India needs a good hearted (someone who wants India to grow and improve) dictator (if there is such a person) for considerable period of time. Common Indians are pretty good in adapting and surviving the day to day challenges, either from natural causes or man made. In other words, the ruling mob provides the framework, you as a common man find a way to eke out a living within that.

    Sri Aurobindo wants flexibility in the governance; democracy, if works properly does provide moderation in the form various members. This allows the ideas from different brains to pick a path acceptable by the majority. Unfortunately most elected members are either already corrupt or turn corrupt later and take care of themselves only.

    I would like to add couple of strange situations here. During 2010 – 2011 Belgium was without Government for 589 days; the country chugged along, while politicians were horse trading happily.

    For around 700 years, people of Indus valley seemed to have lived in peace without government; this may not be true, as the records might have gone missing.

    Philosophically, we as human race are still evolving, our DNA is still fine tuning itself, we are still finding a better method of crowd control – so to speak.
    Keep writing Jothi, though I may not be contributing all the time, I have a quick glance all the time.

    • jothicharles June 16, 2014 at 8:50 pm Reply

      Amazing to know that once it took more than one and a half years after elections to form the government in Belgium and the country did just fine. Governance maybe better off without party politics and I am reminded that on the occasion of Sri Aurobindo’s centenary the Mother of Sri Aurobindo Ashram had said as much:

      “Of course, if there were some people who had the courage to be in the government without a party — “We represent no party! We represent India” —that would be magnificent.”

      (25 May, 1970, Vol 15, Pg 405, Collected Works of The Mother)

      As for evolution of governance, how about a government by people with intuitive intelligence? Maybe something like that happened in the Indus – Saraswati valley thousands of years ago. According to a some research it is those people, after drying up of the river Saraswati, who later spread out to rest of India known as Aryans meaning people with a noble and high culture. Contrary to popular belief originated by Western scholars Aryans are not a different race but a culturally advanced people.

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