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democracy in india? u.s.a.? anywhere?

illustration by a russian child

“it is not in the interests of the rich to cooperate with the poor; it is in the interests of the poor to non cooperate with the rich.” — gandhi

gandhi said that in 1942 in one of his talks during the indian independence rallies. and it had helped in awakening the indian masses to boycott the english goods. india and the u.s are called two big democracies, while china, even bigger people’s republic is not considered a democracy. the difference between gandhi and narendra modi of india and biden of the u.s. is that gandhi stood by himself as he was, accepted by the people as their voice without any election process. in contrast, the indian and the u.s. leaders first have to promote themselves with the help of the rich to pay for the radio, tv and the internet campaigns. that is, first the u.s. and the indian persons have to be picked up by the rich to legislate and execute laws that are in the interests of the rich.

the rich do not have time for the governing of the masses from their own contests for becoming the richest among the rich. that is why the rich pay for the election of the person who does what they want be done. just look at the advertising of these thus elected leaders of the u.s. and india. the u.s spends money for the presidential contest in the amount that is more than what many of the poor nations’ yearly budgets. what is more cynical is that much of the election money that the rich spend ends up in the rich pocket anyway, as the media and other material sold to the candidates is produced by the rich owned industry. gandhi had no daily change of wardrobes, the makeup artists to make him look young and attractive, and the speech writing experts to help deliver the speech. english prime minister churchill called him the “half naked fakir.” but when seen among the masses of india, he looked just one of them. and gandhi described himself not as the leader, but as “the representative of the indian people, with the legal limitations of a representative who does not supplant his own view upon those he represents.“ what gandhi wanted was what all indians wanted: the freedom from being subjected as the slaves of the rich< reich < rex < regal, the king(s) foreign and the local.

why did the english people not want the freedom from the subserviency to the king? the same question may be asked to the u.s. americans: why did not the americans do away with the royalties, their english law and the governance of the land they won in battles? it was not the “we the people”’s fight for the freedom from the english rule. it was the rich people’s revolt against the high taxation they had to pay to the english. several of the first batch of the u.s. leaders did spend some time in england that they liked. but england itself was too small and without material resources compared to the english colonies. so they settled on the american subcontinent. and just like the english fought the neighbouring kingdoms of france, spain and germany, the new u.s. americans fought with the the colonies of spain, french and england. the land grabbing goes hand in hand with the notion of the supreme authority, the king of kings.

but then the americans also wanted to be distinguished from the english in written and spoken language. so along with a new name of the land, they called the ruler the president instead of the king; the counts became governors, and the lords of the “upper house” became senators with the representatives of the great mass of ordinary people the leaders of the “lower” house. the u.s. court of the law is very much english, with the dress codes and the codes of conduct for the justices, jury and the prosecuting and defending lawyers. and they simplified the spellings of a few words in their english mother tongue.

for a democracy to be, the demos, the people have to be as free as all other wild creatures are, conducting their lives’ affairs in ways as nature created them. that is why the freedom is equated with the untamed wild. in this instance, the british had it easy in gaining control of the indian subcontinent. the english did not have to kill off indians as the u.s. did to the native americans. the indian populace was already subjugated by the local and foreign rulers for a long long time by the rulers like rama and krishna and all other kings of the mythical past and immediate past. each of them had some ethical and political misgivings, and who had conducted their personal and states’ affairs in contradictions; they treated women like objects and they were quarrelsome. these kings had kept fighting among themselves to retain and expand their little territories as depicted in the indian epics in school history books. so for the subservient indian populace it made no difference in servitude for the new king. and fed with such conflicting codes of conduct as “lila”, the divine play, the masses kept on living as practically possible as they could, since nothing had changed in their day to day living.

so what does being free for an ordinary person, or for that matter, for any other creature mean? the notion of leadership is an invention of the royal thinking of the authority to retain the status quo. and in the british created colonies it is promoted through the british education inventing the royal stories of not only of human affairs, but also of the animals: in this respect, the english fairy tales make the lion as the king of the animal world, calling it the ‘animal kingdom’, as if the lion rules over all of them appointing wolves and foxes and such as overseers in the manner the english king manages the subjects’ lives with the laws and rules controlled by the ministers and bureaucrats; or a slave owner does it with the help of the slave drivers. lion and other carnivore feed on the weaker creatures, but they do not set rules conducting the ways of life of all these creatures.

life, longevity and death are determined by the interplay of elements, irrespective of manmade hierarchical order for the poor calling it constitution, law and governance. animals of prey control the animal population much like the killer diseases and natural calamity of humans, including the small and big wars. from this perspective the rich are nothing but a contagious deadly disease that maims and kills the poor. the poverty is an old but prevalent disease that incubates in the minds of the rich host. if the poor suffer the cancerous ailment bodily, it destroys the perceptive senses of the brains of the rich. as it is virtually impossible to make the logical sense to distinguish between the facts and belief in a devout believer of any religion, so, too, it is not possible for the rich to know how much is enough of everything to exist comfortably as a member of the human species. since the richness is a comparative term, the rich mind conceives ways and means to retain the poverty in order to be seen better than the poor.

all free creatures take their nourishment from other forms other than their own kind in nature’s way. only humans interdeal among themselves as determined by the human authority, a king or a bureaucrat or factory owner, in the form of wage slavery. this form of obtaining the livelihood by working for others is a new development in the human behavior which comes as an outcome of battles fought. the cannibals are said to have raided the neighboring community to kill people to eat them. the carnivore animal population was stated to have increased during the americans fighting in vietnam, as the americans did not eat the vietcong they killed, but unintentionally left for the carnivores creatures to eat.

this writer had met a young poet from borneo whose parents had eaten the human flesh. in one of their conversations he stated that in a u.s. news (of early 1960s) he read that more than 900 americans were killed yearly in road accident. “at least some of them would have been healthy. why the meat eating americans not eat them? what a waste!”, he wondered. and then he had put forth a simple question: ”suppose that you are a meat eater. your mother dies, and you knew that she had a healthy life and had died a natural death. would you eat her flesh?” “of course, not.” the young poet mused: “then you are discriminating, for when alive she had fed you with her own milk, and later on fed you with other foods. after death there is no mother, or else you would not burn her flesh in cremation ground.” this writer had agreed with the young borneo poet on the logical ground, however, he finds it less destructive form to live minimally being a vegan. and, too, as vegan he would not consume flesh in the surgical way by the way of the transplant of the limbs and organs, which has also sprouted as business, obtaining the human body parts in donations or illegally by dubious means.

as members of a species that is group dwelling, humans, too, have naturally necessary limbs, organs and vocal chords to convey the needed action or interaction. communication within the members of the same species forms a common vocabulary, made of some sound of grunts, teeth grinding and in case of humans a long list of certain sounds put together forming signs for certain things or actions. and to some extent, there are certain sounds and physical motions of communication that enable creatures of two different specie to convey the intent. using these forms creatures including humans interact. as for the medium of communication of the humans, the field of the language narrows with the size of the group speaking the same language rather than becoming universal, despite its common origin and common non verbal intent of expression. it has splintered into several thousand vocal and written languages, like an indian saying: “every 12 gaav (about 25 miles) the tongue changes, and every 20 gaav (about 40+miles) the dress changes.” this change is due to the geographical location affecting the physiological variations to cope with the climate. in cold climate zones people’s nose has smaller openings and in tropical zones people have broad nose regulating the inhaling and exhaling the air while breathing and also while speaking. one’s vocal chords and the passages of speech, too, vary in order to retain or expunge warm breath. the english sound of the letter: o, for instance; as people in england do not open their mouth fully, their o-s are flat like aa compared to the indian o-s which are made round like wide open rounded mouth.

beyond that, other variations take place due to the people moving from one climate zone to a different climate zone. in thought one can even inhabit on moon and mars, but biologically it may take generations to be adept to even a few degrees up or down the air temperature. thus the english only ideologically captured the indian and african land, but had to invent the means and devices to mimic the english climate: the “pankhawala” indian servants fanned the english before the electric fans were created; delhi was their winter capitol and simla as the summer capitol to enable the english saheb to breathe easily. and to accommodate these and other absurdities of the dress code and such, the king had to have a steady influx of material and manual resources. since these accommodations cannot be made for the entire nation or even for all bureaucrats, even within the ruling class, the ranks had to be made on a sliding scale. this then formed the higher and lower ranks in the indian staff that served the english staff serving the upper class lords. at the height of the english rule, the english viceroy of india had a staff of some 3000 indians serving the servants serving the servants serving yet further servants serving ultimately the top notch personal servant of the viceroy. and these indian servants and sepoys and bureaucrats prided in serving the english as it placed them above the indians serving the indians. there is an old american country saying that depicts this form of hierarchy that also existed in the u.s. slaves: “the kitchen niggar looks down upon the house niggar, who looks down upon the yard niggar, who looks down upon the field niggar.”

as nature makes no distinction between the rich and poor at birth of an infant, this distinction must have to grow from miniscule gene nurtured by a plethora of the caregivers, gradually forming a mindset that is survives only in comparison.

but, it is in nature of every element to be, and the human minding naturally tires of the meaningless repetitive motions of life, and seeks to be free,

does the turtle shop for a new shell
or the bear for fur spray to groom well?
do birds invited bids to build them nest
or fish for an aquarium to swim and rest?
do birds in a flock race,
as do commuters to avoid the face
of the fellow workers, for the fear
as it extends the time of uniform they wear?
does the foxhunt fowls only to hold
frozen for other foxes until sold?
does the tiger go on a deer round-up
to sell to other tigers the deer meat ground up?
do creatures seek god and pray
for the juicy meat or to make their rivals sway
or for a good hunting ground they never found,
offering fish or fowl to the almighty hound?
the answer to all this we do know is: no,
that we don’t is where else to go

to live peacefully in here and now
without a plethora of guides to tell us how.

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