The apparent failure of the representatives of India to secure a greater degree of political freedom at this time can be regarded as a victory or as a defeat. No doubt the opponents of M. Gandhi may believe that they have the upper hand, and this seems true for the moment. But a close observation will reveal that the principal failure of the Nationalists has been due to their own lack of loyalty to the spiritual culture and metaphysics of their country which should ever make them in bear in mind that victory and unity must be accomplished on the mental plane before they can be substantiated on the physical plane.
Of course there are great differences of opinion in India; there are religious groups and economic groups, there are racial and language barriers; there are many traditions which have served to divide the populace, but: so are there such divisions almost everywhere else. The very forces which have been emphasizing these divisions include those who would have considered ridiculous any such objections to Czarist Russia or Imperial Austria. A tyranny which included within its realm peoples of hostile religions and radically different racial and language groups was a legitimate government, even though its citizens were barbarians; a free government of an age-old civilized people is objected to, and while such objections and arguments should be given every consideration, it does not prevent the people of India from answering such matters in their own manner.
For instance, consider India as a united nation, whether free or otherwise. Keeping this idea in the foreground, making it a national concentration whereby every loyalist would spend a few minutes or more each day in spiritual communion or concentration, and repeating in mantric form:India United1, or some such appropriate phrase, would build on the mental plane such a force that in time nothing could withstand it.
The problem of India is different from that of many subjected peoples because of its traditions of strong and abiding civilizations. As the opponents of a united India or a free India are constantly emphasizing the various differing strains in the national ensemble, it is well to consider such elements as may serve as basis for unity, as focal points around which all may gather.
For instance, there is music. While from certain standpoint it may be said that there is not a universal school of music for the whole country, still there are enough elements common to the arts of Hindustan and the Deccan to adopt some as a national rallying ground. On the theoretical side there is the national art, the expression of the soul of the people which serves for all to join in a common purpose, as in song. All can enjoy the same music, the hearts of all can respond to suitable national strains.
Nothing so much as music has aroused the patriotism of Western peoples. When we turn to the history of Italy, a nation which not so long ago was divided into many states and political divisions, some mutually hostile, it was music, seconded by drama and literature, which served to rouse the whole people to the spirit of national unity, leading to an early independence. It is well to remember that this spirit of national unity came first. After that it was only a matter of a few small years when complete independent was achieved.
It may be objected that the Italians had a common language, common tradition, etc. This point is overstressed. Roughly speaking it was true, but only very roughly speaking. No one ever objected to that government because in certain sections remnants of the Greek language still retained, or because there were vast and irreconcilable differences of temperament and race. It is enough to keep in mind that through concentration upon a national music and a national literature, all became so united in spirit that the various tyrants and despots were unable to offer any effective opposition to the movement for independence when that came.
Another focal point for unity is a name. For this purpose it is suggested that the title India be rejected at once and for all times. There has never been a political country India. Geographically this term has been applied to various islands and countries between the Pacific and Indian Oceans as well as to the blessed Bharata. The term Aryavarta is better but also offers serious objections. Some of the racial groups are not Aryan. Besides, the early Aryavarta did not cover the Deccan and did include territories now separated from political India.
It is therefore suggested that the term Bharata, the blessed land or some similar worthy name be adopted, especially if such should satisfy the Islamic and other minority groups. Some name must be adopted; rather let the title India refer to the period of darkness, decay and subjection, and Bharata for the coming day of liberty, progress and hope for all its inhabitants.
The needs of the people should not be neglected during the forthcoming period of struggle for independence. Movements to educate the masses along certain lines must be continued. It is also well for leaders to study the independence movements of other countries, so they will not repeat the mistakes of China and Latin America where independence was followed by internal strife.
It is especially important to note Brazil. Although comparatively sparsely settled, this country is larger in area than Bharata, and the racial diversity of its inhabitants is equal or greater. No one has yet objected to the recognition of Brazil on the ground that the Amerinds, Negroes, Portuguese, Germans, Italians, English and Japanese could not possibly unite. It is true that Brazil is not a paradise; neither its political nor economic welfare are on a firm foundation, yet other nations have realized that the causes of instability lay in other directions.
It is most strange, to say the least, that with numerous civil wars going on, many political groups have been recognized as governments, whether they be so de jure, de facto, or neither, and in the midst of such conditions overlooked elsewhere in case arguments are raised against freedom for Bharata on the ground that they exist there in posse.
More startling is the League of Nations. Regardless of any opinion as to its value, success and future possibilities, here we find a group of governments endeavoring to establish—from their own point of view—for the whole earth the very ideal which they insist is impossible in a particular section of the world, viz., Bharata. How the whole can be perfected before putting the parts and pieces together is not made clear, but it is well for loyalists and nationalists to observe this glaring inconsistency on the part of imperialistic nations, that at the same time they claim the ideal of unity and independence is impossible (for their subjects) and absolutely necessary—for their own well-being, that is, the ideal of a union in some form of all peoples regardless of race, religion, political or economic status and in this case—the League of Nationals, most evident hostilities and animosities.
It is not suggested that Bharata organize as a Federal Union on either the German or American plan, nor establish a government similar to the League of Nations. It is important to note that both these plans have certain elements of success, but it is still more necessary to keep in mind that the opponents of Indian freedom include proponents of such ideas, and that British representatives have elsewhere presented plans for governmental machinery, which they reject as impossible or impossible when suggested to them by leaders of the Indian people.
It is also well to benefit from the activities of the Russian Revolutions from 1820 to 1917, how they turned each apparent defeat into a later but greater victory. Temporary set-backs serve to make leaders recognize their short-comings and to seek other means for attaining their ends. The use of music, mantra and concentration will not only serve to unite all peoples, regardless of race, language or tradition, they will help keep them united on the day of trial, when incipient or actual civil wars, fomented at home or abroad, threaten national welfare. Moreover they will supply the spiritual basis for a free, united and independent humanity, where Shiah and Sunni, Vaishnavi and Shaivite, Buddhist and Jain can all join in their response to song, in their repetition of a national sacred phrase, one in their spiritual devotion to a practical ideal.
1 This phrase may be translated into Sanskrit or Hindustani if desired.