The Aam Aadmi Party and Animal Farm

The plot of George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’ can be summarized in a single sentence – “This novel demonstrates the consequences of the addition of four important words -‘but’,  ‘some’, ‘more’, and ‘others’ to the phrase – <all animals are equal>”.

In other words, it describes the transition from the axiomatic statement <all animals are equal> to the qualified formula <all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others>.

Aam Aadmi Party founder and Delhi’s new chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s ruling out the possibility of referendums in Kashmir about the presence of the armed forces in Jammu & Kashmir (in response to his party colleague Prashant Bhushan’s endorsement of the idea of such a referendum during a recent television appearance) could signify a shift within the Aam Aadmi Party’s evolving political doctrine that parallels the transition that the pigs in Animal Farm made while turning their revolution into a counter-revolution.

Yogendra Yadav - Modi is Substitute, AAP is an Alternative - AAP Campaign Sticker
Yogendra Yadav – Modi is Substitute, AAP is an Alternative – AAP Campaign Sticker

As someone who wishes the new Aam Aadmi Party dispensation in Delhi well, and believes that the aspirations it claims to represent could (given the cultivation of the right conditions and attitudes) actually evolve into what it says is “the alternative to, not the substitute for” the decadence of the Indian political mainstream, I certainly hope that is not the case.

I have been told that the Aam Aadmi Party is a work in progress. I take that claim on face value. There are elections coming, and the Aam Aadmi Party has said that it has constituted 31 groups with around 115 members to work on policy aspects of its manifesto. It is also in the process of setting up a coordination team to finalise a national road map. This process involves consultations, amongst others, with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). That is as it should be. What I am interested to know is whether it also involves, say, consultations with the workers of the Maruti Suzuki plant in Manesar who might have ideas very different from the leading lights of the CII (and lest the AAP think they are insignificant, let us remember that industrial workers in Haryana constitute a sizable force, just as the Khap Panchayats, whom Yogendra Yadav, an AAP luminary, has offered to have a dialogue with, also represent a sizable force in Haryana).

I am all for dialogue, with as many different kinds of people as possible, even with Khap Panchayats and the CII and the Waqf Board of X and the Bhajan Kirtan Mandali of Y and the Resident Welfare Association of Z  and the Parent Teacher Association of Q, and the Revolutionary LGBT League (M-L) because naturally, it is possible to create a robust political charter that attends to different interests only by listening to a great diversity of views, from mainstream to fringe, and then choosing the ones, regardless of where they come from, that are genuinely democratic, egalitarian and conducive to the sustenance of a free society.

But if the AAP can find the time to have dialogue  with the CII and not with workers’ councils, with the ex-servicemen and not with the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition for Civil Society, with security experts and not with the Peoples Union of Democratic Rights, or with khap panchayats of Haryana and not with with queer men and women in Gurgaon, then I, and many others like me, will begin to have questions about exactly how big the tent of the Aam Aadmi Party is going to be. I would like it to be as big, as messy, as maddeningly fascinating as the social world we all inhabit.

If the Aam Aadmi Party does not intend to degenerate into the Telegu Desam or the Trinamool Congress of Delhi, or find its niche as the B team of the Congress, the BJP or some rump Third From made up to accommodate the idiocies of Mulayam and Mamata, or even transform itself into a dose of steroids for the comatose apparatchiki of the CPI(M), then it can and must rise above the din of cliches that dominate the mainstream of political imagination in India. To do this, it will have to prove that it can speak an entirely new and different political language. This is not impossible.

And If it can dare to at least desire to be different on so many significant issues, why should we not expect it to dare to desire to be different, say about the shibboleth of National Security ? Why should someone who does not subscribe to the overarching doctrine of National Security (which is used to terrorize large sections of the population) not be entitled to the dignity of being just as aam an Aadmi as any other? And if the AAP readily admits to being post-ideological, and pragmatist, then why can we not (very reasonably) expect it to (pragmatically) be ‘post’ the ideology of nationalism as well?  Or are we to believe that some ideologies, such as nationalism, like some aadmi, such as the citizens of Delhi, are more khaas than others?

The maintenance of the massive military infrastructure of the nation state in the territories governed by the Indian republic is an enormous burden not just on aam-Kashmiris, but on  all aam-Hindustanis as well. Why can the Aam Aadmi Party not take a stand on this that includes – among other things – a pledge towards unilateral nuclear disarmament, a substantial cut in defense spending (which would automatically decrease corruption and release more resources for the welfare of the population), the lifting of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act. and dialogue in Kashmir and elsewhere outside the purely ideological framework of the commitment to the sanctity of Indian republic’s current borders and constitution? Why can a pragmatic commitment to a humane attitude to all existing problems that beset this fractious republic not be part of the core agenda of the manifesto of the Aam Aadmi Party. In other words, why not argue for one, two, three, many referendums in Kashmir, or anywhere, at all, on as many issues, as necessary?

If, on the other hand, we follow Arvind Kejriwal’s current line of thinking on the question,  then, referendums by citizen centric Mohalla Committees in Delhi about whether or not Kejriwal should rule them, because he promises them electricity and water are ok, but referendums by identical citizen centric Mohalla Committees in Srinagar, Sopore or Baramulla about whether the Army, the BSF or the CRPF should shoot them, if they take out protests against erratic electricity supply during a cold winter are not ok. In other words – we should all talk about Bijli-Paani (Electricity and Water) issues and corruption, but the people of Srinagar should keep quiet about what happens if you talk about Bijli-Paani and corruption. I am hoping that the Aam Aadmi Party has enough people with a more capacious political imagination than the limitations (whether sincere or cynical) of Arvind Kejriwal’s tight embrace of the obscene fetish of National Security.

Those with a memory longer than the duration of a tweet might recall that the mass uprising that shook Kashmir in the winter of 1989-90 was actually triggered by the brutal repression of protests against power cuts during a particularly cold winter, when homes were left unheated.

Altaf Ahmed Soon, 18, Killed by CISF during protest against electricity outages, Boniyar, Kashmir photo, Greater
Altaf Ahmed Soon, 18, Killed by CISF during protest against electricity outages, Boniyar, Kashmir
photo, Greater

At one such electricity-protest in Khanyar, in Old Srinagar, in the cold December of 1989, scores of protestors were killed. Bijli-Paani, which is so dear to Kejriwal, happened at that point, to come in the way of National Security, which is also dear to Kejriwal, and National Security won, as it has done again, and again. Only last week, as the new year had barely begun, on the 2nd of January, Altaf Ahmed Sood, an eighteen year old student of Barnait, Boniyar in North Kashmir’s Baramulla district was shot dead by troopers of the Central Industrial Security Force when they fired on people protesting against electricity shortages.

Arvind Kejriwal undertaking a fast against inflated electricity bills in Sunder Nagri, New Delhi
Arvind Kejriwal undertaking a fast against inflated electricity bills in Sunder Nagri, New Delhi, Photo – Mail Today

The citizen of say Sundar Nagri, New Delhi is as much an aam aadmi (common man or woman) as the aam aadmi of Boniyar, Baramulla or Khanyar, Old Sringar, but clearly, according to Arvind Kejriwal some aam (common) aadmi are more khaas (special) than others, or else what could explain the fact that Bijli-Paani protests in Sundar Nagri or Lajpat Nagar in Delhi are signs of civic democracy that we must all laud, while Bijli-Paani protests in Boniyar or Khanyar in Kashmir are occasions for the issuing of ‘shoot to kill’ orders. All aadmi are aam, but some are clearly more khaas than others. All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.

Is this the khaas-baat of the Aam Aadmi Party? is this blood stained legacy something that it wants to take forward ?

On the 27th of August, 2011, in a post titled Hazare, Khwahishein Aisi I had tried to sketch a way of thinking that might make it possible for those interested (like Arvind Kejriwal says he is) in thinking about corruption, to also think about Kashmir, and a few other things. This is what I found it necessary to say then. Substitute Arvind for Anna, and the AAP for ‘India Against Corruption’ (in this text, as has happened in life) and it remains what I think necessary to say now.

If by corruption, we mean a hollowing out of the things that make life worth living in dignity, then the low wage is as much a sign of corruption as the bribe. And yet, while Anna Hazare does talk about the evil of the bribe, I have yet to come across anyone in ‘India Against Corruption’ speak of the evil of the non-living wage. In all probability, some of the good men and women who endorse them today might tomorrow find workers taking to the streets for higher wages a very ‘corrupt’ sight. If, by the eradication of corruption we mean that a woman in Kashmir has no one to bribe in the local police to get news of her son in custody, then I would much rather have her pay the bribe and know whether her son is living or dead, and have the policeman take the bribe and give her the information that the dark legality of the state forbids him to do, then have her face the possibility that he might be one of the more than two thousand odd unidentified bodies that are now known to be rotting in mass graves in the valley. And yet, while Anna Hazare does talk about the evil of the bribe, the scam and the sleazy deal, I have yet to come across him speaking about the corruption and the corrosiveness that placed the rotten body in the unmarked grave in the first place. In the last week, while Anna has fasted, we have also come to know that a state agency (the J&K State Human Rights Commission) in Jammu and Kashmir has finally Aadmitted what was known all along. That there are at least two thousand and one hundred and fifty six unidentified dead bodies in thirty eight mass grave sites in different parts of the state. If this were to happen in any other part of the world, there would have been an immediate hue and cry. And yet, here, its as if, some remains have been found in an obscure set of archaeological digs. The problems of disappearances and of mass graves full of unidentified bodies that have been put there by people acting in the name of the Indian state ought to be central to any discussion of what it means to have corruption eat into the vitals of the political system. This is not just a question of bad policy, or errors of judgement. It is a huge, systematically constructed moral lapse, impelled by strong monetary incentives, at the very core of the functioning of the state in India. And Anna Hazare has nothing to say about this. His silence (and the silence of his close associates) about a black hole as profound as this at the heart of governance  is as disturbing to me as Manmohan Singh’s silence about the 2G scam.

Revolutions, as we know well by now, have a habit of eating their own children. This is actually as true of revolutions stained red in blood as it is of revolutions milked dry and lily white by by pious and peaceable virtue. While offering my salam to the AAP for making its spectacular debut in Delhi, I sincerely hope, that unlike the pigs of Animal Farm, they do not end up making a salami of those they claim to speak for.

See Also

Beating AAP with the Kashmir stick

National Interest and the Aam Aadmi: Abhijit Dutta

Hazare, Khwahishein Aisi: Desiring a new politics, after Anna Hazare and beyond corruption

28 thoughts on “The Aam Aadmi Party and Animal Farm”

  1. The AAP has a stand on corruption, which is repeatedly parroted almost as though it is the root of all evil. We do not as yet know their stand on anything else, nor why they refuted Bhushan’s statement. Why don’t we ask these questions of them?


  2. I am an ardent supporter of AAP and find myself completely in agreement with this piece. I hope so too AAP doesn’t find itself in pig’s role in the farm. That said, I sincerely believe the plan is to not start from that great level of idealism (as one can imagine 8 out of 10 Indians elsewhere, if not more, doesn’t understand the real situation of Kashmir). I this case we have two options: 1. vote or no-vote, campaign for liberties of kashmir and there by lose votes / any chance of winning or 2. first win the confidence of people by delivering good services and once they trust, make them think of complicated issues. I am sure all leftists will say option 1 and 1 only (and probably the reason why we’ll never win power to change) or take option 2. I think AAP is taking option 2 and only history will judge it it was indeed prudent step or not.


    1. Dear Bhagat, thank you for your thoughtful comment. I hope that people like you, who support the AAP can influence it in the right direction. if the AAP is sincere, and if it listens to the sanity of someone like you then it can make a start by cultivating its own understanding by listening to the people of Kashmir, Manipur, Nagaland, Tripura and in all territories where the AFSPA is in operation and then talk, on the basis of that understanding, do the hard work of talking to the 8 out of 10 indian people who, as you say do not understand what is happenning in Kashmir. If it does that, it will prove that it is a party with a difference. If it does not do so, the AAP will be as responsible as every other party in India for the bloody mess of a military occupation. And that is something that is as cancerous and as corrupting of our society as the other sources of corruption that the AAP says it is fighting.


      1. Again, fully agree with you Shuddhabrata. There are few of us who are vehemently fighting within the party and with fellow volunteers to talk about Kashmir and not shut someone down. We believe Kashmir should be a national debate and everyone in country should hear all sides. Unfortunately, right-wing goondas have completely occupying this debate and not letting any meaningful debate to happen (as it doesn’t suit their fear-the-unknown theory!). Will keep pushing for a fair policy on Kashmir and NE. A small silver-lining that you may like to hear: I was fully part of IAC (one of those crazy leftist to be part of IAC despite likes of Ramdev being there as I was not ready to concede our space and full right-wing takeover) and when similar incident of attack on PB happened, I saw not even 1 in 100 supporting him but now, I see at least 3 or 4 in 10 AAP volunteers openly or silently supporting PB and asking what is wrong in his statement? I am truly motivated by this huge jump in change in perception. A friend I met through IAC/AAP who once had affection for RSS / modi (called it ‘patriotic’ organization) now calls them murderers responsible Gujarat riots. It is indeed the critical thinking space (whatever little) she got in AAP and am very happy about it. I am happy that you all are keeping our feet to fire and equally happy of getting some surprising support from likes of Shivam.


  3. As the list of “civil society” recommendations on what the AAP should do grows beyond the original 18 points or so, I am reminded of the following. I once met this wonderful, very old, diminutive, catholic nun in Canada (forgotten the name, growing old, she won the Right to Life in those days) who was campaigning against pollution caused by nuclear energy, especially the wastes and the transmission wires. After her talk, a brash young technocrat gave her a long lecture on what steps she could take to prevent leakage. The Sister replied, “everywhere I go people tell me what more I need to do”.

    I am not excluding myself. As the first corrective step, I quietly became a member of AAP. In the process, I had to set aside overwhelming political instincts developed from the comforts of “high culture” radicalism.


    1. Dear Nirmalangshu-da, kudos to you. This post was written in the modest hope that people like you, who have joined the AAP (and may your tribe increase) will now be able to persuade the leadership and the emerging party machine to rethink and reject tired nationalist cliches and engage pragmatically with all the questions that need careful thought.I hope that with your clear, sober, analytical intelligence you will be able to engage with the party’s rank and file, and its leadership, and steer it, through argument and analysis in a sane direction, and make Kejriwal realize the folly of parroting the tired national security line on Kashmir.


  4. Lesson Number 4

    Hesitation is your worst enemy

    On the battlefield of Kurukshetra , Arjun had doubts

    Sure , he had been wronged by cousin Duryodhan , but how can he think of fighting him – and grandpa Bhisma – just to regain his rights ?

    When Gandiv ( the mighty bow ) started slipping from his hands , he sat down on the chariot and told Lord Krishna ,

    ” I am confused . I have doubts about fighting this battle ”

    It was then that Lord Krishna taught him Karma-Yoga

    Rest is history

    When Arvind Kejriwal ( Chief Dark Cloud ) , announced launching of a helpline yesterday , the Doubting Thomas of all respectable TV channels broke into a chorus :

    > Helpline is an eyewash – bound to fail

    > No more than a populist measure to divert people’s attention

    > A ridiculous , half-baked idea

    > If people are to conduct sting operations , what will you do ?

    > Going back on promises – what else

    > Corrupt officials will get friends to make fake phone-calls on helpline
    and learn about the ” Modus Operandi ” of the planned sting

    > If it was this easy to get rid of corruption , Congress would have done it
    50 years back

    > Why did it take you 15 days to announce such a simple thing ?


    Remember ,

    > Too much analysis produces paralysis

    > No decision is worse than a bad decision

    > Fear of failure is your worst enemy

    > World average is : One idea succeeds after 99 fails

    > Only way to success is by experimenting – by making mistakes

    > Only way to learn swimming is by jumping into water

    > Successful governments all over the World , have a ” BIAS FOR ACTION ”

    This is your Lesson Number 4


    Learn it well

    * hemen parekh ( 09 Jan 2014 / Mumbai )


  5. My reactions on reading the (well written) article were mirrored by the comments above, which I appreciate. The response of the author is also very sensible (in my opinion) and I appreciate that too.


  6. AAP to some extent impact the way the electoral politics was being played but to expect from them any critical assessment of various issues especially those related to national security, nationalism, right of the people to decide their political and cultural autonomy and independence is far fetched, given the fact that the leaders and followers alike are those tro-colour waving, bharatmata ki jai shouting, god fearing (remember the oath of the new CM of delhi) and so on. it is basically a group molded in the ‘end of ideology’ scheme of things with technocratic solutions and NGOisation of political approach


  7. Well these fit all kind of parties like AAP will in the ultimate analysis go with popular, right wing, majoritarian, common sense on contentious issues. They are after all going in for ‘collecting opinion’ without making any effort to engage and transform it. Remember this is a painful difficult process. AAP is in a hurry obviously.


  8. The virtue of AAP is only in the ‘innocent mistakes’ it is making before the logic of power normalizes it and makes it resemble any other political party. If the logic of numbers determines its ideology, then like BJP or Congress it may well come to power, but by the end of it, it will have nothing of value to offer and die as a movement. On the other hand if it fails to win the elections because of ethical stand it takes across the issues and the groups of people involved, it will continue to thrive as a movement.


  9. Unfortunately, despite the obvious bankruptcy of the national security line on Kashmir and the hollowness of tired nationalist cliches, an overwhelming majority of people in this country view their relationship with counterparts in the Valley as us and them. This is not just because of nearly seven decades of bungling by New Delhi and skulduggery by vested interests across the border. It is also because nationalism continues to tug at mass emotions and anything that even remotely seems to threaten the integrity of the nation is seen as hostile. Left-wing radicals who do not share this same emotional link to nationalism find it difficult to understand this although ironically all communist revolutions so far have taken liberal help of these nationalist to both launch and defend themselves. I think Prashant was being a bit naive about sensitivities across the country while speaking of a referendum on army presence in the Valley. He would have been much better off if he had instead pointed out at the obvious inadequacy and failure of the present national security line on Kashmir and the need to carefully calibrate a more successful strategy in Kashmir that would both strengthen the integrity of the national and serve the interests of the Kashmiri people. However I am very happy that at least a section of left-wing radicals are taking a far more open and accommodating approach to a new phenomenon like AAP with all its confusions and contradictions instead of dismissing this as “false consciousness” and walking away.


  10. I am not a member of the AAP but I support them and the fresh narrative that they they stand for in these otherwise tired and cynical narratives in the annals of Indian politics. My point to all those who want the AAP to take a harder leftist stand is that they should see that the AAP is trying to capture space in Urban India which has been the constituency of the BJP.
    Which means that urban India is somewhat already supportive of right wing stands. The AAP has already made inroads there. But on certain other planks which have nothing to do with the left or right like corruption and governance.
    Do you not think that they will lose some of that space of they take a strong leftist stand? The other question to ask is, if like the earlier commentator ‘Bhagat’ said that they start talking about Kashmir after they consolidate themselves, will it be possible? I mean will the AAP want to? Or will it be seen as something that will again jeopardize their position? I ask this because the AAP is a political party and soon, with time, its members will also have to be “politically correct”. I hope they talk about it now since the AFSPA is the worst law i have heard of in a democracy and because they have the wind in their sails but I think the fears I mentioned above are the legitimate fears of any fledgling party in India.


  11. By the strain of Prashant Bhushan’s logic, held so very dear by some, the people of Ladakh can vote to create its own state. Ditto for the people of Jammu. The good citizens of Lutyens Delhi could also vote to keep out the constant barrage of crowds in Jantar mantar distirbing their daily routine. The gentle denizens of bandra, Mumbai can vote to prevent their neighborhood roads from being used by heavy vehicles choking up their environment.

    Stretching the logic, why don’t we have a referendum across India on whether army should be present in Jammu Kashmir? I think most supporters of referendum know the answer.


  12. The AAP has just been elected to run a minority government in New Delhi. Until it can prove, by actions not slogans, that they can solve the problem affecting the common man in New Delhi, any talk of tackling national issues is premature. As they say, learn to walk before attempting to run. Nothing wrong in having a vision of the future. but achieving it is not as easy as shouting slogans.

    Perhaps this is the reason that Anna Hazare did not want to join AAP.

    I hope and wish AAP can deliver on its promises!


  13. I would like to state my problem with the AAP in general terms. It seems to me that on this issue Arvind Kejriwal went with the perceived public sentiment . This seems to be a trend and it appears that the party is not willing to commit to develop strong ideological legs. It wants to project itself and behave as if it is the proxy power of the people. At some point there has to be a flow of ideas from the party back to the Aam aadmi and not always the other way round.This also means that more discussion is needed on the perils of direct democracy in a country like India.
    That said, I am surprised that PB had to retract his statement . There was enough loopholes in his statement to satisfy a right winger. “If the deployment of Army had nothing to do with national security but only the law and order of the people of that state, they should have a say in it.”


  14. I am not at all sure that a choice has to be given to Kashmir of whether it wants to remain within India, or to join Pakistan. The third choice, of its becoming independent, is a nonstarter because either India or Pakistan or China will anyway dominate it, so there are basically two choices. And in my opinion Kashmir has to remain a part of India for several strategic reasons – if it chooses to opt out, it will immediately become a center of activities of the Taliban and also of the PLA. So yes, I believe the AAP leadership has rightly ruled out a referendum in Kashmir, at least for now.

    Reading this article, it appeared to me that the author seems to have lost the distinction between idealism and pragmatism. A referendum in Kashmir is possible in an ideal world, where your opponents are childlike in their simplicity and play the game fairly. It is not possible in a real world, where a host of geopolitical interests, often at conflict with each other, are playing out on every square inch of land on the earth. In the real world a nation cannot simply give away a part of itself, for that will have consequences even 50 years later.


  15. Reblogged this on The story of Paro and commented:
    While I am quite excited about AAP’s victory in the Delhi Assemby elections and feel like a revolution might be underway, my mind that is much inclined to Orwellian criticisms fears that the AAP might soon loose it status quo. Nivedita Menon sums it up well.


  16. I feel for the left, they have such simple heart and believe in idealism, there are so many times that they would argue for self determination and get moved by killings that are common in a war that’s being fought, now my comment is not a reply to the topic here but generically addresses the same issue, if Kashmir is a happy Independent state, it will be an Islamic state and there will be no space in there for left thinking. Though some may try to argue this but it will never happen that an Islamic state will permit Leftism. Tudeh party (Communist) worked with the Islamists to topple the Iranian government and each one of the tudeh’s leadership was massacred once Islamists gained power, people who were for 30 years leftist gave public statement that they believe in Islamic republic and not on atheism (left concept) (of course under torture and threat to life). So dear Leftist I hope that no one sees that day but if there was such a day that would be the day Left will be exterminated from the Islamic Kashmir. Your Muslim friends will be forced to turn their backs (under threat) on you or be even if they genuinely believe in your cause, why – because that has always happened without failure. I will love to hear examples opposite to what I said.


  17. Mr Kejriwal did not rule out a referendum because it was Kashmir but because it involved internal security issues. Similarly a referendum in Muzaffarnagar or Gujarat during the communal killings on whether army should be deployed or not would also not be held. But Kejriwal did add when asked about Mr Bhushan’s proposal to give Kashmiri people a referendum on security, that “logon ki rai lena bhi zaroori hota hai”.


  18. Post ideological and pragmatism also means post Marxism. I am afraid the writer would not like the emergence of an AAP sans marxism


  19. I accidentally replied to another post above. Please remove that and retain this.

    I will reply to this specific piece here
    a pledge towards unilateral nuclear disarmament, a substantial cut in defense spending (which would automatically decrease corruption and release more resources for the welfare of the population), the lifting of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act.

    For one, that would leave us too vulnerable. Substantial defense cut? I hope you remember have studied about Nehru’s ideas which cost a war for us. Nehru did not want to concentrate much on arms. Piece can be achieved only by the strong, or the unreachable.

    About AFSPA, it is true that there are people who misuse it, but to quote a dialogue from a Hindi movie, “If guns are going to be there anyways, would you prefer it to be with the defense forces or the terrorists”.


  20. We are living in a free society .We are allowing people to wear or not to wear ,same is the case with gays.But we are not allowing Kashmiries to decide about there day to day life.On the contrary we say that they are our “atut ang”.No they are not our atut ang they are our slaves.


    1. I do not know if you are a Kashmiri. Since you talk of them in the third person, you are apparently not. You belong to a state. An Indian state? You also belong to a family, a community (religion), a nation (India?). Shuddhabrata is compelled by an ideology – of extreme individualism that seeks to minimize the state – to take up an unpopular cause. It intrigues me, what propels you to that cause?


      1. Sengupta, this to you. Today the ideal of human unity is more or less vaguely making its way to the front of our consciousness. It must be remembered that a greater political unity is not necessarily a boon in itself; it is worth pursuing only if it provides a framework for a better, richer, more happy and puissant individual and collective life. In the small city state or regional cultures, there was always a defect which compelled towards larger organisations. A defenselessness against the onslaught of larger organisations with better capacity for wide-spread material well being tended to give place to the organisation of nations, kingdoms and empires. The organisation is great and admirable but the individual dwindles and is overpowered and overshadowed. You look at it from the limited standpoint of the individual. Were the several hundred small kingdoms before the advent of the British more conducive to individual well being than the common political unity that the British forged by force?


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