Together with China, India is like a huge giant waking up from a long sleep. Gus Dur, our Fourth President not only recognized this fact, but rightly understood its implication. So, he made it a point to visit those two countries first during his short presidency.
What happens when a giant wakes up from a long sleep? In the shadow play of Ramayana, we meet with Kumbhakarna, the giant who slept for months and woke up only to eat and fight.
India and China are like Twin Kumbhakarnas waking up at the same time. Both of them are now busy eating and filling their bellies. Yet, Indian Kumbhakarna is not the same as Chinese Kumbhakarna.
The Indian Kumbhakarna has over one billion bellies, the Chinese has one single belly, that of the state. The Indian Kumbhakarna grows larger on every side, the Chinese on one side only. So, this many-bellied Indian Kumbhakarna becomes much more dangerous.
One can confront and stop all dealings and interactions with the Communist Regime of China on Government to Government level. We have done so in the past. But, one cannot stop India that way. An Indian can penetrate us through any of the world’s 200 over governments, through the member states of United Nations as well as the non members. An industrialist will understand what I mean.
It is therefore very, very important to watch the next step of Indian Kumbhakarna…. What is he going to do, what cause shall he fight for? God forbids, if India follows the Kumbhakarna of shadow play who stood by his brother Rahvana to defend unrighteousness in the name of loyalty to nation.
More than a billion Indians working for their own selfish motives in the name of nation building can easily cause a serious imbalance in world economy.
I sincerely hope and pray that the present Indian Kumbhakarna does better than the previous shadow play one. With her belly filled, India must use her resources and work for the betterment of the world. Otherwise, with the fresh energy that she has acquired, she can be destructive!
She must not forget her destiny and responsibility toward the world. Let us hear what Gandhi, the Great Soul has to say on this:
- An India awakened and free has a message of peace and goodwill to a groaning world.
- Let India become alive by self-purification, that is self-restraint and self-denial, and she will be a boon to herself and mankind.
- On India rests the burden of pointing the way to all the exploited races of the earth.
Gandhi also pointed out the ills of industrialization topped with greed. India, with her huge population must watch out her next step and save herself from falling into the trap:
- If India becomes the slave of the machine, then, I say, heaven save the world.
- I do not want India to rise on the ruin of other nations.
Someone asked Gandhiji if he was against industrialization:
“‘Are you against all machinery?’
My answer is emphatically, ‘No’. But, I am against its indiscriminate multiplication. I refuse to be dazzled by the seeming triumph of machinery. I am uncompromisingly against all destructive machinery. But simple tools and instruments and such machinery as saves individual labor and lightens the burden of the millions of cottages, I should welcome.
“‘Then you are fighting not against machinery as such, but against its abuses which are so much in evidence today.’
“I would unhesitatingly say ‘yes’; but I would add that scientific truths and discoveries should first of all cease to be mere instruments of greed. Then laborers will not be over-worked and machinery, instead of becoming a hindrance, will be a help. I am aiming, not at eradication of all machinery, but limitation.”
Talking about industrialization and globalization, who are the real benefactors? How many of them actually benefit from the mad rush? We have planted Starbucks and McDonalds everywhere. We have created an ugly uniformity worldwide, killing all that was local, natural and traditional in each country.
Who are the people ultimately benefiting from the hypermarkets and foreign banks? These are the very people who then throw us some breadcrumbs in the name of “charity”, “donation”, “funding” and “scholarship”. Listen to Gandhi:
“What I object to, is the craze for machinery as such. The craze is for what they call labor-saving machinery. Men go on ‘saving labor’, till thousands are without work and thrown on the open streets to die of starvation. I want to save time and labor, not for a fraction of mankind, but for all; I want the concentration of wealth, not in the hands of few, but in the hands of all. Today machinery merely helps a few to ride on the back of millions. The impetus behind it is not the philanthropy to save labor, but greed. It is against this constitution of things that I am fighting with all my might.”
The questioner continues: “‘When logically argued out, that would seem to imply the all complicated power-driven machinery should go.’
To which Gandhi replies: “It might have to go but I must make one thing clear. The supreme consideration is man. The machine should not tend to make atrophied the limbs of man……I am not against machinery as such, but I am totally opposed to it when it masters us.”
The questioner seems to be not satisfied: “‘You would not industrialize India?
Gandhi replies: “I would indeed, in my sense of the term. The village communities should be revived. Indian villages (must) produce and supply to the Indian town and cities all their wants. India became impoverished when our cities become foreign markets and began to drain the villages dry by dumping cheap and shoddy goods from foreign lands.”
Recently, I was in the remote city of Rishikesh in the Himalayas. And, I found Indian religious icons made in China selling for much cheaper price than the locally produced ones. I don’t know how they got in, legally or illegally smuggled. But, that brought me back instantly to my own country, my Indonesia…..
Change the word “India” to “Indonesia” and you can clearly hear Gandhi speaking to us: “We become impoverished because not only our cities, but our villages have become markets to foreigners and foreign products.”
We are being attacked on all sides… Certain Middle Eastern Countries attack us on the Cultural Side. The West, Japan, and Korea have been attacking our Economy. To which list is now added another name, that of China…. As predicted by the western media, we are fast becoming the backyard of China.
Now, with the Indian Giant awakening, we can either pray with Gandhi, “heaven save the world” – Save Us!
Or, wake up and rise on our own two feet to re-proclaim our sovereignty. Stop all unnecessary imports, fruits and edibles, even bikes and other consumer goods “Immediately”, and save our nation from further impoverishment and degradation!