Democracy is not a spectator sport
Another edition of the series In Conversation with the Mystic took place in Hyderabad on 16 June 2012 at the N Convention Center. In a scintillating dialogue that lasted over two hours, Sadhguru and Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan examined various issues confronting India today – the rot of corruption in our political system, the need for a united India and the way ahead.
As a politician known for his integrity, Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan had many questions for Sadhguru centerd around the crumbling moral values in our society. In response Sadhguru pointed out that through the ages, India has never been governed by a moral scale but relied on raising human consciousness to keep itself in check – a process that is threatened today. About the tottering structure of the political system, Sadhguru said,
Democracy cannot be a spectator sport, it is a participatory process” – we are all responsible for the government that emerges among us.
As they discussed the way ahead, Sadhguru offered insight laced with pragmatism. As the world moves from a situation where political leadership is dominant to a state where economic leaders become influential, Sadhguru reiterated the need to prepare economic and business leaders to be inclusive. Strengthen the laws and let the market forces work, he said. Picking up an example that Dr. Narayan had put forward, Sadhguru said that even birth and death registrations could be turned over to business forces. We have chosen market economy but not yet emerged from the culture of charity. He said, “Power and business are not bad words, they have just gotten into the bad hands.”
As Dr. Narayan wondered if spirituality can truly be the glue that sticks India together, Sadhguru distinguished between religion and spirituality, and described how this land, which had over 200 political entities at one time, was nevertheless considered one nation because of “a certain fundamental spiritual ethos”. Both speakers agreed that strengthening national political parties was highly important if we are to keep India united.
The Conversation, which proved as riveting as it promised to be, was attended by a live audience of nearly 3,000-strong and live-streamed via the internet to several thousand viewers. Several local television channels also aired the proceedings.