What surprised me was Mulayam Singh Yadav's dream for a " mahasangh" comprising of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. While speaking in Parliament on May 7 during the discussion on the bill to operationalise a Land Boundary Agreement with Bangladesh he said, "You will be creating history if you are able to make a mahasangh...; these three countries will become prosperous in trade" He further said, "In sports, nobody would be able to beat us. It would end disputes among these three countries, bring prosperity, promote people-to-people contact and enhance trade. Firing and killing on our borders would stop if this idea is taken forward."
PM Narendra Modi had surprised everyone by inviting the heads of neighbouring countries to his swearing in ceremony. It was wonderful to see the positive response all the countries gave, including the Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif. I thought that Modi with a strong and stable Government with absolute majority and popularity in the country would make it his priority.
Despite much hostility and cross broader terrorism, unity of Pakistan, Bangladesh and India is not an impossible dream because of the successful example of European Union. The initiative for this historical union was taken by two visionary leaders of France and Germany. These two neighbouring countries had a history of hostility and war of three centuries. They led the two sides of both the world wars. After the 2nd world war the leaders of both these counties, Charles De Gaulle, President of France and Konrad Adenaur Chancellor of Germany came together for a meeting. During the meeting both the leaders asked, "Why don't we stop this war and hostility?" They made an agreement not to wage war against each other. The leaders who came after them carried their legacy forward and gradually gave birth to the present European Union, including many more countries of Europe. Today all the independent countries of European Union has a common currency. People could travel from one country to the other without checks and controls at the boundary. Instead of wars and hostility, people experience fellowship and friendship.
After the Second World War, Germany was divided into two parts with a strong wall. The East Germany was controlled by communist Russia and the West Germany was placed under America. For forty years, people of the same country were divided by this wall. In 1993 this big wall was broken with the collective initiative of three visionary leaders: Helmut Kohl of West Germany, Mikhael Gorbechov of Russia and Ronald Reagan of the USA. West Germany which was more prosperous manifested generosity by agreeing to give the same value for the East German currency. West Germany agreed to shift the capital of the United Germany to Berlin, the old capital of the undivided Germany. West Germany was willing to pump maximum money and resources to reconstruct East Germany.
The proposed ' mahasangh' surely can become a reality provided the political leaders of these countries keep the lasting welfare of their people above their vested interest. Before the leaders discuss about this at their level, they need to educate the people of their respective countries. They need to control and isolate the fundamentalist forces in their respective countries. The common people should be educated about the benefits of such a mahasangh. Each country should organize awareness programs in the villages and cities. It should be part of the school program and the young generation should be motivated to accept the challenges and sacrifices involved in such a historical unity.
Mahasangh should ensure independence and peace of each country in the union. Once these three countries set an example of unity and peace, other countries in the neighbourhood would also join this union. I had written an article praising Modi for his trend setting initiative. In the very article, I had warned him to control the fundamentalist leaders and fringe groups if he wanted to carry forward this historical initiative.
Modi has still four more years with him. Now that a leader like Mulayam Singh Yadav could speak in terms of a 'mahasangh', Prime Minister should make it his top priority mission. He should immediately constitute a large committee/ department including people from all walks of life to make plans to realize this mission and urgently explore the ways and means to prepare all people for this great mission. Success of this mission would give a pride place for India in the world. PM Narendra Modi could establish himself as a world leader and even become the most eligible person for a Nobel Prize for Peace.
RSS, which proclaims itself as a dedicated organisation to build up this country should expand its sangh into mahasangh and prepare its cadres for realizing this greater mission. It should move from the narrow and divisive patriotism to broader universal solidarity of Vasuthaiva Kundumbakam, the genuine vision and spirituality of Hindu religion. It should abandon the politics of Hindutva and adopt spiritual Hinduism which includes the whole universal family as one.
As India prepares its people for realising this great dream it should appoint the best diplomatic personnel to initiate dialogue with both Pakistan and Bangladesh. Both these countries should prepare their leaders and people. They should stop all kinds of fundamentalist forces and wipe out all terror outfits from their land. All three countries should have clarity of vision and purity of intention.
Everyone, from the Prime Minister to young children should be led by possibility thinking and ask, 'If France, Germany and countries in Europe could do it, WHY NOT we?'
Published by HT Syndication with permission from Indian Currents.
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