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Managing Trustees: Ashok Khosla, SK Sharma
B-32, Qutab Inst. Area, New Delhi 16; Tel: 685-1158, 696-7938, Fax: 686-6031

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Universal Charter of Good Governance
FOR GLOBAL SUSTAINABILITY

At the turn of the millennium, the world is witnessing major advancements in science and technological innovations. New frontiers are being established in technologies such as information, genetics, ocean, space and nano. The world is also witnessing unprecedented expansion in industrial growth, generation of wealth, financial markets and globalisation.
 
At the same time, it is confounded by unprecedented growth in population, poverty and disease, widespread destruction of the environment, endemic corruption, social unrest and mounting violence. Worse is that though there is concern about sustainability, action often tends to fortify these ills.
 
Most global problems emanate from exploitation and alienation of the people. Democracy is now universally recognised as the only vehicle for realising sustainability. However, democracy in both developed and developing nations is often not properly structured, leading to the exploitation of the poor nations by the rich nations, and of the poor in all nations.
 
Most third world nations have pseudo democracies based on the faulty Westminster system and exploitative colonial institutions. Developed nations often provide for local empowerment, but their consumerism driven economic system allows unlimited control over environmental and economic resources leading to exploitation.
 
Gandhi advocated true democracy in which power flows upward from the people. He also advocated a need based, non-exploitative economic system accountable to local communities. Gandhian ideology is based on the 4000-year democratic ethos and experience of India in which local entities control local resources and decision-making and the state provides infrastructure and coordinates but, because of social control, cannot exploit.



 
Rejection of Gandhi by society has led to all round social, environmental, economic and political degradation in India. It has also deprived the world of the path for realising a sustainable global society.

Master Solution

In the bygone days, there used to be a royal priest in most courts functioning as the conscience keeper of the state advising the monarch on righteous conduct. Contemporary nation-states need a new institution, Sovereign Rights Commission with authority to direct referendums, except on issues fundamental to democracy or the integrity of the nation. There can, for example, be no referendum on making the state theocratic or a region seceding.

Such an institution will function as the conscience keeper of the state, nurturing righteous conduct, based on the values of the society as a whole. The people can then correct through referendums, faulty institutions, policies and practices, thus ensuring true local empowerment. The world will then become a confederation of self-reliant, egalitarian local governments.

The question is how such an institution can be instituted. Constitutions based on pseudo democracy have been authenticated in the name of the people in violation of their trust. Documents authenticated in violation of trust are, in law, fraudulent. The people being the sovereign have the inherent sovereign right to change faulty constitutions. For this, they can seek writs for institutional mechanisms to facilitate reforms through referendums.



 
People First has launched a major initiative in this regard in India. It hopes to succeed soon. This will then make it easy for the people in other democracies.
 
The people in non-democracies too should, in their struggle for liberation, demand such Sovereign Rights Commissions. Nations such as USA that swear by democracy should strongly support such a demand.
 
Einstein is the man of the second millennium, Gandhi apostle of the third. They compliment each other in search of truth. The next millennium should be dedicated to realising their vision.

June 2000

 

[ The Problem : Pseudo Democracy ] [ The Goal : Universal Democracy ] [ The Process : Referendums ]
[ Political System ] [ Economic Systems ] [ Environmental Systems ] [ Social Systems ]

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