Universal Charter of Good Governance
FOR GLOBAL SUSTAINABILITY
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,
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.
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.
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
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.