The Ideal of Human Unity written in the background of World War 1 together with the essays grouped under ‘War and Self-Determination’ constitute Sri Aurobindo’s political agenda for the New Age that is yet to be consolidated in the human psyche. Sri Aurobindo was the first voice in India to demand complete independence from foreign rule and created the extremist group in the Congress conglomeration that opted for ‘Democratic Nationalism’. The moment He was inwardly assured that the political freedom of India was inevitable and decreed in the Zeitgeist; he shifted his focus from Nationalism to INTERNATIONALISM. He started concentrating on the build-up to a free-world union as early as 1915 when no other political visionary in the world had the guarantee of India’s forthcoming political freedom. In 1916, He wrote the famous chapter entitled ‘THE UNITED STATES OF EUROPE’ where He correctly previsioned the setting up of the European Community. Being a seer and mystic, He had the pragmatism to write chapters titled ‘The Need of Military Unification’ and ‘War and the Need of Economic Unity’. He tries to show how the intellectual idealism of the West and the deeper consciousness of the East can meet with each other so that the outer freedom, equality and unity can be equated with the inner freedom, equality and unity. He painstakingly constructs a consciousness paradigm that leads to the idealized global human unity. In the process, He integrates the individual and the collectivity, smaller and larger aggregates, democracy and socialism, economic and non-economic factors, war and peace, materialism and spirituality.
We shall be serializing, in contemporary parlance, readings in ‘THE IDEAL OF HUMAN UNITY’, progressing chapter by chapter.
- By Dr. Soumitra Basu