Gandhi's Dream of New Democracy: The Parallel Consensual Democratic Governance System

The purpose of this paper is to tell the story of the new, consensual governance system Mahatma Gandhi began to create the last two years of his life - at the end of the 1940s. It is also the story of Jai Prakash Narayan's (JP's) efforts in the 1960s and 1970s to pick up where Gandhi left off. He later turned his attention to bringing smaller political parties together to overthrow Indira Gandhi in the 1970s. This effort found much support from those who had participated in the consensual parallel governing system. Finally, a modern design of a system, similar to what Gandhi and JP created, will be presented that can provide a way for a new, more mature democracy to be created around the world without the need of an official status with any government.

During the last two years of his life, Mahatma Gandhi basically renounced all that he had done before and returned to the villages to create a new governance system. People thought that may be Gandhi was losing his mind. He was the most powerful man in India; yet he left the halls of power and returned to the villages to start something brand new. However, Gandhi's judgment on himself was that he had made a large mistake in creating the Congress I Party as a political party in a competing political party system.

Gandhi understood the universe to be one, integrated and united, where all the parts had the purest of primary intentions. Nature is fundamentally cooperative, not competitive. He believed that all things were cooperating with one another for the good of the one whole - the way we think of the parts within our bodies cooperating for the good of the whole body. Therefore, to build a political system based on competition rather than cooperation was to consistently polarize people into competing camps. That was the opposite of the kind of community and society Gandhi wanted to create. He believed this was going in the opposite direction of nature and it would, therefore, consistently bring misery.

Further, he believed that he had perpetuated this immature approach by creating the Indian national Congress Party as a competing political party in such a system. He judged that this mistake to some degree made him personally responsible for the separation of India into India and Pakistan. He decided that, with whatever energy he had in him before he died, he would successfully demonstrate a more mature governance system.

A majoritarian democracy was not really as much a democracy as it was the last form of dictatorship before real democracy - the dictatorship of the majority over the minority. Rather than the leadership of the opposing groups sitting down and talking to one another, they organized their armies of followers and fought each other through ballots and the media...and seldom spoke to each other. It perpetuated war games rather than love games; winning instead of the discovery of greater truth together.

Gandhism is a body of ideas that describes the inspiration, vision and the life work of Mohandas Gandhi. It is particularly associated with his contributions to the idea of nonviolent resistance, sometimes also called civil resistance. The two pillars of Gandhism are truth and non-violence.