Tagore distinguishes between the ‘desire for tea’ which the British have engendered in the Indian and the ‘need for water’ that the Indian pallisomaj has felt all along and has struggled to make (un)available over a thousand years (while Tagore sees the pallisomaj as a republic of communion, Ambedkar sees it as a republic of humiliation; the truth is perhaps somewhere in-between, uneasily in-between).
Would the State now fulfil our need for water? Would we beg to the State? Or make demands? Place applications before State officials? Or would the ‘somaj’ organise the flow of water in rural contexts, in what Tagore calls pallisomaj. Each somaj – which is perhaps precariously placed between the western idea of ‘society’ and ‘community’ – has a life force and a vitalism of its own. Each civilisation has also a life force and a vitalism of its own.
Some civilisations could be designated as ‘political civilisations’. Some could be designated as ‘samajik civilisations’. Some survive if the State survives. Some survive under the State. Some survive in blatant Statism. Some exist with the State. Some survive only if dharma–rasa survives.
Will repeated incisions on the body of the State (in the form of petitions) cure us of our social dis-ease or of our social suffering? The dis-ease is not one of water shortage. It is of a scarcity at the core of our mormosthan (inner affective space). The sadhana of the political would be to connect souls. The broom cannot do what needs to be cleansed inside. Saw-desh bhakti and atma-shakti, literariness and dharma, joy and impossible unity are connected in the sublaternised mela. It is not shameful to eat on a banana leaf. It is lonely to eat alone.
How to connect the extant idea of a somajpati with a possible future somajtantra? How is somajtantra different from socialism? Given that there is a translation-gap between social and somaj?