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by Klaus Schlichtmann


ART. IX / 九条




Walther SCHÜCKING, The International Union of the Hague Peace Conferences


INDIA and the Quest for an effective UNITED NATIONS ORGANIZATION


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The River-of-Destiny (Garland Canal) Project[1]


It was Willy Brandt, former West-German Chancellor, Chairman of the Independent Commission on International Development Issues (IClDI) and President of the Socialist International, who had repeatedly pointed out that "development aid has become a new dimension of peace policy". However, if we are to build the World of Tomorrow, where our children can live and work in peace, it is necessary to adopt a programs of action, constructive economic plans, that will move the people, politicians and academics, and to which all peoples and nations can contribute, and in which they can participate. Such a project has been envisaged for the Indian subcontinent.

Already in 1971/72 a United Nations team of experts evaluated the subcontinental irrigation and canal project, combining, besides irrigation for food production, hydroelectric power generation and navigation. The American futurologist R. Buckminster Fuller wrote about the project:

        Thinking in the longest time and biggest way about India's problems and India's needs, it becomes dramatically clear that the number one long-distance project to be immediately undertaken and continually served until completion is the building of a North to South chain of great canals and reservoirs leading the waters of the Himalayas southward all the way to the southern tongue of India. The waters that can be impounded in the highlands to produce vast energy generating dams whose waterhead can render India the most favourably energy-served areas in the world while also flowing its water under controlled conditions to all of its fertile fields.[2]

Implementation of the project could call for global collaboration, planetary planning and a transnational investment policy. The River of Destiny Project for World Unification as a strategy could raise public consciousness. Individuals, organisations, governments, and the United Nations could collaborate in the scheme. The River of Destiny Project is only a beginning. Its cost had in 1971 been estimated at 4 billion dollars. Other projects could follow or be simultaneously implemented, such as the Sinkiang Base Project[3] or connecting night and day in a single intercontinental power grid coordinating the electrical generating capacity of Russia, China and the Americas.[4]



The River of Destiny Project for World Unification,

Peace and Progress through Cooperation

 1. On the Indian Subcontinent

The Indian Subcontinent, comprising in its ultra‑maximum circumference central and South India, the Indus-Ganga-Brahma-putra plains and the great Himalayas, Baluchistan, the Hindukush and Pamir mountain ranges, the Takla Makan desert bordered by the Tien Shan mountains in the north and the Kunlun Mountains in the South, Tibet and Burma, is of unique ecological importance for the whole planet. Traditionally India has been called the 'Cradle of Culture', Dharma Kumbha, the 'Motherland', Matribhumi, the 'Root Country', Mulabhumi, the 'Original Paradise', Nandankanon and the 'Land of Action', Karmabhumi. Sri Aurobindo, one of the great spiritual leaders of modern India, called her `The Heart of the Orient'.

India is as distant from Japan as it is from Italy and Greece. China in the East is as far as Mesopotamia in the West. There is historical evidence that the people of the Indus Valley Civilization of Mohenjodaro and Harappa traded with Egypt. Trade-links of equal antiquity, dating back to about 3000 B.C., probably existed between India, China and the Malayo-Polynesians. Both the inhabitants of the Indus Valley and the inhabitants of Bengal were famous for their skill in navigation. Almost surrounded by water, with the Arabian Sea in the West, the Bay of Bengal in the East and the Indian Ocean in the South, India's position is ideal for development of fishing industries, cultivation of ocean resources and marine trade. Arnold Toynbee maintained: 'Indians were the first marines to establish trade with the world'.

Throughout the history of the world, this, India has been known for her culture and wealth. Although its population density is not much different from that of Europe, China and the American West coast, the Indian continent has the advantage that its land can be cultivated throughout the year. Under favourable conditions rice can be harvested three times a year. There is practically no piece of land, that cannot produce some crop or other at least once a year. With the availability of water everywhere throughout the year, the subcontinent could become the 'food basket' of the world: it is the cradle of agriculture even today, its variety of raw materials and natural resources which are exported is astounding. Cashew nuts, coconuts, peanutus, oils, fish, meat, tea, coffee, jute, spices, sugar, rubber, cotton, alcohol, long corn rice, silk and pearls, as well as iron ore, graphite, manganese, copper, mica and bauxite are exported to earn foreign exchange for purchasing technological know-how and machinery to help develop and establish the country's industry and technological and economical independence in order to be able to compete with other countries in the international market.


2. The Plan

With nearly 1/6th of the world's population modern India is a fast developing economy, promising a bright future. It is the largest democracy, and its Muslim population is a factor to be reckoned with as a political and economic determinator.

According to Dr. K. L. Rao, a former Indian Union Minister for Irrigation, drought areas in India today are located in four regions: the drought region in the Ganges basin itself, a few districts of Orissa and West Bengal, Rajasthan and Gujarat re­gions which account for one third of the country's arid area, and the peninsular area below the river Tapti in Maharashtra.

With its 14 major rivers, 44 medium rivers and numerous minor rivers, India's biggest water resources are located in the Ganga and Brahmaputra basins, each yielding about 500 million cubic metres annually. The total annual average quantity of water in the river systems and the exploitable underground sources is 1900 million cubic metres.     

According to Dr. Rao again, the most important link would be that of the Ganga and Cauvery, linking enroute the Sone, Narmada, the Tapti, Godavari, Krishna and Pennar. The Ganga-Cauvery link involves lifting of the waters of the Ganges to a height of 300/400 metres by constructing a barrage near Patna, to serve the drought areas of U.P. and Bihar. In addition, water will be pumped from the central plateau of India to the dry areas of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.

A barrage of Dhubhri on the Brahmaputra and a 300 km canal will help divert surplus waters of the Brahmaputra to the Ganges, benefitting Bangla Desh also. Water from Navagam on the Narmada in Gujarat could be fed to Hutch and the Luni basis in western Rajasthan. Surplus flood waters of the Narmada could be fed into the system at this point, lowering the draw from the Ganges.

Another link would help utilise the waters of the Chambal across the Aravalli mountain ranges in Ajmir and central Rajasthan. Another link to be considered is of the rivers of the western ghats for serving the rainshadow areas in the eastern part of the subcontinent, canalizing wasteful monsoon season flow; Mahanadi shall have to be linked to serve drought areas upto Vamsadhara.

Apart from Irrigation, canalisation may also be used for navigation and the generation of hydroelectric energy. As to the navigation, it is clear that a national water grid over and across the length and breadth of India, will greatly enhance transport facilities ill the country. Perhaps even more impor­tant, the problem of floods can also be solved by river linking.

The power potential of the Ganga basin in the Himalayas is estimated at 10,000 megawatts, and extensive tunnels and dams are being built for the generation hydroelectric energy to feed a statewide grid. However, decentralized power-generating units under village supervision would be more appropriate to meet ecological concerns today.

A project of this magnitude perhaps cannot be implemented and carried out without international cooperation. The Indian subcontinent is ideally suited, as we have seen, to fulfill the conditions for implementation of a constructive plan of action that would involve all peoples and nations on all levels.


  [1] The 'River-of-Destiny Project was presented to the Third Session of the World Constituent Assembly, convened by the WORLD CONSTITUTION AND PARLIAMENT ASSOCIATION (WCPA), at Colombo, Sri Lanka (29 December 1978 to 6 January 1979). The work was the outcome of a group of 13, i.e. the Strategy Commission. The Commission was chaired by Mrs. Helen Tucker from Canada, who also suggested the title 'River-of-Destiny Project for World Unification, Peace and Progress through Cooperation'. Both a 'Report' and the paper itself were published in WORLD UNION, 'focus', vol.XVX, no.7 (July 1979), pp. 37-45.

  [2] R.B. FULLER in a forward to Dinshaw J. Dastur, This or else..., Bombay: Jaico Publishing House, 1976.

  [3] A project of reforestation and development in the Sinkiang Autonomous Region of the Peoples' Republic of China.

  [4] R. Buckminster Fuller: "...we must consider a North-South world bound together across the North Pole. Right over the Pole from the Americas are the Soviet Union and China. The technology of ultrahigh-voltage electrical transmission makes it possible to connect, Russia, China and the Americas into a single gigantic power grid. This grid would connect day and night; at one time or another, 50 percent of our electrical generating capacity is not working, but with day and night connected in an intercontinental grid, we suddenly discover that our generating capacity has been 'doubled'. (NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, Vol. 150, No. 1, July 1976)

A Core Project within the 'River-of-Destiny Project' is the One-Acre-Model Farm.

The One-Acre Model Farm (=4489 m2)

 This is a constructive plan for the small farmer. With the availability of water throughout the year, the annual output of the farm plant will ideally amount to 1000 kg of rice or wheat (2 harvests), 2000 kg of potatoes (1 harvest), 600 kg of jaggery, about 5000 coconuts, 100 kg of fish, 3000 litres of milk (two cows), 1800 eggs (ten hens), apart from plenty of vegetables and fruit, goat milk and meat, etc.

The capital investment required for establishing the one acre model farm over a period of five years may amount to about 20 000 dollars (my estimate in the 1970s). It is suggested that banks may provide funds for .the purpose to the small farmer, and the project be coordinated within the larger context of global reconstruction and the RIVER-OF-DESTINY Project, focusing on the Indo-Himalayan continent.

It may be an acceptable fact that it would be most facile to effectively combat worldwide desertification, beginning in the young Indian desert of Rajasthan. This great desert 'tongue' between the Indus River and the Aravalli mountain range is in fact an extension of the African Sahara desert, sweeping across Arabia, the Persian Gulf, and the Indus River. If this 'tongue', reaching into the Western parts of the Indo-Himalayan continent could be 'cut' and reclaimed from the desert, this operation would mark the first success in the new age reversal of tendencies with regards to the phenomenon of the global emergency of desert expansion and drought. The 'One-Acre Model farm' is a project meant to contribute to this process, and given the scientific and technological means available for reclaiming of desert land, as developed in Israel and Australia, considerable progress could be made within a short period of time.



= 52 Coconut Palm


 ʘ = 128 Date Palm




There is a fish pond in the middle of the 67x67 meter plot, which is divided into nine squares, with a (clockwise) bungalow house, a fruit garden, a vegetable garden, 3/9th for rice and/or wheat, a flower garden with a garden house, and a bamboo grove with a cattle shed and a biogas plant (gobar gas).







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Human, All too Human

284 The means to real peace. -

No government nowadays admits that it maintains an army so as to satisfy occasional thirsts for conquest; the army is supposed to be for defence. That morality which sanctions self-protection is called upon to be its advocate. But that means to reserve morality to oneself and to accuse one‘s neighbour of immorality, since he has to be thought of as ready for aggression and conquest if our own state is obliged to take thought of means of self-defence; moreover, when our neighbour denies any thirst for aggression just as heatedly as our State does, and protests that he too maintains an army only for reasons of legitimate self-defence, our declaration of why we require an army declares our neighbour a hypocrite and cunning criminal who would be only too happy to pounce upon a harmless and unprepared victim and subdue him without a struggle. This is how all states now confront one another: they presuppose an evil disposition in their neighbour and a benevolent disposition in themselves. This presupposition, however, is a piece of inhumanity as bad as, if not worse than, a war would be; indeed, fundamentally it already constitutes an invitation to and cause of wars, because, as aforesaid, it imputes immorality to one‘s neighbour and thereby seems to provoke hostility and hostile acts on his part. The doctrine of the army as a means of self-defence must be renounced just as completely as the thirst for conquest. And perhaps there will come a great day on which a nation distinguished for wars and victories and for the highest development of military discipline and thinking, and accustomed to making the heaviest sacrifices on behalf of these things, will cry of its own free will: ,we shall shatter the sword‘ - and demolish its entire military machine down to its last foundations. To disarm while being the best armed, out of anelevation of sensibility - that is the means to real peace, which must always rest on a disposition for peace: whereas the so-called armed peace such as now parades about in every country is a disposition to fractiousness which trusts neither itself nor its neighbour and fails to lay down its arms half out of hatred, half out of fear. Better to perish than to hate and fear, and twofold better to perish than to make oneself hated and feared - this must one day become the supreme maxim of every individual state! - As is well known, our liberal representatives of the people lack the time to reflect on the nature of man: otherwise they would know that they labour in vain when they work for a ,gradual reduction of the military burden‘. On the contrary, it is only when this kind of distress is at its greatest that the only kind of god that can help here will be closest at hand.  The tree of the glory of war can be destroyed only at a single stroke, by a lightning-bolt: lightning, however, as you well know, comes out of a cloud and from on high. (R.J. Hollingdale, transl., Human, All Too Human. A Book for Free Spirits, Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy (1996), pp. 380-81)