Rama Rajya vs Indian democracy

 

One question that keeps coming up again again in Indian politics is, is it ever possible to bring back Rama Rajya to India ?  Electorate often hark back to the ancient scriptures and look at the period of Rama Rajya as the golden era of ideal rule.
What stops India and Indians from ever getting to that stage ?
Is this a realistic dream / ideal ?
Can India ever have Rama Rajya again ?

In my view, the main difference between Rama Rajya and modern Indian democracy is the calibre of rulers and the ruled of the two systems.

Rama Rajya
In Rama Rajya, the rulers were expected to be of flawless character.  Their morals and conduct were above reproach because of the high standards of what they expected from themselves.  Nothing could corrupt their soul, not offers of high office nor heaven.  They preferred to suffer personal privation rather than act in any way that would taint their soul with any act of immorality.  Their characters were unsullied by greed, avarice, lies or evil of any sort.  Raj dharma of highest moral order was astutely cultivated.  Promises, once given, are followed through with zeal, even at personal cost.

The ruled in those days expected such perfection from their rulers.  They expected the rulers to be perfect in their personal and pubic life.  The rulers were meant to be better than the ruled, providing shining examples for others to follow.

Modern Indian democracy has turned this upside down !! 
The rulers are often convicted criminals, with little or no education.  They are often known by all to line their own pockets with public money and are at the apex of corrupt officialdom they carefully nurture.  Legislation is passed with calculated opportunity for graft and corruption built in.  Evil of every sort accompanies them by personification of thugs who constantly surround them.  Character, sullied by immorality is wrapped in bleached cotton to create a façade that everyone knows is fake, a mirage.  Good people are routinely hounded out of power by bad people.  Election promises are made to be broken" and that is accepted by all and sundry as “coalition dharma”.

Modern Indian electorate has very low expectations from its rulers.  Though they have constitutionally given power to elect their rulers, most do no bother to exercise this right.  Yet, they complain bitterly every-time their perceived “rights” are infringed by the ruled.  Yet, liked a curred dog, they whimper and settle down once again, ready to be kicked again at the pleasure of the ruled.  Though fully aware of the actions of politicians and bureaucrats that rule and ruin their lives, the masses do nothing to change the system.  They readily accept bad-governance as their lot in life and bear all this with stoic perseverance that would put a penitent to shame.

 

Rama Rajya in the modern world
Good governance is not confined to pages of scriptures though. 
Even in the modern world, good governance is sought and given in several parts of the world. 

There are still many countries where the rulers and the ruled expect a high level of integrity and moral uprightness.  Ability to demonstrate transparency of public conduct is still a virtue in many parts of the world. 

Example - In 2009, the British government was shaken to the core because legally sanctioned “expenses” were perceived to be excessive.  Several high profile politicians were taken to task by their own political parties for claiming expenses that were seen as “frivolous”.  Though perfectly within their rights, these claims were denounced as “unseeming” and most politicians preferred to repay the public exchequer than invite the wrath of the electorate. 

 Example - Clinton presidency was rocked by an affair with an aide.  Though both parties were consenting adults, it was considered crass that the president would have an affair with his subordinate.  Highest office in US was brought before a grand jury to testify and it was independent enough to make the President stand trial before it. 

This shows that in nations where the rulers and the ruled are held to account for their personal and public conduct, good governance is still possible.

 

Rama Rajya returning to India
Rama Rajya can return to India if its people, the masses, decide to act on their oft stated claims of wishing to live under the Rama Rajya.
They have to start with reforming their own behaviour first.

You can not have Rama Rajya unless the people behave in an ideal manner themselves.
Here is a short of things we need to start with -

1) Stop fouling our own streets and neighbourhoods !! 
        No more urinating and defecating on the streets. 
        No more throwing rubbish out into the streets.
        No more stray dogs, cats, cows, pigs or other animals.  They are a health hazard and foul our environment.

2) Take pride in our work.
        All too often, people are desperate to get a job, but once they have a job, they take it for granted. 
        All too often the "quality" of what we produce is shoddy.  "Desi market" is considered "suitable" for such shoddy workmanship, whereas we reserve the best quality product for "export".  Why should we not produce best quality all the time ?  Why should Indians be sold crap quality goods ?

3) Expect to give and get excellent quality of service.
        Stop cheating !  Everyone in India expects to be cheated.  We should expect to get good service instead.
        To get good service, we must ourselves give good service.

4) Stop bribing people.
        We love to bribe for everything from cinema tickets to political patronage.
        If we, the Indian masses, stop giving and taking bribes, our own integrity and moral fibre will improve.
        In countries where good governance is witnessed, bribery at the citizen level is non-existent.

5) Stop breaking the rules !!
        We are good at following laws of other nations when we visit them, so why can't we follow the laws of our own country ?
        When in India, we break every rule we make - from traffic rules to tax liabilities !!   
        If we want good governance, we have to start by following the rules that govern us.
        If a law / rules is not good, we should lobby the law makers to change it.  Breaking them is not a good option for good society.

6) Everyone should have high expectation from their lives.
        The communist lies of "simple living" have failed even in China and USSR.
        Everyone should aim to live the "high life" and work diligently to achieve it.
        Have integrity in your life.  Be your "word" and follow through on your promises.
        Have high morals in your life and live them !  Don't lead a dual life of showing one thing and doing another.

7) Education must be affordable and of good quality.
        Indian government artificially keeps the number of good schools down to a level well below its demand.
        As a result, people pay huge sums in "donations" and "registration" that could easily fund a private tutor !
       Choice of subjects to study at higher level must not be decided on "what sells in the market place".  Rather, it should be on the ability and aptitude of the student.  Students must be able to explore their talents and not be hemmed in by what the society expects them to study.  (Amir Khan's "Taare Jamin Paar" and "3 idiots" were excellent examples of this)

8) Insist on politicians to be good people.
        Don't vote for those with criminal records or known for corruption.
        In a democracy, its our right and duty to vote !
        We must not sell, give away or waste our most precious vote !!

9) Communicate with your elected members about the service you are getting.
        Good or bad, you must report the service you are getting to those you have appointed to power.
        Now-a-days with access by e-mail, there is no excuse for not communicating with your elected representatives.

10) Call our paid municipal officers and workers to account.
        They are paid public servants, if they don't do what they should, report them.
        If the neighbourhoods act as a unit and work as one, councils and authorities will take notice. 
        Single voice may not be heard, but a group of citizens will get heard.  No one wants to loose an election !
        Bureaucrats must not be allowed to bully the citizens they are paid to serve.

 

If we start with this, we will have Rama Rajya again for sure !

 

 

My analysis of Ramayan –

Why did sage Valmiki write the story of Rama and Sita
What does the Ramayan say about the society of the time.
How has Ramayan impacted lives of Indians through the centuries.
How does Ramayan continue to impact us today.
Sita, the gentle face of the goddess
Rama, why did he abandon Sita ?
Sita, why did she stay so silent though she was abandoned ?
Some of the reasons why we still adore Rama.
Rama Rajya, can it ever come back ?
Characters of Ramayan 

 

 

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