Wednesday, September 29, 2010

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 79 (Vol #4) Dated 29 Sep 2010.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 79 (Vol #4) Dated 29 Sep 2010.

(These e-mails are translations of talks given by Periyaval of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, over a period of some 60 years while he was the pontiff in the earlier part of the last century. These have been published by Vanadi Padippagam, Chennai, in seven volumes of a thousand pages each as Deivathin Kural. Today we are proceeding from the last para on page number 431 of Vol 4 of the Tamil original. The readers may note that here in 'man/he' includes 'woman/she' too mostly. These e-mails are all available at updated constantly)
63. Our fine tuned traditions of the past were something like the sign posts for the whole world. If they are destroyed and lost, we will not be able to create them again ever! This has to be explained to our own people in power in government and administration. If we believe that they will come around, and have faith in our sincerity of purpose with trust in God, I am sure that they will. Our new administration of the republic is still young only. However much respectable an old man may be, his own grandson may play with his dress or turban and smudge it. The old man cannot achieve anything by getting annoyed! May be our own politicians are taking liberties with their religion, thinking that they are being very clever! It is for us to point out their blunder through as many forums as possible! Let us believe that we will be able to correct the wrong. But it is true that thinking that they are correcting the mistakes in the Saastraas and traditions; they are being totally on the wrong path!
64. As a part of such inadvertent blunders is the erroneous decision to let all people have the right to vote as well as stand for elections to become a member of the legislature assemblies as against ownership of landed property being a qualitative requirement! Instead, they have laid the requirement that an aspirant should deposit some amount. I do not understand the logic of this. When India is full of poor people, what does this requirement of depositing money mean? First of all, this is against equality. OK. Standing for election should not become a farce like just entering a cinema hall or something! So, you put a premium. But, do they want that a poor aspirant should take a loan for this purpose? Does this not open the route to corruption and partiality, straight away? That the aspirant should have some land on his name and have a constructed house on that land; would mean that some motivation for corruption is obviated!
65. Looking at human nature, a man with some land and a house may not be easily a prey for the lure of corruption. The moment I say this, some of you may come forward to pick up a quarrel with me, saying that you have seen many cases of people with five or ten Lacs up their sleeve, still thirsting for more to be gained by hook or crook! That is why Mahatma Gandhi said that, “there is enough in this world for everybody’s need but, there is not enough in this world for even one man’s greed!” But this sort of greed is an occurrence of recent times only. We in India were not always like that. Self control has dwindled while paper money has become a way of life! With the opening of Banks with the facility to amass and stash it in the banks, people have got in to the habit of doing so endlessly! Earlier on, greedy miserly people used to dig the earth and inter some coins and gold. But the miserly man was a marked man looked down in the society! Now, it has become the aim of life for many, uncaring for other’s opinions as well as the directions of Saastraas! Even today, you may note that the pauper without morals, if he suddenly comes into money, becomes an intolerable entity. There is a proverb of those days when the umbrella was considered a status symbol which says, ‘when a worthless character comes into money, he will use an umbrella over his head even on a rainless night!’ In the name of equality, we should not be ignoring these practical aspects of life.
66. Even today for jobs like a Cashier we require the applicant to deposit some amount of money as a security deposit, do we not? Where is equality then? Does not a poor man become disqualified for that Job? The reason for the security deposit is that, it is likely that a man handling money may go astray. So also a man handling people as a member of these Sabhas is likely to take some bribe for favours legally or illegally made possible!
67. In the Sozha Saasanam, this bribe has been referred as ‘kai oottu’. Literally translated, it would be ‘hand feed’! To mishandle money is called ‘kai aadal’ or ‘sleight of the hand’, that is done by the handler. Here, there is one feeding and one being fed! When you directly feed somebody in the mouth, nobody knows what was fed and what was swallowed. This is the ‘kai oottu’ to obviate which, it was required that the aspirant for election should be well off financially. If he is already having landed property and a house on the land, first of all, he is not likely to be keen on making money on the side and secondly, if he does, his property could be as good as the security deposit! So here there is no question of talking about partiality and equality! The aim was that the society’s assets should be managed fairly. That is how it was being done those days. Then a person with landed property is not likely to abscond and is likely to be knowledgeable about the local problems and methods of solving them! When a person works to earn and save to be able to create some assets, he is likely to have some care and attachment for his properties. Similarly when you come to inherit a piece of land or a house, you will agree that you are likely to have some special attachment for it. That sort of an attachment will not be there for things got as grant or gift. Those who live on the King’s largesse may have to be ready to leave it and go any day! That is why, the rule was that he should be in possession of landed property of his own for which he should be paying taxes.
68. Those that are learned in Vedas and are teachers of Veda Vidya, were known to be not too fond of acquisition and worldly possessions. They were practically seen to be living a simple life, happy with minimum needs and wants. That is why, the condition {as given in earlier para 41(a)} of ‘having a quarter Veli land’ was further relaxed for Vedic scholars as half of that! The wordings of the Saasanam as a sub-clause was, “ariak kaanilame udaiyaayinum oru vedam vallaanaai, naalu bhashyathilum oru bhashyam vakkaaNithu arivaan” could be permitted to stand for election. Even for him it was not an exemption but, only a relaxation. Even a Vedic scholar should have some land at least on his name and not be a total pauper, was the rule.
69. There is one more reason as to why the potential members of the Sabhas were required to be owners of some property for which they were paying taxes. They should be having the knowledge about taking care of public properties, know the methods of reasonably utilising public finance and keep accounts of such expenditure. If they were not aware of the ways and means of taking care of properties, it was more likely that they may be too careless or be too ignorant of the rules and regulations! Either way they would have been a stumbling block in the administration. Keeping all these points in mind, land and property ownership was kept as a qualitative requirement of aspirants for election.
(To be continued.)



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