Saturday, October 09, 2010

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 84 (Vol #4) Dated 09 Oct 2010.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 84 (Vol #4) Dated 09 Oct 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 first para on page number 461 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)
{Note from KTSV the translator:- I could not help getting carried away by the enormity and seriousness of PeriyavaaL’s foresight in his apprehension about how wrong this Indian experiment with Satyam that is Truth can go, on the pretext of Democracy, in the light of what is actually happening in our country! In fact all that PeriyavaaL has spoken are dated prior to 1950! Read on!}
100. Yes I should not be talking politics. But, when politics is coming and banging its head against our Hindu Dharma and is washing away all the noble qualities of our Indian population and since our Peetams are established as bulwark against erosion of Dharmic (moral) values more than as simple religious institutions, I have to express my views under duress! How am I to keep my mouth shut?
101. As blocked or stored up water under pressure breaks out in a flood, after a long period of British rule India has obtained its freedom and independence. So there is a clear hazard of all concerned to come to hasty conclusions without any control and systematic deliberations! To say that there need be no qualitative requirement for the aspirants and the electors; can only lead to unimaginable levels of bribery, hate, bluff, skulduggery and savagery between the political parties in the name of fair and free elections! This can only harbinger very bad days for the country. While trumpeting that we are the biggest democracy in the whole world if we lose our sense of balance and humaneness, it will be tantamount to decorating a dead body with frills!
102. Even if they did not have property, education and such other qualitative requirements, the people of this country had the biggest asset of a high moral fibre. It is that which will be lost when they become applicants and voters under the new scheme of things, corrupted by the lure of lucre! That is my biggest worry. Do we need a Jana Nayakam or what is called in glowing terms as Democratic Republic so as to lose our biggest value systems forever! The fifth clause of Artha and Atma Suddhi was protecting us from pollution of our minds. People used to accept only such persons as members who were above board in their dealings of sterling character of unimpeachable integrity! That such a clause was there is indicative of the fact that, people were aware of what could go wrong. Even if there was only some doubt of moral turpitude, such a person could never even stand for election, evidently.
103. Nowadays we hear about some people that they are very honest in money matters. But, when you look into their overall character, it leaves much to be desired! If there is one good quality, there is a shortage in some other aspect! As long as they are alright in three out of five factors of age, education, expertise, maturity and behaviour, we feel that they can be trusted with public service! But human nature being what it is, after they have a position of power and status, there is a steady decline in their overall attitude and performance! So, having given the importance to being unencumbered monetarily, they included that all round character should be above blame; as Artha Suddhi and Atma Suddhi! Till date their importance remains with equal validity.
104. In those days religiousness, trust and belief in Saastraas, devotional fervour, humility and self discipline were all more natural and wide spread across the society at large! So, the character level was naturally high. Compared to the present day the opportunities and avenues for going astray were also rather limited. So instead of having to search far and wide with a sieve for filtration and selection, there were people available with excellent character, who could be picked up for public duties handsomely fulfilling the fifth condition!
105. The sixth clause of the Sozha Saasanam was that once having been a member, he cannot look for the membership for another three years. The seventh clause was that his immediate relatives also cannot stand for election in that period. These two clauses were to ensure that the clause of Artha and Atma Suddhi continues to remain so even after one is selected for membership. This is so that, the idealism instead of remaining only theoretical becomes practical. It is not enough that one should be clean but, one should continue to remain so and not give in to opportunities for corruption. These two clauses are meant to ensure that and obviate going astray. Let us look at them closely.
106. The first one in this makes it impossible for anyone who has been a member for one year to stand for election again for another three years. Why? Otherwise if someone continues for longer periods and holds the same job or responsibility for long; he gets too much influence, learns to hide his mistakes, finds ways and means of exploiting the loop holes in the rules, giving way to favouritism and gets after employees if they are not co-operative with his schemes and so on. So, the system should be such that he should be told, “If you have done one year, pack up and go!” Now relate this to a five year term! They have now decided on a general election every five years! That is a sufficiently long period for someone to establish himself firmly in the job, not only putting down roots but also branches and creepers in all direction! But when you look at the fact that compared to a Sabha of a small place like Utara Merur, for the Assemblies of the States of India and the Central Government, we have to give it more thought. Instead of being concerned about only some local area and some limited number of people, it is going to be about all the people and enactments about their livelihoods! To be able to deeply consider all the pros and cons and deliberate, enact and reassess; a term of five years seems to be reasonable. One has to look at the massive conduct of census and the very process of election as well as the cost involved. Then also instead of the votes being purchased every year, they will be purchased only once in five years. To that extent, it seems also that it is better to have this exercise once in five years! But a person who has been a member of the Parliament or the State Assembly for five years, it is worth deliberating whether such a person should be given a chance to stand for election again! I need not elaborate on this. If no one should be given an opportunity to establish himself or his own kith and kin firmly and unshakeably in positions of power, it is better to put a limit on this!
107. New Broom Sweeps Clean. There is one more advantage in our ancestor’s decision that a person who has held the position of membership for one year is not to stand for election for the next three years. By changing the members and their jobs once a year, we will enable bringing in of fresh faces to aid fresh ideas and innovation. By this one year term followed by a three year gap would have enabled all the able bodied people to experience holding of public responsibilities and learn. After some time, almost all the people in the village would have been a member in the Village Sabha some time or the other! This will also enable them to have a sense of belonging and care! This would clearly avoid and obviate lack of involvement, feeling, “How am I concerned or why should I bother?”
108. Aspiring members should not be the kith and kin of those who are just retiring after having been a member of the Sabha. The Saasanam says, “vaariyam seidu ozhittha peru makkalukku aatma bandukkaL allaadavaraaga irukka vendum”! This is the last condition. I told you earlier that each member was likely to have been part of some committee. They are the ones who have done ‘vaariyam’. It is not only that they cannot stand for election for the next three years, their close relatives too are forbidden from standing for election to become a member of the Sabha, is the rule!
(We will continue from here.)



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