Tuesday, October 12, 2010

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 85 (Vol #4) Dated 11 Oct 2010.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 85 (Vol #4) Dated 11 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 467 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 http://Advaitham.blogspot.com updated constantly)
109. It is one thing to check whether the candidate’s monetary position is sound and whether his general character is good. But what is this thing about checking as to whether he is a close relative of someone who has been a member earlier in the past three years? How can we come to an end like this and how is this condition reasonable? If we look more closely, we will see that this condition is very reasonable! If the close relatives of previous members get elected, they are likely to either abet continuing any past misdeeds not yet noticed and or hide evidence of such things. In the bargain there will be no revision or fresh look at the problems and their solutions! Mostly people will at least try and brush the dirt if any under the carpet, so to say so as to not show them in a bad light! Over a period what is a public service could become a family business lining their pockets!
110. Matter of Monarchy and Town Management! That is the reason for hereditary power being restricted to one central individual as a King, handed over to his royal son, while at lower levels every effort was taken to see to it that people do not make it into a family affair. Thus it was ensured that there was no scope for favouritism and nepotism! Even the highest level monarchy was subject to a variety of checks and balances of having to abide by the advices of the Ministry, which was basically a team of mature individuals. The basic rules were not what the King could decide by his whims and fancies. The Needhi Saastram was the basic Law of Justice. Over and above that, the King could lay some rules and regulations, depending on circumstances. In the western countries, the King had total freedom that, it was said that, “The King could do no wrong”. So whether he decided to loot a place or take any number of concubines, what he did was the Law!
111. It had never been so in our country. The King in India had never been given absolute power to enact laws. He had to work under the general guidance of Needhi Saastram, which was most comprehensive. When he went out of the way within certain limits suitable corrections would be applied by the team of ministers. Manu Needhi Sozha’s story is a clear illustration of how even a cow which lost the calf to rash and negligent driving of a chariot by the Crown Prince could seek redressal of its grievances! Sibhi Chakraverty’s story is another one where a vulture argues out its right to kill and consume a dove, its natural prey! The King having given asylum to the dove had to cut his own flesh and offer it in lieu! That was the level of idealism in vogue! Then if we refer to the stories of Asamanjan and Venan, we will see how practical the system was! Prince Asamanjan went astray from the path of morality and justice that he was never permitted to become a King. Similarly when Venan as King was autocratic and villainous, he was got rid of by ministerial council known as Mantri Sabha!
112. But evidently you cannot have such a Mantri Sabha in every village or town. First you have to check if there is any close relationship between the previous members and aspirants. Then you have to have a Mantri Sabha. Then you have to check that they are not closely related! Then you may have to have another team to check that. This can only lead to a never ending regression. So, they had to ensure that the persons elected to fill the Oor Sabha were capable of doing the job required of them, without being in cahoots with each other! So the point made is that you may have the hereditary monarchy at the highest level. But at lower levels you cannot have not only no hereditary relation but any connection or nexus whatsoever!
113. Our country, which has suffered a long period of raids by foreign hoards looting and foraging, followed by enslavement by a foreign country leading to years of domination and physical and economic exploitation, has now achieved independence and self rule! It is but natural that people may be rather in a hurry to enjoy the fruits of becoming rulers themselves! But, a word of caution here! I am mainly worried that though the erstwhile Rajas, Jamindars and Nawabs may have gone, I do fear that those who find themselves elected to these Assemblies and Sabhas with their relatives may not create their own fiefdoms! It would be better if we can find some methods of guarding against such an eventuality.
114 The members and ministers of today are not like the royal families of yore. Traditionally the Royal princes and other relatives too would have had some acceptable level of education, status and cultural background. So they would not have had any need to be given some special partiality to be lifted. But now when an ordinary person gets elected to the assembly and then say becomes a cabinet minister, think of the sudden change and boost in wealth, status and influence of that individual. Now it is left to your imagination as to what would be the effect on that person’s relatives and their expectations!
115. That too, calling themselves a ‘Welfare State’, the tendency for the arms of the Government is to poke their nose into every area of social life, think of the sudden spurt in favours extended and expectations in cash or kind for them in return! Then if you do not play the same game by the same rules, sky is the limit for threats galore and misuse of power! Above all that, when there are more number of political parties, the urge to bring up one’s own popularity and vote bank, all principles of decency will be let go. Initially the effort will be to build up one’s own party. Then in the name of the party the aim will be personal popularity, aggrandisement, financial and material benefit; subsequently extended to one’s own kith and kin. Thus there will be no end to the wrongdoings. Every politician will try and create a clique or faction of his own following. Ideals and ideology will be let go off in thin air while, scheming the downfall of anyone who is considered a hurdle in one’s way! Thus internecine quarrels and marriages of convenience between the factions will be the order of the day. In the light of the above, we can see as to how full of fore thought and wisdom was the decision not to let any relative anywhere near, as per the Uttara Merur Saasanam! When you realise as to how careful they were to obviate wrong doings, in those bygone days, our sense of awe and respect for those people in power those days, enhances immensely!
116. Removal from the Job and Permanent Taboo. For a person being elected this year, in addition to not being considered for selection for the next three years, there is another bar. That is, anyone who is found responsible for some wrongdoing is debarred forever. Anyhow he is removed from the present job and permanently debarred, losing his right to stand for elections forever in the future. Moreover, all his ‘Atma Bhandus’ that is close relatives such as, father, son, father-in-law, sister’s children, son-in-law, cousin, uncles and so on, also are forbidden from public service. From this we can make out that the punishments for wrongdoings were prohibitive enough to deter, indicating the level of care they took in matters public.
(To be continued.)



Post a Comment

<< Home