Sunday, October 17, 2010

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 87 (Vol #4) Dated 17 Oct 2010.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 87 (Vol #4) Dated 17 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 middle of page number 485 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)
133. For the election the whole village will get together in the wide spaces normally in the Temple outer Mandapam, which is normally with a roof without any walls, slightly raised. It will be a public function attended by young and old, as mentioned in the inscription, “sa baala vruddam”. After all, this was an important democratic activity, taking part in which all the people felt it as their own function. The palm leaf bundles will be brought to that place. There on a raised platform there would be 30 pots.
134. Those days the temple ‘Archaka-s’ would all be on duty having finished all their Poojas and other ritual duties, to function as trustable volunteers known as ‘Nambimaar-s’. Except for some of them on duty others would be prominently seated on the stage. When people’s reps are being selected, God’s reps will have to be there, is it not so? So, they will have to be there to supervise! That is, politics and public affairs of the society were conducted in Easwara’s Sannidy that is in God’s proximity! This activity will happen in the presence of elders of the village well known for integrity, strictness and fairness.
135. The eldest amongst the ‘Nambimaar’ will take the first bundle of palm leafs containing the names of the persons of the first Kutumb and place it in the first pot, without loosening the tied bundle, showing the same for all the assembled people to see. “mel nokki ella janangaLum kaaNumaartraal”, says the write up about this action in the Saasanam. Similarly, all the palm leaf bundles will be placed in the pots. Then from the assembled people an innocent child at random will be called forward to pick or pull out one of the palm leaf from inside the pot. The child will not be too small not to be able to understand what he or she is required to do! The child will thus pull out one palm leaf from the bundle from inside the pot and hand it over to the neutral supervisor gentleman. The name picked up by the child will now be considered as elected. Thus a child without knowing anything of politics or any malicious intension whatsoever, in all its innocence will thus select a member for the next Sabha. Through that child who does not belong to any party or side or caste or clique, the God’s approval for electing the next series of members of the Oor Sabha is revealed. The same process is repeated for each of the pots by calling forth other children if need be.
135. ‘Thiru ULLachcheetu’ is a phrase in Tamil, meaning an expression of the inner conscience in the form of a ‘chit of divine approval’. Here the election is taking place in the environs of the Temple, in the presence of the Archaka-s who are taking care of the daily services to God, through a process in which the innocent child is playing a major role, without an iota of chance of anyone doing anything out of the way. There is a statement in the Bible that, ‘it is God’s divine power which is revealed through the mouth of a baby that is suckling on her mother’s breast’ or words to that effect. Here through a child’s hands, God’s will is being expressed, as though!
136. Nowadays they say that the decision by the masses is God’s Will! Those days, having assembled all the people in the Temple, conducted the election like this, they felt happy that the God’s Will is the People’s Will! There was no chance of a sleight of the hand involved here! The child will be told that there are many palm-leafs inside the pot and that it is required to pick out one of them. The visiting neutral official is to receive the palm-leaf with all his fingers spread out, in the centre of the palm of his hand. Then he is to read aloud the name written there. The words of the Saasanam says, “ak kodutha volai madyastan vaangum podu anju viralum agala vaittu uLLankai-ile ertruk-koLvonaagavum, avvaaru vaangina olai-ai vaasippon-aagavum”. The words of the Saasanam make it beyond doubt that the effort was to ‘do justice and make it clear that justice is being done’! Evidently all precautions had been doubly ensured to obviate any mischief here!
136. Once the neutral observer had read the name in the Olai, the palm leaf would be passed from hand to hand of the Nambimaar seated on the dais, who would each announce the name by turn, there by confirming beyond any doubt, the name of the next member elected, which will be recorded officially on paper. The same process will be repeated in the case of each pot, till 30 people are selected, one from each pot. This is the Sozha period method of selection of the village or Oor Sabha members. Individual members, without any support of any political party, without any clique or leaning towards any side, generally all honest good people were selected as common representatives with God’s approval!
137. No Attraction for Individual Person. As Monarchy is being given up forever in preference for Democracy, much is being made about giving more importance to policies over individuals! They are talking so much about how ideology is being given the pride of place over caste, position and status as though they are doing something never seen or even known this side of Suez Canal! But in truth it is now that the principles such as morals, truth, justice, honesty, efficiency are all being scattered to the winds over the magnetism of individuals and party doctrines, whether they are understood or not! “Gandhi said so, that is Vedam!” Rajaji, who was very close to Gandhi till recently, if he puts forth a different view point, he is branded immediately as an Enemy of the Nation! Whatever Ambedkar or Daange says it is truth. Heroes are being made and in their names, we are going to see much Hero Worship and misuse of power in the name of politics! So in the name of ideology, people are deviating to hero worship and a perspective from the side of the political party. Beyond hero worship of individuals and party-view or perspective, people would become blind to reality as it is!
138. If you carefully analyse as to what are the qualities of these stars behind whom the people are lining up, you will see that personal magnetism, gift of the gab, oratory, rhetoric and an innate capacity for rabble rousing; are the qualities or tools of these characters! Personal honesty, integrity, ability, humaneness, and such qualities are of no consequence these days! Ability to comprehend and visualise the long term interest of the nation and capacity to put in sustained efforts towards achieving those aims are immaterial and irrelevant! The nation seems to be in that sort of a bind nowadays! Though everybody does get carried away by such personal magnetism of the leaders, the ignorant common man is easily a prey for such. It looks more and more that this universal franchise for adults seems to be meant to exploit this attraction and magnetism, basically.
139. At the height of its power of the Sozha dynasty, during elections this aspect of personality was not an issue at all! Of course, there was no party and related politics. Dharmam and ability were the only criteria. Personal magnetism was irrelevant. Possibly some who were known to be bad were not considered for selection at all! Then one year was the period of social service and then for the next two years, he was not even considered for election, as I said earlier.
140. Another important aspect of the election process is that, the election was not decided based on majority or popularity! When anyone wins on majority, his and his supporter’s attention is about identifying as to who were their opposing minority. Then their minds are preoccupied with ways and means of troubling, victimising and erasing them out of existence for ever. Even genuine and true demands of theirs are also discarded out of hand and consideration! Our ancestors of the Sozha period seem to have given much of their minds to these possibilities, before arriving at their methods of selection of members for the Oor Sabha!
(To be continued.)



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