Tuesday, October 19, 2010

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 88 (Vol #4) Dated 19 Oct 2010.

DEIVATHIN KURAL # 88 (Vol #4) Dated 19 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 491 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)
141. When you have this majority & minority thing in selecting individual aspirants and then forming the government based on absolute majority and the forming of coalitions so as to muster that majority; what we are ending up doing is to divide the general population on to two sides initially and then into many such cleavages! Then every side think of themselves as possibly the winning side and the other side as the opposite side or oppositions’ side that becomes enemy’s side! They restrict their minds to some plans, schemes and parameters with a very narrow mentality, incapable of even looking at the bigger picture, let alone comprehending! Then even reasonable minor adjustment if proposed by the minority becomes objectionable. The other side too is never able agree on any issue, as finding fault with each other becomes the main agenda! That is why during the Sozha period, they never gave any opportunity for this majority/minority dichotomy to raise its head, through the ‘Kuda Olai’ method! If by chance, if the man so elected was not up to the standard, his period of tenure was only one year. Then if he happened to do something drastically wrong, he was taken off the roles as mentioned in the Saasanam as inscribed on stone says, “vaariyam seyyaa ninraarai aparaadam kandapodu avanai ozhiththuvadaagavum”.
142. Then the Saasanam goes on to say that, ‘from this year onwards, till the sun and moon are there, we will continue with this process of electing the Oor Sabha members by the kuda olai method’, so that in the administration good & efficient people may thrive and bad & inefficient people may be identified and removed! The wordings of the Saasanam says, “ipparise ivvaandu mudal chandira aadittavattenru nam graamattukku abyudayamaaga dushtar kettu visishtar vartippadaaga vyavastai seydom – Uttara Merur chaturvedimangalattu sabhaiyom”! Calling themselves the ‘sabhaiyom’, that is the then members of the Sabha. Despite their wish that they should continue with the evolved arrangement forever, it is just bad luck that it did not continue as they wished for very long as revealed by history. With the influx of Jains followed by Buddhists, then Muslims and Christians in that order, many changes took place against their wishes. The most important changes being the ingress of Democracy, claimed to be something novel and never known to the ignorant people of India as though!
143. Let us look at the meaning of the wording of the Saasanam as quoted above. The Oor Sabha was made up of a number of departments as ‘vaariyam’ that is, a committee or board. Out of the 30 elected members some were made responsible for the vaariyam-s thing. Each member will be in one of the vaariyam-s. The general admin responsibility was that of ‘samvatsara vaariyam’ having 12 members. They were made up of slightly older members with higher maturity and education. The next lot of younger members constituted the Thotta Vaariyam and Eri Vaariyam. Thotta vaariyam was for farm lands and agricultural fields, also having 12 positions. It was concerned with all activities of agriculture, supply of seeds, plantation, harvesting and marketing of the produce. Eri vaariyam was responsible for all water supply and irrigation and had six members.
144. Other than this there were Pon Vaariyam and Panja Vaara Vaariyam of 6 members each. These were selected by the same ‘Kuda Volai’ method from within the 30 members already selected. In those days a land owner gave one fifth of his earnings from land as tax to the king’s government. Instead of money he gave in kind. This was called Panja Vaaram. Pon Vaariyam was the tax collection agency for all cess regarding land, trade and customs. This was also responsible for receiving people’s complaint, views and such things. These duties are based on some of my guess work, not exactly spelt out in the Saasanam.
145. The reason for my talking about all this is that, it is the old stories and experiences which could renew and refurbish the new efforts. Ramayanam and Maha Bharatam have given new direction to many new stories in literature, stage, cinema and novels, till date. Democracy seems to be capturing the imagination of people all over the world. It is being echoed and copied in our country too. From village Panchayat board to Delhi Parliament, we are going to manage things at every successive higher level through people elected at village, district, state and national levels. So it is our duty to be alert and see if the whole arrangement is truly good for the country and putting us on the right lines towards physical, material and spiritual well being or if it is going to result in benefitting only a few selfish individuals for their aggrandisement! You cannot simply pickup something only on the grounds of its being new and is equitable as is being claimed! If in the bargain, it is going to lead to cut throat competition by hook or crook and adversely affect the morality of masses at large, then it is to be avoided at all costs!
146. In the system yet to be introduced, there are many areas giving raise to apprehensions rather seriously! It is claimed that it is ‘of the people, by the people, for the people’! But I am afraid that it may become, ‘a farce by ignorant people, by clever manipulators, for the benefit of a few, while corrupting all’! It is now when we have a taste of freedom after years of slavery, that we need to have control and discipline! At this moment of our weakness, when we are likely to go astray, all the reigns of control are being loosened, increasing the possibilities of things going wrong! We have got rid of the foreign yoke after a great struggle and are like a convalescent recovering from years of neglect and misrule! This is the time for us to be careful with our dietary restrictions! The disease of the British rule is cured and we are to get our health back in the freedom of self rule! Now by chance if we are not careful and give opportunities for the people or the people’s representatives to go astray, whatever freedom has been gained on paper, instead of nurturing us back to full health, can and will go totally wonky! By enabling everyone to vote and stand for election, uncaring for any qualification other than age, they are opening the flood gates as though for an uncontrollable deluge! To declare that other than age no other qualification such as education, experience, character and other assets are required; is really asking for trouble!
147. There is one clearly foreseeable evil in all this! Prior to the introduction of democratic elections in our land, there were some officials known to be taking bribes and there were some cases of false witnesses and cheating. Now with the start of voting and elections, we are already witnessing bribing becoming a very common activity even in unheard of places. It is easier to fool the poor unlettered populations of India. Once the common man is corrupted, it is not going to stop but spread! Instead of any round about methods, it is likely to become simply cash for votes! This will have a multiplying effect on the level of corruption, which is going to increase in leaps and bounds! Then the common man will play one political party against the other for pecuniary and other advantages! Is this the freedom that we want? Is this the freedom that so many have worked so hard to obtain?
148. “Because we have not kept any qualifications as the criteria”, they claim that, “this is the true democratic method”! But, as this encourages rampant misuse of money power, only those who are financially very well to do can afford to fight these election battles. So people who already have enough access to money will be selected by the various parties to represent them rather than genuinely good people! People with qualities like honesty, integrity, ability, morality and cleanliness will be sidelined! Then we can imagine as to what will happen to the principles of democracy and good governance of the country!
(To be continued.)



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