Fundamental Principles of a State’s Well-being - Part 2

Rights

In this manner, we started extending our rights according to what we felt was appropriate at a certain moment. All the rights that we have mentioned can be called ‘Theoretical Rights.’ These rights aren’t directly related to the everyday lives of people. The facilities that people need on a daily basis such as food, clothing, light [electricity or power], water, roads, schools, medical assistance, police on duty, judicial system to regulate transactions, land for farmers, water tanks, lakes, canals, and bridges – these are the things that all people will need all the time. With respect to these basic needs, Mirza Ismail’s administration did not have any huge deficiency. If there were any lapses and had it not been rectified for a long period of time, it would have been enough if such things had just been brought to the notice of the Dewan. That problem would have been resolved within a few months. These were the rights that would come to real time experience on a day to day basis – i.e., ‘Practical Rights.’

What we were orally saying was ‘Theoretical Rights.’ Although there was a law to regulate the press, there were no restrictions upon genuine analysis of rights and wrongs. There was no newspaper that experienced any breach because of that law. Electing one or two people into the government’s cabinet of ministers directly from the public was not such a difficult process. There was no need to radically deform the very system of governance merely for such a small reform. Ultimately, even to this day, the citizens of Mysore have no say in the political affairs of India. If a certain individual or two of them become ministers in Delhi, how is that a gain for the citizens of Mysore? When matters related to finance are observed, has there been any reduction in the tax load on the citizens of Mysore? Be it from the Vidhana Soudha of Bangalore or from the Rashtrapati Bhavan of New Delhi, have the expenditures been rising or falling?

Delight in Rebellion

In this manner, from no standpoint can we notice any significant benefit to the immediate lives of people.
There is a Tamil proverb that goes: ‘Kettāṇḍapaṭṭiyār ku kalahame kalyāṇam.’ which loosely translates into ‘For those hailing from Kettandapatti, rebellion is (as joyous an occasion as) marriage.’ [In other words, a reference to those who prefer wild actions to mindful living.] Hunt for votes, longing for personal gain, joy in sparking revolutions – these are the riches and fortunes our country has derived from the new political system.
The wisdom laid out above is a conclusion derived after some twenty complete years of practical experience. I have now come to clearly realize how mutually distant the bookish lines and real-world experiences are.
Why did a system of governance that felt so attractive in theory turn out to be so disgusting in reality? To be honest, we are the ones who got deceived. We were cheated by our obstinacy. Around then, we had not imagined how much the nature of an individual could stoop when power and wealth was offered to him. Our excitement made us forget the most natural of human weaknesses.

Rāmarājya

We belong to the lineage of maharṣis, don’t we? Our Purāṇas and puṇyakathās [tales of nobility, moral stories] are narrated almost as if truth, purity, and good conduct were our innate virtues. Even after securing sovereignty we would obviously behave the same way. Even if Vedas, śāstras, and Purāṇas are considered extremely ancient, hasn’t Mahatma Gandhi himself been quite evidently advertising Satya [truth], Ahiṃsā [non-injury] and Aparigraha [detachment]? Once we become their followers, even our governance should be like those of the virtuous rulers such as Manu and Māndhāta. Our purpose is to attain Rāmarājya. Wasn’t this what even the Mahatma espoused? In these ways, we patted our own shoulders and exulted. However –

kanakapu siṃhāsanamuna
śunakamu kūrcuṃḍabèṭṭi śubhalagnamunan

“...we anoint a dog on the golden throne at an auspicious moment…”

We forgot the truth in these words. Experience is now reminding us of that. Hasn’t Bhagavān Kṛṣṇa said in the Bhagavad-gītā (18.59), “...prakṛtistvāṃ niyokṣati” [...you will be forced by your own nature]? Our achievement is merely a function of our nature. We have not yet understood our nature. We have only nurtured hopes and stimuli in our nature. In democracy, hopes are growing high and self-restraint is plummeting. One day, it turns out that a python became hungry. Not being able to find anything around to eat, it apparently started hastily gobbling upon its own tail. Having swallowed half of its body, it is said to have become aware of this. Realization at that point of time was futile. After that, there was neither the snake nor its predator. We are at least wiser than that, are we not?
Mahatma Gandhi used to claim that Rāmarājya was what he aspired for our country, didn’t he? Was there a parliament in the kingdom of Rāma? Were there elections? Were there parties? Were there five year plans? Those were the days of primitive irrational people. The people of that era weren’t clever. They were not modern-day civilians. Can people living in 1969 ad accept what they had accepted? At this point of time, Rāmarājya is not possible. Some other plan is necessary now.

Development through Democracy?

Haven’t several countries achieved growth through democracy? This is a question that may cross the minds of some people. Now, in the year 1969 ad, that question can be answered with clarity. No country with democracy has ever achieved eminence. When we observe countries such as Russia, England, Germany, France, and the United States, we can never say that the people of these countries are satisfied with their respective systems of governance. The state of affairs in England, the very country that had been considered as an ideal by the people of India, itself is in shambles. Soon after the labour class rose to power, the institutions and traditions of the past collapsed and scattered, crippling the daily lives of people. The State’s administration is stumbling and fumbling. Due to this, even the state of the nation’s wealth has become perilous. The situation in the United States has deteriorated in another way. There is an incessant crisis in France. In this manner, we come to notice the absence of a well-organized system all across the world. People have become anxious about their tomorrows and the days after.

This is the second part of the ten-part English translation of the epilogue of D V Gundappa’s Jnapakachitrashaale – Vol. 4 – Mysurina Dewanaru. Edited by Hari Ravikumar and Raghavendra G S.

Author(s)

About:

Devanahalli Venkataramanayya Gundappa (1887-1975) was a great visionary and polymath. He was a journalist, poet, art connoisseur, philosopher, political analyst, institution builder, social commentator, social worker, and activist.

Translator(s)

About:

Karthik Muralidharan is an entrepreneur, educator, and a motivational speaker. An MBA in Human Resource Management, Karthik currently runs businesses in Leadership Education, Training, and Wealth Management. He is deeply interested in prosody, philosophy, and literature.

About:

Hari is a writer, translator, editor, violinist, and designer with a deep interest in Vedanta, education pedagogy design, literature, and films. He has (co-)written/translated and (co-)edited 25+ books, mostly related to Indian culture and philosophy. He serves on the advisory board of a few educational institutions.

Prekshaa Publications

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சிவன். ராமன். கிருஷ்ணன்.
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உயர் இந்தியாவில் தலைமுறைகள் பல கடந்தும் கடவுளர்களாக போற்றப்பட்டு வழிகாட்டிகளாக விளங்குபவர்கள்.
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