Mahatma Gandhi’s warning
As early as on January 24, 1922 Gandhiji had cautioned the nation in his letter which was republished after eighteen years after independence in Hindustan Dainik on the 19th anniversary of independence in its issue dated August 15, 1965. It reads:-
“We should remember that immediately on the attainment of freedom our people are not going to see happiness. As we become independent, all the defect in the system of elections, injustice, the tyranny of the richer class as also the burden of running administration, is bound to come upon us. People would begin to feel that during those days, there was more justice, there was better administration, there was peace, there was honesty to a very great extent among administrators compared to the days after independence. The only benefit of independence, however, would be that we would get rid of slavery and the blot of insult resulting therefrom.
“But there is hope, if education spreads throughout the country, from that, people would develop from their childhood, qualities of pure conduct, God fearing, of love.
“Swaraj would give us happiness only when we attain success in that task. Otherwise, India would become the abode of grave injustice and tyranny of the Rulers”.
Much earlier, Swamy Vivekananda had declared as to what type of education was necessary. He said “Man making, character building, education was essential”.
Mahatma Gandhi’s ideal for Independent India was Ramarajya
Gandhiji’s ideal of Ramarajya was precisely explained by Bharat Ratna C Subramamian in his article published in Bhavan’s Journal in its issue dated April 15, 1955. It reads: Gandhiji’s ideal of an ideal polity was Ramarajya. It stood for a society where in a high, ethical standard of life is characterised by the pursuit of Pursharthas, Dharma, Artha, Kama, and Moksha. It is the prevalence of dharma, which characterises an ideal society. Such a society is possible only if the governance of the country is based on clear, efficient and transparent administration. In the past, the king was not only symbol, but the ruler and administrator and the king had to observe the Dharma of the ruler functioning in a selfless manner for the prosperity, harmony and happiness of his people. This is Gandhiji’s concept of Ramarajya. Today, we have responsible governments run by elected representatives.
If the rulers do not observe Dharma it will become a Ravanarajya. We have to make a choice, between Ramarajya and Ravanarajya.
It is exactly the same that has happened as our democratic Rulers who came to occupy the political power in the name of Mahatma Gandhi disregarded Dharma.
That is why, after six decades of our independence we find that all our hopes of establishing a Ramarajya as visualised by the Father of Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, has been shattered.
Supremacy of dharma (not religion)
Maha Narayana Upanishad declared that Dharma is supreme because Dharma destroys sinful thoughts /kesZ.k ikieiuqnfr (dharmena papamapanudati)
Though concept and scope of dharma is known to every one on this land as many English educated misunderstand and misinterpret dharma as religion. I am compelled to explain its real meaning.
Dharma is the greatest and the most valuable contribution to humanity by Bharata Varsha, our beloved Motherland. On account of its antiquity, utility and universality the very mention of that word rouses the conscience of an individual in this land. Dharma is a Sanskrit expression of the widest import. There is no corresponding word in any other language. It would also be futile to attempt to give any definition of the word. It can only be explained. It has a wide variety of meanings. Its meaning depends on the context in which it is used. A few of them would enable us to understand the range of that expression. For instance, the word dharma is used to mean Justice (Nyaya), what is right in a given circumstance, moral values of life, pious obligations of individuals, righteous conduct in every sphere of activity, being helpful to other living beings, giving charity to individuals in need of it or to a public cause or alms to the needy, natural qualities or characteristics or properties of living beings and things, duty and law as also constitutional law.
Thus dharma embraces every type of righteous conduct covering every aspect of life essential for the sustenance and welfare of the individual and society. Religion is entirely different. It is a mode of worship of God by believers of God. Religions are many Dharma is one. Religions divide the people Dharma Unites. It is like Rule of law. Unique distinction of Dharma from law which is punitive in nature and operates after an offence is committed; Dharma is preventive in nature and dissuades a man from committing an offence. As prevention is better than cure Dharma is better than Law. This aspect is reiterated by the Supreme Court in the case of AS Narayana Dixitalu Versus State of AP (1996 (9) SCC (Paras 59 to 79). After elaborate consideration and quoting my book Legal and Constitutional History of India (ancient Legal, Judicial and Constitutional System) with approval, Justice K Ramaswamy speaking for the Supreme Court concluded thus:
“Dharma” is that which upholds, nourishes or supports the stability of the society, maintains social order and secures the general well-being and progress of man-kind’.
While Dharma touches on a wide varieties of topics, the principal rules of Dharma common to all human beings is also declared in various works. Important of them are:
Truthfulness, to be free from anger sharing wealth
with others, (samvibhaga) forgiveness, procreation
of children from one’s wife alone (Sexual morality),
purity, absence of enmity, straightforwardness and
maintaining persons dependent on oneself are the
nine rules of the Dharma of persons belonging to all the varnas.
(Mahabharata Shantiparva 6-7-8).
A reading of each one of the above rules at once makes an individual realise what he should do and what he should not do. The observance of the above rules alone secures real happiness and harmony in life.
Manu Smriti is more concise and brought Dharma under five heads.
vfgalk lR;eLrs;a ÓkSpfefUnz; fuxzg% ,ra lkekflda /keZ pkrqoZ.¸ksaZ•czohUeuq% xPNe~ m)oA
Ahimsa (non-violence), Satya (truthfulness), Asteya (not acquiring illegitimate wealth), Shoucham (purity), and Indriyanigraha (control of senses) are, in brief the common rules of Dharma for all the varnas thus. It is significant every individual that three is no reference to God indicating that Dharma is not religion.
Doctine of ‘trivarga’ panacea for human problems
“Doctine of “Trivarga” is an injunction to all human beings which directs “reject wealth and desires which are contrary to Dharma” evolved from times immemorial. As Bharat Ratna C Subramanyam has said in his celebrated book CS Speaks published by Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan that Trivarga is inseparable group of three which constitute the warp and woof of our social system. but unfortunately forgotten. This is the root cause for rampant corruption and financial and other crimes. Making money and fulfillment of desires by methods which are illegal and immoral has become the order of the day. Unless the injunction of Trivarga is inculcated in the hearts of every child as part of national education, it is impossible to combat corruption and various other offences which have been increasing alarmingly during recent times and general moral degradation, by mere law, police and the courts. In other words, the doctrine of Trivarga is an internal check, preventive in nature which is far more effective than law which is punitaive in nature.