In Search Of Dharma: Reestablishing A Truly Democratic Governance

Posted on June 17, 2012 in Politics at Play

By Shriram S:

I believe the state of monarchy as such didn’t offer a sense of secularism to the people. And people represented society. But was society in a position to accept it, if one was offered?

This brings me to the next issue. Has the current democracy succeeded in offering this sense (of secularism) to the society? No! This is not to say, it hasn’t, but that it has not succeeded in the truest of sense. But are we, as a society, matured enough to handle this huge responsibility, at least in a hypothetical sense?

The answer is not pretty straightforward. Our society is not comprised of people. It is actually co-habituated by ‘groups of’ people’, each with its own culture and customs. And hence our democracy, like our customs, is divided, and worse, is opinionated.

The power, as we know of it, is shared by a group of people in a democracy. But is it the only thing that led to the downfall of monarchy? Maybe not, for a strength that can’t be leveraged upon to seize the opportunity becomes a bottleneck.

The effectiveness of any governing body can only be evaluated in comparison with its alternative. Modern Economics call it as an ‘Opportunity Cost’. A Black is recognized only because of the existence of White. One has to remember that Kautilya wrote Arthashastra and Needhishastra in a monarchic age.

Monarchism is not always bad, in much the same way Democracy is not always better. But a society, mired in, and divided by, non-secular forces, can never relate to the justice called Truth. At this juncture, democracy, as we know it, would cease to exist.

The need of the hour, therefore, is not just a sense of secularism among us, but more of a fiduciary consciousness. This awareness can only be created by social, communal and other institutions, which form the backbone of our society. This should be complemented by proper governmental politicking and reestablishment of democratic governance, what our ancestors and forefathers called as ‘Dharma’.

But this Dharma was actually established in a monarchic age. Democracy thus connotes a sense of self-righteousness than any definite style of leadership. The Vedas and Upanishads teach us only this. So does Bhagavath Gita and other religious texts. In that sense, Democracy, like Monarchy, should reside inside each of us.

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Shushant Mojumdar

I am not pulling you down or trying to throw mud on you… when we talk of democracy or monarchy or society we have to focus on Truth as you said but stating “dharma” and quoting that this taught by upanishad, vedas, and last of all bhagvad gita and a small note on all religious text shows you think we should have this teaching as common belief but secularism is above that it means to value the person more than an just idea or belief yes our country is going through a major challenge in terms of maintaining it but in true meaning democracy and secularism is for common good of all human beings treating every one the same at the same time allowing them to chose any religion or belief without harming the essential human being requirements.

    Shriram Sivaramakrishnan

    Great Shushant! you’ve given the answer…yes, Secularism is what you said it is, but reference w.r.t various religious texts is that they all tell the same thing in a different language…and, remember, the core idea of my article is that democracy needn’t always offer a sense of secularism…any author (while writing a code of governance through storytelling) gets invariably influenced by the then socio-political situation (when our notion of democracy didn’t exist)…but for upholding dharma, all one needs is an inner transformation (as my last lines conclude)

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