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Saturday, September 27, 2008

On Monarchy Vs Democracy

I've often heard my grandfather lament,

"வெள்ளைக்காரன் ஆட்சில எவ்வளவோ சுகமா இருந்தது நம்ம ஊரு !"

To which, my grandmother would retort,

"அரம்பிசுட்டேளா, உங்க வெள்ளைக்காரன் புராணத்த! சாயங்கால நேரமும் அதுவுமா ! வாயை மூடுங்கோ!"

And they would get into a rip-roaring fight that provided great amusement to all by-standers. Sometimes I've old-timers say the same about "Raja kaalathu" reigns. And they would point to all the great temples and works of art that were executed under monarchs and ask, "What has democracy done?"

Monarchy affords high-handed rule. If the lucky draw happens to be good, a nation gets a good monarch and uses high-handedness to do good things. Eg. Akbar, Chandragupta Maurya, Narasimha Pallavan, Raja Raja Cholan, Queen Eizabeth. On the other hand, if the Royal brood is a bunch of maniacs, God save the poor nation! However useless, this latter category definitely yields more interesting characters -- Louis XIV of France who reveled in his courtiers watching him use the toilet, Aurangzeb who was a nut-case etc...

I think no matter what the merits of monarchy are, Democracy is the greatest gift to the people of this world. If 10000 fools vote to elect one fool, we, the fools, know that we brought it on ourselves. Besides, the one fool that got elected is a fool of our own making. We get a chance to try again later.

All this brings me to another question I've been pondering awhile: Does the 'Karma theory' apply to nations? If the ruling class brings misery because of actions they take on behalf of their country, where does this 'paavam' go? To the individual who committed those actions? Or the populace that elected him?

If the population that elected him gets all the bad karma of the elected representatives, that would explain why Indians suffer so much! :) What do you think?

5 comments:

expertdabbler said...

We get the govt we deserve.

subhashssm said...

Hey,
The problem with the people here is if someone offers rice at rupee 1 they vote for him and thats it.No electricity no proper roads but still the ruling party enjoys the confidence.at least people of america should vote for the correct guy as a lot depends on him and his outsourcing policies.Millions of students like me placed are waiting for the election to get over and hope the markets hit a good real time high.Really its like the famous song,God save the queen or like God save the markets so that i get safe along with my friends.

subhashssm said...

vote for the correct man,not a big choice just two,but still vote for the man who is sensible in his outsourcing!

Ganesh Venkittu said...

Subha - one correction.

Aurangazeb was not a nut case, if you go by what is written about him in "Vandhaargal...Venraargal" by Madhan...

Granted he did a lot of atrocities...but who in Mughals did not....Madhan argues in his book that contrary to popular belief about Aurangazeb, he did have good music knowledge, had an amazing passion for science etc...

Aurangazeb was constantly "side lined" by his dad Shah Jahan....he was appointed Viceroy deep south in an area where the Mughals had least stronghold, just to make him stay away from the capital....and probably get killed...

That he succeeded, was largely due to a self imposed "military regimen"...in that process, the man lost a sense of smoothness..

unlike ShahJahan who can claim he built Taj Mahal, but who also gave her innumerably many pregnancies and babies ( which some argue caused her death), and unlike other mughals who had multiple wives....guess what? Aurangazeb had one -- and the kicker is

she was a Hindu..

ganesh
PS: your post was not about mughals, but I thought I would clarify...I like Aurangazeb...in many ways, he symbolizes a lot of US based Indians. We long for a better India, but we could not help it directly...He longed for soical acceptance, but he never got it...

Anonymous said...

The law of Karma works at an individual level, at an family level, at a society level, at nation level and at the world level as well.

The sum total of all positive and negative actions is what determines where the person or the nation is with respect to the law of karma.

In India, an average citizen is not that enlightened, but there are individuals who are truly stalwarts that India had given birth to since Vedic Times. Only in India, you will find Lord Jesus Christ or Lord Krishna like saints in every generation, while rest of the world barely knows one or two saits of such stature. This need to be attributed to the Vedic Knowledge that we inherited since ages.

But, in USA or the west, an average person is more enlightened (than an average Indian), but the west doesnot have many Stalwarts who can turn the tide if needed in masses. The reason being that they donot have the Spiritual aspects that deeper in their culture. But, the average citizen in the west is given the sense of responsibility towards the society and the greater benefits rather than the selfish motives.

It is the ignorance of the average citizen in India that is resulting in PIGS taking up power in elections, who only in turn are looting in elected citizens and the Govt properties. Look at the number of scams that had happened in all over India so far and this easily could have been like 10 years of the Indian Budget. Had this money been truly invested in improving the standard of living of average person or poor one by generating Jobs etc, probably India would have uplifted around 50% of its population from below poverty level easily.


But this is not the case. Those who are enlightened doesnot want to speak up when needed or neglect their duty TO PUNISH THE GUILTY LEADERS when given power and those who are Ignorant donot have anything to talk or raise concerns and blindly sell their valuable vote power. Even if the ignorant one gains poer, that person yields easily to the worldly pleasures and then end up looting the same poor people from where this person came from.

THIS IS THE REASON WHY SPIRITUALITY IS NEED IN A PERSONS LIFE. A LEADER WHO EXPERIENCES THE ALL PERVADING DIVINITY WILL HUMBLY KEEP IN MIND THAT HE OR SHE IS JUST AN INSTRUMENT IN HE HANDS OF GOD AND WILL CARRY OUT THE DUTY OF THE LEADER AS AN INSTRUMENT FO GOD TO REMOVE THE SUFFERING OF THE PEOPLE. Once you know OR experience GOD, then, there is nothing that you can long for, other than GOD, since when you HAVE GOD with you, you will never need anythig else that is merely ephimeral in nature.


THIS IS THE REASON WHY THOSE WHO ARE GOOD NEED TO SPEAK UP. IT IS A SIN NOT TO SPEAK AGAINST OR RAISE VIOCE OR RESIST WHEN YOU ENCOUNTER BAD IN LIFE. AND THE END RESULT WILL BE THAT NO ONE WILL RAISE THE VIOCE IN SUPPORT OF YOU WHEN YOU NEED THE SUPPORT TO COUNTER THE BAD IN YOUR HOUR OF NEED.