Khamraj Anyone?

By Radharao Gracias
05 July 2011 15:11 IST

In an interview to Tehelka, Nitin Gadkari, President of the BJP has laid bare the plans of the party to make Ram Mandir an issue in elections to the Lok Sabha in the year 2014. The BJP obviously is determined to milk the nebulous and undefined concept of Ramrajya once again.

Homebound by heavy rains, heavier cold and slight fever, I felt that since the BJP would be a major contender for power in the next elections, I had to enlighten myself about what justice would be in Ramrajya. Here is what I found in the Ramayana.

Rama’s Justice

“Another time there came a Brahman to the palace gate bearing the dead body of his son, and wailing: “O my son, thou art but fourteen years of age, and I know not for what sin of mine it is that thou hast died; never have I lied, or hurt an animal, or done any other sin. It must be for some other reason that thou hast gone to Yama’s realm. Indeed, it must be that the king has sinned, for else such things may not befall. Therefore, O king, do thou confer life again upon him; or, if not, my wife and I will die here at thy gate, like those that have no king.”

Then Rama summoned a council of eight chief Brahmans, and Narada took up the word and explained to Rama what had been the cause of the boy’s premature death. He told him of the four ages. “And now, O king, the Kali age begins already, for a Shudra has begun to practice penances in thy kingdom, and for this cause the boy has died. Do thou search the matter out and put down such misdeeds, so that the virtue of thy subjects may increase and this boy may be restored to life.”

So Rama ordered the body of the boy to be preserved in sweet oil, and he bethought him of the self coursing car Pushpaka, and it knew his mind and came to him straight-way. Then Rama mounted the car and sought through every quarter; but he found no sin in the west nor in the north, and the east was crystal clear. Only in the south, beside a sacred pool, he found a yogi standing on his head practicing the most severe disciplines, and Rama asked him: “O thou blest and self-devoted, who art thou, and what thy colour, and what dost thou seek to win, whether Heaven or aught else?” And the yogi answered: “O great Rama, I am of the Shudras, and it is for Heaven that I do this penance.” Then Rama drew his sword and cut off the yogi’s head, and the gods rained down flowers and praised the deed; but the Shudra yogi attained to the abode of the heavenly ones. Now Rama prayed to the gods: “If ye are pleased with me, do ye restore to life the Brahman’s son and so fulfill my promise”; and they granted it, and Rama returned to Ayodhya.”

The “offence” that Shambuka had committed was that he was born into the Shudra caste and had to suffer the same fate as John the Baptist.

Ananda K.Coomaraswamy and Sister Nivedita explains the concept of justice in the Ramayana :

“In its extreme form this doctrine of own-morality is represented as having been fully realized in practice only in the golden age, when none but Brahmans practiced asceticism, or attained to Perfect Enlightenment; in the second age the Brahmans and Kshatriyas were equally powerful, and it is said that in this age Manu composed the shastras (law-books) setting forth the duties of the four varnas; in the third age the Vaishyas also practiced austerities; and in the fourth even the Shudras engaged in austere penances. Thus the four ages represent a progressive deterioration from an ideal theocracy to a complete democracy. In the time of Rama the beginning of the fourth age is already foreshadowed by the one Shudra who became a yogi, and was slain by Rama, not so much as a punishment as to avoid the consequential disturbance of society, already manifested in the untimely death of a Brahman boy.”

I can now fairly well understand why my ancestors opted for Lazarus over the Brahman boy !

I can also fairly well understand Manohar Parrikar’s and Nitin Gadkari’s quest for Ramrajya. But I cannot understand Rajendra Arlekar or Subhash Velingkar. Perhaps I never will.

My next attempt was to see how Ramrajya fits into the context of our Constitution, and our democratic set up.

Article 14 of the Constitution says “The State shall not deny to any person equality before the Law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.

As can be seen, the concept of justice in Ramrajya, is in complete contrast to the equality guaranteed to all under our Constitution. Effectively anyone who supports Ramrajya is opposing the basic framework of our Constitution. Equality before the law, everywhere and for everyone, is the bedrock of our Constitution. The Constitution guarantees Shambuka the right to stand on his legs or his head, as he chooses to, and still not be decapitated, on account thereof !

The BJP perhaps is interested only in coming to power by misleading the illiterate and exploiting the religious beliefs of a certain section of the people. If the BJP really desires to advance the cause of the Country, it ought to forget Ramrajya. And offer the voters Khamrajya. That is what the people demand. Employment.

Disclaimer: Views expressed above are the author's own.

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Radharao Gracias

Radharao F.Gracias is a senior Trial Court lawyer and ex President of the South Goa Advocates Association. He is also former independent MLA of Goa. He has been an activist on issues related to Goa for more than three decades.

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mr radharao,

why you are writtting always on hindus, write some in thing on cristians, muslim and the lot and misgude whcih is done by church, via mr. churchill and babush, who themselves are giverned by church and its agenda , and also looting goa with both the hands and 3rd hand of congress, if you really have some guts in you you will write about it.

- Domnic, Ponda | 06 th July 2011 17:19


Dear Radha,

" History' is written by the victors. In the age old struggle between the brutal, war mongering and beef eating Aryans who came from outside and the local Dravidians of Indian subcontinent, Aryans not only wiped off the peace loving and cultured indigenous population but also created ' dark skinned Brahmis' in the southern peninsula.

During earlier times when reading and writing was the exclusive prerogative of Brahmins, several cock and bull ( no pun intended) myths could be injected into the minds of common, god fearing people in the name of morality by justifying all acts of violence against lower classes/ castes.

The classic case is Ravana. His crime was that he forcefully kidnapped Ram's wife. Why? Was he not enough powerful and virile to have a much better choice? It was a revenge that he nurtured for several years after Laxman chopped off his sister Shuparnakha's nose and ears. And what was her fault? She was attracted to Ram initially who directed her to his brother. This has always been the " Aryan " way of respecting a woman.

You are perplexed about likes of Subhash Velingkar and Rajendra Arlekar. Perhaps that feel it would be lucrative to get into their traditional occupations which their forefathers carried on to keep the brahminical order intact. These are pseudo nationalists who have sold their souls and accepted their role of serving their masters who provide them economic and social security to keep the Brahminical leviathan strong.

Marathi writer Bhalchandra Nemade in his recent book has exposed several such lies... a must read if you can read Marathi.....

- Rajan Govekar, Feira Alto Mapusa | 05 th July 2011 17:36


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