and Human Rights
Chapter 5: India and Democracy
March 8, 2017
they are, the harder they fall, and therefore, the greater the
pain they suffer: history of India proves this adage.
a time, (the undivided) India was the greatest country in the
world. Unfortunately, the very great Indian past has fallen extremely
low to split into three countries, and all of them belong to the
the mirror that reflects the past of a nation. The people struck
down by the caprices of time, can find solace in the glorious
memories of the bygone days, and can cure the wounds of humiliation
by equalling their character with that of their ancestors. The
one thing that the people of undivided India never did was to
study their history. Instead, they preferred the easy options
and fell for the foreign cultures. This is what created formidable
religious, social and political divisions among them, leading
to the partition of their Motherland.
age has eagerly chosen the democratic way of life, which was once,
an integral part of the Indian faith. Since it has become the
guiding principle of life, one can be proud of one's Indian origin.
But how many Bhartis, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis know of this
honour? If they were aware of their ancestral values, they would
feel close to one another instead of drifting apart.
the Indian subcontinent will have a genuine feeling of mutual
belonging if they appreciate their ancestral values. This feeling
is the only panacea that can restore their shattered sense of
national unity and set them on the way to success and glory.
versus absolutism seems to be the basic law of human culture because
civilisation is the product of the continual strife between these
concepts. Antagonism between the two is as natural as between
bleak and bright or blessing and blight. In fact, it is a logical
relationship because the recognition of everything depends on
the existence of its opposite: truth cannot be understood without
falsehood and black has no meaning without white.
When we look
into it deeply, the concept of democracy versus absolutism, also
appears to have a psychological basis:
Man is born
to be free. This is the essence of humanity, and has been repeatedly
expressed by history. Though, to err is human, we want to go straight.
What conducts us on the right path is our knowledge and moral
conscience, coupled with free will, which goads us to use these
two virtues for self-correction. When man's behaviour is under
his own control, he is free. Such a human can be called a blessed
person because no favour, felicity or festivity is a greater joy
than freedom. Of course, freedom is not a licence. A freeman,
being a lover of the concept of freedom, guards other people's
freedom as much as his own. He achieves this aim through his moral
conduct and the force of law, which he himself legislates through
the democratic institutions.
usually described as government of the people, by the people and
for the people, is the culmination of human love for liberty.
It is superior to any system of government despite its numerous
weaknesses. However, it must be understood that democracy is not
meant for the society, which is culturally backward and morally
corrupt; it is based on pluralism which denotes collective consciousness
of common good and refers to the old addage: "Do not do to
others what you do not want to be done to yourself." In a
nutshell, democracy and sense of responsibility go together.
is the foundation-stone of democracy, I may say a few words about
it. Pluralism in its philosophical context means polytheism, the
view, which holds that there are many gods, each having power
over a distinct phenomenon of nature, yet collectively representing
the same final truth. In its socio-political sense, the word refers
collectively to such groups as churches of various denominations,
municipalities, industrial unions, business corporations, professional
organisations, ethnic minorities, and so on. These entities are
different manifestations of power, which remains distributed among
the various organs of the society, and serves as a check on the
tendencies of absolutism i.e. monarchy, dictatorship or religious
represents man's collective consciousness by resisting the egoistic
compulsions of an individual. This is what endeared Marxism to
people for its social care, and this is also what destroyed it,
because pluralism converted itself into absolutism as the political
pyramid of Marxist power reached its apex. In ancient history,
pluralism expressed itself through guilds, chartered cities, monasteries
and similar medieval structures.
man's love for liberty is his Urge of Dominance. What is Urge
This is the
drive, that goads man to seek superiority over others through
acquisition of power. As it is the nature of power to maximise
itself without acknowledging any upper limit, it is averse to
being shared; its goal is to secure the highest commanding position,
crowned by absolutism. The Urge of Dominance operates in many
ways: socially, politically and spiritually (religiously):
1. Its social manifestation can be seen in patriarchy whereby a male
assumes controlling power over his family, and thus decides the
fate of its members even to the minor details. The old patriarchal
laws entitled father to inflict even death-sentence on his children
with impunity. This was done "out of love" to enhance
the familial causes!
2. Politics is the power-game that recognises no law except the law
of self-promotion. What serves in attaining power is lofty, lawful
and laudable but what stands in the way of achieving it, is the
token of insanity, immorality and impropriety. Power is the only
piety in the lexicon of a power-seeker. This is what men like
Alexander, Genghis, Timur, Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini believed
3. Religion is the most ferocious trap of power. The power-seeker
brainwashes people with the most cunning dart of faith; it turns
man into a moth, which becomes impatient to cremate itself on
the flame of spiritual trickery that a self- styled god, guru
or prophet ignites with his devices, dodges and deceptions.
of a secular suzerain, no matter how great, lasts only during
his life time; once he breathes his last, his power departs and
he cannot tell people what to do. On the contrary, the power of
a spiritual magnate such as a god, guru or prophet, gathers momentum
after his death, and surprisingly keeps accelerating with the
passage of time through a process of exaggeration, which his followers
adopt to mention his miracles, marvels and majesty. Thus, a holyman
commands through his dust or ashes, and the faithful devise traditions
of interpreting the rational as irrational and vice versa, to
hide the shame of their docility, deviance and distraction. In
fact, it is a form of psychosis induced by the unconscious desire
for recouping one's free will that has been lost to the illusory
forces of faith.
or burnt spiritual magnate, usually proclaims his absolutism through
a code of law, which is considered binding by his followers irrespective
of its relevance to real life and problems. The insane zeal of
the followers contributes, not only to the prestige of the spiritual
magnate, but also to the principle of absolutism that radiates
from his Divine Person. The situation is exacerbated by his lieutenants,
who treat him as the model of morality and government and want
to rule absolutely in his name. In fact, their religious fervour
is usually no more than showmanship; they lay stress on following
the Divine Model to establish their own absolutism; in terms of
dominance or suzerainty, power is to be snatched for the simple
reason that masses love liberty and are reluctant to to surrender
their rights of freedom, but this attitude though pious in itself,
appears profane to the power-seeker because more power for the
people means less power for him. This is the reason that he hates
democracy, the fountain of people's power, and wants to decimate
it with religious sanctions. Since this issue is vital to human
liberties, I may devote a few more pages to explain it more effectively:
do not seem to have realised the fact that the Arabian Peninsula
is the home of absolutism whereas India is the fountain of democracy.
What I am about to say, has nothing whatever to do with racism;
it is simply a discussion of facts and principles and requires
philosophical explanation of the terms: "Pluralism"
and "Monotheism;" the former means that there are many
gods, each controlling a different aspect of the physical phenomena,
yet representing the Final Truth collectively. This is the essence
of the Indian metaphysics, which had been practised in Greece
and Italy, almost to the letter. On the contrary, the Semitic
theory originating from the Arabian Peninsula, known as Monotheism,
advocates that God is one, who is Creator, All-powerful and Absolute.
Being above the law, He can do anything, and is accountable to
none. He sends guidance through His Prophet, who being His representative
on earth, wields Divine power singularly and must be obeyed. The
Prophet brings the Law of God, which is everlasting and unchangeable,
and must be followed under all circumstances and during all ages.
Man has no choice but to obey God's Vicar (the Prophet) and his
lieutenants i.e. the men who succeed him (the Prophet) over a
period of time. This is total negation of democracy because man
is not allowed to differentiate between vice and virtue according
to his own conscience nor is he permitted to make his own laws
to suit his circumstances. Not only the standards of right and
wrong but laws to deal with different situations have also been
laid down by God through the Prophet, who might have lived centuries
earlier! This is Urge of Dominance at its apex!
is a Semitic theory. For the sake of convenience, one may call
Moses its originator though historically, it is associated with
the name of the Egyptian pharaoh, Akhenaton also known as Amenhotep
The Jews were
originally a polytheistic race, that is, they worshipped many
gods. Yahwe, the Jewish God, gave tablets of law to Moses, who
told the Jews the nature of God and the consequences of not obeying
And God spake all these words, saying
2. I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land
of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
3. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
4. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness
of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth
beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
5. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them nor serve them: for
I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of
the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation
of them that hate me;
6. And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and
keep my commandments."
(Exodus 20: 1-6)
From the above
verses, it is quite clear that God is extremely jealous about
His authority and inflicts terrible punishment on the disobedient.
Following His commandments is tantamount to loving Him and ignoring
them counts as hating Him. In other words, enjoyment of absolute
power is the Divine Will.
rule of absolutism served as the model for subsequent Semetic
Prophets and became a spiritual tradition of the Middle East,
subjecting people to the will of monarchy in the name of God.
It is not surprising that in 1 Samuel: 5-6 people themselves ask
for the establishment of kingship. Saul, the first king of Israel,
who reigned during 1021-1000 B.C. was chosen by the people themselves.
David, who became Saul 's eventual successor, was also an elected
monarch but thereafter Jewish monarchy lost its elective element
and became hereditary.
started with the Jewish doctrine of absolutism:
I (Jesus) say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this
rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail
And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and
whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven:
and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earlh shall be loosed in heaven."
( St. Matthew 1 6: 18 -19 )
It is considered
the exclusive fountain of Peter's primacy. Despite many contests
on the subject, it came to be established that Christ himself
appointed Peter as Prince of the Apostles and Head of the Church.
This primacy was not merely a matter of honour but carried true
authority compatible with the Petrine divine responsibilities.
Not only that, Christ's establishment was to pass in perpetuity
to his successors, the successive Bishops of Rome, who came to
be known as the Popes of Christendom. Thus, the establishment
of the Bishop of Rome was gradually defined as the Holy Apostolic
See; supremacy of the Roman Pontiff, acknowledged as the successor
of Peter, Prince of the Apostles, true Vicar of Christ, was given
authority all over the world. This is how he was assigned the
full powers of Lord Jesus Christ to nourish, rule and govern the
of Pope as successor and representative of Peter was legitimised
at grassroot level by giving it analogy with the Roman law of
inheritance. This is what entitled Pope to wield Peter's powers.
Since Peter had been accorded principatus (primacy) over the Church,
Popes interpreted it that they were entitled to use his ( Peter's
) prerogative in the monarchical style, which is absolute and
cannot be challenged. Despite this manipulation, under the influence
of the Roman constitutional traditions, papacy remained elective
in character, but in exercising powers, it became as absolute
as the Good Lord Himself. According to the proverb: "power
corrups and absolute power corrupts absolutely, " papacy,
the practical absolutism, weaved the myth of infallibility about
itself: it means, Pope can do no wrong, even someone like Pope
Alexander VI, who had incestuous relationship with his own daughter,
remained pious, pure and prophetic. This process of divine lust
for power, which started in the third century, culminated during
the period of Pope Gregory VII when the Church came to operate
wwithin a unified Christian society expunging the distinction
between state and Church as separate entities. Popes claimed greater
spiritual powers than Christ himself and exercised jurisdictional
supremacy over the Christian emperors.
Here is a
short description of the Papal absolutism, which destroyed the
constitutional and democratic traditions of Rome and Greece to
nourish itself. To convey the full meaning of this statement,
I may quote from my book, "Taxation And Liberty:"
excommunication meant a command to the Christian faithful to rise
against the renegade ruler, who wielded authority over his subjects
during pope's pleasures, owing to the fact that the Holy Father
exercised complete control over the mind of every Christian because
of his divine powers as the Vicar of Christ. Again, the Church
was also a temporal state in its own right; in 755, Peipin, the
Short, laid its foundation when he gave the Pope the territories
he had won from the Lombards. Stephen II was the first Pope to
become a mundane sovereign, as well. At Reims in October 816 when
Stephen IV crowned Louis I, the Pious, and his wife as Emperor
and Empress, papacy became the divine agency of crowning through
its exclusive prerogative of anointing. From this precedent arose
the papal theory of government that the monarch anointed by the
Pope was his lieutenant and secular arm. St. Nicolas I (the Great)
claimed the right to legislate for the whole of Christendom and
asserted to be the supreme judge with final authority to settle
all doctrinal disputes."
1050 and 1060, the Latern Palace, that is, papal residence was
reconstituted and the temporal splendour hitherto associated with
the secular courts entered the holy realm: the Pope was afflated
by St. Peter to act in his name as a feudal lord, enter contractual
obligations and accept military services and money payments in
return for affording protection to his feudatories. By the end
of the 13th century, the Pope became the largest feudal lord in
Europe: Sicily, Sweden, Denmark, Arragon, Poland, England and
Ireland were parts of his feudal empire."
authority prompted Popes to interfere even in the matrimonial
affairs of the Christian rulers such as Philip II, Augustus of
France, Peter II of Arragon and Alfonso IX of Leon. William I
conquered England with the papal blessing. When the Conqueror
married Matilda, daughter of Baldwin, Count of Flanders, Pope
Leo IX in 1049, forbade the marriage expressly and it was not
until 1050 that Pope Nicholas II accorded it legitimacy through
a special dispensation on the condition that they each built a
monastery for the atonement of their sins. Henry II of England,
had to do penance at Canterbury for the murder of Archbishop Becket:
he allowed the monks to scourage him! Henry IV of Germany incurred
excommunication, and as a price for apostolic mercy, he had to
strip off all his regalia, wear woollen clothes and stand barefooted
for three days before the gate of the castle at Canossa in 1077.
It was then and only then that the burning humility of his sighs
and tears broke through the frigid barrier of the papal compassion,
which took him back into communion, and restored his kingdom.
Frederick Barbarossa, the Holy Roman Emperor was forced to kiss
publicly the feet of Pope Alexander III for the sin of not acknowledging
him as Christ's vicar: just kneeling was not sufficient to secure
forgiveness of the Holy Father. "
This was the
plight of the Christian monarchs at the hand of the Papal absolutism!
What about the Christian masses? Their pathetic conditions are
represented by what is known as Inquisition. What was Inquisition?
It was an
uninvited enquiry into people's beliefs to establish whether or
not they held exactly the same doctrines and opinions as officially
sanctioned by the Church. With a view to enlarging the Papal net
of authority-alchemy, witchcraft, sorcery, devil-worship, adultery
and incest were also included in the Inquisition. During the first
three centuries of Christianity, penalties inflicted on heretics
were spiritual, but as it became the established religion, the
dissenters were treated as enemies of the state, and laws were
passed to subject them to such punishments as flogging, confiscation
of property, exile and death. Until about 1000 A.D. rigours of
the Inquisition remained tolerable, but as the Clerical pressures
of dominance increased, the despotic process of Inquisition became
foul, fierce and frightening. During the 11th and 12th centuries,
evils of the Papal absolutism increased in severity and ecclesiastical
decrees condemning heretics became the fashion of the day, indicating
the corruptive influence of unbridled power. The Papal writ ran
through all the Christian countries, and the secular rulers who
practically held their dignity subject to the pleasure of the
Holy Father, vied with one another in executing decrees of the
Vatican and the Church Council; they would prosecute heretics
for trivial offences: it was a heresy to say "marriage is
as good as celibacy." The clerics, who were theoretically
celibate but practically enjoyed the favours of the nuns, treated
it as an insult to Christ who did not marry.
was an efficient organisation, equipped with supreme Papal authority,
assisted by notaries, police and counsellors. The inquisitors
roamed through cities hunting heretics, who were expected to present
themselves for "correction." Since this correction could
involve severe penalties, the force of faith was not always sufficient
to make dissenters kiss feet of the Inquisitor. Those who knew
about the heretics, were required under pain of excommunication
to act as informers. The heretic-hunting became an obsession of
the clergy, when in 1252 Pope Innocent IV authorised use of torture
to obtain confession from the suspects. The Ecclesiastical tribunal
called Roman Inquisition set up in 1542 by Pope Paul III to combat
Protestantism, and the similar organisation known as the Spanish
Inquisition founded in later part of the 15th century to deal
with the apostate Jews and Muslims, were, in fact, the forerunners
of the Nazi gas chambers. The first Grand Inquisitor of the Spanish
Inquisition, Thomas de Torquemada, qualifies as the Divine Ganghis
Khan for burning thousands of innocent people at the stake to
demonstrate the glory of God, who is All-love, All-grace and All-munificence!
it was the French and the English rulers, who made a dent in the
most infamous edifice of the Ecclesiastical absolutism: the Concordat
of 1516 delivered the French Church into the hands of the French
monarch, reducing the Papal despotism in France. Henry VIII of
England ranks as the Patron of democracy for taking England comp!etely
out of the Papal pale and enabling Parliament to legislate for
secularism, have ceased to be a unity in Christendom for a long
time, leading to the growth of democratic institutions in the
world but Islam, a Semitic religion, still continues to be the
ambassador of absolutism. A detailed examination of the Islamic
political theory is necessitated by the fact that the Muslim scholars
falsely project this religion as the guarantor of human liberties
and democratic institutions. They do so to promote their self-
interests whereas the stark fact is that Islam is the worst opponent
of human liberty and democracy. See for yourself:
belongs all that is in the heavens
and in the earth, and God encompasses everything."
(Women, IV: 125)
His proprietory rights:
bow all that is in the heavens and the earth
willingly or unwillingly."
( Thunder XIII - 15 )
Thus, it is
the destiny of everything to bow, bend and bemoan before God.
There is nothing that He loves more than submission, slavery and
servitude. It is the Lord's attitude that dictates man's purpose
of creation. Therefore, Allah addressing mankind, remarks:
did you think that We created you only for
sport ....." (The Believers XXIII: 115)
No, man has
not been created as a sport. What has he been created for then?
not created ..... mankind
except to worship Me." (The Scatterers LI: 55)
It is man's
purpose of life to have no desire, dignity or destination of his
own. He is on the earth only to worship God. To make sure that
man seeks no status other than servility, Allah has allotted the
lowest birth to man so that he should not feel proud and pompous
or seek prestige and priority of any kind:
made his (man's) seed from a draught
of despised fluid." (The Prostration XXXII: 8)
purpose is nothing but prostration before God: virtues like self-development,
moral uplift and concern for human rights, have been declared
alien to his birth. The more servile a man is, the nearer to God
he becomes. It is in this context that man is considered God's
viceroy on the earth, and not for any intrinsic virtue.
In fact, the
Koranic point of view is a poor adaptation of the Biblical concept:
God said, Let us make man
in our image, after our likeness; and let
them have dominion ..... over all the earth ....."
So God created man in His own
image, in the image of God created He him;
( Genesis 1: 26 - 27 )
says that God created man in His own likeness, and it is this
likeness which makes him superior to everything on earth. The
Koran copies this Biblical myth in so far as God made man out
of clay and breathed his own spirit into Adam, but when it comes
to the progeny of Adam, his seed, the semen, is declared "a
draught of despised fluid" to heap indignity on the human
specie. Just see, how God taunts man about his low birth:
man consider of what he is created;
He is created from a gushing fluid
That issued from between the loins and ribs."
(The Night Star LXXXVI: 5-7)
deliberately insults man by alluding to the seminal discharge,
which brings a human to life. Further, Allah condemns man for
his nature (which He Himself allotted him as the Creator!).
"Perish man! How unthankful he is!
Of what did He create him?
Of a sperm drop .."
(He Frowned LXXX: 15-17)
be noted that in these verses Allah is again sarcastic about the
low birth of man, owing to a sperm drop i.e. the despised fluid.
As Allah declares his intention of creating man, the angels protest:
"And when thy Lord said to the angels,
'I am setting in the earth a viceroy.'
They said, 'What, wilt Thou set therein one
who will do corruption there, and shed blood?' "
(The Cow II: 25)
to this Koranic statement, man is corrupt by nature and therefore
he is prone to bloodshed and similar heinous crimes whereas Biblically,
Adam's disobedience is a fall which proves his high birth the
same way as darkness proves light and blindness vouches for vision.
Is it not
surpsising that the most righteous Allah has appointed the most
wicked man as His viceroy on earth? Astonishing it may be, but
Allah has used the device of viceroyalty to curb the natural desire
of man to be free. It is because, according to the Koran, an evil
person becomes good by fearing God and doing what he is told by
Him. God tells man what to do through the system of revelation,
that is, He sends guidance through a Prophet, who acts as His
said, Get you down out of it, all
together, yet there shall come to you guidance from
Me, and whosoever follows My guidance, nor fear
shall be on them, neither shall they sorrow ...."
(The Cow II: 35)
the meaning of this Koranic statement, one must bear in mind its
background: Adam and Eve, his wife, have disobeyed Allah, and
thus defied His guidance, that is, His instructions about what
to do and what to shun. As a punishment, Allah is driving them
out of paradise where there is no pain, no ageing, no illness,
no worry of sustenance and no fear of death. They have disobeyed
Allah's instructions because they find them hurtful to their sense
of freedom, which is so dear to them that they prefer it to the
paradisiac mirth and immortality. Yet Allah is so obsessed with
curbing man's liberties that He undertakes to send Adam and Eve
guidance through His Messengers despite the fact that they have
turned it down scornfully. What a Divine stratagem it is to frustrate
man's democratic dreams!
This is the
fundamental Islamic principle that those who do not believe in
the Koran, Allah's guidance, they are the most sordid folks, who
will serve as the fuel of hell. Such people are technically known
as Kafir (the unbelievers). The Koran declares:
is an enemy to the unbelievers."
(The Cow, II: 90)
This is the
reason that Allah treats all non-Muslims the same way as someone
treats his worst enemies. A non- Muslim, in an Islamic state becomes
a dhimmy, who almost loses human rights available in a democratic
country, and after death goes to hell, where everything is extremely
of "Divine Guidance" is that it ranks as the Eternal
Law. Thus, man is deprived of legislating for himself though it
is the major feature of democracy. He must do what is laid down
in the Scriptures, which may be centuries old, and thus lose all
relevance to the modern problems. This is the reason that the
Koran lays down:
fear the Fire prepared for the unbelievers, and
obey God and the Messenger; haply so you will find
mercy." (lhe House of Imran III: 125)
code of law is constituted by obedience to Allah and Muhammad
(the Messenger) as depicted in the Koran and Hadith. Those who
do not follow this Guidance, and make their own laws, they are
the unbelievers, who will eternally roast in the Fire especially
prepared for them.
Allah's way is absolutism, and therefore, He clearly declares:
associates in His government no one."
(The Cave XVIII: 25)
allows is the setting up of a consultative body, which cannot
come to binding conclusions or pass any laws:
(O Prophet) take counsel with them
in the affair; and when thou art resolved
put thy trust in God."
(The House of Imran III: 150)
exegetists pretend that this verse is the foundation of the Muslim
democracy. The truth is that all a Muslim ruler (the Caliph),
who is technically, the lieutenant of Allah, can allow is the
formation of a consultative body, whose verdicts are not binding
on him; he takes counsel from its members only to resolve himself
and not to follow them. He must put his trust in God, that is,
do what he thinks fit as Allah's representative.
This is the
true meaning of this verse, and is attested by the fact that the
Prophet Muhammad himself was not an elected leader of the people;
he ruled as the Messenger, appointed by God, and God is God because
He is Absolute, and therefore not bound by anybody's advice. In
fact, it is absolutism, which makes one God by freeing him from
all sorts of accountability.
is the basis of Islam because it places entire power in the hands
of one person. Allah is All- powerful, therefore, Muhammad, who
is His representative, possesses similar authority in relation
to mankind; nobody can be a Muslim without believing in Muhammad;
faith in God alone is as useless as an eye is without vision,
cloud without rain or land without fertility. In fact, "one"
is the major word in Islam; millions of Muslims, even if they
all be extremely pious, cannot achieve salvation without the agency
of one man, called Muhammad. This is the reason that there is
no room in Islam for democracy, which is a form of pluralism,
that is, distribution of power among several individuals and bodies.
When we look
at history, we find no democratic principle in Islam. The. Prophet
Muhammad claimed to be the Divine Model of Behaviour. Since he
did not offer himself for election, he repudiated democracy as
the form of government. He left no instructions for electing his
successors. The Shia sect of Islam has always claimed that the
Prophet had appointed Ali, his son- in-law, as his successor,
and this contention eventually proved to be the bane of Islam.
Abu Bakr, the first Caliph, who succeeded the Prophet Muhammad
got appointed through the political skill of Umr, the Great, but
the faithful call it an election. In fact, it was an inter-tribal
dispute to settle the right of succession. The second Caliph,
Umr, the Great was an appointee of Abu Bakr; Uthman, the Third
Caliph was given this dignity by a small committee nominated by
Umr. At the death of Uthman, war broke out between Ali and Muaawia
to settle the issue of succession; the latter won, and thereafter
monarchy became the fundamental rule of governrnent, which is
compatible with the spirit of Koran:
gives the kingship to whom He will."
(The Cow II: 245)
is a national affair, but the Prophet Muhammad confined the right
to rule to his own tribe i.e. the Quresh, and thus disqualified
the rest of the Arabs to hold this honour:
1. "The prerogative to rule shall remain vested in the Quresh,
and whoever is hostile to them Allah shall destroy him .."
(Sahih Bokhari, vol. 4)
Quresh are the rulers of men in vice and virtue until the Day
of Judgement." (Sahih Tirmzi, vol. 1 )
3. "The right to rule shall belong to the Quresh even if two
men existed." (Sahih Bokhari vol. 9)
So far, I have concentrated on the fact that democracy is no part
of the Semitic Sciptures i.e. the Bible or the Koran. Since Judaism,
Christianity and Islam preach monotheism, that is, oneness of
God, who is jealous, All-powerful and Absolute, the system of
government they advocate, cannot be anything but monarchical or
dictatorial. It is only a religion or philosophy that believes
in pluralism, can advocate the principle of power-sharing called
There are three major centres of pluralism known to the ancient
history, namely, Greece, Rome and India. It is naturally these
territories where the doctrine of democracy flourished; the people
who were free from the absolutism of one God, had the natural
desire to be free from the absolutism of one ruler. I salute all
these hubs of freedom but it is interesting to know which of these
is the fountain of democracy. This honour is usually ascribed
to Greece, but is it the whole truth? With a view to finding out
the size of the Indian contribution to democracy, I may further
enquire into the political forms of:
2. Rome, and
is the fountain of pluralism, which gave birth to the doctrine
of democracy. Greece was one of the lands of antiquity, which
ranked as one of the major centres of polytheism; it gave birth
to certain democratic traditions but it was not the fountain of
polytheism, also known as paganism. This principle encourages
belief in several gods, each having control over a separate phenomenon
of nature, yet being part of the Final Unity. This doctrine is
also known as "One-in-all and all-in-one." Apart from
its mystical connotations, it also means that the administration
of state cannot be left in the autocratic control of one person:
the political power must be shared by all its members.
understanding of the Greek contribulion to democracy, we ought
to realise that the period c. 900 to 700 B.C. is called the Geometric
period (The World of Homer). Historians have surmised that this
is the period when elements from the arts of the Near East entered
the Greek culture as a result of her trading ventures in the eastern
Mediterranean introduction of iron and writing, which brought
Greece into the light of history, belongs to this era, and corresponds
to the dawn of Upanishads in India. What is known as the classical
period of Greece, associated with arts and sciences, starts circa
500 B.C. i.e. when the Geometric or Archaic period ends. However,
the period of three centuries preceding the great migrations of
c. 1100-c.1000 B.C. is often referred to as Ihe Greek "dark
ages" because little is known about it. These migrations
are termed as "the Dorian Invasion" but the ancient
cultural history of Greece defies this assumption because the
migrants practised the same polytheistic traditions as did the
people of India. Even if these migrants did not come direct from
India, they must have migrated from a place, which had been originally
colonised by the Indians. This concept of Greek "dark ages"
has proved very convenient to hide this fact.
feature of the Archaic period was the growth of urban life and
political institutions. Each polis or urban settlement had a political
institution consisting of a king, a council and an assembly. To
check the autocratic powers of the king, each city annually elected
dignitaries, who existed alongside the kingship. The king was
not necessarily a hereditary ruler: even he could be the subject
of election in some places, including Athens. Of course, we hear
of "tyranny and tyrant" in the Archaic Greece. A tyrant
was not always a cruel ruler; he was someone who exercised unhindered
political influence without any legal title. This condition, gradually
dwindled. Even in Sparta, where two hereditary kings were drawn
from two royal families, had to decide foreign policies in the
public assembly, by the later decades of the 5th century. In home
affairs, the kings were themselves members of the council.
consisted of thirty members. The other twenty-eight councillors
had to be at least sixty years old. They enjoyed life-long membership.
Any male adult could attend the public assembly. In addition to
councillors, the public assembly also elected Ephors, who exercised
ultimate choice on questions of legislation and policy. The method
of voting has been described as acclamation: this procedure occasionally
allowed some discretion to the presiding officer.
enactment provided that the measures were to be introduced by
the council but the final decision had to be made by the assembly.
It has been argued that this two- tier procedure for making decisions
was not necessarily a Spartan invention; it was found in other
Greek states, and similar procedures were also found in the Roman
Republic where all measures were brought to the Senate before
they were presented to the assembly. More or less the same situation
existed among the ancient Germans. It shows that the old democratic
institutions had a common origin, but where did it lie?
traditions flourished better in Athens, which had been once ruled
by kings. Eventually, the major political institutions of Athens
comprised an executive board, which consisted of "nine archons,"
a council and a public assembly. One of the archons continued
to be called "king" in accordance with the old tradition.
However, it is Cleisthenes, who came to be regarded as the founder
of democracy in the second half of the 5th Century B.C. owing
to the reforms that he had introduced into the political and social
life of Athens.
Like the Indian
culture, the Athenian society was also divided into four classes
according to ownership of property; the class-divisions were hereditary
and the social conditions were no better than what prevailed in
India owing to the Caste System. The reforms of Cleisthenes abolished
the old Class (tribal) system, which was governed by the religious
element. The corner-stone of his reform was what is called the
deme i.e. a village or a parish. His reformative genius enabled
the different classes to mingle together as citizens of different
districts and thus broke down the social and local barriers.
major reform of Cleisthenes was the Council of Five Hundred. The
members of this Council were chosen by lot and were entitled to
hold office for one year. Each tribe supplied fifty members to
should be remembered that the Athenian democracy had a very limited
scope. It was for the Athenians only; their colonials had no share
in it. Even the Athenian women and slaves, who formed at least
three- quarters of the population, could not participate in this
system of government.
When the Gauls
burnt down the city of Rome in 390 B.C. the patriotic zeal of
its citizens assumed a new flight of imagination to award it a
historical origin, which the art of history itself cannot acknowledge
as the truth.
the legendary founder of Rome, completed his services to the city
through a long reign, one day, a mighty whirlwind carried him
to heaven, where he became the god that was to be worshipped as
Quirinus by the people of Rome. As the story goes, Romulus was
succeeded by a member of the Sabine tribe, namely, Numa Pompilius;
he is said to have been chosen by the city-elders, who belonged
to the important tribes and have also been referred to as Senatories.
for forty years. He brought unity and stability to his people
through religious devices. According to a tradition, Lucius Tarquinius,
supposed to have been chosen to rule the city by a coalition of
Etruscan families, was the first, who desired hereditary kingship
and openly canvassed for it. His thirty-years rule, did increase
the kingly powers over the patricians, who arranged his assassination
to nip the evil in the bud, but their attempt did not succeed
in securing its goal. Servius Tullius Servius, who ascended the
throne through the efforts of his mother, was the first person
to hold royal power without being chosen by the people. Even Servius
was not an autocrat; he was bound by the law. When he was accused
of ruling illegally, he called for a plebiscite and secured a
unanimous vote of approval. As the Romans did not like monarchy,
he was assassinated.
As the patricians
(aristocracy) thought of the rex (king) as the chief priest of
religion, members of the senate, were unnerved by the fact that
under Tarquinius Superbus ( "the Proud" ), monarchy
had become absolute. However, when another Tarquinius became king
of Rome, the Senate was able to dismiss him in 508 B,.C. and took
over the reins of power.
This is a
short history of royal Rome, but it is devoid of credibility.
The struggle for establishing democracy that started in 508 B.C.
and lasted until 264 B.C. is too long to be described in this
article. However, I may call it a great human triumph because
it demonstrates man's burning desire for liberty and human rights,
which can be acquired only by keeping under check the domineering
evils of despotism whether it is exercised through totalitarianism,
by a king, a dictator, or God.
With a view
to completing this narrative, I ought to add that the Roman Senate
was the supreme governing body. In fact, it was executive, legislature
and judiciary in one. Yet power was exercised through a system
of checks and balances. There were three Assemblies, namely, Curial,
Centurial and Tribal with various prerogatives and functions.
Then there were consuls, censors and tribunes, having authority,
discretion and the will to maintain the integrity of freedom,
justice and public weal.
of the Senate was unique: though it was for life, a corrupt member
could be dismissed. Its eminence lay in the fact that it was not
elected by the people but the excellence of the member's character
thal had distinguished him by his services to the community. Most
of the Senators were the men, who had served in the past as magistrates,
administrators, commanders and proconsuls. The Senate was also
a great place for teaching virtues of administration, justice,
law-making, and the art of democracy because the Senators were
allowed to bring to its sessions their sons who would sit quietly
and attentively, absorbing the wisdom collected over a period
There is no
democracy without law. The Roman Law was based on the Twelve Tablets
which lasted for nine hundred years. As in Greece, Caste System
was also found in Rome and was preserved by law which forbade
the marriage of a patrician with a plebeian.
tracing the roots of the Greek and Roman democracy, I may add
that democracy, particularly, the doctrine of election, is not
indigenous to Greece or Rome but to India. According to a broad
agreement between the historians, which I shall discuss later,
the people of India, Rome and Greece belong to the same racial
stock. In view of the size and population of India, it is reasonable
to assume that the Romans and Greeks must have migrated from India
to these tiny city-states. It is obviously famines or local strifes
that forced people leave their homeland and seek settlements abroad.
Again, the religious beliefs and cultural practices of the three
groups clearly demonstrate that the Greeks and Romans received
their polytheistic culture and the doctrine of democracy from
It is absurd
to call the Romans as the Etruscan migrants and the Greeks as
the Dorian Invaders. Let me explain this truth with reference
to the paganism that prevailed in the three countries.
great things such as steel, mathematics, cotton, rice, mysticism
etc., paganism is yet another Indian contribution to civilisation
but the followers of monotheism - the despotic way of life - have
presented it in the worst possible form; they call it idolatry
whereas, in fact, it is symbolic nature-worship based on a sound
philosophy, seeking to raise the dignity of humanity to that of
India is the
fountain of paganism, which was the ascendant faith of mankind
until the advent of the Semitic concept of monotheism. However,
Greece may be mistaken as another contender for this honour. Of
course, Hellenism or Greek culture has made a fair contribution
to the world's way of life, but it has remained unacknowledged
that Greece herself drew cultural inspiration from India. This
is a tragedy of history for which the Indians themselves are chiefly
responsible. The truth is that India is the origin of paganism
and any Greek claim can be refuted by examining the (a) mythology
and (b) philosophy of the two countries:
As a general
proof, I may add that paganism is as indigenous to India as Magna
Carta is to England. It is because belief in gods and goddesses
in Greece ceased to exist many centuries ago but it is still as
prevalent in India as ever. When we realise that one thousand
years of determined persecution by the Islamic tyrants failed
to eradicate it in this land of the Vedas, one cannot ascribe
the origin of paganism to any country but India.
Rgveda is the oldest Scripture known to mankind but it is dedicated
to the pagan philosophy through the adoration of several gods
and goddesses, and it is these Vedic deities that appear in the
Greek and Roman mythologies. Let us enumerate a few to establish
and earth have been the greatest source of awe and wonder to the
early man. It is the Vedas that called sky or dyaus as Dyaus-Pitar,
who had a female counterpart (earth). In India, they named her
Aditi (the Infinite Expanse) which eventually became the mother
of all gods. Following the Indian principle, the Greek deities
were male or female and had consorts. The Middle Eastern countries
were equally indebted to the Vedas for the adoption of this principle.
Dyaus-Pitar (I: LIV - 2) also called Indra, became the Zeus of
Greece and Jupiter Pluvius of Rome. Agni, the Vedic god of fire
appears as Ignis in Rome, and the Vedic Surya as Helios in Greece;
the Vedic Usha, the goddess of dawn, was remembered as Eos in
Greece, and the Vedic Yama, god of the departed, assumed the title
of Pluto, who commanded the Greek hades.
( I: XIII - 9) mentions three goddesses, namely Ila, Saraswati
and Mahi, who preside over the fine arts such as poetry, music,
drama, dance, painting and sculpture. In Greece they became the
Three Graces, namely Aglaia (Brightness), Euphrosyne (Joyfulness)
and Thalia (Bloom). They were considered the patrons of arts,
beauty and charm. Thus, all the Western arts are actually rooted
in the Indian paganism.
the Vedic pantheon (I: XIII - 10) is the Hephaisto or Vulcan of
the Greek mythology. He is an ideal artist and workman of divine
qualities, which enable him to indulge in most wonderful contrivances.
In the Rgveda
(I: XXIII - 19) we find Amrit, which is repeated frequently. It
has a great healing power and also confers immortality. In Greece
it is called Ambrosia.
chief god of Greece like its Indian prototype, Indra, also uses
thunderbolt as his weapon to subdue the disobedient. (Rg. Book
I: GXXX - 4).
the priest of the Rgveda (I. Vl: XV: 17) becomes the Greek god,
Prometheus, who stole fire from heaven to benefit mankind.
In Greek mythology
appears the dogs of Pluto, the god of the underworld; they are
in fact, the watch-dogs of Yama, the god of the dead. (Rg. 7:
LIBV - 2).
Vedic Law Lord, appears as Ouranos in the Greek mythology. (Again,
it is Varuna's counterpart, Mitra, who appears as Mithra in the
who holds a significant position in the Rgveda, appears as Eros
in Greece and as Cupid in Rome with the same function of producing
love with his amorous arrows.
called Bacchus, is a minicopy of the Vedic god Siva for his rituals
of the phallus, which was celebrated in Greece with the same fervour
as the Sivities still do in India.
demonstrate that the Greek mythology is an extension of the Indian
mythology, I invite a comparison between the unvedic Indian legend
of Indra in relation to Ahalya, and of Zeus concerning Alcemene.
Both Indra and Zeus are chief gods, both use thunderbolt as their
chief weapons and both are held as womanisers.
In the tales
referred to above, semblance between the two is so great that,
apart from difference of names, they both look one and the same
In a nutshell,
Ahalya was wife of the Saint Gautama. She was the most beautiful
woman ever born. Indra fancied her. Assuming the form of Gautama,
he pretended to be Ahalya's husband and thus succeeded in seducing
the wife of Amphitryon. She was an extraordinary beauty of olive
complexion and large, intoxicating black eyes. Zeus fancied her.
He did exactly what Indra had done. He changed his form to look
like her husband, and thus deceptively became her bed-mate for
a whole (extended) night.
description of mythologies should establish the truth that the
Greek mythology, in essence, is a copy of the Indian mythology,
and thus the Greeks actually worshipped the Indian gods. This
is further borne out by the Greek philosophy, which is very much
like the Vedic philosophy. Here is a brief comparison of the philosophical
development in the two countries:
of the two countries
It has been
remarked that the Greek philosophical speculation led to the pantheistic
nature of the universe i.e. the world is a unity through myriads
early Greek philosophy tends towards plurality and not unity;
it is because the divine is held as an element, which is destined
to animate the other elements that constitute the world. This
attitude is known as Hylozoistic pantheism (Greek hyle "matter"
and zoe "life"). Thus divine being immanent in the universe,
provides the motivating force for movement and change. Finding
matter and life as inseparable, the hylozoistic thinkers, such
as Thales, proposed water as the fountain of life.
the Greek speculation moves from plurality to immanentistic pantheism.
It means that, though God is only a part of the world, He is immanent
in it and thus His power extends throughout everything that exists.
Zenophanes, the first Greek thinker, provides a reflection of
monistic pantheism because he suggests the existence of the Absolute
God with a changing world, believing that it does not attenuate
reality of either.
believed in Nous (or Mind) as the principle of order for all things
as well as the principal of their movement. Nous, he held, is
the finest and purest of things and is diffused throughout the
entire cosmos. This point of view is a further annotation of the
Plato is said
to have believed in an absolute and eternal God, whose perfection
is not affected ty his relationship with the world of forms, along
with a World- Soul which is responsible for containing and animating
the universe. He emphasised that this World-Soul is as divine
as a changing thing can be. This attitude is interpreted to mean
that Plato held "a dual principle of the divine, uniting
both being and becoming, absoluteness and relativity, permanence
and change, in a single context."
adored the principle of reason, the logos, which provides order
as well as animation to all things. In addition, they advocated
the role of a World-Soul which permeates everything in the world.
Since the Stoics were materialits, their World-Soul is held as
an extended form of subtle matter. As the universal reason is
the supreme theme running through everything, the Stoic philosophy
is also held pantheistic.
sketch clearly states that the Greek philosophy is mainly pantheistic
i.e. revolving round the principle of unity through diversity.
However, I cannot see how Plato could believe in an absolute God,
who is obliged to create according to the Forms or eternal prototypes.
Since He has no inventive choice, He is not the Creator but the
procreator; his Theory of Forms is a copy of the Vedic doctrine
of existence and becoming:
whom all this world is but the copy who
shakes things moveless, He, O men,
is Indra." (Rg. II. XII - 9)
Again, "In every figure he hath been the model:
this is his only form for us to look on.
Indra moves multiform by his illusions;
for his Bay Steeds are yoked, ten times
a hundred." (Rg. VI: XLVII - 18)
in many a spot, till One is Agni;
Surya is One though high over all he
Illumining this All, still One is Usas,*
That which is One hath into All
developed." (Valakhilya X: 2)
The last quotation
proves the oneness of the universe through diversity of forms.
It is this Vedic principle that appears in Greece as the Parmenedian
doctrine: One-in-all and all-in-One. This, along with the Platonic
idea of Forms, conclusively proves the Indian origin of the Greek
the meaning of these references one ought to realise that Plato
is famous for his Theory of Forms or Ideas. It means that everything
that exists is a reflection of the Forms i.e. the eternal prototypes.
For example, when we say that rose is beautiful, it means that
the rose partakes of the form beauty. Since rose withers away,
its beauty is not real but the Form-beauty is real. Therefore,
one must strive for the Reality that lies behind a thing, and
not the thing itself, which is just an illusion for being transitory.
When we delve
into the above quotations, we find that Greece inherited from
the Vedas, the philosophy that Plato and his predecessors had
quotation: "Indra moves multiform by his illusions"
clearly shows that Indra is the reality behind everything, and
the thing that exists is a reflection of the Forms i.e. the eternal
prototypes. For example motion and direction itself is no more
than an illusion. It also means that he is the animating force
of everything that supplies motion and direction. Plato adapted
this Vedic Theory to gain the international fame. It might have
been his spontaneous thinking but considering that the Greek mythology
is an offshoot of the Indian mythology, it is likely that he had
direct or indirect knowledge of the Vedas.
that life started from water is also an extension of the Vedic
deathless Waters, born in Law, receiving,
protected all the germ in the beginning -
Waters divine who had the God above them ...."
(A.V. IV: 2, 6)
It is a candid
assertion of the fact that, not only life springs from water but,
also the "water (is) born in Law," that is, Water is
water only becasue it obeys that Law of Nature, which is known
as H2O. Considering the antiquity of this statement, the Biblical
and Koranic declarations to this effect, are only of secondary
Anaxagoras' Nous (Mind) and Stoics' Logos (Reason), which provide
animation, movement or order to things, are nothing but differently
stated the Vedic principle called Rta: it is the nature, as well
as the natural law, which governs the universe with complete force,
wisdom and authority, necessary for successful accomplishment
of the Cosmic Order, and has been referred to in the Rgveda some
thinkers also borrowed their Concept of the World Soul from the
Rgveda: Hymn XC (Purusa) states that the universe came into being
"from that great general sacrifice" of Purusa. What
is Purusa? "The Purusa is all that yet hath been and all
that is to be ( 2 ) ." This is the germ and the motivating
force of the world, which cannot be increased or decreased, and
has been referred to as the Universal Soul.
This is only
a glimpse of the Vedic influence: it shows that Greece received
from India its pagan culture, which had spread in the East and
West through the Indian migration and conquest. It persisted so
long in these lands that it began to look as a native doctrine,
though it had originated in India; it is still practised in its
land of birth with increasing fervour. This is yet another proof
of its Indian nativity. It died in Greece because it was not a
Greek baby: only its true mother, India, would not part with it
despite the 1000 years' persistent cruelty of the monotheistic
is the practical manifestation of paganism i.e. polytheism.
is the division of power among gods, democracy is the distribution
of authority among humans. Wherever the Indian paganism was ascendant,
the political tendencies of the people were towards democracy,
which is abhorred by those whose behaviour is motivated by the
Urge of Dominance: they desperately need a concept, which may
enable them to justify personal or dynastic despotism. Monotheism
is such a concept, which is in fact, a revolt against democracy,
signifying usurpation of human rights by God, who wants to be
obeyed to the letter and tolerates no participation in His government,
which may be based on the laws, made totally irrelevant by the
passage of time. Here is the trick: since God, the Absolute, cannot
be contacted, His power is wielded by one man, who claims to be
His representative on earth i.e. the Prophet, the Messiah or the
is essentially the method of government by one man in the name
of one God, according to "His" laws, which lose their
relevance to man's social needs over a period of time, and become
the source of superstition, sorrow and slavish attitudes. This
concept was born in the Arabian peninsula as a revolt against
paganism, which had travelled from India and became deeply rooted
in the Middle Eastern countries. How did it happen? Here is the
short description of this historical event, which is substantiated
by the Encyclopaedia Britannica:
penetrated Mesopotamia in early part of the second millenium,
but were repulsed by Hammurabi's son. However, they succeeded
in securing a foothold in the Tigris-Euphrates Valley on the northern
frontiers but later established the second Babylonian dynasty.
Thus, their rule started in the heart of the Semitic civilisation
about the middle of the 18th century B.C. and lasted for 576 years.
with certainty the real home of the Kassites but there can be
no doubt about their cultural and religious identity. Their gods
were called Indas, Surias and Maruttas (which in the Vedic language
are: Indra, Surya and Marutah); they were a Kshatriya clan for
being members of a small military aristocracy. It is they who
introduced the horse in Babylonia, and showed reverence to this
animal, which dragged their war-chariots.
Again, a treaty
between the Hittites and the Mittannis was signed c. 1400 B.C.
The latter invoked the Vedic gods: Indara, Unuvna, Mitira and
Nasatiya i.e. the Vedic Indra, Varuna, Mitra and Naksatras. One
should also remember that the clay tablets dating back to c. 1400
B.C. written at Tell-EI-A Marna in Babylonian cuneiform, describe
the names of princes as Biridashva and Artmanya, which betray
their Indian origin.
are the old Indian technical terms of horse-breeding, which are
to be found in the records of these dynasties along with the war
chariots. The aforementioned gods and their chariots drawn by
splendid horses are the special feature of the Rgveda: Indra's
chariot was pulled by 100 horses of the greatest magnificence.
Irrespective of what the Western and Arab historians say, this
is the irrefutable evidence of the Vedic culture in the Arabian
peninsula; it was ascendant there until the advent of the Prophet
Muhammad. It means that the Vedic paganism had ruled the Middle
Eastern mind at least for 2,000 years. No wonder that the stern
Mosaic monotheism could not dislodge the traditions of the Vedic
scholarship has established that the Patriarchal Age, which refers
to Abraham Isaac, Jacob and Joseph, dates back to early 2nd millenium,
which is coextensive with the arrival of the Kassites. This is
the time when Abraham, the acknowledged leader of the three major
monotheistic religions - Judaism, Christianity and Islam, appears
in the pages of history, protesting against paganism to establish
himself as the first monotheistic pioneer. His strong protests
against idols indicate the significance of the Indian influence
on the Middle Eastern countries but the modern scholarship does
not acknowledge him as a monotheist because of the pagan traditions
in which he grew up. Though he confessed to being a monotheist,
he practised monolatry, which means worship of one among many
gods. This is quite compatible with the Vedic tradition, which
holds that there are several gods but a person can elect one of
them to suit his own inclinations.
to the Koranic tradition, Aazar, Abraham's father, was an idolator.
Though he rebelled against his paternal faith i.e. paganism, he
could not completely free himself from it. The most he could do
was, to become monolatrous, that is, choose one god for worship
out of many that a person believes in. The Bible is quite frank
on the subject. Yahwe, the Jewish God says:
shalt not revile Gods, nor curse the rulers of
thy people." (Exodus 22: 18)
the Bible contradicts the Koran because the former clearly states
that Solomon, acknowledged as a major Prophet by Islam, worshipped
it came to pass, when Solomon was old that his wives turned away
his heart after other gods .." "And Solomon did evil
in the sight of the Lord and went not fully after the Lord, as
did his father." "Then did Solomon build an high place
for (god) Chemosh, the abomination of Moab, in the hill that is
before Jerusalem, and for (god) Molech, the abomination of the
children of Ammon."
"And likewise did he (Solomon) for all his strange wives,
which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods. "
the Lord was angry with Solomon, because his heart was turned
from the Lord God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice."
(I Kings II, 11: 6-9)
This was the
influence of the Vedic polytheism on the Middle Eastern mind,
exerted by the Kassite and Mittanni warriors' who practised the
Indian cultural traditions, which show that if they did not come
directly from India, they must have migrated from this country
to settle elsewhere whence they raided the Mesopotamian lands.
It has a striking analogy with the Arabs who made incursions into
European lands from Spain.
In fact, the
impact of the Indian culture on the Arabian peninsula has been
more persistent than the stammering tongue of the ancient history
can reveal. This truth is demonstrated by the Vedic principle
of Triad (Trimurti) that originally prevailed in southern Arabia
i.e. Yemen. It refers to the tradition which represents one god
in three figures, and three-in-one. The Christian Trinity is a
good example of this fact. Again, the people of Yemen believed
in a triad of astral deities representing the Moon god, the Sun
goddess and the Venus god; a triad of gods was also found in Palmyra:
it consisted of Bell, Yarhibol (a solar deity) and Aglibol (a
tradition of the south travelled to Mecca and is testified by
the Koran, which describes the triad of three goddesses, namely,
al-Lat, al-Uzza and Manat! This is the reason that Kaaba was a
temple of the Indian style where these goddesses along with many
deities were worshipped regularly. One of these idols was called
Allah. Small wonder that democratic traditions prevailed in pre-Islamic
is the expression of man's natural urge for freedom. It is associated
with paganism the same way as rays are with the sun, stars with
the sky and sweetness with honey. It is because paganism is the
belief in many gods, each having power within his own sphere of
the natural phenomena, yet constituting a part of the Final Truth
or Power. This Divine power-sharing acts as an inspiration for
humans to have share in the political power-structure of the community.
This is what democracy is all about. There are plenty of people
who yell at the weakness of this system, but forget that democracy
requires certain moral standards backed by the force of law. This
is not the way of life suitable for crooks, criminals and charlatans.
Vedas are the product of India and happen to be the oldest Scriptures
of mankind, it is reasonable to assume that polytheism i.e. mythology
as a formal faith originated in India. From the observation of
the natural phenomena such as the sky, the sun, the stars, the
wind, the fire, the water, the dawn, the sunset, etc., the Indian
sages came to the conclusion that there was a controlling power
behind each phenomenon; this is what they termed as god. They
further realised, as all these natural forces were well disciplined,
they must be under the binding rule of natural law. This is the
polytheistic message of the Vedas, which was spread by the Indians
as they migrated to the foreign lands. I have already narrated
this fact in a previous article: "India in Europe."
Now, I may
describe the Vedic principle of:
1. The Democratic theory, and
The Democratic theory
do not hold man as product of sin, nor do they advocate that man
is the slave of God:
Heaven and Earth, preserve
us, us the Lofty Ones, your nobly-born
descendants." (Rg. VII: LXII - 4)
means man who being "nobly born" is not mean, malovelent
and miscreant but magnificent, majestic and masterful despite
being erroneous occasionally.
The Vedic man is not a slave of gods:
''Ye, O ye
gods, are verily our kinsmen;
as such be kind to me who now implore you."
(Rg. II: XXVIII: 4)
Gods are man's
relatives, and it is in this capacity, he implores their help
and, not as a menial.
Man implores and shows devotion to gods because:
we with simple hearts may wait upon the
gods, we ask for freedom and complete felictiy."
(Rg. X: C - 3)
Here it is
made clear that freedom is happiness and happiness is freedom,
and securing this blessing is the reason for man's devotion and
praying to gods. Again, the concept of happiness is not exclusive
to one person but everyone is entitled to be happy:
"Our God, make all of us to dwell in happy
habitations." (Rg. VIII: LXX iii - 6)
means people of a locality. They all deserve to be happy through
freedom, which is possible by practising the Elective Principle
only: Here is the Elective Doctrine, described in a way that admits
no interpretation. It should also be remembered that the Vedas
are the only Scriptures that make monarch subject to election
and strict laws of governance:
tribesmen shall elect thee for the Kingship."
(A.V. III, IV: 2)
it is the tribesmen who elect the King, but "women and their
sons" must also be favourably inclined to the person to be
elected as the King. It is surely a family check on the voters,
who must consult their women and sons before exercising their
women and their sons be friendly. Thou mighty
one, shalt see abundant tribute."
(A.V. III, IV: 3)
should be noted that a Vedic king is not an appointee of God but
being an elected monarch is treated as human:
and protect this man, all Gods .... Over him
keep ye watch and ward ...." (A.V. I - XXX: I)
in chapter X: GXXIV: 8 gives impression that the Elective Principle
was an integral part of the faith of the Indian people:
they, like people who elect their ruler,
have in abhorrence turned away from Vrtra."
the chief cloud demon and refers to the sources of evil as the
word "Satan" in the Koranic mythology alludes to wickedness.
This verse makes it clear that those who believe in the Elective
Principle, are the pious people because it is tantamount to turning
away from the horrors of Vrtra i.e. the atrocities of despotism.
India, tribe was the basic political unit, and the kingdoms were
usually small in size like the city- states of Rome and Athens,
though the Rgveda also provides evidence of bigger states, which
might have come into existence through conquest or confedracy.
To check the
despotic tendencies, there came into being three institutions:
b. Samiti and
a. Sabha ( Council ) as an integral part of the government appears
in the Rgveda (VI. 28-6; Viii 4-9). It refers to a hall of meeting
where more important members of the community such as Brahmans
and rich people were convened for deliberations. When the hall
was not required for the state purposes, it could be used for
other functions such as the game of dice. The elected Chief or
president (Ganapati, Ganaraja) ruled with the advice of the council
b. Samiti had a wider scope of reference than Sabha because it consisted
of both the elite, and ordinary people, who commanded majority.
I shall discuss "Parisad" in its Buddhist context, later.
Its members were summoned by the sound of kettledrum.
corrupted by autocrats, the original Indian system of government
was based on the elective principle, which was a part of the religious
faith. This fact is fully attested by the Rgveda.
every mortal man elect the friendship
of the guiding god." (V.L - 1 )
It is clear
that God cannot impose himself on any man; as there are several
gods, man should elect one of them to guide him. This is why polytheism
is the root of democracy. It is this sanctity of the Elective
Principle that makes it the guiding principle in political affairs.
To strengthen the elective Principle, the ancient Indian code
of law, Manusmrti, lays down:
1. The King
must be humble. (7: 39)
2. The King must give a deep bow to his councillors. (8: 23 )
3. The King is more subject to law than ordinary people. If a
layman is fined a "scratch-penny" for theft, he should
be fined a thousand. (8-336)
4. The King should appoint seven or eight hereditary advisers
who must be highly knowledgeable. (7: 54)
5. The King must know the Scriptures, science of politics, punishment,
philosophy and psyche. (7 - 43)
The Vedas bestow extraordinary privileges on Brahmans, who restrict
the authority of the King:
"To him, the people with free will pay homage, the King with
whom the Brahman hath precedence.
The Gods uphold that King with their protection who helps the
Brahman when he seeks his (King's) protection." (Rg. IV,
1. The King must be guided by a Brahmn (chief minister). ( 7: 58
Brahman is the best of all classes of men. (10-1 )
3. "A ten-year-old priest and a hundred-year-old ruler should
be regarded as father and son, and of the two of them, the priest
is father." (2: 136)
This is what
strikes King's mind with Brahman's superiority and he begins to
believe in the immensity of his spiritual powers, which can guide
him in ordinary life, give him victory in the battlefield, save
him from vicious friends, multiply his progeny and reward him
with health, wealth, long life, happiness, and ultimately, the
This discussion ought to explain why the political system of India
had to be democratic. Of course, there are instances of despotism
but they mark nadir of the system and not its zenith:
the theory of the Indian democracy, now I may add briefly that
democracy in India has not just been a mental attitude but a genuine
practice since inception of civilisation.
In fact, the idea of Social Contract is of the Indian origin though
erroneously or wilfully ascribed to the modern European philosophers,
namely, Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau. Thomas Hobbes, an English
political absolutist held that "state of nature was solitary,
poor, nasty, brutish and short." Therefore, it amounted to
a state of war, which could be ended only if men entered into
a social contract to hand their liberty to sovereign, who was
thence forward absolute provided he guarded his subjects' life
and property. Jean Jacques Rousseau believed that in the state
of nature, man was unwarlike and somewhat undeveloped. However,
when men agreed for mutual protection to surrender individual
freedom of action and establish government, they acquired a sense
of moral and civic obligation.
the Indian sage, held that as a consequence of the fact that the
bigger fish swallows the smaller fish, the people were affected
with the evils of anarchy. They, including hermits, banded together
and first elected Manu, son of Vivasvat, to be their king, and
allotted him one-sixth of their grains and one-tenth of their
merchandise as his share. They declared: " It is a tax payable
to him who protects us."
It is quite
clear that an Indian King was an elected guardian, who was paid
taxes to serve his people.
philosophy states that in the beginning, man was righteous but
became corrupt as time went by. So, men entered into a contract
to elect a king to punish, revile and exile those who deserved
it. The man elected was called Mahasammata, and because he delighted
others through righteousness, he was called Rajan.
In both the
above instances, the state of nature became corrupt and had to
be put right by common consent, which was 1he real source of power.
The ruler was, therefore, an elected appointee, who was there
to protect people's life, property and all those rights, which
several republics during the 7th and 6th centuries before the
advent of Christ. Some of them were known as Koliyas, Moriyas,
Jnatrkas, Sakyas and Licchavis. The Lord Mahavira, the founder
of Jainism, belonged to the republic: of Jnatrkas and the Lord
Buddha came from the republic of Sakyas.
oldest Scripture of mankind, is the first to describe the Elective
Principle. So great is its significance that it applies even to
the choice of a God, who is not allowed to impose himself on man.
To popularise the doctrine of democracy, the Rgveda lays stress
on consultation and consensus:
1. "Assemble, speak together; let your minds be all of one accord.
place is common, common the assembly, common the mind, so be their
3. "One and the same be your resolve, and be your minds of one
4. "United be the thought of all that may happily agree."
Rgveda was composed in the Punjab, it is reasonable to assume
that the democratic ideal first emerged in this territory, and
it is from here that it spread to the other parts of the world.
Its Indian journey has been revealed by professor D. R. Bhandarkar.
According to him, the Pandyas were a Punjabi tribe. By the time
of Magesthenes, they had settled down in Jumna and Mathura. Their
capital was known as Moddura. i.e. Madura, which was also "the
principal town of the district of the same name in the Madras
Presidency; the fact that the Pandyas of the south called their
capital Madhura clearly shows that they came from the North from
some country whose capital was Mathura.
or Pandya were highly adventurous people. They kept moving in
the South; wherever they went, they called their capital city
Mathura. This is the reason that there was a third Matura in Ceylon
and a fourth in the Eastern Archipelago.
B.C. to 600 A.D. India was a conglomeration of villages, towns
and provincial corporations, each managing its own affairs almost
autonomously. Besides, there were trade and craft guilds. Some
of them were so powerful that they had their own armies and even
lent money to the king.
or Srenis ranked as republics, and sovereignty was vested not
in any individual but in the whole body. Panini, the grammarian,
has mentioned several of them, some situated in Vahika and Trigarta,
both parts of the Punjab. It is such independent and semi-independent
institutions that served as a check on despotism. This is the
reason that the king of Takshasila (Taxila), who had madly fallen
in love with a Yakshini (a beautiful sorceress), could not oblige
her when she asked him to give her authority over whole of his
kingdom. He replied "My love, I have no power over the subjects
of my kingdom, I am not their Lord and Master. I have only jurisdiction
over those who revolt or do wrong."
time of the rise of Buddhism, the democratic form of government
that existed side by side with monarchy in North India, is known
as Sangha or Gana. It means a "corporate collection, an aggregation
of individuals for a definite purpose." Since in a Sangha
or Gana, sovereignty belongs to the whole body and not to any
particular individual, it is also a form of guild with a special
of antiquity such as Arrian, Diodorus, Curtius and Orosius have
described with different names a tribe of Gujrat, which inhabited
the lower Akesines (the river: Chenab) in the Punjab. Curtius
says "they were a powerful Indian tribe where the form of
government was democratic and not regal."
another three tribes of the Punjab, namely, Kathanians, Oxydrakai
and Malloi. They all were independent republics. As Malloi surrendered
to Alexander, the Great, they inform him, "they were attached
more than any others to freedom and autonomy, and that their freedom
they had preserved intact from the time Dionysos came to India
until Alexander's invasion."
described another Punjabi tribe which was settled in Nyasa. As
the Nyasians surrendered, "they sent out to him (Alexander)
their President whose name was Akouphis and along with him thirty
deputies of their most eminent citizens to entreat him to spare
the city .... when he enquired about their laws, he praised them
because the government of their state was in the hands of the
When we look
at the Buddhist form of Sangha, we realise that the Indian system
of democracy was far ahead of what was practised in Greece and
Rome. This is no fairy tale but the truth based on theVinaya-Pitaka
of the Buddhist Scriptures, which have preserved the code of procedure
that regulated the meetings of the Buddhist congregation. Here
is a glimpse of it:
in the assembly hall were arranged in the order of precedence,
that is, the attendants sat according to their dignity and seniority.
There was a special officer whose duty it was to carry out these
2. There was a Speaker of the assembly. His job was to announce the
proposed motion. All questions to the Sangha had to be channelled
3. During the debate, any difference of opinion was resolved through
the majority vote. This procedure was called Yebhuyyasika. What
is amazing is the principle of confidentiality. The members were
given tickets (Salakas) for this purpose and were collected by
the Bhikshu (monk) known as Salaka-Gahapaka.
4. The member, who could not attend the meeting owing to a genuine
reason such as illness or a pre-engagement, was entitled to an
absentee vote known as Chhanda.
5. The meeting could not take place without the necessary quorum.
For this prupose, there was an officer called Ganapuraka, the
equivalent of modern "whip."
The most important
point to remember is that the Buddhists had adopted many things
from the local customs that had existed in India long before the
advent of the Lord Buddha. The democratic vocabulary of the Buddhists
such as Salakas, Vebhuyyasika, Chhanda, Ganapuraka, etc., were
not coined by the Buddhist Sanghas but had been inherited by them
from the Vedic Age. This shows the antiquity of the democratic
traditions in India.
Pancayat" is an ancient form of grass- root democracy in
the Indian subcontinent. It is a local assembly of the villagers,
consisting of five members who are usually elected but sometime
hereditary. The Pancayat ( Panchayat ) was the local forum for
discussing communal problems and pronouncing decisions, which
carried authority of the law.
System came to an end in Pakistan, but it is still a part of the
rural life in India. The gypsies, who originated in the Punjab
and spread all over the world, might have carried this democratic
tradition to the other parts of the world as they did the Indian
I have argued that both Greece and Rome received their polytheistic
traditions from India, where they are as much alive today as they
were in antiquity. Now, I may add another dimension to this discussion:
of a culture may be judged by the level of the language that acts
as its medium of expression. Sanskrit is the language of the Rgveda,
which was composed in the Punjab. Therefore, it is an Indian language,
and it is a false attempt to shift its origin to Europe on the
pretext that it belongs to the Indo-European group of languages.
According to Sir William Jones, Sanskrit is "More perfect
than the Greek, more copious than the Latin, and more exquisitely
refined than either." It establishes the precedence of Sanskrit
over both the Greek and the Latin, which represent the Greek and
18th century, the European scholars were struck by the grammatical
similarities found in the said three languages. Thus, they came
to the conclusion that the people of India, Greece and Rome belong
to the same racial stock. Obviously, the new settlers of Greece
and Rome migrated from India and took their polytheistic and democratic
traditions with them. This conclusion cannot lack the truth because
during the period 500 B.C. the populations of Rome and Athens
hardly reached the 200,000 mark whereas India housed fifty million
people. It is mad to think that people moved from these two tiny
city-states to India. The migration must have taken place from
India to Greece and Rome.
it has become customary to believe that India has always been
a primitive country. The truth is quite the opposite. India is
the fountain of civilisation, and this fact can be easily verified
from the study of the Rgveda, which represents the Indian way
of life simmering with a warrior's zest, love of adventure and
appetite for learning.
This is the
heritage of all Indians whether they live in Bharat, Pakistan
* * *
* The Greek
Eos, the goddess of dawn in none else but the Vedic USAS, who
represents the doctrine of unity in diversity. Considering the
ancient means of communications, she could not have enetered the
Greek culture unless the Greek had migrated from India. It should
be borne in mind that the geographic descriptions of the Rgveda
prove it beyond a shadow of doubt that it was composed in the
Punjab (India). Next page
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