डॉ विवेक आर्य
Little knowledge is always dangerous.
Journo Sagarika Ghosh has promptly proved this proverb by writing an article on politics and Indian scholars in Ancient India. She was trying to target Sangh Parivar, Saffron wing, Savarkar, Hedgewar etc. but unknowingly she exposed her futile knowledge. She proved that English speaking convent educated so called modern breed of our country are dummy progeny of west.
We will serially analyze her article and post counter views point by point.
[SG- Sagarika Ghosh MV- My view point]
SG: Indian right or the Hindutva movement lacks intellectuals of global stature.
MV: Everything Global is always from west. Please come out of this stigma. We provide the intellectual knowledge of Vedas which can guide the whole humanity. Sorry to say that the so called educated class of country does not possess even the slightest knowledge of the Vedas and whatever they know is wrong and shoddy interpretations provided by western thinkers. It's well known that Macaulay and Maxmuller conspired against social and cultural foundations of our country. They uprooted Gurukul system of education and introduced western system of education. It was devoid of proper learning thus leading to atheistic and non-sympathetic view point of present generations. How can we expect from the westerners that they will admire the Vedic Philosophy? Instead they always try to oppose and averse it. That's the main reason that you will never find any Indian of global stature with indigenous nonwestern viewpoint. Whatever exception you find is due to blind observance of west thoughts.
SG: The Indian tradition may have had a preponderance of thinkers on spirituality, divinity and otherworldly concerns, but where for example is the Bhartiya John Locke or Thomas Paine? Where's the Bhartiya Magna Carta? The exception is the Arthashastra, but that's over 2,000 years old.
MV: This is the main problem of ignorance. If I do not know any topic it never means that it does not exist. SG seems to be completely unaware of pride history of our country, our old sages who solved the mysteries of this world by meditating and analyzing, our old Acharya's who taught the mankind the true knowledge of God. Way back before Arthashastra why she forgets the four Sages Agni, Vayu, Aditya and Angira who are regarded as Vedic seers who first propounded the Vedas. Why she forgets hundreds of names of each Rishi mentioned with each mantra who first understood the meaning of Vedic Mantra. Why she is unaware of Acharyas of six Indian School of philosophy Gautama of Nyaya Darshan, Patanjali of Yoga Darshan, Samkhya of Kapila, Vedanta of Badarayana, Vaisesika of Kanada and Mimansa of Jamini. Why she is blank on name of Rishi Vashista and Rishi Vishvamitra? She completely ignored the message of Upanishads mentioning Yajvalakya-Matrayi, Yam-Nachiketa, Jabala Rishi dialogues. I am surprised that she completely ignored the epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata. The rule of King Rama was so prosperous that any ideal rule is considered as “Ram Rajya”. Not to forget even Mahatma Gandhi acknowledged it. Different dialogues between Ram-Parshuram, Ram-Vishamitra, Janak-Ram, Ravan-Lakshman etc. are expounding political science and duties of a king. The problem with this class is that they have developed a habit of considering all great epics as myth. It's again a biased western idea. Shukra Niti is another book about politics missed by SG. Why did she forget rule of Raja Bhoj who firmly admitted that in my kingdom there is no beggar, no thief, no rapist, no poor, no sinner and no one sleeps hungry. All country man performs Yagya and read Vedas. Please tell me who was the guide for king like Raja Bhoj? Definitely our indigenous texts existed in those days .You already rejected them as a myth. The only text you mentioned is Arthashastra by Chanakya. I think you are not aware that few westerns unsuccessfully tried to say that even Chanakya was a myth. My opinion is that they have to mention his name halfheartedly as he was associated with King Asoka. If SG would have got opportunity to consult the Arthashastra with preciosity, she would have definitely reached the conclusion that it's influenced by Manu Smriti.
SG: The Bhagwad Gita does not contain tenets of liberal governance but is predominantly concerned with good and bad conduct.
MV: Bhagwad Gita is a part of great epic Mahabharata. Apart from Gita Mahabharata bears different dialogues between Bhishma-Yudhishthira, Bhishma-Arjuna, Bhishma-Krishna, Krishna-Arjuna, Vidura-Krishna, Yaksha-Yudhishthira etc. These are capable of guiding a king or ruler. Problem is that people should come out of mindset of considering everything foreign as good. SG even ignored Vidur niti one of splendid and magnificent work by wise Vidur. I think she has a habit of ignoring.
SG: The Manusmriti cannot really be a blueprint for a liberal progressive society.
MV: This is the best part of this article I want to reply. Our country is full of outspoken self-acclaimed experts who feel pride in speaking against Manusmriti. Almost all of them are unaware of this fact that eponymic Manusmriti is foremost constitution of this universe. It was composed by Aadi Manu for the benefit of Mankind. In the middle age Manusmriti was adulterated by some selfish persons. They interpolated various verses in support of casteism, denigrating women rights, animal killing etc. Thus, leaving an impression that Manusmriti is not useful for liberal progressive society. The solution to this problem was solved by Swami Dayanand. He rejected the adulterated portion and accepted the authentic part. This task is just equivalent to a surgeon who does not chop the whole arm of the patient but believes in limb saving surgery. After insight of authentic part of Manusmriti we easily reach this conclusion that why Swami Dayanand was big admirer of Manusmriti. In his famous work Satyarth Prakash sixth chapter he talks about Raj Dharma. He concludes the chapter by saying that “Those, who want to study duties of Ruler in detail, they can refer the Vedas, the seventh, eighth and ninth chapters of Manu, the Shukraniti, Vidur prajaagar, Rajadharma and Apatadharma chapters of Shantiparva of Mahabharata.” Swami Dayanand provides multiple references from Manusmriti on politics. I am elaborating how Vedas and Manusmriti guide a King about politics.
Vedas on politics
(God teaches), "Let there be for the benefit of the rulers and the ruled three Assemblies -
- Religious 2.Legislative 3. Educational
Let each discuss and decide subjects that concern it, and adorn all men with knowledge, culture, righteousness, independence, and wealth, and thereby make them happy. RIG VEDA 3/38/6
Let the three Assemblies, Military Councils, and the Army harmoniously work together to carry on the government of a country. ATHARVA VEDA 15/2/6/2
A king should address the Assembly. Let the leader of the Assembly abide by the just laws passed by the Assembly, and let other members do the same. ATHARVA VEDA 19/7/55/6
O learned men! Proclaim that man with one voice your king – the President and Head of the State - who is just, impartial, well-educated, cultured and friend of all. In this way alone shall ye attain universal sovereignty, be greater than all, manage the affairs of the State, obtain political eminence, acquire wealth, and rid the world of its enemies. YAJUR VEDA 9/40
God teaches in the Veda, "Rulers! Your implements of warfare, (such as, guns, rifles, bows, arrows, etc.) and war-materials (such as gun-powder) be worthy of praise, strong and durable to repel and conquer your enemies. Let your army be a glorious one, so that you may always be victorious. But the aforesaid things shall not be attainable to the contemptible, the despicable, and unjust. RIG VEDA 1/39/2
These are few examples from Vedas on politics.
Manusmriti on Politics-
QUALIFICATIONS OF THE HEAD OF THE STATE
He should be as powerful as electricity: as dear to his people's hearts as their very breath, able to read the inmost thoughts of others, and just in his dealings as a Judge. He should enlighten people's mind by the spread of knowledge, justice, and righteousness, and dispel ignorance and injustice as the sun illuminates the world. He should be like one who consumes wickedness like fire, keeps the wicked and the criminal under control like a jailer, gladdens the hearts of the good like the moon; makes the country rich and prosperous, as a treasurer keeps his treasury full; is powerful and majestic like the sun, keeps the people in order and awe; and on whom no one in the whole world dares to look with a stern eye. He alone is then fit to be the Head of the State who is like fire, air, the sun, the moon, a judge, a treasurer, a keeper of wicked under control and absolute majesty. MANU 7/4, 6, 7
Manu smriti gives vivid description on different aspects of politics like Law (MANU 7: 17, 19, 24, 28, 30, 31), division of offices (MANU 12: 100, 110-111), qualification of members of the political assembly (MANU 7: 43-53), qualification of ministers (MANU 7: 54-57, 60-62, 64), duty of ministers and officials (MANU 7: 65, 66, 68, 70, 74-78), revenue (MANU 7: 80-82, 87, 89, 91-97), wealth (MANU 7: 99-101, 104-108, 110-117, 120-124), implementation of taxes (MANU 7: 128, 129,139, 140,142-144), administration of justice (MANU 8: 3-8, 12-16).
Detailed analysis and inquisition will make us understand politics in Vedas and related texts.
TAKE HOME MESSAGE
Instead of just focusing on west, our intellectual class should start showing interest in learning our own Ideology which is not even practical but advance, rich, splendid, progressive and perfect. Otherwise wise people will always reward them with this proverb-
“Little knowledge is always dangerous”