Democratic ideas from the Arthaśāstra, governing rules from historic sanskrit scriptures, democracy within the working of ”temple institutions”, and khap panchayats and democratic traditions in Haryana – these are among the many subjects coated within the Indian Council of Historic Analysis’s (ICHR) new ebook tracing “Indian democratic historical past” launched on Thursday.
Releasing the ebook, “India: the mom of democracy”, Union training minister Dharmendra Pradhan mentioned that it was an try and showcase the democratic ethos ingrained in India because the starting of the civilisation.
“India’s civilisational ethos is among the unique sources of democracy, opposite to the narrative set by the western world. Roots of democracy may be traced to India as early because the 4th century. The stone inscriptions of Thanjavur are a dwelling testimonial of the identical… Proof of societal methods that had been at place in the course of the Kalinga and Lichchhavi interval additionally communicate volumes in regards to the democratic DNA of India,” he mentioned.
It’s seemingly the minister was referring to the stone inscriptions of Uthiramerur, a village close to Chennai, courting again to the tenth century when the Chola empire, centred round Thanjavur, dominated huge elements of the peninsula. The Lichchavikas, who had a kingdom within the Gangetic plains within the seventh century BCE, shaped a republic ruled by an meeting. And Kalinga, in modern-day Odisha, was, way back to 2nd century BCE, thought of a democracy.
“A society that doesn’t take delight in its civilisational prowess can’t suppose and obtain massive… I’m positive this ebook will encourage wholesome debates on India’s democratic legacy and encourage future generations to cherish our timeless ethos,” the minister mentioned.
The ebook has 30 articles written by 30 totally different authors tracing India’s democratic historical past, ranging from the Harappan civilisation. It has been divided into six elements: archaeology, literature, numismatics and epigraphy; gana, mahajanapada, rajya: a legacy of ‘Loktantra’; bhakti and sampraday: visualising democratic traditions; the blossoming of democratic ‘Ism’s: Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism; the concept of ‘Loka’: Janjati and Khaps; and tracing the ethos of democracy: humanity and colonialism.
The authors included renowne archeologist Vasant Shinde, professor Rajiv Lochan of Panjab College, professor Jigar Mohammad of Jammu College and professor Veenu Pant of Sikkim College.
“The character of the ebook is totally educational and the authors are all academicians. They’re all specialists of their fields,” ICHR chairperson Raghuvendra Tanwar mentioned.
ICHR member secretary Umesh Ashok Kadam, who can be one of many chief editors of the ebook, mentioned: “We now have tried to cowl all of the elements of Indian democratic values by way of this ebook. As an example, the ebook begins with an article on Harappan civilisation, the architect of the democratic system on the earth. We now have additionally included a bit on janjati and khaps as a result of the way in which folks perceive khap will not be right. We need to current the precise that means of khap and its democratic traditions on this ebook.”
In recent times, the khaps, representing clans, normally of Jats, have turn out to be notorious for his or her orthodoxy and patriarchy.
The themes of different chapters of the ebook embrace: “temple institution functioning in democratic manner”, “democratic custom among the many tribes of North East India”, and rules of democracy in historic Sanskrit scriptures primarily based on Śruti, Smṛti, Itihasa and Mahakavya.
“In historic instances, after we didn’t have banks and granaries, temples had been every thing for us. They weren’t simply the sacred locations of worship, however in addition they acted as banks and granaries and locations of discourse. Subsequently, they functioned in a correct democratic manner,” Kadam mentioned.
Final week, the College Grants Fee (UGC), in collaboration with ICHR, shared an idea word on “India: the mom of democracy” with all universities and requested them to organise lectures on the theme on Structure Day, which is being celebrated on November 26.
UGC additionally wrote to all governors (who’re additionally chancellors of universities), asking them to encourage larger training establishments of their respective states to organise lectures on the theme. The idea word created an issue when the Communist Celebration of India (Marxist) raised concern over its content material.
The CPI (M) raised objections over the content material of the idea word that mentioned “India was by no means an aristocratic nation” and on khap panchayats. It alleged that the UGC tried to negate the constitutional requirement of democratic session with the elected state authorities and immediately approached the governors “appointed by RSS-BJP” to pursue the agenda.