INDIA AND DEMOCRACY
|The bigger they are, the harder they fall,
and therefore, the greater the pain they suffer: history of India proves
Once upon 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 Third World!
History is 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.
The modern 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.
People of 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.
Democracy 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
Democracy, 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
Since pluralism 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 autocracy.
Pluralism, 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.
Opposed to man's love for liberty is his Urge of
Dominance. What is Urge of Dominance?
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!
The power 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.
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 in.
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.
The buried 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:
Historians 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!
Monotheism 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
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 Him:
" 1. And God spake all these words, saying
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
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
(Exodus 20: 1-6)
This Jewish 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.
The Christianity started with the Jewish doctrine of
"And 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 against it.
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 universal church.
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 )
This glory 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:"
"A Papal 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
" During 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."
The immense 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
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.
Inquisition 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!
Eventually, 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 the country.
Religion and 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:
"To God belongs all that is in the heavens
and in the earth, and God encompasses everything."
(Women, IV: 125)
Because of His proprietory rights:
"To God 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:
"What, did you think that We created you only for
No, man has not been created as a sport. What has he been
created for then?
sport ....." (The Believers XXIII: 115)
"I have not created ..... mankind
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:
except to worship Me." (The Scatterers LI: 55)
"He (Allah) made his (man's) seed from a draught
Thus, man's 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.
of despised fluid." (The Prostration XXXII: 8)
In fact, the Koranic point of view is a poor adaptation
of the Biblical concept:
"And God said, Let us make man
The Bible 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:
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 )
"So let man consider of what he is created;
Here Allah 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!).
He is created from a gushing fluid
That issued from between the loins and ribs."
(The Night Star LXXXVI: 5-7)
"Perish man! How unthankful he is!
It should 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:
Of what did He create him?
Of a sperm drop .."
(He Frowned LXXX: 15-17)
"And when thy Lord said to the angels,
According 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.
'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)
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 Messenger:
"We (Allah) said, Get you down out of it, all
To understand 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!
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)
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:
"God is an enemy to the unbelievers."
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 sadistic.
(The Cow, II: 90)
The essence 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:
"And fear the Fire prepared for the unbelievers,
The Islamic 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.
obey God and the Messenger; haply so you will find
mercy." (lhe House of Imran III: 125)
Allah's way is absolutism, and therefore, He clearly
"He (Allah) associates in His government no
All, Allah allows is the setting up of a consultative
body, which cannot come to binding conclusions or pass any laws:
(The Cave XVIII: 25)
"And (O Prophet) take counsel with them
The Muslim 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.
in the affair; and when thou art resolved
put thy trust in God."
(The House of Imran III: 150)
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.
Absolutism 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
"God gives the kingship to whom He will."
Again, democracy 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:
(The Cow II: 245)
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)
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 democracy.
2. "The 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)
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
Polytheism 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.
For proper 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.
A special 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
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.
Rhetra or 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?
Democratic 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.
The other 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 the
However, it 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
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
When Romulus, 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.
Numa ruled 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.
Membership 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 of
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.
After briefly 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 India.
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.
Like many 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 divinity.
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
Again, the 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 the truth:
1. Sky (heaven) 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.
The Indian 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
The Rgveda ( 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.
Tvastar of 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.
Zeus, the chief god of Greece like its Indian
prototype, Indra, also uses thunderbolt as his weapon to subdue the disobedient.
(Rg. Book I: GXXX - 4).
Atharvan, the priest of the Rgveda (I. Vl: XV: 17)
becomes the Greek god, Prometheus, who stole fire from heaven to benefit
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).
Varuna, the Vedic Law Lord, appears as Ouranos in the
Greek mythology. (Again, it is Varuna's counterpart, Mitra, who appears as
Mithra in the Persian mythology.)
Lord Kama, 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.
Dionysus also 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.
Finally, to 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
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
Alcemene was 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
This brief 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
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 of form.
However, the 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.
Gradually, 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.
Anaxagoras 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 immanentistic
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."
The Stoics 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.
This brief 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:
"He of whom all this world is but the copy who
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
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)
"Kindled 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)
To understand 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
When we delve into the above quotations, we find that
Greece inherited from the Vedas, the philosophy that Plato and his predecessors
The Rgvedic 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.
Thale's speculation that life started from water is
also an extension of the Vedic statement:
"The deathless Waters, born in Law, receiving,
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 importance.
protected all the germ in the beginning -
Waters divine who had the God above them ...."
(A.V. IV: 2, 6)
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 130 times.
The Greek 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 snatchers.
Pluralism is the practical manifestation of paganism
As 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 Imam.
Monotheism 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:
The Kassites 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.
Nobody knows 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.
Also noteworthy 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 paganism.
The modern 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.
According 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
"Thou shalt not revile Gods, nor curse the rulers
On polytheism, the Bible contradicts the Koran because the
former clearly states that Solomon, acknowledged as a major Prophet by Islam,
worshipped many gods.
thy people." (Exodus 22: 18)
"For 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."
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.
"And likewise did he (Solomon) for all his
strange wives, which burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods. "
"And the Lord was angry with Solomon, because
his heart was turned from the Lord God of Israel, which had appeared unto him
(I Kings II, 11: 6-9)
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 lunar deity).
This triadic 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 Mecca.
Democracy 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.
Since the 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 Vedas do not hold man as product of sin, nor do
they advocate that man is the slave of God:
"O undivided Heaven and Earth, preserve
Here "us" means man who being "nobly
born" is not mean, malovelent and miscreant but magnificent, majestic and
masterful despite being erroneous occasionally.
us, us the Lofty Ones, your nobly-born
descendants." (Rg. VII: LXII - 4)
The Vedic man is not a slave of gods:
Gods are man's relatives, and it is in this capacity, he
implores their help and, not as a menial.
''Ye, O ye gods, are verily our kinsmen;
as such be kind to me who now implore you."
(Rg. II: XXVIII: 4)
Man implores and shows devotion to gods because:
"That we with simple hearts may wait upon the
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:
gods, we ask for freedom and complete felictiy."
(Rg. X: C - 3)
"Our God, make all of us to dwell in happy
Here, habitation 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
habitations." (Rg. VIII: LXX iii - 6)
"The tribesmen shall elect thee for the
Of course, 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 choice:
(A.V. III, IV: 2)
"Let women and their sons be friendly. Thou mighty
Again, it should be noted that a Vedic king is not an
appointee of God but being an elected monarch is treated as human:
one, shalt see abundant tribute."
(A.V. III, IV: 3)
"Guard and protect this man, all Gods .... Over him
The Rgveda in chapter X: GXXIV: 8 gives impression that
the Elective Principle was an integral part of the faith of the Indian people:
keep ye watch and ward ...." (A.V. I - XXX: I)
"And they, like people who elect their ruler,
Vrtra means 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.
have in abhorrence turned away from Vrtra."
In ancient 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
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
b. Samiti and
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.
Though later 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.
"Let every mortal man elect the friendship
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.
of the guiding god." (V.L - 1 )
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 Manusmrti adds:
The Gods uphold that King with their protection who
helps the Brahman when he seeks his (King's) protection." (Rg. IV, 50:
1. The King must be guided by a Brahmn (chief minister).
( 7: 58 )
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 heavenly bliss.
2. The Brahman is the best of all classes of men.
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 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:
Having explained 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.
Kautilya, 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.
The Buddhist 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 guarantee happiness.
India had 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.
Rgveda, the 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
1. "Assemble, speak together; let your minds be
all of one accord. "
2. "The place is common, common the assembly,
common the mind, so be their thoughts united."
3. "One and the same be your resolve, and be your
minds of one accord. "
4. "United be the thought of all that may happily
Since the 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
These Pandu 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.
During 900 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.
These guilds 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."
About the 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 purpose.
Various historians 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."
Arrian mentions 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
Arrian has 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 aristocracy. "
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:
1. Seats 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
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.
The "Village 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.
The Pancayat 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 iron
Previously, 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
The advancement 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 Roman cultures.
During the 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.
Unfortunately, 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 or Bangladesh.
* 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).