In the previous episode we had witnessed a very interesting “mathematical formula” for leading a righteous life. We went through a beautiful sloka wherein Vidura had employed numbers one to seven in a nice and a sequential manner. Using our brain (1) we need to be able to differentiate between (2) aspects – Attachment & Detachment. We need to understand (3) different types of people – Friend, Enemy and a Stranger and thus be able to handle each of them with (4) different methodologies – Saama, Dhaana, Bheda and (or) Dhanda. By doing so, we need to have complete control of our (5) different senses – Eyes, ears, nose, tongue and touch. We need to also be aware of (6) different aspects – Sandhi”, Vigraham”, “Yaanam”, “Aasanam”, “Dvaidheebhaavam” and “Samaashrayam” wherein we need to be experts at these. Eventually and finally with the above expertise we should be able to avoid and eliminate (7) different “Adharmic” or unrighteous activities namely disrespecting women, gambling, alcohol addiction, hunting and killing, verbal abuse, giving excessive punishment & thereby treating others as slaves and finally trying to abduct others’ wealth and property illegally! This is how Vidura says, one can lead a happy and a contended life as per the “Dharma”.
Now moving on further, Vidura explains the next important aspect of “Raaja-Dharma”. This is a very important aspect of modern-day leadership as well. Vidura says,
“Ekam visharaso hanti shastrena ekasya vadyathe!
Sa raashtram sahprajam vanthi raajaanaam manthraviplavaha!!”
Here Vidura explains to King Dhirdriraashtra thus, “Oh King! Please try to understand this: You can kill only one person at a time by giving him poison. (“Ekam visharaso hanti”), you can kill only one person by stabbing him with an arrow or a sword (“Shastrena ekasya vadyathe!”). However if you try to play “dirty politics” with your subjects, the entire lot of people would stand up together and throw you out! (“Sa raashtram sahprajam vanthi raajaanaam manthraviplavaha!!”)”
How relevant this is in the modern day! How many instances have we seen this kind of a situation in the present day! If we’ve to look at India’s history, right from pre-independence era we have had innumerable instances wherein people have come under a single umbrella and revolted against the British rule. Of course, after decades of struggle we had successfully obtained independence in 1947, which is indeed a remarkable moment in our history. However post independence, has things changed? Has “dirty politics” changed? The answer is “No”! We’ve seen innumerable instances post independence wherein political parties play games and try grabbing power!
In the current day, how many times are we seeing elections being held in a “free” and a “fair” manner? If we’ve to consider the current setup of our Indian Constitution, it says clearly that elections should be held in a transparent way without the involvement of cash or any kind of bribery. But what is happening today? How many instances do we see wherein there are issues of “fake votes”, “Cash for votes”, etc.? Aren’t these suitable illustrations of “dirty politics” being played just for the sake of “power”?
The situation becomes complicated if there is a “Hung House” wherein no party gets the majority to form a government. Of course the people’s mandate is a fractured one but what about the “horse-trading” that happens post the election results? If this situation keeps continuing, there would be one fine day wherein people would have to come together to the streets to revolt against these sorts of unethical practices being followed by political parties for their gain.
Moreover, how many instances are we seeing wherein corruption is at its peak? For instance, if there is an infrastructure project underway, how many “middlemen” mint money by taking bribes and commissions? Ultimately there are two things that happen: Firstly, the quality of the work done goes for a toss! Second, legitimate money of the taxpayers are looted like hell! Shouldn’t we as common people stand up and oppose it in a unified voice? This is exactly what Vidura explains to King Dhirdriraashtra – He says that if the king plays “dirty politics”, it is against the “Raaja-Dharma” and thereby people would revolt against the king and throw him out! Eventually, it is detrimental for the progress of the country!
Thus for today, let us introspect on this important aspect of effective administration. Those people who are in the field of politics and administration should be extremely careful while handling public money. Adequate care should be taken so as to refrain from unethical practices like bribery and unlawful usage of money. We shall wait till the next episode to continue this discussion further! Stay tuned! 🙂