Ram Rajya is a collective responsibility of the people as well as the rulers. Let us all imbibe Lord Ram’s qualities of good governance and join hands with the rulers, to successfully implement the values of our great country, says RAMESH RAJARAMAN
Ram Rajya implies good governance by the ruler, which in turn, ensures a good life for the people. Ram was head of a rajya called Ayodhya some 5000 years ago. We talk fondly of Ram Rajya as an ideal way of ruling even today, because of certain qualities that characterised the rule, which we often wish are emulated by the democracies of the world.
Let us analyse the merits of Ram’s rule, one by one, in a critical manner to see if the governance in those days, was indeed, as meritorious as it is made out to be. The first and striking feature of Ram’s rule was ‘No Big Brother Attitude’. We arrive at this conclusion by the fact that Ram was the eldest of four brothers and the love for his younger siblings was unconditional and filled with an attitude of giving, without any big brotherly complex. Isn’t this attitude of giving, without a big brother complex, a sound foundation for any democracy?
Ram was very respectful towards his parents, gurus and everyone around. Kindness, absence of arrogance and respect for all were the three salient features of Ram Rajya, which all democracies should follow to make people happy and comfortable.
When Vishwamitra had requested for Ram’s help to protect the rishis from rakshashas in the forest, he offered to accompany the sage after convincing his father Dasaratha, even though he was reluctant initially. The principles of good governance here include no unilateral decision, effective discussion and team work to address a problem.
When Ram was instructed to go to the forest, there was no resistance or adverse reaction from his end. He left for the forest after taking the blessings from parents including Mata Kaikeyi, who was responsible for his going to the forest and foregoing the kingdom. This was an example of excellent situation management in the interest of the family and the kingdom and absence of hatred. World rulers should learn this important lesson of accepting a situation not favourable to them in the short term, but with lessons for the future.
When Bharat had met Ram in the forest, he gave him a lot of inputs and suggestions for good governance. This shows Ram’s magnanimity in sharing knowledge even when he was not ruling to ensure good governance and that the kingdom ran smoothly in his absence. It also reveals Ram’s detachment from power. These are valuable lessons on good governance for our modern day rulers.
When the Vanaras were sent out in all directions in search of Mata Sita, Hanuman was sent towards South by Ram, knowing his potential. So Ram chose the right man for the right job, which is important for good governance.
Before the war, Ram sent Angadha to Ravana’s court to advise him to release Sita to save the lives of many by avoiding war. This is an important lesson in state diplomacy and reveals concern for the life of the people, rather than showing an attitude of power and supremacy.
When Ravana was without weapons in the war, Ram asked him to return next day to the battle field with weapons. Magnanimity even with the enemy and, particularly, in times of war, is the hallmark of good governance. Democracies should learn that war is not for settling scores, but for the noble cause of maintaining human dignity and freedom.
During his coronation, Ram recognised every individual who had supported him in the 14 years when he was in the forest, carrying out his filial duty. A true leader, who values the contribution of every individual, is sure to win the confidence and support of everybody, facilitating an atmosphere of give-and-take in governance.
Inspite of so many adverse situations that were unfair to him, Lord Ram was unruffled and never reacted to discomfort with emotional outbursts or hurting others in return; he stayed calm and respectful. He set the benchmark for good behaviour and an attitude of altruism and service. He was a role model and focused on his tasks, under all circumstances, at all times. All these qualities make Ram the symbol of Maryada Purushottam, which means the perfect man. Swami Vivekananda had said, “Ram is the embodiment of truth, of morality, the ideal son, the ideal husband and, above all, the ideal king.”
Ram Rajya is not some fancy jargon, but represents the true spirit of good governance. When taken in the broader sense, and extended to the people’s participation in governance, as in a democracy, the responsibility of implementing Ram Rajya rests not only with the head of state but the citizens as well ― in their emotions, thoughts and actions, all of which will have a major impact on the individual Self, and, collectively on society as well.
Ram Rajya, therefore, is a collective responsibility of the people as well as the rulers. Let us all imbibe Lord Ram’s qualities of good governance and join hands with the rulers, to successfully implement the values of our great country ― Bharat.
(Featured Lord Ram image courtesy Newsgram)
Ramesh Rajaraman with 40 years’ experience in Information Technology worked in leadership roles in top IT companies, and as CIO in a multi-speciality hospital in Chennai. A blogger and trainer, he loves music, trekking, travel and reading.