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Ram Rajya

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  • Sandeep Heble
    In his letter “Saffronised system” appearing in Herald(Sep 30), Tabrez Mohamad seemingly takes offence to the words “Ram Rajya”, used by Digamber Kamat
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 1, 2009
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      In his letter “Saffronised system” appearing in Herald(Sep 30), Tabrez
      Mohamad seemingly takes offence to the words “Ram Rajya”, used by
      Digamber Kamat in his speech, without understanding the proper context
      in which the Goa Chief Minister chose to use this term.

      I once got into serious trouble when I told a friend at a Party that
      “she was dressed to kill” and she took it literally, not understanding
      the context and the proper meaning of the expression. Whenever terms
      with religious connotations are invoked, we need to understand the
      context instead of judging these with prejudiced eyes. With Religion
      being a way of life, many terms whose origins may lie there have found
      their way in the modern secular diction. Like “Ram Rajya”, other apt
      illustrations would be “Inshallah” and “For Christ’s sake”.

      “Ram Rajya” was first invoked by none other than Mahatma Gandhi in the
      pre-Independence days; to outline his vision of a free modern India.
      Since then “Ram Rajya” has become common parlance in Indian political
      circles. Political leaders have often used the expression to signify a
      truly democratic form of governance on the basis of equality and
      justice for all, or in brief an ideal administration!

      In recent times, Congress President Sonia Gandhi used this term in an
      election speech in Uttar Pradesh. “Ram Rajya”, she said “doesn't
      differentiate between people... it doesn't have hatred... there are no
      communal riots in Ram Rajya... it's such a system which provides
      justice for all”.

      When similar religious concerns were expressed in those days, Gandhi,
      in his clarification that appeared in the news-daily “The Hindu”,
      explained that politically translated, “Ram Rajya” is his idea of the
      perfect democracy in which, “inequalities based on possession and
      non-possession, colour, race or creed or sex vanish; in it, land and
      State belong to the people, justice is prompt, perfect and cheap and,
      therefore, there is freedom of worship, speech and the Press”.

      How beautiful! Would anybody in their true sense refer to such views
      as unreasonable or tag the Father of our Nation as unsecular? The real
      problem with our Chief Minister is not his words. They are his actions
      or rather lack of them. If the CM wishes to transform Goa into
      Gandhi’s “Ram Rajya”, then such an act will indeed be a step in the
      right direction; and a model democracy based on such lines shall be an
      ideal democracy: truly for, of and by the people! Where we can all
      live with rights, freedom and dignity, where we are not threatened or
      intimidated by non state actors, where we are not discriminated
      against on the basis of our caste, creed or religion, where the State
      shall rule justly and wisely and where we get to enjoy full freedom,
      equality and justice in every respect.

      “An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory”, Gandhi would often say.
      Now will our Chief Minister put his words to action? The acid test for
      him will lie therein.

      Cheers,
      Sandeep Heble
      Goa

      -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Saffronised system by Tabrez Mahamad, Davorlim(Herald Sep 30)

      With reference to the news “ CM calls upon people to make Goa a ‘Ram
      Rajya’ (Herald Sep 29, 2009), I am happy and delighted that the
      present government is having a good vision about Goa and I hope it
      would work hard to march towards the vision.

      However, is it really necessary to use terms related to the Hindu
      religion such as ‘Ram Rajya’? Why can’t we tell people directly about
      our vision rather than using examples from the Hindu religion alone? A
      Chief Minister is a person representing the entire state. Just because
      he is a Hindu, it does not mean we need to know and follow Hindu
      teachings.

      I am in total agreement with our respected CM’s views that we should
      make Goa just like ‘Ram Rajya’ in which peace existed and crime and
      evil were non-existent. I am sure Muslims as well as Catholics respect
      and adore Lord Ram. However, that does not mean that the CM should
      tell us that we should “not make Lord Ram a hero of only one
      particular community”.

      Such behaviour by the elected representatives in a secular state sends
      out a clear message that the system is being saffronised.
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