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