Rahul Gandhi, the dynast of a dynasty which has to its credit a history of great luxury and elitist life, recently claimed in a speech at UC Berkeley in the US that Dynasty is the way things are done in India. His own dynasty started from an immensely rich Lawyer in Pandit Motilal Nehru, during the poorest days of colonial India, who not ensured that whenever his son landed into British Prison, he would get enough conveniences; long after he was gone in 1931, the connections with Gandhi did ensure that his son is installed as the first Prime Minister of the freshly-free nation, as a selected candidate against the elected one in Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel. While India matured as a democracy from the first selected leader to slowly move towards able, elected leaders, the sense of entitlement within the family grew over the years, as they kept bestowing the highest honor of the nation, Bharat Ratna on to themselves, generation after generation. Within this deep faith in dynastic right to rule is hidden the innate disdain for democratic values. What Rahul Gandhi said in America is because of his immense faith in his right to rule this great nation, merely because he belongs to a family. The incessant arrogance and violent aggression of the Congress comes from this belief. This is what was evident when Mr. Gandhi claimed that he was ready to become the PM of India in 2019. Under his leadership, the party he heads has floundered and is almost in dust; his own constituency is one of the least developed in India; his performance in opposition has been a laughing matter to the citizen as he would prop the people to die in violence and happily sail away for foreign vacation. His career is an example of lackadaisical intent and undiminished sense of entitlement.
Western world has for long used the idea of Casteism in Indian society to bash India as a whole, primarily as a way to create some kind of one-upmanship. Historical facts have been trampled and mangled with cruel and cunning craftiness by the colonial academics and later by the Leftist and Congress academics, driven by their anglophile leader, Jawahar Lal Nehru, out of whose shadow they never could come out. Let us look at what history tells us about dynasty politics.
The Rulers of the Vedic World:
The Vedic world is a term which hangs like a broad umbrella which spread itself over a federal society of multiple habitation, some monarchy and some democratic Janapada. The Vedas were kind of constitution which connected theses habitations together. The Janapadas anyways had the leaders elected by the people. Even in the Monarchies, the monarch was chosen for Military prowess, as a defender of the people. This was a position to be won with valor. He gets the taxes or Bhaga in return of his services. It was a purely meritocratic organization as Military everywhere is, even in today’s world owing to the nature of work it does. While the society was divided on the basis of occupation, the occupations were not strictly hereditary. We find that one of the Madala in the Rig-Veda written by Vishwamitra- a man of warrior class and another by Vashishtha, a man of unknown birth. It stands to logic that in the times of RigVeda, the occupational knowledge and skill would flow from generation to generation, within a family, in the absence of any structured mechanism of dissemination of knowledge across the society where men were just stepping out of the forest into a world of domestic stability. Still occupations were open to all men, who could have the skills for it.
Says Rigveda in Mandala 9, Hymn 112:
A bard am I, my father is a healer,
And my mother grinds corn on the quern;
Striving for wealth, with varied plans,
We follow our desires like kine. Flow, Indu, flow, for Indra’s sake.
(Translated by Ralph T. H. Griffith)
Ved- Vyasa – the learned master and compiler of vedas and the writer of holy epic Mahabharata was the child of a union between Brahmana sage Parashara and a fisherman's daughter Satyavati. His humble birth never prompted even the later day Brahmins to ever attempt to appropriate his credit as the compiler of the work which forms the backbone of Hinduism. RigVeda also has the story of Sage Kavasha who participated in the Yagya on the banks of Saraswati. When found that he was the son of a slave woman, he was thrown out of the society. But then he wrote hymns in the honor of Varuna and was brought back into the society as revered sage. The intellectual class, the Brahman, meaning the learned one, was given most respect. The warrior was granted legitimacy of power by the intellectual. The intellectual was apolitical albeit a moral force.
The King, though rising on the strength of his power would not be elevated merely on brute power. He needed to have defined qualities, as says Atharva Veda:
“Firm the heaven,
Firm the Earth,
Firm the universe;
Firm are these mountains on their base,
So steadfast should the king of the people be.” (6.88.1)
It requires the King of the people not be a fickle-minded person. A man who is not firm in the mind and does not have fortitude of spirits is not fit to rule. Furthermore, the king would need the approval of the Samiti and Sabha. While the Sabha was more like the House of Elders, Samiti was the House of Commons, accessible to everyone. The appointment of a person fit to become a King, as a King depended on the approval of these two social entities. The people will come together and formulate policies of governance for the universal good. This is beautifully captured in the last hymn of RigVeda
“Assemble, speak together; let your minds be all of one accord,
As ancient Gods unanimous sit down to their appointed share.
The place is common, common the assembly, common the mind
So be their thoughts united.” (Ralph TH Griffith)
The public vote in the direction of common good was considered without discrimination. It was this Samiti which, together with the Sabha chose the king. They were considered to be the highest authority, higher than the king. As the Atharva Veda (7.13.1) chants on behalf of the King:
“May the Samiti and Sabha,
The two daughters of Prajapati,
Concurrently aid me.”
The king was duty bound to protect the Sabha and Samiti and prays that he may speak agreeably to them, at the same time, they satisfied with his abilities and intent would grant approval to his ascendancy to the throne. Mahabharata also illustrates the significance of choosing the Right King, rather than preferring the Right birth. The story begins with the council choosing Pandu over Dhritrashtra and ends with a war on account of a vile man intent on becoming a king merely on account of his birth. The whole story of destruction arises out of the insistence of Duryodhana to become the sovereign ruler in accordance of dynastic right, while the weight of Dharma rests with Yudhishthir who is just king. Yudisthir is the King which Yajurveda recommends when it says, in the ceremony of Rajasuya :
“As a ruler, from this day onwards,
Judge the strong and the weak,
Impartially and fairly;
Strive unceasingly to do good for the people
And above all, protect the country from all calamities.”
I know Rahul Gandhi, whose mother could bring herself to becoming Indian citizen only in early 80s years after living in India, is busy reading Gita. I suggest he reads some more about Indian history and heritage, not to beat RSS, rather to know the country to which he wants to proclaim himself as Prime Minister in 2019. He must also read it to understand how as per Indian thought and Wisdom, he does not qualify to become the next Indian Prime Minister. This Berkeley will not tell him, nor will the sycophantic Darbaar of his will tell him. His Coterie derives its power and hope for the continuance of the same from the continuance of this dynasty, however denigrating for our democracy it might be. No, Mr. Gandhi, Indians are not dynastic by DNA, even if people do have natural maternal (or paternal) instinct to install their offspring in the positions they vacate, especially pronounced when they know the limitations of their ward in terms of earning a place for themselves in the society on their merit. That is not how democracy works. This not how India works. We deserve better than a dimpled-dynast who think he has some divine entitlement to rule this great nation and thinks the nation owes it to him on account of some flaw in the collective DNA which supports dynastic politics, to handover the throne on platter while he celebrates foreign vacations, while setting Indian masses to outrage and suffer and leaving them behind.