30 April 2017

'Baahubali' - Raja Dharma

A lot has been said and written about Baahubali – and will continue to be said and written. But the central theme of Baahubali is Raja Dharma. What is Raja Dharma? It means that the duty of a king is to work for the good of the people. It means that the king is not the master of the people – he is the servant of the people.

This simple but profound concept of Raja Dharma is at the core of the Indian civilisation. It was first laid down in the Vedas and later the Dharma Shastras. It was beautifully expressed in the great epics Ramayana and Mahabharata (in the form of Rama and Yudhishthira). It was scientifically analysed by Chanakya in his Artha Shastra. It was the foundation of the ancient Indian political system.

After independence, we were fortunate to have great leaders like Sardar Patel and Lal Bahadur Shastri who were living embodiments of Raja Dharma. But soon in the name of secularism, we got rid of all Dharma – including Raja Dharma. The result is today we have MPs who beat airline managers with their chappals because they don't get a business-class seat . . .

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