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The Concept of Good Governance in Ramayana

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Abstract

Good Governance is the basic necessity for keeping the peace and harmony in any humanity. We all the time hear the mention ‘Rajya of Ram’ as an model form of good governance that tells us about ‘The Empire of Rama’, there was no starvation, soreness or discrimination among the people. The Empire are based on truthfulness, without violence and other ethics principles. According to Ram Rajya, a leader is expected to look after everyone who need help and support instead of accumulating wealth for himself. In this research paper, researcher investigates about the key points of good governance explained in the holy book ‘The Ramayana’.

Introduction

Ram Rajya is beyond the ideas of Socialism and Capitalism and pertains to ‘No corruption’. The Ramayana easily provides us that what is right, go along with the elders in the family and the philosopher, scholars and intellectual person of the society. Ram Rajya is the one Where in the king takes all important resolution after taking into cogitation:

  1. perspective of the civil society.
  2. opinion of religious persons.
  3. political values.
  4. sacred scriptures for injunctions.

The system of “Ram Rajya” can be defined as a system of administration or governance which is based on genuine principles. When Mahatma Gandhi was referring to “ramrajya”, he was talking about the democratic system where the rulers will rule for the pleasure of people. The system where equal rights will prevail for everyone, irrespective of class, and violence cannot be a medium to achieve justice. Ram formulated his principles of governance based on the will of the people. The era of “Ram Rajya” was considered the most perfect because every person, irrespective of any category adheres the rule of dharma and hence lived in peace and harmony. In simple terms, the entire concept of “Ram Rajya” is centered on good governance. But, in today perspective, the goals of “Ram Rajya” is shifting to other sides which is somehow fading the concept of good governance

Concepts of good governance

The concept of ‘governance’ is not new. It is as old as human civilization. Simply put ‘governance’ means: the process of decision-making and the process by which decisions are implemented . The governance process must also be just, reasonable, fair and citizen caring. To achieve these qualities of good governance, the machinery of governance must also be accountable and responsible. Since governance is the process of decision-making and the process by which decisions are implemented, an analysis of governance focuses on the formal and informal actors involved in decision-making and implementing the decisions made and the formal and informal structures that have been set in place to arrive at and implement the decision.

Dimensions of good governance according to Ramayana

A small no. of dimensions of good governance that can be obtained from Ramayan for associated governance.

Succession Related Matters 

Two faultless corroboration from Ramayan can notify us in this subject:

  1. 1Bharat even when lawfully and technically entitled to sit on the throne of Ayodhya, not only plummeted to acquire it but also tagged it as deceitful and opposed to the pneuma. But at the same time he asssured that his loyalties and responsibilities of successfully running the Kingdom were fulfilled. He discharge the duties with best of his strives.
  2. 2Even before victorious over Lanka Shri Ram declared that Vibhishan would be the natural successor of Ravan. He did not even wanted to linger in Lanka for a second after liberating Mata Sita from Ravan. He said to Lakshman – this golden Lanka does not interest me, mother and motherland are loftier than heaven. When Vibhishan’s Rajtilak was done, he said, it comes obviously to me that if I win any empire, I don’t pillage it’s wealth, but try to begin good initiativess there.

Variation and Inclusiveness 

Who could be a better example setter than Bhagwan Shri Ram? He organized and conduct a team with an belligerent Laxman, mighty Sugreev, excitable monkeys, peaceful and collected Jamwant, Vibhishan, and Bhakt Hanuman. The most important feature was that he heared to all of their divergent prespective viewpoint, plan of action and took integrative judgement, which was all inclusive and but had eccentric process from his own awareness.

Whistle bluster of Vibhishan 

These days whistle bluster is contemplate very valuable for translucency and moral manners in a corporate. If we look into Ramayan, we had one of the greatest whistleblowers of all times – Vibhishan. He questioned immoral execution of Ravan, raised voice against it many times. But the most important point is that all was done with a sense of maturity, respect and in a calm and composed manner. He maintained the sanctity and neither wanted to capture Lanka nor oust Ravan. Also, his aim was not to defame Ravan. He wanted that Ravan should be ethical leader and lead the Lanka for long time and for this, Ravan’s behaviour and actions were needed to be righteous.

Loksangrah 

Socially responsible leadership of Raja Janak has been Hallmark of Bharatiya approach to development. When a leader follows karmayog path in nishkaam karm mode, it results in self-development as well as the development of the organisation or society. The trusteeship model is a similar approach which ensures that the organisation contributes to the development of the society.

Rama’s philosophy

Rama’s philosophy was that the ultimate Dharma was doing good to the people. There was no greater adharma than causing others to suffer. When people do not perform their duties according to their dharma, they do not get the right results. Out of ignorance, they blame the cosmic scheme for their misfortunes. Rama in the Uttarkand speaks of action that seeks no reward, conduct which seeks no fruit, and faith which seeks no expectation.

The Rama Principle is a combination of the Divine in the human and the human in the Divine. The inspiring story of Rama presents the triple ethical code relating to the individual, the family and the society. If society is to progress properly, the family should be happy, harmonious and united. For unity in the family, the individuals composing it must have a spirit of sacrifice.

Ramarajya as has been described in Ramayana had all the characteristics of democracy. In the eyes of law, all, whether rich or poor, a royal or a beggar, were the same. Everyone enjoyed the socio- religious freedom. Although Rama was the ruler, every person had a right to speak his or her mind. It set a high standard of an ethical and moral conduct. There was all likelihood of getting justice. That is why, Mahatma Gandhi acknowledged Ramarajya as true democracy. In his own words, “In the Ramarajya the meanest citizen could be sure of swift justice without an elaborate and costly procedure. Even the dog is described by the poet to have received justice under Ramarajya.”

Tranformational leadership exhibited by Rama 

The transformational leadership had been long demonstrated by Sri Rama many thousands of years before the introduction and the development of transformational leadership model by Burns (1978) and later by Bass and Avolio (1994). Krishnan (1990) citing from Tichy and Devanna (1990) who has also done extensive studies transformational leadership provided seven characteristics of transformational leaders. Sri Rama demonstrated all the seven characteristics in many instances in Valmiki Ramayana. The seven characteristics are as follows:

  1.  Transformational leaders are change agents. They strive to bring the desired changes to improve their organisation, society and country. They bring changes also to the expectations, attitudes, behaviours and goals of their followers.
  2. Transformational leaders are courageous people. Once they take a stand, they are brave to take risks, ensure vision and goals are achieved. They do not back out of the process of change once they have initiated it. They are fearless.
  3. Transformational leaders believe in people. They have a very positive approach towards all people. They believe in the innate ability and motivation of the people and empower them. They believe that there is an infinite potential in every people.
  4. Transformational leaders are value driven. They have a set of core values, which serve as their driving force and permeate their actions. This is seen in Sri Rama, who never deviated or deviates from the words he had and has given.
  5. Transformational leaders are lifelong learners. They view mistakes not as failures but as learning experiences. They have an amazing appetite for continuous self-learning and development. In the life of Sri Rama, we see a perfect example of life of learner.
  6. Transformational leaders have the ability to deal with complexity, ambiguity and uncertainty. They have all the requirements of an increasingly complex world that demand complex problem solving ability on the part of the leaders. Sri Rama clearly exhibits this ability when he had to make the painful decision to banish Sita from Ayodhya.
  7. Transformational leaders are visionaries. They have broad and inspiring visions. The visions are translated into missions and goals. Sri Rama created future vision for Ayodhya and the vision was clearly communicated to the people of Ayodhya before leaving to the forest.

Conclusion

Rama’s system of administration was a true democracy. He was an ideal king, self-disciplined, obedient, dutiful, patient, dignified, a man of word, law-abiding and coordinator. The main characteristic of Ramarajya was that it covered all aspects of democracy. There was all likelihood of getting justice. According to principles of governance during Ramayana, the concept of democracy can only be realized if justice is made ubiquitous. According to Rama, a critical factor in good governance is the quality of ministers. Courageous, knowledgeable, strong-willed men with a high emotional quotient as ministers are key to effective governance. Trade and agriculture are important according to Rama and he wanted rulers to ensure good irrigation facilities rather than being overly dependent on rains. Law and justice, finance and business, corruption framing on innocents for monetary gains, injustice to the poor are all mentioned. In short, the concept of governance in Ramayana is “to provide the maximum happiness for the maximum number of people, for the maximum period, based on the principles of Dharma-righteousness and moral values” Ramayana is India’s national idea and is a symbol of good-governance, which we lack in the modern societies.

References

  • Bass, B.M. (1985) Leadership and Performance Beyond Expectation. New York, NY: Free Press.
  • Bass, B.M. and Avolio, B.J. (1994) Improving Organizational Effectiveness Through Transformational Leadership. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
  • Chikhalikar, S. (2003) Observations about Ramayana War, Veda, Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, Prague. Available at: http://www.veda.harekrsna.cz/encyclopedia/sastras-studies3.htm.
  • Krishnan, V.R. (1990) Transformational Leadership and Vedanta Philosophy, Economics Times, 11th January (p.7), Mumbai. Available at: http://www.geocities.com/rkvenkat/1990et.html.
  • Krishnan, V.R. (2000) ‘Training programs on leadership: do they really makes a difference?’, Paper presented in the Proceedings of the Seminar on ‘Role of HR: A New Agenda’,September 2000, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. Available at: http://www.geocities.com/rkvenkat/.
  • Krishnan, A., Muniapan, B., Lew, T.Y. and Kong, E.E.F. (2004) Exploring the Extent of Transformational Leadership in the Context of Miri Entrepreneurs, Paper Presented at ASEMAL 4 Conference on the 13–15 December 2004 in Penang.
  • Madabushi, K.S. (2004) Divine Despot: Is God a Despot or Democrat, Tiruvenkatam Discussion Group. Available at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/tiruvenkatam/files/.
  • Maher, K.J. (1997) Gender – Related Stereotypes of Transformational and Transactional Leadership (online). Available at: http://202.185.23.3:2062/pqdweb?Did=000000017178587& Fmt=4&Deli=1&Mtd=1&1.
  • Muniapan, B. (2005) The Philosophy of Bhagavad Gita and its Relevance to Human Resource Development in the 21st Century. Paper Presented at SSEASR Conference held on 27–30 January2005 in New Delhi, India.
  • Subramaniam, K. (2003) Ramayana (8th ed.). Mumbai, India: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. Sundaram, P.S. (2002) The Kamba Ramayana. New Delhi, India: Penguin Books.
  • Tapasyananda, S. (1991) Sundara Kandam of Srimad Valmiki Ramayana. Madras, India: Sri Ramakrishna Math.

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