Context: The Prime Minister said in his latest address to citizens that the spirit of democracy has been present in every part of our country since ages and cited a few examples of it.
Prevalence of Democratic Features and values throughout the history of India
- Uthiramerur is a panchayat town in Kancheepuram district in the state of Tamil Nadu.
- It is noted for its temple inscriptions that describe a self-governance system existing around 7th to 9th century CE.
- These inscriptions date back to the period of Parantaka Chola I (907–950), Rajaraja Chola I (985–1014), Rajendra Chola I (1012–1044) and Kulothunga Chola I (1070–1120), indicating various gifts to the temples.
- Rural self-governance:
- The inscriptions indicate that Uthiramerur had two village assemblies: Sabha and Ur.
- The Sabha an exclusively Brahmin (priestly class) assembly, while the Ur was made up of people belonging to all the classes.
- Chola Kudavolai Election System:
- As per the inscriptions, every village was categorized as kudumbu (ward in modern day parlance) where representatives of general assembly were elected.
- Qualification for contesting: Must own land, own a house built on legally-owned site, have knowledge of ‘Mantrabrahmana’, and above 35 years of age and below 70 years.
- Disqualification: If elected members proven guilty of misconduct, they were disqualified from contesting future elections.
- Committees: Village general assembly resolved to choose member for Annual Committee, Garden Committee, and Water bodies Committee.
Anubhava Mantapa of Lord Basaveshwara
- It was established by Lord Basaveshwara (Basavanna) to facilitate gathering for philosophy and experience.
- Earliest parliament: Anubhava Mantapa was one of the earliest Parliaments in the history of mankind.
- Prabhudeva, a great Yogi of extraordinary achievement, was the President and Lord Basava acted as the Prime Minister.
- Problems tackled were of various natures covering social, religious, spiritual, yogic psychological, economic, and literary spheres.
- Difference: Only difference between the present-day parliament and Anubhava Mantapa is that members were not elected by people, but were picked up or nominated by higher authorities of Mantapa.
- Lord Basaveshwara (1105-1167):
- He was a 12th century poet and reformer born in Karnataka.
- Known for Socio-Religious Reforms, Anubhava Mantapa, Vachana Literature and Lingayat Movement in south India.
- Basava Purana, written by Palkuriki Somanatha in 13th-century, holds full account to Basavanna’s life and ideas.
- He rejected gender and caste discrimination, superstitions and rituals. A strong promoter of ahimsa (non-violence), he condemned human and animal sacrifices.
- The PM has also mentioned that the Bhakti movement furthered the culture of democracy in western India.
- The Bhakti movement was a significant religious movement in medieval Hinduism that sought to bring religious reforms to all strata of society by adopting the method of devotion to achieve salvation.
- It promoted the idea of equality of all people by rejecting the ideas of the caste system, and allowed women to join the movement.
The Sikh Panth
- Sikh Panth refers to the entire society, community, fellowship or religious body of Sikhs all around the world.
- The spiritual doctrine of the Sikh panth follows unique lifestyle practices, ideals, and governance structure from its conception.
- This Raj (governance, or rule) was established by Guru Nanak Sahib, as described by the composition of Bards Satta and Balvand (contemporaries of Guru Arjan Sahib, 1563-1606).
- The Kakatiya dynasty was a Telugu dynasty that ruled most of eastern Deccan region in present-day India between 12th and 14th centuries.
- Their territory comprised much of the present day Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, and parts of eastern Karnataka and southern Odisha, with Orugallu (present day Warangal) as their capital.
- They constructed irrigation tanks that played a critical role in peasantry life. These tanks are still in use.
- There were elected committees in the villages to look after installation and maintenance of tanks, canals, and reservoirs.