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Decoding Bharat : The Mother of Democracy

On September 8, 2023, the Cultural Ministry of India launched a portal Bharat - The Mother of Democracy. The portal presented a magazine available in 16 languages. Considering India’s lead in matters related to proper electrons and democratic ethos the text celebrated India’s history of professing and implementing democratic ideologies since 6000 BCE. 

Delving into the contents of the 52-page G20 Brochure and its accompanying artworks becomes essential to comprehend India's democratic legacy and its future aspirations. The cover page, starting right below the G20 logo, features diverse representations of Indians from various walks of life, with a particular focus on the youth. This symbolizes India's forward-looking approach to building a brighter future. Notably, a young girl in a school uniform symbolizes the nation's "Beti Bachao Beti Padhao" scheme, launched in 2015, advocating for the education and empowerment of girls.

In the centre of the cover page, the title "Bharat - The Mother Of Democracy" is prominently displayed, encircling the six fundamental tenets of democracy. Positioned just above the word "Bharat," two hands join in symmetry, aligned with the country's national flower, signifying the respect for culture and reverence for nature that have been constants throughout India's history.

The outer circle of graphics celebrates the six Ethos of Democracy: Freedom, Equality, Acceptability, Harmony, Service, and Inclusivity, depicting a united community residing upon these democratic principles. The extreme left and right sides of the artwork portray Bharat as an agricultural nation, emphasizing its deep-rooted agrarian heritage. Completing the visual narrative, the bottom of the page represents the harmonious coexistence of diverse cultures within the country.

The subsequent page features a quote from India's Prime Minister, where he proudly declares India as the "Mother of Democracy." Recognizing India's diversity as a cornerstone of its robust democracy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hails India as a shining example of vibrant democratic governance.

Page 3, titled "Democratic Ethos In Bharat Over Thousands Of Years," presents a chronological breakdown of India's history into five distinct timelines, spanning from 6000 BCE - 1100 BCE to 18th century CE - 2023. It emphasizes the evolution and persistence of democratic values throughout India's rich history. It also highlights the six Ethos, with a particular focus on freedom's dual aspects: freedom of choice and freedom to embrace diverse ideas.

The page concludes with a bold statement, "Bharat is the official name of the country, as mentioned in the constitution and discussed in 1946-48." The choice of a celestial background on Page 3 reinforces the universality of democratic principles.

Pages 4 to 51 feature 24 historical events and symbols that illustrate how India has practiced democracy for millennia. Starting from 6000 BCE, Pages 4 and 5 discuss the iconic Dancing Girl from the Sindhu-Saraswati civilization, symbolizing independence and confidence. Progressing to the Vedic Era on Pages 6 and 7, the focus is on public participation and the four Vedic texts promoting a value system that encompasses political, societal, and educational principles, embodying the spirit of inclusiveness.

Historical accounts of democratic elections for kings dating back to over 2000 BCE are detailed on Pages 8 and 9. The concept of Ram Rajya, an ideal form of government where King Rama was crowned after approval by a council of ministers and people's representatives, is explored, showcasing early examples of elected governance.

Pages 10 and 11 delve into the Mahabharata, a timeless epic that emphasizes dharma and lists the duties and responsibilities of civilized beings. The subsequent pages, from the 7th to 8th centuries, document various ancient texts like Ashtadhyayi, Mahavagga, Digha Nikaya, Acharangasutra, and Bhagvatisutra, which shed light on governance by elected representatives.

Pages 14 to 19 highlight the democratic ideologies of Jainism and Buddhism, which have promoted coexistence, tolerance, compassion, and equality since 650 BCE and 500BCE, respectively. These belief systems also introduced elections as a means to choose leaders when faced with potential anarchy.

Page 20 and 21 underscore the importance of service and the responsibilities of governing bodies towards their citizens, referencing Kautilya's Arthashastra from the 3rd century BCE. Pages 22 and 23 feature the accounts of Megasthenes, the Greek ambassador to the Mauryan court, and Diodorus Siculus, the Greek historian, as witnesses to India's fair governance.

The subsequent pages, from 24 to 25, discuss the systematic election of ministers during Ashoka's reign and the enduring ideals of peace, welfare, and universal brotherhood in India's democracy.

From the 5th century CE - 950 CE Ethos like Service is the first order, the power to choose and change, guilds and democratic administration and participation of people inscribed are reflected from pages 26 to 33. From Fa Hsien’s notes of Indian kings taking off their crowns out of respect to inscriptions on the walls of a temple in Deep South India describing the eligibility for selecting candidates for elections and proper ballet systems for voting, Bharat was always democratic. 

Pages 34 to 35 share the voices of several philosophers, saints and poets of India who have been preaching equality as the soul of democracy from 1100 CE to 1500 CE. Portrayed on pages 36 to 41, from the 14th century CE to the 17th century CE, it can be seen that India has been practicing self-governance, religious tolerance and decentralization of power.

Pages 42 to 51 culminate in the establishment of modern democracy. These pages trace the roots of local self-government systems in Indian society dating back to 5000BC. With the drafting of the Indian Constitution in 1947and the re-establishment of democracy, the past 76 years have witnessed regular elections and peaceful transfer of power among political parties. The back page proudly displays the G20 logo, signifying India's position as the world's largest democracy and its commitment to promoting democracy globally.

In launching "Bharat - The Mother of Democracy," India pays tribute to its enduring democratic heritage while projecting itself as a global advocate for democratic values in the 21st century.

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Tags: #Democracy #Blog #G20 #Bharat


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