Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Modern Sapta-Sindhu: Restructuring the Indian civilizational state - Part 2

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We need to look at the classical concept of Sapta-Sindhu. Although the concept of Sapta-Sindhu has been changing with time, in all the given times, India's civilization along with her production centres, centres of learning, centres for military and political power and economic growth have been along the Sapta-Sindhus of contemporary time. Being from Krishna-Godavari basin, I have read about the models which were implemented by our forefathers. It is vaguely like this. Please go through the Part One of this article to understand the Purva-Paksha. The model of governance and society designed by our forefathers is our "Swa-Tantra". Please also go through this excellent speech from TV-Series "Chanakya" to understand the term "Swa-Tantra" (Self-System).

The system which is now in place in partitioned India is the one implemented by the Britishers. While it is working (I would not say its working fine), one needs to revisit what models of governance and social-contract did our Indian forefathers designed. A system which is a natural evolutionary product of the earlier system which was was designed by Indians for Indians from scratch should be the template for Indian Socio-politico-Economic system. This is true "Swatantra". 

Following is an attempt to design such a template which is based on whatever  understanding of Indic history that I possess so far. It is open for criticism and addition by respected readers.

Bowing to MahaKaala, I start my exposition.

A. Villages are grouped in groups of 5 to 7 (termed as "Pancha-Kroshi").

B. This is the structural and functional unit of "Rashtra".

C. For every Pancha Kroshi, there is a administrative office with an executive head (Pande OR Mukhiya). He is flanked by a financial officer (Kulkarni) and judicial officer (Shaastri) and a auditor's office (Shrikaranadhip or Fadnavis). All these are independent offices. In older times, the mukhiya or pande also had powers to raise a militia of certain number. this power need not be relegated in modern times. This was structure in older times (from chalukya till yadavas and then during shivaji and sambhaji. later marathas abandoned this in favour of mughal mansabdari system). 

D. Each of the 5 offices (militia included) sat together and formed a "Panchaayat" with either shastri or pande on the chair and resolved most of the disputes. 

E. For every such 10 "panchakroshi", there was an office of "Deshmukh" or "Deshpande". 

F. For every such 10 offices of Deshmukhs, there used to be an office of "Sardeshmukh" or "Sardeshpande". Thus, one office of sardeshmukh controlled 500 villages.

G. Sardeshmukh reported directly to "Subhedar" (Provincial head) office. 

H. How to organize the Subah or states or Desha in modern lingo? My personal preference would be to river basin based primary division. 

I. These river basins have been civilizationally self-sufficient entities who have relations with others. I would consider following self-ruling "Desha" in India. Here Desha has powers and autonomy equal to European nation-states minus defence, foreign affairs etc. 

Note: One really has to part with the westphalian idea of nation-state. Rashtra is not equal to nation. Dharma is not equal to religion. Idol is not equal to Murti. Aatmaa is not equal to soul. India is NOT one nation. India is ONE RASHTRA. India is one "Saanskritik Raashtra". 

J. The self-ruling autonomous Deshas (Nation-states) of Indic Rashtra are as follows. The description of the 7 river basins (Sapta-Sindhu) can be found in this earlier article.

The "Mahajanapadas" located in the modern Sapta-Sindhu region which constitute the Sanskritik Raashtra OR the civilizational state of India.

1. Upper Ganga basin (Up to Prayaag to be referred to as "Paanchala")
2. Central Ganga basin (Magadha)
3. Bengal (Vanga desha)
4. Punjab -jammu included (Pancha-nada)
5. Northern Himalayan federation (Kashmir, Himachal)
6. Tibet 
7. Western Himalayan condeferacy -Gandhar (NWFP and southern AFG) - basically kabul river basin along with basins of Rigvedic "western rivers". 
8. Sindh (Sindhu-Sauvira desha)
9. Aravali and Chambal valley (matsya desha)
10. Gurjara confederacy (Saurashtra, Kutch, parts of sindh and lower Rajputana)
11. Malwa confederacy (Malwa, Bundelkhand)
12. Upper Narmada basin (Vidarbha, parts of MP and Chhattisgarh) - Includes the vainganga basin as well.
13. Lower narmada basin (Khandesh, southern gujarat, Nimad)
14. Konkana
15. Upper Krishna-Godavari basin (Maharashtra, Northern Karnataka and Marathwada)
16. Lower Krishna-Godavari basin (Telangana, Northern Rayalseema)
17. Neelgiri Region and upper Kaveri basin (the common parts between Kerala, TN, AP and KN)
18. Lower Kaveri basin (Remaining TN)
19. Malabar (continuation of Konkana up to tiruanantapuram)
20. Mahanadi basin (upto river suvarnarekha - Odisha)
21. Forests and plateau of Chhota nagpur
22. Brahmaputra basin - Assam and bangal till the sangama. Basically everything on plains.
23. Eastern Himalayan federation - All the hill states on north-east.
24. Upper Iravati basin
25. Lower Iravati basin

K. These 25 deshas (or Mahajanapadas, if one feels historically inclined) constitute the Raashtra of India since ancient times. the cultures have evolved along the ecologies found in these "deshas". Nationalism is directly connected to ecology. Raashtriyatva supercedes these ecological nationalisms. Furthermore, in different "deshas" different "Jaatis" dominate numerically. The customs of these dominant "jaatis" and other minority "Jaatis" with respect to the numerically superior "Jaati" is the key factor which drives the formation of these Ecological and geographical nations. This will be elaborated later.

L. All these autonomous Deshas are of federal structure linked to the structural and functional unit of administration - A Panchakroshi. The details can be worked out later. But the execution of administrative duties happen at panchakroshi level. All the higher levels simply supervise and compile the data to be sent up. One important difference here is that the panchakroshi has significantly more power than today's gram-panchayat. How a panchakroshi resolve their internal matters, should be left unto them as long as the means of they are depositing their 16%-17% of income to upper office. They can rest to themselves. In wartime, this can be increased to 25% (A chauthai). 

M. An office of Deshmukh keeps 20% (one sixth) of the revenue with it to carry out networking of the pancha-kroshis under its purview. An office of sardeshmukh keeps 25% of the total collection with it to carry out the networking of Deshmukhs under its purview. A head of state or Desha keeps 40% of total revenue generated to network the sardeshmukhs under is purview.

N. A Rashtriya government gets 50% to 60% of total revenue from all desha and it utilizes it to run following ministries

1. Defence
2. Foreign affairs
3. Commerce
4. Railways
5. Highways
6. Aviation
7. Shipping
8. Telecom
9. Administrative affairs (to monitor and guide the structural and functional units)
10. Human resource (with cells to monitor and ensure dhaarmik treatment for women, children, men in different jaatis) 

O. Rest all rashtriya ministries need not exist. It is duty of every desha, every sardeshmukh, every deshmukh and every pancha-kroshi to utilize carefully the resources it has and generate profit while being just and dhaarmik. The constitution functions as vague dharma-shaastra to be followed when in doubt. Of course, the current constitution is an excellent document but requires certain amendments in order to make it view India as a sanskritik rashtra. A dharmashaastra is to be influencing only the dharma and artha aspects of a "Sajjana". Who is "Sajjana", refer to this article. India is rashtra of sajjana. Everyone who is willing to agree with a dharmik definition of term sajjana is made to sign a document making him legally, socially, morally binding to this criteria. Only those who follow dharma and agree with being and behaving like a Sajjana are citizens of this Rashtra. Others are visitors until they agree with the definition.

Instead of taking away power from local government of a Panchakroshi and putting it into central or state government, we can genuinely give back power to the people. This is done by creating little voting districts of two hundred households (a city village) that elect their own Council. The Chairman of this Council is their representative in the borough. The five hundred city village representatives in each borough elect a Deshmukh. This way, the people personally know their city village Deshmukh and have a direct influence on the policies of the panchakroshi. 

An office of sardeshmukh releases a "pre-set failure standard" list on HDI parameters coupled with economic ones where the panchakroshi has to utilize its resource to meet. failure to meet the criteria comes with some punishment and compliance comes with some reward. IMHO, smaller groups tend to perform better and large monoliths. Deshmukhs have only to monitor which panchakroshi has met the pre-set standards and which haven't, compile the data and send it to sardeshmukh. 

This will give way to Westminster system of parliamentary democracy and lead to presidential system. One can also look into Iranian model where ayatollah holds power. While there is nothing which is analogous to an ayatollah in dharmik system, we can surely create an office (similar to Jedi council in star-war universe) to advise the executive. This is what I have in mind when I suggested high offices of brahmins and vaishyas located on every tier of the pyramid.

Drawing of the cadre to fulfill the task of Brahmana, Kshatriya and Vaishyas

It is essential to have an institution which will churn out individuals which are Dharmik but who do not owe allegiance to any one particular "Jaati" or "Mahajanapada" or "Sindhu (river-basin)" and who can look at India as one sanskritik unit. One may call it something similar to the "Jedi-Council" described in Star-Wars. However, making the council as powerful will not be Dharmik. 

Kindly read these three articles to understand my position on the delicate topic of Varna-System before reading subsequent points. Else the point which I am trying to make may not come through fine.

P. Brahmanas, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas form an important "trivarga" of the society. independent High councils of Brahmins formed to advice the ministry of human resources. independent high council of Vaishyas formed to advice ministry of commerce. Standing army maintained for protection of Rashtra under Ministry of defence. Bureaucrats trained function at level of sardeshmukh and above. Lower offices can be staffed by non varga people who are appropriately educated. The important question is , what is brahmana?

Q. Brahmana is an intellectual capable of teaching, learning and making policies without his intellect being clouded by his familial and jaati-vishayak affiliations. A person is drawn from any random jaati and trained in such away that all his affiliations for his jaati, family, language, desh, drop off. Basically we thoroughly deracinate an individual of his local affiliations and force him to think on rashtriya level. Thus - 

1. A person thoroughly deracinated from his family and jati based identity to think on rashtriya level for affairs regarding education, human resource management and dharma (justice) is brahmin.

2. A person thoroughly deracinated from his family and jati based identity to think on rashtriya level on the affairs of defence of rashtra and its execution using dharmik means, is Kshatriya. This is armed forces, paramilitary forces and Police force.

3. A person thoroughly deracinated from his family and jati based identity to think on rashtriya level on the affairs of internal and external commerce and its handling using dharmik means, is vaishya.

R. Offices of brahmana and vaishya high councils to be operating in every village to monitor and advice the executors.

S. Those candidates with appropriate guna (qualities) and desire are tutored from young age in various ashramas, irrespective of their Jaatis to be groomed as brahmana, kshatriya, vaishya respectively. To ensure healthy mix of all jaatis, 

T. Given the fact that these names have gained negative connotations in recent history, largely owing to their own karma in past, one may find a newer names for them.

1 comment:

Inquiring Mind said...

Typical of a Hindutva people.. you are imposing modern day concept of Nationalism in to ancient Dhesam.. this is wrong..

we have to see history as it is and NOT from lens of ideology..