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concept of Republic.pptx

  1. Concept of Republic The post-Vedic period has unique place in the history of ancient India. This period is characterized by intense social stratification, growth of large number of urban centres and the emergence of many states. The use of iron to not only make weapons but also in making agricultural tools helped in great expansion of agrarian landscape. The increase in food production could now sustain the increasing population in the middle Ganga-plains. Substantial increase in population lead to the emergence of urban centres.
  2. • So, these material transformations led to the rise of large states with towns as their base of operations, ultimately strengthening the territorial idea. • A passage from Panini text shows that people owed allegiance to the ‘janapada’ or to the territory which they belonged. • The new material and social situation led to the rapid development of such state organs as army and taxation system.
  3. • But it also gave rise to some tribal order forming Republican form of government. So, at the time of rise of Buddhism, two kinds of state are included in the list of mahajanapadas: monarchies(rajyas) and non-monarchical/ republican(ganas or sangha)(oligarchies). • 16 Mahajanapadas are---1.kasi(Varanasi), 2.kosala(saket and Ayodhya), 3.Anga(Bhagalpur and Munghyr), 4.Magadha(Patna and Gaya) , 5.Vajji(Vaishali), 6.Malla(kusinara, Pava), 7. Chedi(Bundelkhand central India), 8.Vatsa(Kaushambi), 9.Kuru(Indraprastha), 10.Panchal(Rohilkhand, central India), 11.Matsya(Jaipur), 12.Shursena(Mathura), 13.Ashmaka(modern day Bodhan, Telengana), 14.Avanti(Malwa, central India), 15.Gandhara(modern Peshawar and Rawalpindi and Kashmir Valley), 16.Kamboja(Gandhara).
  4. • Vajjis, Mallas, Sakayas of Kapilvastu, Koliyas of Devadaha, Moriyas of Pipphaliva were important ganasanghas. • The Ganas/republics had greater elements of tribal organization than the monarchies. • In Republic/Ganasangha, the chief’s position was not hereditary and was known as Ganapati or Ganaraja/mahasammanta(the great elect). Whereas, in monarchies, all powers were vested with the king and his family. The divine nature of kingship was well established, reinforced by rajasuya, ashvamedha, vajapeya yajnas. • The republics were mostly located in or near the Himalayan foothills in eastern India. While, majority of monarchies occupied the fertile plains of the Indo-Gangetic belt.
  5. • Republics were representative forms of government. The council used to discuss and debate the issues. However, in monarchies the political power was concentrated in the king who was assisted by ministers, advisory councils. • Republics were more tolerant than the monarchies. It is because of this tolerance– Buddhism and Jainism—were able to propagate their teachings in a more unrestricted way as compared to monarchies. Whereas in monarchies, the Brahmanical political, social and religious theory were more entrenched.
  6. • So, the independent republican tribes emerging from the Vedic tribes retained the tribal tradition on a larger scale than the monarchies where tribal loyalties weakened to give way to territorial identities. • The popular Vedic assemblies were retained in the gana- rajyas whereas they gave way to the rise of bureaucracy as well as growth in power of the brahmanas. • In monarchies, the king claimed to be the sole recipient of revenue from the peasants, but in republics this claim was advanced by each one of the tribal chiefs/kings who maintained their individual storehouse.
  7. • A monarchy maintained its regular standing army, but in a tribal oligarchy each raja had his own little army under his Senapati. • Brahmans had no place in the early republics nor did they recognize these states in their law-books. • The Vedic assemblies continued its functioning in republics to some extent. But these assemblies ceased to exist in the monarchies. • It is, however, important to remember that the republican tradition became weak from the Mauryan period onwards. Even in pre-Mauryan period, the monarchic element was far stronger.
  8. RAMAYANA & MAHABHARATA(Epic Literature) • These two Sanskrit epics fall within the category of ‘smriti’ as well as ‘itihas’(traditional history), although the Ramayana is sometimes classified as Kavya(poetry). • There are similarities in language and style of these two epics which means they emerged from a common cultural milieu. These texts contain powerful stories that have captured the imagination of millions of people over the centuries. • The Mahabharata refers to Valmiki and the Ramayana, and outlines the Rama story in a section called the Ramopakhyana.
  9. • The Ramayana also mentions the Kurus, Hastinapur, although it does not mention the Mahabharata war. So, the two epics were aware of each other, at least in their later stages of development. • The composition of the Mahabharata can be placed between c.400BCE and c. 400CE, and the Ramayana between the 5th/4th century BCE and 3rd century CE. • Sometimes the term ‘Epic Age’ has been used to describe the period in which these epics were composed. But now, the term ‘epic age’ is no longer used by historians because composition and development of these epics could have spanned over many centuries, possibly even a millennium. So, most historians no longer use the term ‘epic age’.
  10. • With regard to their chronology, traditions point out that Rama lived in the ‘treta yug(age)’ and Mahabharata war happened in the ‘Dvapara yuga’. But some historians argue that the events and characters associated with Mahabharata reflect slightly earlier period than those of the Ramayana. • This is because the setting of the Mahabharata is the Indo- Gangetic plains and upper Ganga valley, whereas in Ramayana, the centre of political activity shifted to eastwards to the middle of Ganga valley. • Another reason given is that the strong women characters of the Mahabharata suggest an earlier stage of social development, when women were less subordinated to men compared to later times.
  11. • The practice of ‘niyoga’(levirate,i.e. when a husband deputes his conjugal rights over his wife to another man in order to produce an heir) in the Mahabharata also suggests a social stage that is prior to that of the Ramayana, which shows much stricter control over women. • The Mahabharata consists of 18 Parvas(books). The core story concerns a conflict between two sets of cousins—Kauravas and Pandavas– and a great war that was fought between them at Kurukshetra. • But the Mahabharata also contains a huge amount of material that has little or no connection with the main story. In this respect, it is truly a encyclopaedic work.
  12. • With regard to the composition of Mahabharata, one can say that its contains over 90,000 stanzas and is probably the longest single poem in the world’s literature. • It is composed by sage Vyasa, who is said to have taught it to his pupil Vaisampayana. According to tradition, Vaisampayana recited it in public for the first time at a great sacrifice held by the King Janamejaya, the great grandson of Arjuna, one of the heroes of the story. • It tells about the great civil war in the kingdom of the Kurus, Kuruksetra, region around Delhi. According to tradition, it was composed by Vyasa, but in its present form, it is clearly not the work of single individual. • The chief characters of the story are delinated in very simple outline, but with an individuality which makes them real persons.
  13. • The heroic story forms the core of the Mahabharata, to which many other stories, sermons and didactic portions containing teachings were added over centuries. • One such addition is the sermon on ‘dharma’(Santi parvan- it is dissertation on statecraft and ethics ) by Bhishma as he lay dying on a bed of arrows. Another addition is discourse of Krishna to Arjuna on the eve of war known as Bhagvad Gita. • It is in Santiparva that a systematic knowledge of Rajadharma can be seen. According to Mahabharata it is the duty of the king to seek and promote the welfare of its subject.
  14. • The king must be compassionate towards the people of all sections of society and must fully concentrate on the welfare of the people. The kings should possesses following characteristics: intellect renunciation, awareness of the weaknesses of the enemies, good looks, capacity to be fair and just to all the sub-sections, quickness in decision making, softness in behaviour, industrious, hardworking, farsightedness, indifference to self-pride and control over anger. • The king should assume different roles according to the various situations and according to the need of the hour, when needed he should be merciless in destroying the enemies, on the path of justice inflicting punishments upon the wicked, bestowing rewards upon the good, fining offenders, etc.
  15. • The first and foremost duty of the king was to protect the life and property of the people from all kinds of invasions and violation and creation of an environment where righteousness prevails in his state. • A king, who is incapable of protecting the people, is considered useless. The restraint of Dharma can only facilitate the conditions for the prevalence of righteousness and the promotion of the material well-being of the people, which is the primary duty of the king. • Yudhishthira himself says that Rajadharma is all comprehensive. It is inclusive of Dharma, Artha and Kama. Only Rajadharma is able to control the world and keep the people under the restraint of maryada.
  16. • The characteristics, roles, duties, functions and qualities of the king as described and discussed in Shantiparvam of Mahabharata, one can say that the main duties of the king were the maintenance of Varnaashram system, protection of the people, establishment of rules and general principles of activity in the state, appointment of royal servants, inspection of the functionaries, and economic well-being and social welfare of the people of the state.
  17. Ramayana • This epic deals with the story of Rama, price of Kosala, his banishment to the forest due to the intrigues of his wicked stepmother, abduction of his wife Sita by Ravana, the king of Lanka; Sita’s rescue and Rama’s return to the capital Ayodhya to become king. • The epic consists of 7 kandas(books) like Balakanda, Ayodhya kanda, Aranya kanda, Kishkindhaa kanda, Sundar Kanda, Yudhha Kanda, and Uttarkanda. The compact vocabulary and style show that the core of text was work of single individual, identified as Valmiki.
  18. • The popularity and dynamism of Ramayana is indicated by fact that apart from the Valmiki Ramayana, there are numerous other versions of Rama story. • For example, a Jaina version—the Paumachariu of Vimalasuri in prakrit, a Buddhist version—the Dasharatha Jataka in pali, Tamil version by Kamban called Iramavataram and Ramcharitmanas by Tulsidas in 16th c. • There are also various oral versions of the story. The Rama legend has enjoyed great popularity in other parts of Asia like Tibet, Mynamar, Laos, Cambodia and Indonesia.
  19. • Ramayana as a mirror of the social life of ancient Indian subcontinent:- it shows us that all good attributes like faithfulness, sincerity, truthfulness, etc., are spine of a civilized social order prevailing in those days. • The Saptanga theory of state/ seven limbs of the state– 1.svamin(king) 2. amatya(minister) 3.janapada/rashtra(territory) 4.durga(fort)/pura(fortified capital) 5.kosa(treasury) 6. danda/bala(army) 7.mitra(allies)– considered complementary to each other and of great consequence are mentioned in these two epics. • It is also mentioned in the Arthashatra, Dharamsastra, Nitisastra, Puranas. It is mentioned in the same manner or with some minor changes in one or two names.
  20. • The elements of statecraft as revealed in these works reflect that ancient thinkers and philosophers were equally concerned with worldly affairs like statecraft apart from their indulgence in study of other-worldly affairs. • Its also shows that art of statecraft was a comprehensive subject of study which aimed at the establishment of a welfare state, catering to both material and moral developments of subjects dwelling in kingdom.