In a notable prelude to the G20 summit, the Indian government has introduced two comprehensive booklets, tracing the nation’s history dating back to 6000 BCE. These substantial volumes, titled ‘Bharat, The Mother of Democracy’ and ‘Elections in India,’ will be presented to the distinguished delegates attending the summit. Both publications have been made available digitally on the official G20 website. These 40 pages across two booklets encapsulate the essence of Indian heritage, featuring discussions on the Ramayana, Mahabharata, Chhatrapati Shivaji, Akbar, and the transition of power through general elections.
The underlying theme of these publications underscores the deep-rooted democratic principles that have been an integral facet of India’s cultural tapestry for millennia.
Key Highlights from the Booklets:
1. ‘Bharat, The Mother of Democracy’ (26 pages): This booklet exalts India as the cradle of democracy and prominently features a 5,000-year-old bronze statue of a dancing girl, symbolizing confidence, self-assurance, independence, and liberation. It also includes a hymn from the Rig Veda, the earliest of the four Vedas, referencing assemblies of commoners and representative bodies.
2. The booklet further illuminates democratic elements present in the Ramayana and Mahabharata, highlighting how Lord Ram ascended to kingship through a council of ministers and consultations.
3. Bhishma, a pivotal figure in the Mahabharata, imparts the canons of good governance to Yudhishthira, encapsulated in the principle that a king’s dharma is to ensure the prosperity and happiness of his subjects.
4. The booklet delves into the influence of Buddhism’s principles on India’s democratic ethos, explores the teachings of Arthashastra, and narrates instances of public participation during the reigns of various monarchs, including Ashoka, Chandragupta Maurya, Krishnadeva Raya, and Chhatrapati Shivaji.
5. It concludes by acknowledging India’s modern transition into a democratic republic following Independence, while preserving the democratic traditions of the past.
6. ‘Elections in India’ (15 pages): This booklet charts the history of elections in India from 1951 to 2019, focusing on aspects such as the number of candidates and administrative arrangements, showcasing India’s advancements in the realm of democracy.
These booklets constitute a profound testament to India’s enduring commitment to democratic values and its role as a historical cradle of democracy.