IT is a happy coincidence that the idol of Shri Ram Lalla was consecrated at Shri Ram Janmaboomi Temple in Ayodhya just days ahead of the Republic Day when the Constitution of India, that is Bharat, was adopted way back in 1950.
As Prime Minister Narendra Modi pointed out at the consecration ceremony, despite naysayers denying Shri Rama’s existence, the original copy of the Constitution still carries a painting of Ram, Sita and Lakshman. Significantly, it appears at the beginning of Part III of the Constitution, which describes Fundamental Rights. The choice is not without meaning – as soon as the Indian Constitution came into force, all its citizens received their fundamental rights.
This was the first time after centuries of foreign rule that the entire nation had gained independence in a systematic manner. With these Fundamental Rights, Indian citizens were granted freedom from all kinds of discrimination. As per the Right to Equality clause in Article 14 of the Constitution, everyone, whether rich or poor, powerful or weak, holds equal rights before the Constitution and the law. The ‘Right to Equality’ also states that in the event of any dispute, every person holds the right to present his case in the judicial process. In Article 21, under the ambit of ‘Right to Life’, everyone not only has the right to live with human dignity but is also entitled to a dignified funeral after death.
Thus, rather than being subjugated to any single authority or individual, the Constitution is an independent and sovereign custodian of the rights of Indian citizens. Shri Ram’s generous and impartial personality is known to all. Apart from this, the concept of Ram Rajya is considered as a paradigm of good governance. In various versions of the Rama legend, we get numerous glimpses of Shri Ram’s human emotions and empathetic attitude towards people that are perfectly in sync with the values of our Constitution.
In that time and era, without any caste discrimination, Shri Ram befriended Nishadraj, who was considered as a lower caste. Rejecting apartheid or racial discrimination, Ram also accepted semieaten plums offered by tribeswoman Mata Shabari. As a ruler, Ram was a true guardian of people’s rights, treating all those under him as equals. He stuck to his raj dharma (duty as ruler), which can be equated with today’s expression, the ‘rule of law’.
When PM Modi promises the return of Shri Ram’s rule, he means Ram Rajya, not Ramraj. Good governance is proof of the success of a ruler. But there is a difference between the success of Rajya (state) and Raj (tenure of a ruler).
The foundations of Ram Rajya were laid when Shri Ram himself was in exile. His footwear was symbolically placed and Ayodhya was administered for 14 years with due respect to Shri Ram’s ideals.
The true meaning of Ram Rajya is in the establishment of a well-protected, prosperous, progressive and positive state for the welfare of people. Under his two terms, PM Modi has not used the Constitution to perpetuate a personcentric Raj. Instead, he has established a ‘people-centric’ republic state. India’s cultural, moral and political values and Shri Ram’s personality and philosophy of life are homogenous to our constitutional values.