India – The first Republic in the world


Republic of India was not founded on 26th January, 1950 and the British did not unite India. India has been a republic since times immemorial and if the academic world has failed to see the country as a republic it is because of the weakness of the paradigm of present day political science.
It is necessary to define a new paradigm of state different from republic as well as monarchy. GANTANTRA has been proposed as the new paradigm of state where law making and interpretation is influenced or controlled by independent institutions (and persons) of learning. Ancient India was a GANTANTRA in true sense of the word.

The system remained in active operation for more than 4000 years upto the invasion and conquest by West Asian invaders who destroyed the institutions of learning and therefore destroyed the foundations of the system. Surprisingly, even after the foundation had been destroyed, the system continued to have a strong influence upto the beginning of British rule.

In 1878, Mayne wrote, The Kings and subordinate rulers of the country, whatever their profession, race or religion, found it politic to enforce the law of the Smritis 14 (emphasis added by author). There can be no stronger proof of the strength of the system that for centuries even Muslim Kings found it expedient to continue the traditions of the system

The system of GANTANTRA was a flexible system which allowed territorial expansion. Any King could accept to be a part of the GANTANTRA without giving up his status as a King. BHARATVARSH was the name given to that territory which accepted the authority of the GAN or the directions from the centres of learning. India as a country was not united by the British but by the common Law of Smritis since ancient times.

The flexibility of the system allowed regional and community variations of laws while prescribing some common laws. This can be seen by co-existence of city based communities, villages as well as forest dwellers each following a different set of social practices.

By reducing the role of Kings, a system was created where the person on the throne made little or no difference to the common man. Life continued unaffected even though there was change at the top. Wars were small affairs that affected the royal families but did not adversely affect the common man. This was a great advantage since this led to the countrys resources being used for productive purposes.

GANTANTRA created the worlds first and possibly the largest common market of ancient world where goods, services and men could move freely. The prosperity that this would have led to can well be imagined. GANTANTRA in India created a system which needed minimum centralized bureaucratic intervention. The system was highly efficient in terms of collecting and utilization of revenue for public services since the services were not provided by State but instead there was a direct relationship between the provider and users of services. This led to a low rate of taxes which spurred growth and prosperity.

The system was immensely popular and  led to all-round prosperity. There can be no other explanation for the comment by Mayne At this day it governs races of men, extending from Cashmere to Cape Comorin, who agree in nothing else except their submission to it. The prosperity that the system generated was responsible for attracting hordes of invaders initially from West Asia and later from Europe.

However, this strength of the system proved to be its biggest weakness:

Peace has a tendency to make people complacent in Kali Yuga.( Descending Kali Yuga 700BC to 500 AD.Ascending Kali yuga started in AD 500 and ended in AD 1700.)Kali Yuga or Iron age is only 1200 year duration in every cycle.The age of ignorance and religion dominance.

Absence of major wars led the Kings to ignore defence and development of defence related technology. Moreover, the centralization at the level of laws did not produce a unified army. This led to a weak defense against external aggression. Moreover, there was also a case of paradigm-induced blindness. The common man took wars to be small games that were played by Kings and royals, which did not make any difference to his life. A war would generally lead to the person on the throne changing but would not mean any other change.This led the common man (and possibly the intellectual class) to erroneously presume that even if an external invader conquered, it will not matter much. He failed to realize that the external invader was unlike anyone from the system. The inability to even see a different paradigm meant that the country was ill prepared to face it. These factors combined together to cause the country to lose its independence.

The Thiruvalangadu copperplates discovered in 1905 C.E. is one of the largest so far recovered and contains 31 copper sheets. The Thiruvalangadu plates contain text written in Sanskrit and Tamil.  These plates record a grant made to the shrine of the goddess at Tiruvalangadu by Rajendra Chola I.   These plates record a grant made to the shrine of the goddess at Tiruvalangadu by Rajendra Chola I. The list of the legendary Chola kings forms the preamble to the Sanskrit portion of these plates.

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