Democracy is the best form of governance, more so, because the significant part of this form of government is: it is of the people, by the people and for the people. Essentially it is a government comprised of common people chosen by common people.
India emerged as a democratic nation in 1947 after independence-struggle with British Colonial Rule for over two hundred years. As for now our democracy is around seventy years old having withstood the test of people’s mandate both at the center and state levels. Needless to mention here that democracy gives rise to a welfare state and both have deep relationship with each other approving human values, dignity and freedom of expression.
It is only the selfless service to society and mankind that make the patrons and rulers of a Welfare State worth remembering eventually. Corrupt rulers/administrators are liable to be punished by the law of the land and nature both. Benevolent, selfless and kind rulers with compassion in their minds for their subjects go down as big names in the annals of history while as rulers with clumsy and inept reputation are forgotten with the passage of time.
Chanakya (4th Century BC) the great Indian teacher, philosopher, economist, jurist and royal advisor to the King Chandragupta rightly pointed out that the happiness of the commoners is the happiness of the king. Their welfare is his welfare. A king should never think of his personal interest or welfare, but should try to find his joy in the joy of his subjects. These words were written around 2300 years ago by Chanakya, the expert statesman and wise sage.
Chanakya, further pronounced that the king’s own dharma/duty is to be just, impartial and compassionate in protecting his people and their interests. The king’s attitude to his subjects should be like that of a father towards his children. His greatest gift to his country should be to treat all the subjects as equals.
Again, according to Chanakya an ideal king is one who has the highest qualities of leadership, intellect, energy and personal attributes and behaves like a sage-monarch, a Rajarishi i.e., a Saint in the form of a King. In short, his mission should be to strive for the welfare of his people dedicatedly and devotedly.
Unfortunately, with some exceptions, the teachings of Chanakya are very rarely followed and adhered to by our leaders and statesmen of the day. Corruption, discrimination, nepotism, gender bias etc. are rampant in our present day political system and need to be scanned and ripped through if the real concept of Welfare State is to be rejuvenated and revived with immediate effect.
Dr. Shiben Krishen Raina
Currently in Ajman (UAE)
Member, Hindi Salahkar Samiti,
Ministry of Law & Justice (Govt. of India)
Senior Fellow, Ministry of Culture (Govt. of India)
Dr. Raina's mini bio can be read here: