Congressman Veerappa Moily’s two-part poem Sri Ramayana Mahanveshanam depicts his modernistic interpretation of Lord Ram’s rule over Ayodhya. The poem examines the Ramayana as a secular, classless, and borderless universe that embodies democracy. Veerappa Moily, a senior Congressman and former Union minister, thinks that the Indian Constitution is the ideal model for establishing “Ram Rajya” in the nation. In his two-part poem Sri Ramayana Mahanveshanam, he presents this modernistic interpretation of Lord Ram’s rule over Ayodhya. The poem was written by the talented author Moily in the traditional Kannada 20-beat metre. The poem examines the Ramayana as a secular, classless, and borderless universe that embodies democracy.
Moily sheds light on his contemporary view of the Ramayana
“It is a unique take. You compare Valmiki with Homer’s Iliad. Iliad is a story of anger, but here it is a story of love, of compassion, and humanitarianism. It is from that fountain that I took out the nectar and wrote my epic poem Sri Ramayana Anveshanam. I originally wrote it in Kannada and it consists of 43,000 lines; it is an epic poem with vast dimensions” says Moily. Rama would embark on a conquest, but unlike other kings throughout history, he would not be concerned with conquering other people’s territory or annexing it for his dominion. Aggression and avarice were the reasons for others. Rama won people over with love; he took control of their hearts. His conquering knew no boundaries.
According to Moily India would not exist without Rama. He has that kind of spiritual connection with India.”For 14 years, who ruled Ayodhya? It was not Rama. Not Bharata as he left Ayodhya for tapasya. The question remains who ruled the kingdom? It was the people themselves who ruled it uninterrupted and with good governance. This is democracy. That means governance can take care of itself, and there need not be a ruler. People themselves can take over governance; there would be no need for any external forces. That is what I have tried to depict in my epic poems. That is called ‘Ram Rajya’.‘Ram Rajya’ is not being ruled by Rama or Dasharatha; ‘Ram Rajya’ is ruled by the people themselves. That is the foundation of democracy laid by Rama”.
“I also show the dharma of a chakravarthy (king) in my poem.”
Moily states that the Constitution of India shows ‘Ram Rajya’. If everyone abides by the laws of the Indian Constitution, then it is “Ram Rajya” in and of itself. It makes no mention of a monarch or party ruling forever. That is not necessary; what you need is human empowerment, which Rama has demonstrated and accomplished.
Is today’s India ‘Ram Rajya’?
Moily says,” You can never call it so. You find that it is not happening. There is corruption, and misgovernance, every elected person thinks he is a ruler in himself; this is not the concept of real governance as envisaged in ‘Ram Rajya’. If people do not feel empowered at the grassroots, you have not reached that level of ‘Ram Rajya’.”
By: Gursharan Kaur