Rama Rajya – Vision of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel
“I mean by Rama Rajya Divine Raj, the Kingdom of God” Mahatma Gandhi’s vision that mobilized people living in British India to fight for Rama Rajya. It is the same Rama Rajya vision that enabled Sardar Patel to integrate hundreds of Princely states as the people along with their Rulers living in these States desired to become part of Rama Rajya. The Constitution of India that is Bharat that was adopted on 26th Nov 1949 and which came into force on 26th Jan 1950 had pictures of Shri Rama, Sita Devi and Lakshmana returning from Lanka to establish Rama Rajya at Ayodhya. Thus, even though it was not actually part of any of the written Articles Rama Rajya formed the very basic structure of our Constitution.
One of the key principles of Rama Rajya is that the State shall not renege on its constitutional promise and this key principle was violated when several commitments were made to the Rulers who merged their Kingdoms and incorporated in Constitution by Sardar Patel was removed through the 26th amendment of the Constitution. The Supreme Court wrongly upheld the amendments as not violative of the basic structure. The Supreme Court did not recognize Rama Rajya as a basic structure of the Constitution which was violated by the 26th amendment.
The pledge given to the Rulers by Sardar Patel in the Constituent Assembly was flagrantly dishonored by enacting the 26th amendment of the Constitution. Shri Nani Palkhivala felt that the action of the Government of India was in breach of constitutional morality. He firmly believed that: “The survival of our democracy and the unity and integrity of the nation depends upon the realization that constitutional morality is no less essential than constitutional legality. Dharma (righteousness; sense of public duty or virtue) lives in the hearts of public men; when it dies there, no Constitution, no law, no amendment, can save it.”
It is a sad reflection on the way the nation has upheld the spirit of Constitutional morality (Dharma) that we today honour the word of the British Government to Prince of Arcot but have reneged on the word of Sardar Patel to our Rulers who merged their Kingdoms to form Bharath.
As a nation, we have not only reneged on the promise to Rulers but also to Shri Padmanabha Swamy Ruler Deity of Travancore when Supreme Court had observed in Sabarimala Judgement that Hindu Deities have no constitutional rights. It is also very disappointing that the question arises from this observation.
“Would Hindu Deities having ZERO constitutional rights interpretation be in breach of Article 363 Constitutional morality Dharma? Was not added to the list of questions framed by the Supreme Court Nine Judge Bench and a petition of Shri Chilkur Balaji Deity was also rejected on Feb 10th.
Justice Siva Sankara Rao Retd Judge of Telangana High Court in the historic opinion on Article 363 Hindu Deity Rights dispute currently pending with His Excellency Hon’ble President has noted that it was the failure of Supreme Court to follow the principle of Constitutional morality inclusive of Raja Dharma that led to the dispute being raised.
It is therefore very important to make it explicit that Rama Rajya is a basic structure of our Constitution to ensure the principle of Constitutional morality which governs the interpretation of our Constitution is guided by the ideals of Rama Rajya Dharma.
How can we recognize Rama Rajya’s spirit of the original Constitution which came into force on 26th Jan 1950 as a basic structure?
Article 363 Hindu Deity Rights dispute pending with His Excellency Hon’ble President and important letters recommending resolution of the dispute through suitable notification restoring Deity Rights gives us a divine path to make Rama Rajya a basic structure of our Constitution.
The important letters in this regard are from former Justice of Telangana High Court Shri Siva Sankara Rao dated Feb 02, 2021, former Justice of Kerala High Court Shri Chitambaresh dated March 10, 2021, and former Chief Secretary of Andhra Pradesh Shri I Y R Krishna Rao dated April 26, 2021. Further, the representative of Shri Chilkur Balaji Deity has through a letter dated Oct 10, 2021, has reduced the scope of Article 363 Hindu Deity Rights dispute resolution to the only restoration of rights of Shri Padmanabha Swamy Ruler Deity to make it easy for a legal consensus on the issue.
It is clear by applying the ratio of Supreme Court Constitution Bench Virendra Singh and Others vs The State of UP 1954 AIR 447 “Article 5 defines Indian citizens. They include in their wide embrace the Rulers of Charkhari and Sarila who made the grants, the petitioners who received them, and those who now seek as an act of State to make the confiscation” Shri Padmanabha Swamy Ruler Deity rights can be recognized very easily as sought.
Justice Siva Sankara Rao in the historic opinion dated Feb 02, 2021, has explained that the deed of the dedication of the Travancore Kingdom to Shri Padmanabha Swamy Ruler Deity continues to be in force similar to the agreement made between the British Government and Prince of Arcot, the pious purpose is also protected in the legal personality of Deity under Article 26.
The pious purpose of Travancore Kingdom donation is to establish Divine Raj, the Kingdom of God i.e., Rama Rajya an essential part of the Travancore Constitution. Sardar Patel had promised that essential features of the Constitution of States form essential features of Constitution of India that is Bharat; It was on the basis of this promise that Shri Padmanabha Swamy Ruler Deity did not pursue the option of a separate Constitution through Shri Padmanabha Dasa for His donated Kingdom and through proclamation brought Constitution of Bharat into force in His donated Kingdom. Restoring the rights of Shri Padmanabha Swamy Ruler Deity through notification would thus make Rama Rajya the pious purpose of Travancore Kingdom donation basic structure of our Constitution under Article 26.
The spirit of Rama Rajya Dharma was also followed by many ancient Kingdoms and they also did not pursue the option of a separate Constitution for their respective states believing in the promise of Sardar Patel. It is for this reason that letters of support are being sought from ancient families of Rulers on the lines of the earlier letter by Shri Krishnadevaraya family.
Establishing Rama Rajya is clearly the pious purpose of the grand temple of Shri Rama at Ajodhya from the historic Sankalpa done on behalf of the nation on Aug 05, 2020, and subsequent address to the nation by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Ji.
The notification that restores rights of Shri Padmanabha Swamy Ruler Deity inclusive of Rama Rajya as the basic structure of Constitution is part of the letter by Shri I Y R Krishna Rao Garu former Chief Secretary of Andhra Pradesh.
Once this notification is issued rights of other Hindu Deities can be claimed by invoking Article 14 and this will enable Hindu Temple Freedom as Government cannot indefinitely be in control of Hindu Temples as it would be violative of Article 26 as held by Supreme Court in Sabhanayagar Deity (Chidambaram Temple) case.
1. Text in Blue points to additional data on the topic.
2. The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of PGurus.
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