In the matter of:
Dr. Ramesh Yeshwant Prabhoo Appellant
Prabhakar Kashinath Kunte Respondents
"The history of India over the past centuries bears witness to the fact that India was at no time a single political unit. Even during the reign of the Maurya dynasty, though a large part of the country was under the sovereignty of the Mauryan kings, there were considerable portions of the territory which were under the rule of independent kingdoms. So also during the Moghul rule which extended over large parts of the territory of India, there were independent rulers who enjoyed political sovereignty over the territories of their respective kingdoms. It is an interesting fact of history that India was forged into a Nation neither on account of a common language nor on account of the continued existence of a single political regime over its territories but on account of a common culture evolved over the centuries. It is cultural unity-something more fundamental and enduring than any other bond which may unite the people of a country together-which has welded this country into a Nation".
It is this culture which is called Hindutwa or Hindu Culture or Bharatiya Culture or Sanatana Dharma (Read Statement of Kerry Brown at Annexure-III).
"No one is superior (ajyeshthasah) or inferior (akanishthasah). All are brothers (ete bhratarah). All should strive for the interest of all and should progress collectively (Saubhagaya sam vavridhuh)".
"Let there be oneness in your resolutions, hearts and minds. Let the strength to live with mutual co-operation be firm in you all". (concluding part of Rigveda)
Article-1 of Universal Declaration of Human Rights is similarly worded.
Atharva Veda Samjnana Sukta is to the following effect:
"All have equal rights in articles of food and water. The yoke of the chariot of life is placed equally on the shoulders of all. All should live together in harmony supporting one another like the spokes of a wheel of the Chariot connecting its rim and the hub".
In addition to declaring equality and equal rights, of all. Taittiriya Upanishad (1-11) exhorts every individual to tell truth, not to hurt any one, to treat the mother, father and the teacher as gods, and to perform only such acts which are not forbidden by the rules of Dharma. (See ANNEXURE-I at pages 15 and 16).
"Dharma constitutes the foundation of all affairs in the World. People respect one who adheres to Dharma. Dharma destroys sinful thoughts. Everything in this world is founded on Dharma. Dharma, therefore, is considered Supreme".
(Taittiriyopanishad - Jnanasadhana Nirupanam, vide Sasvara Vedamantra P. 128)
While the word Dharma has a very wide meaning, the fundamental rules of Dharma, common to all human beings, were laid down thus:
"Ahimsa (non-violence), Satya (truthfulness), Asteya (not acquiring illegitimate wealth or coveting the property of others), Shoucham (Purity of mind and action) and Indriyanigraha (control of senses) are the common Dharma for all". (Manu. Ch. X-63)
The principles set out above are fundamental and have manifested themselves through various provisions meant to sustain the life of the individual and the society. It is for this reason, all the works on Dharma declare with one voice that Dharma is that which sustains the world. Every act or conduct which was in disobedience to the aforementioned rules of Dharma was called Adharma and was declared to be injurious to the society and the individual.
Hitopadesha of Narayana declared:
"Food, sleep, fear, enjoyment of sex are common to man and animal. But Dharma is a special attribute of man. Bereft of Dharma man is equal to animal".
The clear message is that the material pleasures must conform to Dharma.
Having regard to the importance of -Dharma, the need for the scrupulous observance of Dharma is forcefully expressed in the following famous verse:
"Those who destroy Dharma get destroyed. Dharma protects those who protect it. Therefore, Dharma should not be destroyed so that we may not be destroyed as a consequence thereof". (Manu. VIII-5; Read ANNEXURE-I)
The principle laid down in this saying is of utmost importance and significance. In the above shortest saying, the entire concept of Rule of Law is incorporated. The meaning it conveys is that an orderly society would be in existence if everyone acts according to Dharma and thereby protects Dharma and such an orderly society which would be an incarnation of Dharma. in turn, protects the rights of individuals. A state of Dharma was required to be always maintained for peaceful coexistence and prosperity of all. The Ruler was only the Penultimate authority. Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (1-4-14) declares:
"Dharma is the King of kings. Nothing is superior to Dharma".
Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, former President of India, quoted this verse in the course of his speech for the adoption of the Constitution, in the Constituent Assembly. (Shiva Rao- The Framing of India's Constitution, Vol-II, pp 1-18 at 15)
In the Smritis, under the Chapter "Raja Dharma" which was the constitutional law to be obeyed by the Kings (States), it was laid down thus:
"The King should afford protection to compacts of associations of believers of Veda (Naigamas) as also of disbelievers in Veda (Pashandis) and to others". (Narada Smriti - Sacred books of the East Series, Vol. -?, pp-153-2, also Dharma Kosha, P. 870).
These two most ancient provisions show how in this land where Vedas were regarded as Supreme, the disbelievers in Veda were respected and required to be protected. This exhibits a principle superior to the one contained tin the slogan:
Inscribed on the British Parliament House. The principle is "I shall respect and protect your belief and faith though I hold on to my belief and faith".
So deep rooted Is the principle of secularism in our culture and civilization.
"Just as the mother earth gives equal support to all the living beings, a king should give support to all without any discrimination. " (Manu Ch. IX-311).
In conformity with the above spirit of Raja Dharma, Kautilya, in his famous Artha Shastra summed up the duties of the State thus:
"In the happiness of the subjects, lies the king's happiness, in their welfare his welfare. at pleases himself the king shall not consider as good but whatever pleases his subjects the king shall consider as good". (Kautilya's Artha Shastra, by Dr. R. Sharma Sastry, 8th Edition, P - 39).
Expressing his opinion on the importance of Kautilya's Artha Shastra, Dr. Jolly stated thus:
"I must say that this Is one of the most interesting and valuable Sanskrit works ever produced. As a faithful and lifelike representation of Indian Institutions and modes of Government, it is without a parallel. It throws a great deal of new light on Indian Constitutional history and on the development of Indian law". (Ibid P. 494).
Apart from the specific provision of the Raja Dharma, It has been the fundamental practice to pray individually as well as collectively for the well being of all.
"Let all be happy, let all be free from diseases, let all see auspicious things and let nobody suffer from grief".
Respect for all religions is contained in the following famous verse composed by Shankaracharya.
"Just as the rain water falling at different places reaches the same destination, the sea, obeisance to God in any name reaches the same destination".
Thus, Hindu Dharma laid stress on the principle that God is one - despite the fact that people belonging to different religious faiths call Him differently and, there- fore, though obeisance to God is made giving any name, the destination is the same.
The above advice (contained in Annexure-XII) by Rama is of eternal value for all those who exercise political power under any system of Government. Those who handle political power must conform to Dharma for safety, otherwise their ruin is certain.
It is such deep-rooted. unshakable. everlasting principles and values evolved in this land from times immemorial that are collectively called Dharma: In common parlance called "Hindu Dharma", Hindutwa, Hinduism or Hindu Sanskriti as also "Bharatiya Sanskriti".
Religion is mode of worship. It is entirely different. They are many. Therefore any person who follows his own religion would be acting within the rules of Dharma or Hindu Dharma as it has come to be called.
"If I were asked under what sky the human mind has most fully developed some of its choicest gifts, has most deeply pondered on the greatest problems of life and has found solutions to some of them which well deserve the attention of even those who have studied Plato and Kant, I should point to India".
Arnold J. Toynbee, the greatest Western Historian Philosopher, in the course of expressing his views on the life and work of Shri Ramakrishna Paramahansa observes thus:
".....It is already becoming clear that a chapter which had a western beginning will have to have an Indian ending if it is not to end in the self-destruction of the human race"........ "At this supremely dangerous moment in human history, the only way of salvation for mankind is an Indian Way". (See ANNEXURE-XIII)
The appellant and his party sincerely and honestly believe that for the Country which is facing wide-spread decline of moral values. exploitation of caste, religion and language in politics, disunity, crisis of character. and many other ills, resurrection of Dharma or Hindutwa alone is the remedy. It alone can destroy sinful thoughts, caste, language and religion based politics and establish moral authority and make the people to follow the righteous path, and thus save the Nation from catastrophe.
The appellant and his party stand for equal respect for all religions which is the essence of Hindutwa and equality and equal opportunity for all citizens including Muslims, but only against discriminatory and appeasent politics which is really creating disharmony between different sections of citizens. The appellant submits that it has never been the intention of the party or its members to hurt the feeling of Muslims or any other religious denomination or to appeal to voters to vote or refrain from voting on religious grounds.
The appellant therefore submits that speeches, slogans, posters read as a whole only indicate the serious concern of the party:
[M. RAMA JOIS]