Mahatma Gandhi’s compassionate ‘Ram’ is very different from RSS and Modi’s angry ‘Ram’
After Bhoomi-poojan, in order to appear inclusive and accommodating, Narendra Modi did not just sing Jai Siya Ram but consciously assimilated the dream of Mahatma Gandhi to establish Rama rajya with the Karyaarambh or the start of the construction of Ram Mandir.
Gandhi’s vision of Rama rajya as a utopian welfare state has nothing to do with the Hindu Rashtra of Sangh Parivar where nationalism would be colored by religion, law would be animated by religion, the rights of citizens would be realized according to religion and Manusmriti, according to all probability, would supplant the Constitution. Gandhi had a completely contrasting point of view.
In 1929 he stated in ‘Young India’ that, “By Rama Rajya, I don’t mean a Hindu state. What I mean is the rule of God, the state ruled by the divine… the old ideal of Ramayana is without a doubt that of a true democracy in which the weakest citizen could be assured of swift justice without an elaborate and expensive procedure… a true Rama Rajya would guarantee equal rights to the prince and the poor.
For Gandhi, Rama rajya meant an ideal state, based on appropriate moral code and decorum; where there is no discrimination and where every individual has the right to participate in the socio-political decision-making process. The definition of Rama rajya as indicated in the Ramcharitmanas is also similar to the one approved by Gandhi:
Daihik Daivik Bhaïtik Tapa.
Ram Raj Nahi Kaahuhu Byaapa.
Sab Nar Karahin Paraspar Preeti.
Chalahin Swadharm Nirat Shruti Niti.
(No one has to suffer from physical, spiritual or material infirmities, everyone lives in harmonious coexistence, and everyone follows their religion, obeying the law.)