Republic Day 2023: Every year 26 January is celebrated as the Republic Day of India. The Constitution of the country came into force on 26 January 1950 under the Government of India Act (1935). This year the countrymen will celebrate 74th Republic Day. India is one of the strongest republican countries.
But do you know where the system of Gana i.e. democratic system originated and where is the first republic in ancient India. Not only the historical facts regarding ‘Republic’, but the results of republics are also found in the Vedic period, ancient scholars, Mahabharata and Buddha and Jain texts, which makes it clear that there was a definite concept of republics in ancient India, which could be found in any In this way, it was no less than the contemporaries of Greece and Rome.
what is a republic
There were definitely republics in ancient India and the word Gana or Sangha is also mentioned for them. It means such a community which is governed by law. The meaning of the word Gana is to count or calculate. In this way, the meaning of republic is such a state which is ruled by more than one person.
Republic according to religion, texts and religious scholars
- The greatest scholar of Sanskrit language and the best grammarian, Maharishi Panini while explaining Sangh says that Sangh is not only a political type but a word which is used for many purposes. According to Panini, he is an example of religious associations in Sanghas which work on the principle of fraternity. Panini mentions the Sanghas in his Ashtadhyayi and calls them Ayudhajivi.
- According to the Buddhist text Mahavagga, gana is defined as the rule of more than one people. According to Buddhist monk, supports the use of V Shalaka method used by Ganas to know the vote.
- In the 107th chapter of Shantiparva of Mahabharata, the word ‘Gana’ has been used in political form. In this, in the dialogue between Yudhishthira and Bhishma, describing the specialty of Gana, it has been said that the meaning of Gana is not only the governance institutions but also the entire political state, group and parliament.
- The word Gana is mentioned at many places in Rigveda. In this there is mention of the ‘groups of gods’. Indra, Marut, Brihaspati have been called Ganapati.
oldest and first republic of the world
The first republic of ancient India was in Vaishali of Bihar province. It was also known as Vaishali Republic. Vaishali city was the capital of Vajji Mahajanapada. This area was known for its republican values and influences. The Ganatantra or Republic was established in Vaishali by the Lichchhavis. He was related to a Himalayan tribe Lichh.
The purpose of establishing a republic in Vaishali was to avoid external invaders and if there is an external attack, the republic should get full support of the public. According to historical evidence, the world’s first republic ie Republic was established in Vaishali itself. At that time there used to be small committees, which used to make policies and rules for the people coming under the republic.
Vaishali then and now
- Talking about the outline of Vaishali then and now, in about the sixth century BC, the rulers in Vaishali were elected by the representatives of the people and in this way the republic was established here.
- Ancient Vaishali was very prosperous and safe city. It was surrounded by three walls built at some distance from each other. It is also mentioned in ancient texts.
- According to the Chinese traveler Hiuen Tsang, the circumference of the entire city was about 14 miles.
- Vaishali is a village located in Vaishali district of Bihar. It is also the birth place of Lord Mahavir. That’s why Vaishali is a holy place for those who believe in Jainism.
- Lord Buddha had come to Vaishali three times and this was his work place. Vaishali is close to mythological Hindu pilgrimage and historical places like Pataliputra.
- At present Vaishali is a popular and religious place for tourists. Many temples have been built not only in India but also in other countries in Vaishali.
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