‘Bharat, that is India’: G20 booklets on country's age-old democratic history | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

‘Bharat, that is India’: G20 booklets that talk about country's democratic history, 8,000- year-old civilisation

Sep 05, 2023 04:11 PM IST

The booklets will be handed over to the dignitaries during the summit. They talk about Ramayana, Mahabharata, anecdotes of Chhatrapati Shivaji and Akbar

Ahead of the G20 Summit where heads of states and governments along with significant leaders of various institition will meet, the central government on Tuesday released a set of two booklets that traces India's history back to 6,000 BCE. Two booklets – Bharat, The Mother of Democracy and Elections in India – will be handed over to the dignitaries at the summit.

Commuters make their way past a billboard installed along a street ahead of the two-day G20 summit in New Delhi(AFP)
Commuters make their way past a billboard installed along a street ahead of the two-day G20 summit in New Delhi(AFP)

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Both the booklets, in a total of 40 pages, talk about epics including Ramayana and Mahabharata as well as the anecdotes of Chhatrapati Shivaji, Akbar along with India's transition to electoral democracy. Both the booklets focus around the idea of the existence of democracy in the subcontinent for millennia.

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The first book depicts India as the mother of democracy. It features the bronze statue named ‘the dancing girl’ that was believed to be from the Indus Valley civilisation which existed around 5,000 years ago. The statue was described as a sign of confidence where the girl is ‘self-assured and looking at the world eye-to-eye. Independent. Liberated’.

It further talks about oldest scriptures, the four Vedas, and discusses about the civilisational value system incorporating political, societal and educational principles. It also describes the democratic elements through epics. In Ramayana, the book mentions, Lord Ram was chosen as king after his father sought approval from his council of ministers. Similarly in Mahabharata, the patriarch Bhishma, on his death bed, gave lessons of good governance to Yidhishthira.

The first book also talks about the principles of Buddhism that influenced India's democratic ethos through the rules of several kings such as Ashoka, Chandragupta Maurya and Chhatrapati Shivaji.

The second book discusses the history of elections in India since 1951 till the last Lok Sabha election. It compares the change in citizens' participation in electoral democracy between the first election in independent India and the last general election. It also highlights the progress made in factors ranging from the number of electorates, contestants and female participation and the evolution of the Election Commission of India.

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