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भारतीय इतिहास 101 – When Kings were elected by Citizens (प्रजा आधीन राजा)
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‘King elected by People’ is relatively unknown aspect of Indian History for us since we are taught in schools that what we had as National legacy is nothing but Nasty Monarchy with few exceptions. 
This is partial of Strong People’s power that we as Bharat Enjoyed in during her heydays.

German Indologits Zimmer & Geldner believed that Kings were elected by Citizens in Ancient India. According to them, Vedic Rituals and Vedic chanting during commemoration ceremony indicates ‘Total Acceptance’ and not mere ‘Selection’.

Until time of बिम्बिसार, Magadha King was selected by Gamikas (Chief of Villages) and as per महावग्गा book, बिम्बिसार was elected by 80000 Villages as their leader.

Satpath Brahmana(SB)’s following passage summaries selection criteria: “He is the King, whose strength is People or Maruts [1])” SB further explains that King is King only when there is assurance by People. In all Vedic Prayers, ‘People’ are in center and not the Kings. e.g. ‘People, lord of People’, ‘Chief of People’ etc/

** Election of King in Post-Vedic period:

There are also clear references to election or selection of King in post-vedic history literature. In Panchagaru-Jataka’ and ‘Telapatta-Jataka’, Bodhisattva was mentioned as Kind elected by People. Maha-Samanta (महा-सामंत/महा-समंत) , as mentioned in Mahavamsa(Chapter 2), is leader consented by all.सामंत, popularly known now as Feud, is nothing but corrupt form word ‘समंत’ which means ‘Agreed upon by all’.

Reminiscence of this power of election may also be gathered from the inscriptions of later period. Thus the Girnar Inscription[2] of 150 AD reads about Kind Rudra Daman “The elected King by all the castes, for their protection.”

The Khalimpur inscription informs us that Gopala, founder of Pala Dynasty, was elected King by the people, in order to get rid of Anarchy.[3]

People were real King Makers…

[1] “मरुत :- मर + उत् = मरने तक, धर्म संस्थापना के लिए लड़नेवाले नागरिक | For example, Body’s immune system.”

[2] http://goo.gl/SsLH4 [Junagarh Rock Inscription] |http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudradaman_I

[3] http://goo.gl/UUANj [Inscription details] – Verse : श्रीगोपाल इति क्षितीशशिरसां ….

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