By Periyava
Translated by V. Krishnaraj

எது சுயராஜ்யம்? : தெய்வத்தின் குரல் (முதல் பகுதி)
Self-Government: Deivathin Kural Part One
This piece was written during transition from (and after) British Raj to Self-government in India.
Self-sufficiency and self-government are the talk of the town. But people try to ape the British in manners, clothes, and disposition. If we ape the British, we are foreigners in our own land and our country is part of the British empire. If we want genuine self-government, we must fall back on our old customs, traditions, and manners, realize the virtue in changing the present to our ancient culture and do the needful towards the end. Our nation’s ancient customs, Dharmas, Ātmic riches… must not change. Aping the west is wrong. Enslaved by their customs and manners on our own accord with no encouragement from the foreigners, what use does it serve to merely get political independence?
If we desire self-government and run the legislature on our terms, we should fall back on our old system of government and must endeavour to bring it to fruition. We have our own culture and civilization. Let it be. I am not parochial in saying in the spirit of why we should continue to embrace and cry over it as a mere passion of ‘Ours’? Though many ancient civilizations were washed away in the deluge of time, our civilization stood the test of time over many thousands of years. We should realize there must be a reason for it. We should embrace and practice what is ours. We should be what we already are. Whatever strength and power we have, we should use it to keep us truly what we are. Our people in the guise of white man do the legislative work. That we are its slaves is no sign of independence. To vote for those who do not follow our traditions and form a government, is to be a slave to the government. Ours must be a government with roots in the soul and god. With a government of that nature, we will attain greatness. We should establish a government that will foster our freedom. We should install in the higher echelons of government those who are in the know of Dharma, matters of labor, observances and virtuous conduct. They should establish Dharma Rajyam, show its proper operation to the foreigners and help them emulate our form of government. For such exemplary governmental operations, they must learn our Sastras. There are very many books to guide us in these matters. Because these books exist, I mention it. Why can’t we do it as said in Sastras? The voting public should send men and women of such nature and qualifications to the legislative assembly. We should use our freedom to conduct government according to Dharmas, show the paths to the foreigners and receive the blessings of Paramesvara.