India today is at the cross-roads. We are in a curious predicament. The observe of the coin is bright, the reverse grim. We are heirs to a glorious civilization whose mighty stream has been flowing uninterruptedly down the millennia, enriching and ennobling all on its path. Fifty years back we have also recovered our political independence from the largest empire the world has seen, and that without firing a singly shot-something unique in history. Yet chaos stalks the land. Things are falling apart. Values cherished over the centuries are getting eroded. In a country of rich natural resources the poverty of the masses is abysmal. The haves exploit the have nots in a hundred ingenious ways. Women and the weaker sections of society reel under injustice and handicaps. Corruption is rampant. Mindless violence maims and destroys the precious lives of the innocent. The sensitive citizen finds himself asking, Whether India?
Democracy is the spirit of this age and India happens to be the largest democracy in the world. Hence greater is the responsibility of India to be the kindly light leading the comity of nations as in earlier epochs. In a democracy the quality of the administration counts a lot. If the administration is just and impartial, strict in principles and liberal in execution, the concept of the welfare state will no longer be a pious platitude. How this can be achieved is the thrust of this latest book of Swami Ranganathananda who has been a globe trotter of the last half a century, addressing elite audiences in the East and the West on practical politics leavened by spirituality.
Democratic Administration in the Light of Practical Vedanta is a nosegay of seven lectures delivered by the swami on various occasions from 1968 to 1986 to gatherings of administrators in cities as wide apart as Thiruvanantapuram and New Delhi. This was published in1996 with the first six lectures. In this revised edition one more lecture is added and the size of the book made bigger.
Unlike professional politicians and arm-chair bureaucrats the swami is not satisfied with patch work reforms. His original mind delves into origins and comes up with solutions of lasting value. Each soul is potentially divine, points out Swami Vivekananda, echoing the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads. It is the administrator's bounden duty to honour the divinity innate in every one who comes to him and render him whatever help and service possible. In implementing rules and regulations, the bureaucrat should be not wooden, but be full of imaginative sympathy for the problems confronting those who approach him. He should not be a mere householder, whose charity begins at home and ends there but blossom into a citizen who asks not what can the country do for me but what can I do for the country. This is the Yajna envisaged by the Gita-mutual understanding and sacrifice, renunciation and service, by which material prosperity and spiritual fulfillment will ensue harmoniously.
Let us not curse the darkness, but light the lamp of Practical Vedanta which will illumine the royal road of Mahabharata, the Greater India to be.
Sri Ramakrishna Math
|1||The Philosophy of Democratic Administration||1|
|2||Social Responsibilities of Public Administration||40|
|3||The Science of Human Energy Resources||78|
|4||Human Values in Administration||112|
|5||The Role of Local Self-Government Institutions in Our Democracy||133|
|6||Administrative Efficiency and Human Resource Development||177|
|7||The Philosophy of Service||207|