Mangaluru, Aug 03, 2019: Former Udupi MLA Y S V Datta delivering a talk on ‘Basavanna and Democracy’ at ‘Matte Kalyana’ programme organised by Sahamatha Vedike and Taralabalu Shakha Mutt of Chitradurga at Town Hall in Udupi on Aug 2, Friday, said that it was India that had laid the foundation for democracy and not England as claimed.
Datta said many people learn from text books in schools that democracy was born in England through the ’Magna Carta’ peace treaty signed between the King and the rebel barons during the 13th century.
Some argue that democratic values were upheld first during the France Revolution that took place in 18th century. Many argue that then US President Abraham Lincoln was the preacher of democracy during the 19th century, while for the remaining, it is the Russian Revolution that began in 1917 that gave birth to democratic values.
"However, the role of Basavanna, who had defined democracy and its values way back in 12th century can never be ignored," he stressed.
The former MLA said that the contributions of 12th century philosopher to uphold democratic values were remarkable. Basavanna was against economic inequality. Though Basavanna did not have any confrontation with the rich, he became the voice of the poor and was committed to his revolutionary path by attacking Brahminism. He said Basavanna’s ’Anubhava Mantapa’ was the first Parliament in the world.
He said if the democratic values, upheld by Basavanna, was implemented in letter and spirit by people’s representatives many issues arising due to inequality and prejudices would vanish at one go.
Emphasising the contribution of Basaveshwara, Datta said Basavanna was also the supporter of economic equality in the society and said economic equality was the foundation of democratic system.