Democracy, Dictatorship and the Kingdom of Joy – The Parable

Once upon a time, nestled between pretty green hills lay the happy kingdom of Joy. It was a rich kingdom and the royal family was a kind and generous one. The people were happy and well cared for. Therefore, while world moved on to adopt other forms of governance like democracies, some even dictatorships, Kingdom of Joy continued as an absolute monarchy.

Every evening,  people of  Kingdom would gather around the Palace to sing and dance and cheer the King wishing a long life for him. In the fiftieth year of his reign, the King organized an international conference on governance in his kingdom so as to get updated with changes taking place in the world.

Leading experts from different countries were invited to the conference. In the opening address, the King requested that in the final plenary session, delegates prepare a one sentence long conclusion in simple language for benefit of all. There would be a day of sight seeing after that and  a banquet in the evening followed by a concluding address from His Majesty in the throne room. At the end of long and serious deliberations, delegates prepared a long list of conclusions as well as a simple one the King had asked for. It was this,

Democracies as exist in the world are a much better model for governing countries than Dictatorships.

Later that evening, all arrived at the Palace for the banquet. It was divided in two parts on either side of a central path through the gardens. A sign to the left of the path said ‘Hermits Feast’. It pointed to bare wooden tables on which were laid baskets of bread and clay bowls of scrambled eggs. Another rough wooden table had baskets of fruits from surrounding forests for desert.

The sign to the right said ‘Royal Feast’. It pointed to fine tables covered with elegant laced table cloths, flower vases and assorted dishes in silver bowls. A separate table had a huge cake decorated with icing and sugar roses in assorted pastel colors for desert. Most chose the Royal Feast, although some went for the hermit’s feast because a peculiar smell emanated from the area around the royal feast.

Soon after, a funny thing happened, those at the royal feast began to vomit and doctors with nurses rushed to help them and take them to rest rooms to refresh. Those at the hermits feast were fine and surprised. It was revealed later that dishes at the royal feast had been prepared using dog, pig and human shit. The cooks had collected their very own that morning from the toilets and mixed it in with the cake batter before baking and decorating with sugar roses. It was all well cooked so chances of infection were reduced. However the smell was sordid particularly from the stuff the head cook had brought in The cooks covered it with vanilla and Rose Essence.

Later, after order was restored, all moved to the throne room for the King’s address. The public that had gathered to dance outside as always sat down to hear the address from loud speakers installed along the walls as they munched on batter fried fish fillets with tartar sauce, Cole Slaw and fries served in newspaper squares with wine in bottles and lemonade for kids. It was distributed to all that day because a feast was on in the Palace. The King spoke thus,

“I am very sorry for that unfortunate mishap at the Royal feast today but dear delegates, many of you went by labels and appearances rather than content just as you did in your conclusion. A dictatorship that ensures food, shelter, medical care and other basic needs for its entire population is far better than a democracy that cannot provide these basics needs despite the fact it is rich.

“Democracies as exist in the world today depend on money power. This will eventually cause moneyed minions of mammon to become their owner. They shall own all the contestants from all sides in the election with their money. In case an outsider gets in the race the media also controlled by the minions shall declare him to be a fool or un-electable, In the end whoever wins, the minions shall rule.

“When things get bad the homeless in such a democracy shall be picked up not to shelter but to be thrown away, many a children shall go to bed hungry, many a sick shall die in pain if they cannot afford expensive medical care or insurance that is available to cover costs. Cheap medicine imports from other countries shall be banned.  Most of the revenue earned in the country shall be spent on the war machine to fatten the minions. It will be said it is to protect people against imaginary dangers from imaginary enemies while people will die with surety from lack of medical care.

“A dictator on the other hand may be evil or good but minions shall not rule him for he does not need their money for his power. Dear delegates, as you return to your countries, it is for you to see what the state of your democracy is. The best wishes of this Kingdom and its entire people are with you.”

The people sitting outside then got up to dance once again and to cheer the King with a loud roar.

Verily, verily,” the story teller cried, “It is not a democracy or a dictatorship that shall bring happiness to people but love and truth.”


Vinod Khurana said…
Such a deep message in this lovely parable,dear Ashok ji.

King and a hermit

Begging bowl of a hermit
and a royal treasury
what's the difference
the hermit feels contended
but the king never filled
go not by the label
but what's in it
be like a hermit
whatever one be
that king is the best
who dines with hermits
every penny in his treasury
is for the good of public
and he loses his sleep
when even one soul goes hungry

with regards
Ashok said…
Thanks for your comments Vinod and the lovely poem, very rare to have kings and rulers like that but there have been some such as jose mujica of Uruguay

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