Dharma, runa, artha, rajdharma and an ex-PM

Obituaries of the former Prime Minister Chandrashekhar have been mostly boiler-plate stuff, scarcely going beyond the Young Turk label, his pada yatra, and his being done in by his peers. But Jaitirth Jerry Rao, salutes the Man from Ballia for the brave and extraordinary decision of his government to pledge the nation’s gold to avoid defaulting on its debts.

“To honour one’s debts is something enjoined on us by our ancients as a dharma. We even have a saying that if we welsh in this life, we will get caught with having to pay it back in the next. The Sanskrit word runa refers to something that sticks to you.

“In honouring the debts incurred by previous administrations, Chandrashekhar’s team was being faithful to their rajdharma. As we all know, good ethical behaviour is usually tied up in the long run with good material outcomes. (Where dharma reigns can artha be far behind?). And that is precisely what happened.

“The country which went to the brink came back with a bang and is today not just solvent, but it is so in a manner that is so healthy it almost smacks of plenitude.”

Read the full tribute here: With a few pieces of gold