89. India - The Cradle Of Democracy
India is the bedrock of all democracies. The most popular system of self-governance was very much popular in ancient India. As popularly believed, it was not brain wave of the westerners.
Will Durant, an American historian says: "India is the mother of democracy". He points out that the Greek Assembly, the Roman Agora or the German Moot, the antecedents of modern democracy, were derived from the Indian institution known as Samiti or Sabha recorded in the Vedas. In fact, there was a democratic deity called Samajnana to whom the last hymn of the Rig Veda makes salutation.
The historians of Alexander's campaign also mention that during his retreat, Alexander actually came across many Indian republics. Indeed, all the states with which he made contact on his way back appear to have been under republican form of government which are free, autonomous and independent.
Nysa, a city on the border of modern Afghanistan and Pakistan was ruled by a president named Aculphis and a council of 300.
The Buddha was born in a republican country, and it is not without significance that he should have called the monastic order he founded the Republic of the Bhikkus (Monks), the name "Republic" suggesting that he transferred the constitution of a political to a religious order. Thus, independent democratic and aristocratic republics seem to have flourished widely throughout the continent of India for a period of nearly a thousand years, a period that ended with the establishment of the Gupta Empire in A.D. 300. The outstanding feature of the republican system during this period is known as the "Gana Rajya", or rule of numbers, that is to say, the rule of many persons.