Implied meaning of Ramrajya (Ram’s kingdom) The real kingdom of Ram refers to the rule of Shriram [who dwells within oneself or the soul principle (Atma Ram)] over the five sense organs, the five motor organs, the conscious mind, the subconscious mind, the intellect and the ego (aham). – See more at: http://www.sanatan.org/en/a/17_shriram.html#ram_kingdom_ramrajya
By Ram Rajjya we understand that it means a place where there is rule of law, peace, prosperity, equality and justice. In fact it is supposed to be a utopian society where every thing is just fine. Islamic equivalent of Ram Rajjya is “Dar-us-Salaam” (abode of peace). Now I have had the opportunity of living many years each in two of the three terrestrial dar us salaams, (1.Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, and 2. Brunie Darusslaam). The third, Jerusalem, in the Palestine (which is Hebrue form of Dar us Salaam) I have not even visited yet. And I hope to achieve, by the grace of Allah (SWT) a modest place in the Darus salaam above (heaven)).
Here I wish to demonstrate that New Zealand is in a way a place worthy of being called Ram Rajjya. (or is it?).
Once when I arrived at Auckland from Brunei in 2001 on a short visit to the family, I noticed that a piece of baggage was missing when I arrived at home and the taxi had gone. I went to sleep as I was tired after the night long air trip, and when I woke up after two hours the baggage was there, delivered by the airport people. My daughter Sara told me how she first contacted the taxi people who contacted all taxi drivers if any one delivered a passenger at 26 Penny Avenue, and if they had, was there any bag left in the taxi. One responded but said no luggage was left. Then she contacted the airport and they confirmed one bag was left at the custom area and after right description they sent it home.
Auckland airport was the only one in the entire world (that I have visited) that offered a free cup of tea/ coffee when you arrived, just after immigration. After the recent major re innovation, alas, they have now stopped this wonderful service. Even without tea, Auckland airport is voted by the passengers as one of the top ten (8th) in the world and best in the Asia Pacific region. Auckland city is among top 10 cities in the world as most liveable.
Insurance here is very essential and claims are met swiftly and fully. When one of our cars was stolen from in front of our house and was eventually found by the police, abandoned and greatly damaged, the insurance paid us promptly full amount as the repairs were going to be more than the insured amount. All the activity was done over the phone. Our son’s car was hit by someone reversing from the drive way of the house opposite ours, just across the road, and the woman was gracious enough to knock at our door and own the damage. If she had run away, we would never know who done it. The insurance got our car repaired and claimed from the insurance company of the other car. All was done over the phone. A similar accident happened to me also on a road junction with similar result. But there are some stories of hit and run also. After all, we are human. Like what I did once in Brunei. Several families had gathered in a friend’s house as a get together and I left early with the children, leaving my wife behind. It was night and dark. I reversed and ploughed my car into a parallel parked car’s door. I thought at the moment that I had knocked down a potted plant.
As I ignored the incident and conveniently headed for home, the children at the back were telling me Abbu you should have stayed. I shouted and silenced the children. But I could not silence my inner self and by the time I arrived home I had decided to go back and own the damage. When I arrived, there were a score of people around the damaged car and every one was cursing the offender. I announced that ‘perhaps’ it was me as my children heard the noise and told me. That cost me $450.
Customers are fully protected here. Our dishwasher broke down after about four years. The warranty is normally five years. Now we could not locate the receipt (as always we keep important things safe and even we cannot find them when needed). We remembered the shop so we rang them. They said this is the same shop but the management has changed, therefore nothing could be done. Our daughter in law told them rules regarding the customer rights and asked if they would like us to refer the matter to the customer service tribunal. They asked for the details. She gave them the unique number of the appliance and they from their records found that yes this was sold from here on such and such date and is still under warranty. The dishwasher was replaced by them.
The place is extremely beautiful; scenic and all. Each and every corner of the whole country, especially Auckland, is what people in some countries call ‘picnic spots.’ Water water every where so to say and hills and greens. There is virtually no dust as the grounds are either tarred or paved (0.0001%) or covered by grass. Every where you go you find a sense of peace and tranquillity, calmness and serene atmosphere. The country has been developed to first world status in the space of 150 years (compare this to the subcontinent’s 5000 yrs) and still you find that natural environment is mostly left untouched. You live in wooden houses among trees and greens. The picture above says it all, well almost; blue skies, hills, water and green grass. (minus the snow covered mountains and the forests, birds and their sound, water falls, valleys etc.) The rivers and the streams run with pure water and you can safely drink from your cupped hands, a simple pleasure lost else where for ever. The air too is pure with no dust or smog.
The irritants like mosquitoes, flies, lizards etc are next to non existent. Snakes, crocodiles, lions and other predators are not at all found here.
People are largely helpful, polite and mild mannered. They smile and are quick to say thank you and even quicker to say ‘sorry’. At the paying outlet at any super store the girl serving you greets each and every customer with a smile and a quick word or two about yourself or the weather. She says these words as she starts scanning the items and you feel as if she was hired just so she will serve you.
There is no retirement age and you could continue working till you drop. People ‘choose’ to retire at 65 but many are there till 70 and beyond. But there is no pension that is given by the department you served when ever you do retire. But wait, you get by the government a senior citizen benefit from the age of 65, retired or not. The amount is good and is more than enough for most. You are also entitled to a host of other concessions like free bus, reduced admissions in cinemas etc.
Health and security services are enviable, mostly free or heavily subsidised for the citizens; particularly all New Zealanders are insured against accidents and are entitled to get prompt and absolutely free treatment.
But the crimes do happen, Burglaries can leave you short of your valuables and the first thing that the police asks if the contents of the house were insured. The recovery rate is dismal and we are advised that all contents should be insured. Majority of the houses still have large glass windows but no grill. Burglar alarms are very helpful.
Once there was an attempt of daylight robbery in a liquor store and the Indian worker gallantly subdued one burglar and beat him up, then locked him. The police arrived and charged the worker for assault and arrested both the worker and the burglar. The burglar, they said has his rights and the violence from any one is not allowed.
Those who have read The Hindu Book ‘Kama Sutra’ will understand what I mean by Kam Rajjya. On the surface every thing seems to be that all is well but in reality there is a lot of “kam” activities going on and all is considered legal and perfectly ethical (unfortunately, according to our norms) unless a minor is involved or if there is force or coercion applied. A woman wrote an article about herself in a magazine and titled it, “Grand Maa, wife and prostitute”. She goes on to describe how for the last 40 years she served sex to thousands of celebrities, local and foreign, had a husband who knew it all, had children from husband and also now has a grand child. The husband, the children accept that what she had been doing was just a job to earn extra money. Surprised? Oh oh. I too am.
Finally it is my conviction that the real Ram Rajjya is in your inner self. If you are at peace with yourself, with others around you, with your environment and also with your God, then it does not matter where you live. Even a desert will look beautiful and serene.