Thursday, June 28, 2018

The Allegory...!

Any community that aspires to dwell peacefully in coexistence in the most democratic way needs to learn the Principles of Democracy first, that certainly lie beyond merely voting in elections. As the matter of fact the Duties, Rights and Obligations as a Citizen of a Democratic Republic only start with choosing your legal and constitutional representative for voicing your concerns in the assembly of policy makers. Just as the journey of being a proud parent starts from the moment of starting a family and dreaming of being a parent and the role of parent has no expiry unless one willfully decides to act otherwise – by the way of renunciation – or end of the life. Similarly being a Citizen of a democratic republic is not a one-time impulsive affair but a commitment that is an obligation unless it is renounced!

'Rearing a child and making it independent and self-sufficient in view of enabling it to lead a decent, purposeful and wholesome life' is as a triumph and a pleasure as it is a commitment and an obligation! So is 'being a citizen in a democracy'. In a democracy you do not choose people to Rule you as Monarchs and Dictators but you choose Your that is  People’s Representatives who would serve your cause. Therefore utmost care in choosing those and relentless vigilance of their performance is not only required but mandatory to make any democracy successful. Before any community could do it successfully, it needs to educate itself about the principles of democracy – the rule-book of the game. Only learned and matured people can have a government of the people, by the people, for the people!

The first lesson of any subject deals with its definition and attributes. Today let us try to learn what you mean by Democracy by way of Aesthetic Appraisal of an iconic masterpiece – a series of fresco paintings that depicts Virtues and Effects of Good and Bad Government through illustrations. In the TED talk Anthony Romero explains the painting very well and the talk also has English subtitles which facilitates the understanding of the viewer. A little about the Subject Matter of the Talk –

Between the 13th and 15th centuries the Sienese School of painting flourished in Siena, Italy. Disciple of this school Ambrogio Lorenzetti was an Italian painter who was active from approximately 1317 to 1348. He painted ‘The Allegory of Good and Bad Government’ in the Sala dei Nove (Salon of Nine or Council Room) in Siena's Palazzo Pubblico – a palace in Siena, Tuscany, central Italy.

This fresco panels painting on the side walls of the huge Council Room [296 x 770 x 1440 M] of the City Hall of Siena, as the name clearly indicates, is a pictorial representation of how Good and Bad Government looks with their respective Virtues and their effects on the life of the cities and villages. This mammoth work of art has few text here and there that elaborates the meaning of the figures. The prominent and summarizing inscription reads –

"Without fear every many may travel freely and each may till and sow, so long as this commune [Republic] shall maintain this lady [Justice] sovereign, for she has stripped the wicked of all power.”

Way to go...!

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