Baech bhavar mae dolena, in the midst of nectar I wander about, aar rahi na paar gayi, not knowing which path is correct kuuch isqh ki maudaunae duubi, drunk I have fallen kuuch hijr kiya, and through faith I have risen, divar gaayi until I reach your sight, Wall. Thuum jaanae nahi yae dardh maera ya jaanae kae bhi anjaanae ho, you do not understand this hurt of mine or otherwise pretend you do not aek pall yae lagae apnae ho thuum, in this moment you and I became one, aek pall yae laage beganae ho, and in another moment you are someone I do not know. Dhildar yae paheli thuuj saatha, love of hearts, first explain to me suffering thuum koune piya , who are you O God, yeh bhed thumhi aab kholo zara, now that I am captured by your hand only you can open this snare. Thuum koune piya, who are you beloved? Binn bolae jo thuum kehethae ho, what you say without speaking binn bolae hi vo sunnu mae, is the only language I choose to understand. Bhar kae thumko ein aankho mai my tear filled eyes khuch quaab nayae sae khulllu, will open in a new dream. Mae na aapna aap dikhaei dai, I will show myself jab dekhu khud ko darpan mae in front of these mirrors yae mai huun ya phir thumhi ho, is this me or is it you again man uljha hai eis uljhan mae, hearts in distress cry out mujhae aapnae rang mai rang liya, even though I long to bathe myself in ecstasy, mai rang liya thuum koune piya, I have taken vows on your behalf, thum koune piya you are my word G-d. Yae bhaed thumhi aab kholo zara, now it is your turn to remove human shackles thuum koune piya, who else are you other than a redeemer? Dhil sae hai jo yai yae dhil aapnae, from my heart to yours kehenae ko koi rishtha hi nahi, are you going to say that there was never any prior relationship? Eis pakizaah sae baandhan ko, caught in chains dhuniya mae koyi samjahi nahi, no one understood this state jaab ghaayone ke kohi thumkho tho dardh yahan dekho tho, when injury occurred afar, dhardh yahan bhi hotha, look at how I bleed, jaab ho thumhari yae aankhae jo dhil yae mera bhi rotha hai, and when I look at your eyes, my heart suffers and cries out in pain thumne bhi magar yae puuch liya, yet above all You keep me in your thoughts, thuum koune piya who are you Beloved? Yae bhed thumhi aab kholo zara , our release from sin and evil doings thuum koune piya…..you are this alone, God. The Beloved above every one.
Jhoro jhoro borishae bari dhara hai potho bashi, hai gothi hinu, The rainfall will only last until it reaches the shores. Hai gothi hinu hai griho hara. What are those who depend on the starry heaven to guide their journey to do now? Phirae bayu, they cry, swiftly return black clouds that carry rain. Shorae phirae bayu, let thunder, lightning and rain sing with one voice again. Dakea karae, who are they in unison calling for? Jononino ashimo pranthorae, they plead for those whose shores are at the end of the world. Rojoni adhara and lightning lost, hai potho bashi hai gothi hinu hai griho hara adhira jomuna thorongo akula bokularae, the restless river Jamuna’s strong waters, thimiro dhokula shogonaei rae dhokularae, Unfortunately only the timid afraid that they will be forgotten, nibiro nirodho gogonae, look up at the empty skies, goro goro goro gorojae, and hear only the thunder that carry no songs of the rain falling. Choncholo chapula chamokae, the restless lightning nahi shoshi thara, do not have an answer, What are they who carry misfortune going to do now? Hai griho hara, having lost their way, what are the ones for whom the starry heavens carry no rain fall only empty clouds.
Cui dono lepidum novum labellum, To whom do I dedicate this new, charming little book, Arida modo pumice expolitum, just now polished with a dry pumice stone? Corneli tibi namque tu solebas, To you, Cornelius, for you were accustomed, meas esse aliquid putare nugas, to think that my nonsense was something, iam tum cum ausus es unus Italorum, then already when you alone of Italians, omne aevum tribus explicare cartis, dared to unfold every age in three papyrus rolls, doctis Iuppiter et laboriosis, learned, Jupiter, and full of labor. Quare habe tibi quidquid hoc libelli, Therefore, have for yourself whatever this is of a little book, ualecumque quod o patrona virgo of whatever sort; which, O patron maiden, plus uno maneat perenne saeclo, may it remain everlasting, more than one lifetime.
When the founding fathers set up that government which derived its powers “from the consent of the governed,” they knew exactly what they’d been missing. As colonists they’d had their taxes and their foreign and domestic policies determined for them by a distant government in which they’d had no representation whatsoever. People who lived thousands of miles away made decisions for them without their input and without recourse to anything but eventual revolution and separation.
When the founding fathers conceived of the “consent of the governed,” they thought of the people as a whole, realizing that not every individual would or could approve of every act of government. Indeed, it is inconceivable to think of a government acting in such a way that each person in the nation agrees with each decision arrived at by their government. The reality is that even in a government wonderfully representative of its people, some decisions are made that some people will disagree with.
Was “consent of the governed” created with this problem in mind? Must government keep every citizen completely happy and in agreement with each law and regulation it promulgates?
Not according to Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson envisioned the “consent of the governed” he wrote about not as individual consent, but as the consent of the people coming together to make their political decisions. Jefferson wrote “It must be acknowledged that the term ‘republic’ is of vague application in every language…Were I to assign to this term a precise and definite idea, I would say purely and simply it means a government by its citizens in mass, acting directly and personally according to rules established by the majority; and that every other government is more or less republican in proportion as it has its composition more or less of this ingredient of direct action of the citizens.” (To J. Taylor, 1816)
In another letter to F. von Humboldt in 1817, Jefferson called the first principle of republicanism the “majority law,” and considered a majority of one to be as binding upon the whole as an unanimous vote. “This law disregarded, no other remains but that of force, which ends necessarily in military despotism.”
For Jefferson this was a simple equation. A government of minority interests supports its own self-interest and inevitably oppresses the majority. No government at all–anarchy–leads inevitably to evil forces organizing oppressive regimes. Only a government by and of the majority has the capability of preserving the individual’s rights.
The sacredness of a one-vote majority for Jefferson was based on his understanding of the contentious nature of humanity. “An association of men who will not quarrel with one another is a thing that never yet existed, from the greatest confederacy of nations down to a town meeting or a vestry.” (Letter to J. Taylor, 1798)
What then, of the rights of the minority? Jefferson was well aware that a majority rule could be oppressive if the equal rights of minorities were violated. In his first inaugural address, he said, “Bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will, to be rightful, must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal laws must protect, and to violate would be oppression.” (1801)
But Jefferson relied on a polticially active, fair-minded majority to insist that individual rights of those they disagreed with be respected, if for nothing else, through their own self-interest. No other mechanism, no government or piece of paper can protect those rights. Power inevitably leads to corruption, so the power to protect the people’s rights must be invested in the people themselves. It thus becomes each citizen’s responsibility to look after his or her own rights and the rights of his neighbors.
But what about an apathetic or ignorant citizenry? How do we overcome the people not acting in their interests, or acting in a way we think foolish? Jefferson had an answer to this, too: “I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.” (Letter to W. Jarvis, 1820)
Perhaps nothing is more important to an understanding of individual self-determination than the phrase, “consent of the governed.” Individuals continually confront others with different experiences or prejudices at odd with their own. In such an environment, a community must make its political decisions according to the will of the majority. It is that majority which, fairly instituted, constitutes the guarantor of individuals rights and the consent of the governed.