Uttaramerur Inscription:An 1,100 years old inscription from Tamil Nadu. Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday (April 14, 2023) referred to the Uttaramerur inscription in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, while discussing India’s democratic history.
So it’s important for UPSC PRELIMS 2023
Where is Uttaramerur?
Uttaramerur lies in the present-day Kanchipuram district, approximately 90 km southeast of Chennai. Today, it is a small town and had a population of roughly 25,000 in the census 2011. It is known for its historic temples built during Pallava and Chola rule.
What is the importance of the Uttaramerur inscription?
The Uttaramerur inscription testifies to the historical fact that nearly 1,100 years ago, a village had an elaborate and highly refined electoral system and even a written constitution prescribing the mode of elections.
The details of this system of elective village democracy are inscribed on the walls of the village assembly (grama sabha mandapa), a rectangular structure made of granite slabs.
The inscription gives astonishing details about the constitution of wards, the qualification of candidates standing for elections, the disqualification norms, the mode of election, the constitution of committees with elected members, the functions of those committees, the power to remove the wrongdoer, etc.
The villagers even had the right to recall the elected representatives if they failed in their duty. In fact, inscriptions on temple walls in several parts of Tamil Nadu refer to village assemblies. But it is at Uttaramerur on the walls of the village assembly (mandapa) itself that we have the earliest inscriptions with complete information about how the elected village assembly functioned.
These provide a detailed description of the village’s self-governance and have been cited by historians and political leaders alike as evidence of India’s history of democratic functioning.
What is an inscription?
An inscription is a written or engraved text or symbol that is permanently or semi-permanently marked on a surface. Inscriptions can be found on a variety of objects, including buildings, monuments, gravestones, coins, and documents. They can serve a range of purposes, such as recording historical events, commemorating individuals or groups, conveying religious or philosophical messages, or providing instructions or warnings. Inscriptions can be in a variety of languages and scripts, including hieroglyphics, cuneiform, Greek, Latin, and modern alphabets. They can also be decorative and ornamental, or simple and utilitarian, depending on their context and function.
What is the difference between manuscripts and inscriptions?
Manuscripts and inscriptions are both forms of written communication, but there are some key differences between them:
Form: Manuscripts are handwritten or typed documents, while inscriptions are texts or symbols that are engraved, carved, or painted on a surface.
Material: Manuscripts are usually written on paper, parchment, or other flexible materials, while inscriptions can be found on a variety of surfaces, including stone, metal, wood, and clay.
Context: Manuscripts are usually created for personal or private use, such as diaries, letters, or books, while inscriptions are often created for public or official purposes, such as monuments, statues, or coins.
Time period: Manuscripts are a product of more recent history, usually dating from the Middle Ages onwards, while inscriptions have been used since ancient times.
Content: Manuscripts typically contain literary or historical texts, while inscriptions can include a range of messages, such as religious, philosophical, or commemorative.
Overall, manuscripts and inscriptions serve different functions and exist in different contexts, but both are important sources of information and insights into the history and culture of human civilization.
Read Also : Ecosystem UPSC – Current Affairs