44. In the autumn season all the reservoirs of water are full of lotus flowers. There are also flowers that resemble the lotus but are of a different class. Among them is a flower called kumuda. When the sun rises, all the flowers but the kumuda blossom beautifully. Similarly, lotuslike men take pleasure in the advent of a responsible king, but men who are like the kumuda do not like the existence of a king.
In this age of Kali the people want their own government, because the kings have become corrupt. Formerly it was not like that. The sons of kings were trained under the guidance of a good brāhmaṇa-ācārya just as the Pāṇḍavas and the Kauravas were put under the instruction of the qualified brāhmaṇa professor Śrī Droṇācārya. Princes were rigidly trained in politics, economics, the military arts, ethics and morality, the sciences, and, above all, devotional service to the Lord. Only after such good training were the princes allowed to be enthroned. When such a prince became king, then too he was guided by the advice of good brāhmaṇas. Even in the Middle Ages, Mahārāja Candragupta was guided by the learned brāhmaṇa Cāṇakya Paṇḍita.
In a monarchy, one man sufficiently trained was competent enough to conduct alone the business of the state. But in a democracy no one is trained like a prince; instead, politicians are voted to responsible posts of administration by diplomatic arrangements. In place of one king or supreme executive officer, in a democracy there are so many quasi-kings: the president, the ministers, the deputy ministers, the secretaries, the assistant secretaries, the private secretaries, and the undersecretaries. There are a number of parties—political, social, and communal—and there are party whips, party whims, and so on. But no one is well enough trained to look after the factual interests of the governed. In a so-called democratic government, corruption is even more rampant than in an autocracy or monarchy.
Men who want to flourish in the guise of servants of the people do not want a good king at the head of the state. They are like the kumuda flowers, which do not take pleasure in the sunrise. The word ku means "bad," and mud means "pleasure." Persons who want to exploit the administrative power for their own self-interest do not like the presence of a good king. Although professing democracy, they want to be kings themselves. Thus they compete for votes by bad propaganda and take pleasure in having politics but no king. Thieves and dacoits also take no pleasure in the presence of a good king, but it is in the interest of the people to have a well-trained king as the head of the state.