Sabha and samiti-ugc history
Sabha and Samiti were the two popular assemblies existed in ancient India.In fact they played an important role in the matters of a vedic state.The Aitareya Brahmana mentions sabha but keeps silent about samiti.
The sabha is the assembly of the learned and virtuous ones .The members of sabha are nominated by the king and called sabhasad.The fuedal kings included in the RATNIS or the king makers body are also members of the sabha.According to LUDWING the sabha represents the upper house consisting of the nobles and the priests,while samiti represents the lower house comprising the commoners.A brahmin is called sabheya or a man fit to occupies a seat in the sabha.This asseveration of noble birth and erudition as the qualification of a member of the upper house.
The lord of the sabha is called sabhapati which office is invariably ornamented by the king.According to R K MUKJAJI “sabhapati denotes the sergeant of the assembly.Sabha functions as a parliament for the disposal of public business by debate and discussions.kings decision is invariably honored by the members of the sabha and they would rather themselves incure defeat out of friendliness.No member of the sabha is either a disloyal or a biteer critic of the king.According to ZIMMER”sabha represents the village council and the sabhapati denots gramini or the village headman.
The samiti comprising the peoples representatives or it represents people in general.It is the popular assembly which counsells for the welfare of the whole public.The aims of the samiti lies in the unity of the thought and the minds of the members are identical.In other words the welfare of the whole people is the only motto of the samiti.To V M AMPTE”samiti is an august assembly of a large group of people for the discharge of political business while the sabha is a more select body ,less popular and political in charactor.
The members of the samiti points out the grievance of the people to the king.They represents people in trust sense.king is the lord in samiti also.In a sabha ,the members are all friently and belong to the king's side.But it is not the same with the samiti;here all the pleasures of the king are scarcely considered to be final and binding.
The king is supposed to perform his duties in harmony with both the houses.The welfare of the kingdom depends very much on their mutual understanding and cooperation.Although the members of the sabha are nominated by the king ,they barely lag behind to advise the later as their counterpart in the samiti do in matters of public welfare.Thus the functions of both houses are almost identical,perhaps ,this is why the houses are called the”TWIN DUAGHTERS OF PRAJAPATI”.The assembly are regarded as A S ALTEKHAR holds “almost as divine institutions of greatest antiquity co-evenly existing with the dawn of political life of the community.notwithstanding that the king is the chairman himself of both the houses,these,almost with the office if the purohita or the prime minister exercise considerable authority acting as healthy checks on the arbitrary powers of the king.