राजा चेन्न भवेल्लोके पृथिव्यां दण्डधारकः |
जले मत्स्यानिवाभक्ष्यन्दुर्बलं बलवत्तराः ||
If there were not [चेत् न भवेत्] on this earth [लोके पृथिव्यां] a king [राजा] holding a sceptre [दण्डधारकः],
Then those who are powerful [बलवत्तराः] would have eaten up [अभक्ष्यन्] the weak [दुर्बलं] as fish do [मत्स्यान् इव ] in the water [जले] .
This Subhaashit explains the importance of a strong ruler who punishes injustice.
Small, weaker fish are eaten up by larger, stronger fish in the lake or ocean. That is inevitable. Even in the animal world, the weaker animals become the prey of the stronger ones.
If there were no just rulers to protect the weaker, then this same situation would have prevailed in human society also.
In the history of our country there have been some rulers who were not concerned about justice. They only thought about increasing their personal wealth and did not care whether the weaker people in their kingdom were harassed by the influential or powerful.
On the other hand, there have been rulers who saw to it that injustice was rooted out and the common people did not suffer at the hands of the rich and powerful.
There is no Monarchy in our country now, no kings or princes. Our government is by the people. We have the right to choose our representatives, our government.
Whether injustice is punished or whether the guilty go scot-free depends on what sort of government we elect.
Whether the weaker sections of our society have protection from the powerful, depends of what sort of government we elect.
If we do not want मात्स्यन्याय to prevail, if we do not wish the powerful to “eat up” the weak, then we have to elect a government that will not hesitate to punish injustice.