Prisoners: Barack Obama, Manu and Kalidas (Post No.3610)

Statue of Kalidasa in China


Written by London swaminathan


Date: 6 FEBRUARY 2017


Time uploaded in London:-  9-17 am


Post No. 3610



Pictures are taken from different sources; thanks.






Kalidasa refers to the release of prisoners on the eve of the coronation of a king (Raghuvamsa 17-19). Barack Obama, outgoing US President also did the same just before leaving the office. This custom was started in Hindu India thousands of years ago. But India was one step ahead of all the countries. They even gave freedom to birds and animals! Caged birds were released! Domestic animals were unharnessed according to Kalidasa.

बन्धच्छेदन् स बद्धानान् वधार्हाणामवध्यताम्।
धुर्याणान् च धुरो मोक्षमदोहन् चादिशद्गवाम्॥ १७-१९

bandhacchedan sa baddhānān vadhārhāṇāmavadhyatām |
dhuryāṇān ca dhuro mokṣamadohan cādiśadgavām|| 17-19


On coronation Atithi ordered the release of prisoners; cancelled death sentences of those who are condemned to it; released the beasts of burden from burden, and interdicted the milking of cows. [17-19]



क्रीडापतत्रिणोप्यस्य पञ्जरस्थाः शुकादयः।
लब्धमोक्षास्तदादेशाद्यथेष्टगतयोऽभवन्॥ १७-२०

krīḍāpatatriṇopyasya pañjarasthāḥ śukādayaḥ |
labdhamokṣāstadādeśādyatheṣṭagatayo’bhavan|| 17-20


Even the caged birds of amusement such as parrots and others having gained their freedom through his order and became free birds to go as they wished. [17-20]


(Raghuvamsa translation from

Kautilya also says that the king releases all the prisoners in the newly captured country. They are released when there is a coronation or a new child is born to the king. The joy is shared by everyone. Death sentence is commuted or cancelled.


The king should have all the prisons built on the royal highway, where the suffering mutilated evil doers can be seen 9-288


Manu says a prisoner should be excluded from the ceremony for the dead (Manu 3-158)


A priest (Brahmin) should not eat the food of a man bound in chains prisoner) 4-210


Prisoners Release in America


President Obama granted commutations Tuesday to 79 federal drug offenders who were imprisoned under harsh and outdated sentencing laws, pushing to more than 1,000 the number of inmates who have received clemency from him.

Obama’s historic number of commutations — more than the previous 11 presidents combined — was announced as administration officials are moving quickly to rule on all the pending clemency applications before the end of the president’s term. The Trump administration is not expected to keep in place Obama’s initiative to provide relief to nonviolent drug offenders.

About a third of the 1,023 inmates who have been granted clemency, 342 prisoners, were serving life sentences for their ­offenses.

“The President’s gracious act of mercy today with his latest round of commutations is encouraging,” said Brittany Byrd, a Texas attorney who has represented several inmates who have received clemency since Obama’s initiative began in 2014.

“He is taking historic steps under his ground-breaking clemency initiative to show the power of mercy and belief in redemption. Three hundred and forty-two men and women were set to die in prison. The president literally saved their lives.”

Eighteen of the inmates granted clemency Tuesday were serving life sentences.


My old article:

Prisoners Rehab in Ancient India! (Posted on 23 March 2013)