As I mentioned under a more general heading, Navabharata was one of four colonies founded by great powers in the 2120s A.D. in an unsuccessful quest for national prestige. All four were political failures because of the ~40 year delay between spending public money and getting any news of results. But they were demographic successes.
The planet, Beta Hydri VI, is large, wet, and very warm, and it rotates rapidly. As a result the equatorial zone is uninhabitably hot and the mid-latitudes are swept by fierce hurricanes and intense zonal winds. Pools of cool air are trapped in the polar cells poleward of latitude 60°. Navabharata’s antarctic zone is ~30% continental and is the location of most of the habitation. The arctic zone is 90% oceanic, and was not settled until the Age of Piracy, after c. 400 ATD.
Navabharata was politically and technologically vulnerable during the Age of Piracy, and suffered from a series of invasions. A multitude of local invaders established small tech-enabled oligarchies. Over a century these all adopted the god gambit; since the restoration of interstellar travel the gods of Navabharata have reinforced their divinity with imported tech, off-world technical training, and extensive body-modification.
Politically, Navabharata is comminuted into myriads of small to tiny city-states, each with a god-gambiting technocratic aristocracy. Global government consists of an annual ceremonial assembly of ruling gods, a great council, and a shahranshah elected for life, but their only functions are to qualify Navabharata as a unified colony and to appoint the senator and justices of the Imperial district court.
It is a conundrum what the nivasees (commoners) of Navabharata mean when they agree that their technocratic rulers are gods, able to do miracles, and deserving of worship.
The logic of the divine kingship on Navabharata revived or re-evolved features of the sacred kingship as copiously described by Sir James Frazer in The Golden Bough. When a god whom everyone depends on for essential miracles ails or fails the community is at terrible risk: the god must be immolated¹ and replaced. The custom is thus that ageing, failing, or reviled gods immolate themselves, or are sacrificed by a successor, or torn apart by a mob, with a new god taking over. Some communities have fixed terms of rulership, or regular ceremonial tests of fitness for their senior gods. Almost all turn on a god in times of public calamity. The old god’s body may be eaten, broken up for lucky charms, or used as a miraculous fertiliser.
The gods of Navabharata have responded by developing such ploys as sneaking or fleeing off-world, substitutory sacrifices of symbolic successors, defeated enemies, representative animals, or even cake. But the ruling gods cannot persuade their pantheons to support abolishing the logic of the divine king (a) because of its memetic power, and (b) because it creates the main avenue for the ambition of cabinet-ranked gods.
Frazer, Sir James G. The Golden Bough, chapters XXIV (“The Killing of the Divine King”), XXV (“Temporary Kings”), and XXI (“Sacrifice of the King’s Son”)
Zelazny, R. Lord of Light
¹ Gary Gygax’s misapprehension notwithstanding, immolate means “kill, as a sacrifice”, not “surround with flames”. It is derived from the participle immolatus of the Latin verb immolo, which means “I sacrifice”. It referred originally to sprinkling victims with flour.