Kautilya, also known as Chanakya and Vishnugupta, was a king-maker rather than a monarch. His state theory, known as The Arthashastra, goes back to the 4th century BC. It has 16000 slokas divided into 15 segments that seek to convey his vision of the state.
He describes a prosperous life as one marked by monetary wealth. He is frequently compared to Machiavelli because, like him, he tries to keep religion and politics distinct. He believes that once mankind has become tired of the Matsyanyaya, or “law of the fish,” in which the larger fish consumes the smaller ones, indicating the strong consuming the weak, they would elect a monarch.
As a result, the initial state of nature is considered to be one of absolute anarchy, in which might was all that mattered. People consented to pay taxes in exchange for the security and well-being. The many responsibilities of the King are laid down by Kautilya, including guaranteeing security, maintaining law and order, and punishing wrongdoers.
He presents his theory of state, in which he outlines the state’s seven components. The ‘Swami,’ who is the monarch himself, is the first ingredient. A King should be intelligent, friendly, and passionate, as well as a descendant of a noble house. He should have a strong personality, as well as a sound intellect and actions. He should be religious and devout, and he should be aware of fraud and trickery. In his acts and judgments, he should use caution. Kautilya also urges the king to avoid characteristics like greed, wrath, and fickleness.
The Amatya, who are the kingdom’s “Ministers,” are the second element. Ministers must be well-informed and foresighted in order to forecast future opportunities and difficulties. They should be polite and administrative in nature. They should devote and commit themselves entirely to the governance of the kingdom, with the political and private spheres kept separate.
The state’s third component is the “Janapad”, which refers to the state’s land and population. The ground should not be rough, muddy, or rushing. For a higher producing capacity, it should be fertile. It should be large enough to accommodate both men and cows, since cows were seen as a necessary component of existence. Forests and meadows for livestock herding should also be included. The citizens of the state should follow the law and not shirk their responsibility to serve the state. The Vaishya and Shudra castes should account for the bulk of individuals, as Kautilya deems them to be economically advantageous.
A fort, which Kautilya refers to as “Durg”, is the fourth basic constituent of a state. There should be four categories, one of which includes forts in mountainous areas, as hills make it harder for adversaries to enter the state. Forts that are surrounded by water making it harder to enter and function as a protective precaution. To keep adversaries at bay and safeguard the realm, desert forts were built. The fourth form of fort is one that is encircled by jungles and woods, which confuse invaders.
The fifth element is the “Kosh”, which represents the state’s riches and treasure. The state should have sufficient money to withstand the effects of natural disasters. The monarch should not be afraid to raise the tax. The Vaishyas and Shudras should have to pay the highest tax.
The army, which he refers to as “Sena” is the sixth vital component. He creates six sorts of armies: hereditary, hire troops, friend soldiers, enemy soldiers, battling corporate soldiers, and wild tribal soldiers. He considers hereditary troops to be among the greatest. They are said to be the most obedient, and they should preferably come from the Kshatriya clan. They are also brave, making them the ideal state guardians.
The “Ally” is the state’s last component. In Saptang theory, it is referred to as Mitra. He claims that there are two sorts of allies: Natural (Sahej) allies who have been comrades for centuries, and Kritrim (Acquired) allies who have joined forces with one’s state for monetary benefit. Kautilya urges the monarch to depend on his natural supporters rather than his acquired allies.
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