Indian Economy Indic Talks Political Philosophy

Arthashastra And Its Contemporary Relevance In India – A Talk By Sriram Subramanian

The Arthashastra is a marvelous treatise that captured the imagination of ancient India. Kautilya’s thoughts are not only far ahead of his time, they were precise to address some of the key challenges of those days. Needless to say, the economic and political dominance that India had prior to the British had its roots in Kautilya’s ingenuity.

Most importantly, the relevance of these politico-economic theories is a subject that is rarely mainstream and deserves to be addressed with more attention. This lecture seeks to provide an overview of this and provide insights onto its relevance of it to address modern day India’s challenges as well.

Transcript: –

There must have been an ecosystem in place, for you to facilitate this kind of economic activity and that’s where I think Kautilya’s framework comes into play. His focus was primarily on having economic development, being a driver for peace and prosperity. Perhaps he understood in Kaliyuga that, you probably need money more than anything else or regions hadand understanding of the people’s sense that economic development is very important. Kautilya focused on meritocracy that everyone had equal opportunity and all positions of government had provided the idea of incentive based labor contracts. So he understood that people work only when you provide them incentives and you provide incentives based on the individuals needs. For example there’s a quote it says “The miser should be won over by means of wealth, the proud man by offering respect, the fool by flattery and learned are won by fruitfulness”.

Thanks for inviting me to the Srijan foundation. I am glad to give a presentation on the book that I am working on Arthashastra. Just a couple of things before we get into the presentation. The first thing is, while we discuss Arthashastra, we need to understand the context when it happened. So a lot about Chanakya, I mean Kautilya’s thoughts are related in that context. So that’s something we need to keep in mind. The second thing is also in terms of the nature of the text. If you really look with the Arthashastra, it’s very dense, it’s very poetic in nature and the way it’s communicated is in a very different format, compared to our prose, that we are used to in today’s times. So it took a lot of time to first understand what some aspects of the text are, though there are translations and then making interpretations to our current time. So that would involve you to, kind of make some assumptions along the way. So that’s the second thing and the third thing is I think, it’s also important, you look at it in a non-partisan manner, in a political manner because often nowadays what happens is, you come up with a preconceived notion and then you want to jump over to reinforce that notion. If you can kind of take that aside I am a political and generally the view on just the text and then it makes it far more fascinating, just to understand Kautilya’s time, so that, so most of we starts, independent compared to say what Srijan foundation and other organizations have on the subject.

So this is a quick overview what you are going to talk about. One is ancient India’s economic growth, I think that context has to be set, before we go into the Kautilya’s framework. Then the contours of Kautilya strong defense, communal harmony and governance which was some of the three key principles that he had and then we go into economic development, taxation, trade, landed resource, management labor and ethics and then of course the conclusion.

So this context is important. If you look at them, the global growth story, over the past say thousand years, this provides an overview of that. As you can see, Western nations have been a forefront of global growth especially for the last two to 200-300 years and if you look at the quantity of GDP data obviously, it’s far higher in recent times and Industrial Revolution was one of the key catalysts in the last 200-300 years to drive this growth, and obviously in the 21st century with digital systems coming in, this is going to evolve further. Well these are all common factoids, the question really is how was ancient world’s economic landscape. If you really zoom into what we are talking about, from Common Era beginning or AD till about 1700, that’s a phase which I think is very crucial to our discussion and it’s also important for us to look at authentic research-based information, rather than making anecdotal observation.

So, one of the major works on the world economies by Angus Madison. He was an well-known economist. He quartered the world economy a millennial perspective in 2001. So that research basically covers, the growth over a period of thousand years and what, how the world can shaped in this thousand years and some mammoth research, which he completed in 2001 and his team continued it till date. It’s been updated, even though he passed away in 2010, it’s been updated till now. So if you really look at the data from the Common Era beginning all the way till 1700, India and China were literally leading in GDP. In the beginning phase, India was higher than China, if you notice and then India retains eighteen thousand, thousand five hundred. China comes slightly higher than India and thousand six hundred, China takes a jump compared to India, in terms of GDP. But during this entire time till 1700, where India again overshoots China, but during this entire phase, if you look the Western countries or Western Europe, their contribution to global GDP was much lower and you had a significant contribution from India and China towards global GDP.

So we are looking at a period of almost seven hundred years, where different rulers were there in these countries. But there was something there, which made them powerful or one of the top countries in the world. So there are two lines of argument here. One line is in those days because of lack of production and lack of Industrial Revolution, the population was a representative economic activity. So the more people you had, the more kind of economic activity that you have. So that is one worldview that people interpret.

Another worldview is that, countries like India and China had a lot of resources at that time, lot of wealth, natural resources and that transferred into this growth, during this period of time and there was a system in place. My analysis basically goes at the beginning of the Common Era and before my understanding, this entire system is that, what I feel is that, there must have been an ecosystem in place, for you to facilitate this kind of economic activity and that’s where I think Kautilya’s framework comes into play.

So, what was Kautilya’s major goal? His fundamental approach was to ensure peace and prosperity in the kingdom, at least the modern Kingdom and that was one of the principal goals that he had. But only difference is, he wanted economic development to be the core that facilitates this. So, he wanted to ensure that unlike in ancient times, his focus was primarily on having economic development being a driver for peace and prosperity, perhaps he understood in Kaliyuga, that you probably need money more than anything else or regions hadand understanding of the people’s sense that economic development is very important. But on top of economic development he had three fundamental pillars, which were core to his understanding in the world. One was strong defense capabilities as you can see; another is communal harmony, which is again something that was very, very important to Kautilya and then strong and robust governance. So these were three principles which Kautilya had.

So if you look at defense capabilities, for example, he suggested building of ports, he had a large army, diplomatic initiatives and also setting up intelligence gathering and analysis units. For example there are four types of fighting units besides the strong force. It had an infantry, a cavalry and chariot divisions and an elephant divisions and there are six different types of troops; in fact they were called a Maulabala, bhrtabala, srenibala, mitrabala, amitrabala and atavibala and it also makes a distinction in the Arthashastra between fighters in land and water. So there is also an interpretation that in those days there were defense equipment in the sea as well. It also makes a case for strong foreign policy through a six fold policy, which I think a lot of people have covered in their early interpretations about the Arthashastra and governing from that standpoint of vijigishu which is a protocol and how the expanding state.

So even if you are conquering, say, other countries, what are some of the dynamic things that you need to do, while doing that. So those were some of the ideas, that he had and communal harmony was one of the central points of Kautilya. He made sure that irrespective of what religion or what God, people worshiped there was communal harmony at the base of whatever the king of the kingdom did. So that was something he persisted across board and there are many instances for example he is again superstitious thinking, there are many quotes in the Arthashastra where he says specifically that there’s no point looking at the stars, you have to look at what is happening on the ground, you and there are many instances where he separates religion from the state, where while he focuses on Dharma as a principle, but he also makes an attempt to ensure that everyone has given equal rights and equal treatment and it was harmonious social framework that is one of the base that Kautilya’s basically focused on. Strong and robust common governance.

So it basically had three basic traits, one is provision of public infrastructure. He believed that the state has to invest by building forts, irrigation works or trade routes, new settlements or building, new mines. So he believed that one of the roles of the state, is to build infrastructure for the people. So that was something that he was contingent upon and interestingly he wanted to promote economic growth, by removing barriers to trade and business. This we will detail probably later in the presentation. But trade was one of the big components of economic activity in those times, besides agriculture and cattle farming. So he wanted to ensure that all kinds of barriers are removed for trade, so that people can trade from across various countries within the kingdom as well as outside and more importantly, if you notice there’s a quote which says that in the interest of prosperity if the country king should remove, all obstructions to economic activity and prevent loss of revenue to the state, which basically means, he saw it is a big revenue mobilizer for the kingdom.

Modern economic thinking promotes trade, international trade and that something probably he had as an ideated stage, at an idea level.., even during Kautilya in times. And again carrying in a clean corruption free administration, he is very particular on holding the law and fulfilling the needs of Raj Dharma and also freedom of speech. So he focused a lot on transparency and corruption free as well and he also focused on freedom of speech. So he, where citizens could get complete information on the government or on the kingdom. So this could be at some level at a conceptual similar to the RTI where people could go to the government and ask basic questions and governance and Kautilya encouraged people within his administration, that they should be open to what the questions from the people on administration and also protection of property rights and freedom of speech was fundamental to his governance.

So coming to economic development… So there are five components that were there during the Kautilya’s time. I think a lot of it is relevant even today. One was taxation, another was trade, labor, land and ethics. So these were five key components even during those times. I think besides technology, because probably manufacturing or the industries, I think more or less all these companies still exist today in our civilization. So if you really look at what are the growth drivers as you can call it, one is Krishi, which is basically agriculture. Like I mentioned earlier, other is Pasupalya, it’s basically cattle lending. There is a lot of land available, so cattle was and animals were used in these lands and then Vanijya, which is trade.

So trade formed an important component, especially for mining, in minerals, which is a component of trade, which was important to transfer mines, resources, gold and wealth across the country within the modern kingdom as well as even outside. So if you look at taxation…. so what did Kautilya’s believe in taxation. He believed that income tax is an institution of kingship went together because obviously when you pay taxes, it’s a revenue stream for the government. So the king, it was something that he wanted so that he can redistribute that to the people, for example, there’s a court and he says well, there’s no order in society, they assigned to the king one sixth part of the grains grown by them and one tenth of other commodities and money. The king then used these to save care safeguard the welfare of the subjects.

So even during crisis, there were, there was provisions and reasonable provisions to get money from the people and he was also smart enough to understand the limitation of Taxation. Kautilya knew that, I mean he mentions that. For example, the limitation of taxation is very limited, I mean the power of taxation is limited because if you raise it too much people get angry. If you rely on it too much people get angry, and if you increase it too much also beyond a point, people get frustrated. So he understood that there needs to be a balance and he mentions that you need to balance your revenue that you can get from taxes over a period of time. This is really interesting. So they had something called a ‘Kara’, which is basically a general income tax. So, one-sixth of any income is a flat rate for all residents; they had to pay 1/6 of the income on a flat rate, which is similar to, if you really look at our taxes about today. I mean 1/6 is about 15-20 %. It’s somewhere there, I mean an average. It might vary between countries and then there was a Bhaga, which is a tax or income payable in cash.

So he understood the difference between what you have in cash or some other denomination or Pana-s which is the currency and what you had an asset in terms of land and things like that. There’s also a concept of wealth tax in an indirect sense. So if, Kautilya believe that if you had income beyond a particular point, people who are extremely wealthy also had to pay a certain amount of tax to the state. He understood that too many, too much concentration of wealth is also a problem and then there’s ideas of Bali which is an occasional levy on the goods; Vyagi, which is a sales tax, which Kautilya had for businesses and the most interesting thing is this Udakabhaga, which is like a water tax. So, for example, let’s say you have a house and it has a reservoir next to house and use the reservoir for a lot of purposes, say irrigation whatever it is, so he imposed a water tax on that, so that people who, are lucky to have natural resources, also kind of paid back to the state compared to other people, who don’t have those resources. So these were the type of taxes that was relevant then.

So if you really look at the different, say for example, agriculture, I mean in farmers in India nowadays are not taxed. But in those days it was dependent on the produce of the land. So you say, you are a rich farmer and you produce a lot of produce, so then you had to give 1/6 of that to the state and businesses and corporates were also taxed. For example, if you really look at the table that’s being mentioned here, so gold for example silver, gems were taxed at 50 Panas. Panas is like rupees. It’s the currency that was there during Kautilya’s time. Copper, brass, perfumes were at 40, grain and liquids were at 30, other craftsmen at 10, and wood bamboo and earthware were at 5. So, these were fixed rates, but they were also changing depending on time. So he was here, the vision to keep changing the taxes depending on the situation. If there’s a need for more, he would increase it giving certain authorities, sometimes he would keep in the same, that was flexible and then if you look at the wealth tax, which I mentioned earlier.

So there’s also quote which mentions that, “he should demand a third or fourth part of the grains in a region that’s not depending on rains and yields abundant crops according to yield”. So again what we call as a graduated tax, depending on income levels, was at a conceptual level done by Kautilya at that time. The difference was he is focused more on yields and more on because most of the people were used in, where the professions was an agriculture. So, he used the concept yields to graduate the tax. But as nowadays we do it based on income, where there’s a minimum income and beyond which you start getting taxed. So at a conceptual level he also probably had that vision as well.

Trade is something, it’s probably one of the most fascinating things which I have seen from the Arthashastra. There example… there is a quote which kind of mentions about how pearls could be imported from Ceylon, a aloe from Burma, woolen clothes from Nepal and furs and horses from Gandhara. Gandhara which is today probably Afghanistan and Vanayu from Arabia, Persia and wine from Afghanistan and Scythia. I mean this is probably a translation, but the mood of the text is something similar, which basically tells you that, there’s a lot of activity across board, across the region rather, not just within modern India and the nature of trade was basically defined by two key things. One is high risk and high value goods and they had high value goods as well, and he also believed in the need for free and fair trading system and high importance to imports and exports.

If you really look at what philosophy, he had on trade, it’s quite interesting. One is… he believed that it was a revenue accumulating mechanism, which means, trade gave money to the state and he believed that more trade that will give more revenue to the state. So that was something is promoting. The interesting thing is, he preferred imports, far more than exports that’s contrary into how we evolved now a days, where the focus is more on being competitive in exports and but he for some unique reason, probably Kautilya believe that the resources that you get from outside, the more and more if we could accumulate and then give it for his people, then it also adds probably a kind of a value to his people. So he preferred imports and gave a lot of exemptions for high value imports like gems and gold and things like that and also believe in the potential for exports, greater economies of scale, that’s another thing he believed in getting large quantities of trade, not small quantities. He wanted to do it big and he believed that had to be a focus and high and low value goods were also included as part of this.

There was a trade structure in place, for example, there was the Panyadhaksha which is basically the superintendent of trade. So this person basically controls, like the officer in charge of trade through the Mauryan kingdom and he, and Kautilya basically says that he is given a lot of responsibilities. One issue is fixing price of commodities, after looking at investment capital and duties and things like that and then he was also intervenes with a shortage of commodities and in terms of and here an acute sense of demand and supply in the market according to the Arthashastra and the row, there’s also team which kind of surveyed for these inputs which is reported to the Panyadhaksha. So there’s a team of surveyors who could go around in the countryside to understand what the demand is and give him a sense so that he can take a call. So all the state control trade was within his domain and it determines how, how they are produced immediately outside the country. So basically it’s a combination of what the RBI would do nowadays compared and also what’s a the Ministry of Commerce might do.

So the Panyadhaksha had a lot of power in this sense because he controlled the most dominant part of the economy. So he was a superintend of trade and then there was a some Sansthadhaksha, which basically looks it’s consumer interest. So in terms of, say your products, whether they are good quality, quality control whether you are cheating you in terms of goods from other countries. So he did a quality check he also ensured that secondhand goods were not, duties were limited on them. So he was in charge of doing a quality check and all this and a Sulkadhyaksa, which was is the superintendent of customs. So this is the person who’s the border of the kingdom and here ensure that custom duties and imports and exports were all taken care and the excise duties and indigenous products were also taken care. So these were duties and tariffs which were their existing during that time, sell feeling in an indirect, in a different terminology, but some amount was given for this.

So list of articles include a wide range from flowers, fruits, diamonds and pearls as well. On the other hand, exemptions duties included secret things. So goods associated with high, with gifts, imports of arms of all kinds, jewels and grains were duty free. So this is where your, his name is emphasis on imports, is seen more because these products were given duty-free during that time and they range from, for example, 1/5 of the products value to 125th of the value and the tariffs were build in percentage depending on the nature of goods. Again, he had the vision to vary the tariffs according to goods and did that in a very structured manner. So that the demand for a particular product does not go too high or does not go too low because of the tariffs, and another fascinating thing is internal trade was very prevalent during that time as much as external trade. So even today, for example, if you take modern India, different states of different regulations for you to do business. So perhaps the GST tries to simplify it, but because of all the regulations, various state’s internal trade is not as effective compared to, perhaps, external trade, where it’s far more systematic.

So, what Kautilya believed is the internal trade had to be as perwill and as external trade. So, for example, barriers were removed, they moved in Sarthas, which is basically caravans, internally. But safety was a big issue in those days because you had all these law and order problems. So they were, for example, there was internal security the lot, lot of focus was given and road cess called Vartani was established. So that is basically insurance for it, for caravans. They say, you are going from Delhi to Chandigarh, for example, between these two points, there was a road cess, Vartani which is paid. So, it’s more like an insurance. So between these two points and you move the goods from one point or another there’s any problem with the goods, the state or the insurance guy will repay everything, if there’s a problem. So there was a kind of an insurance, kind of a system which is working during that time in an informal set up and also standardization of weights and measures used in trade. So lots of currency and denominations were standardized across the kingdom, So it’s easier for people to go from one state to another in terms of transactions and things like that.

So land is another big chunk of activity in those times. So most of the land belong to the state unless you had leased out the farmers after a detailed background check. The state provided incentives, I mean the subsidies that we have today, say whether it’s a farm loan waiver or some form of subsidies that the state gives free, whether it’s rice or wheat. They also had similar incentives to help people, with seeds cattle and sometimes even cash to boost their standard of living, cash being the Panas that I spoke about the local currency. Sunyavinesha which is one of the main goals of the government is occupy and restore unoccupied land because lots of land which is unoccupied. But the another interesting thing is, even though the state owns the mines, this clearly mentioned that, say for example, you find a treasure where I live, the treasure actually belongs to the person who’s living there. So they provided incentives for people to use the land of the state and they had a share, sharing agreement, so that people use it in legitimate manner and build business on it.

Not all land was controlled by the state and that’s why the concept of private sector comes into play. There is no mention of… private sector is not there in Arthashastra. But it also mentions there are some lands which were not controlled by a state, which I think we can fairly assume it’s not controlled by the state. There’s some private party there controlling it. So if you look at private ownership like I mentioned, the land doesn’t belong to Sithyadhaksha which is the head of the home, say home secretary or someone who’s overseeing the land process, and is believed to be belonging to the private sector, Samaharta, which is like the Ministry of Corporate Affairs is believed to be in charge of monitoring private lands.

They hadgopas and sthanika to provide support which means they had a team, which basically ensured monitoring of these lands whether they were taken care and things like that.….also process of selling a particular piece of land. So land auctions in a unique form used to take place where they used to have a process and get people together, to sell land in a public kind of an auction, kind of a set up. Sethubanda again another interesting concept is irrigation networks which is constructed by the straight for agriculture. So the state makes an attempt to construct irrigation networks and it also gives private irrigation networks. So there were irrigation networks which belong to private entities, who used it for their oversight. But on top of all this, state had an oversight even on the private sector and monitored all the agriculture is produced by the Statistics Department. So they had a team of civil surveyors going to all these areas, who could something similar to what we have in terms of statistics to pass Central Statistics Office perhaps, something similar to that. But at a conceptual level that was also there during that time, for surveying and things like that.

Labor is another component, one of the scholars and the subject mentions that he found the right mix. Mr. Balbir singh finds the right mix of job security servings and sanctions, to address the issue moral hazards. They are very innovative thing that at least for those times. Kautilya focused on meritocracy, that everyone had equal opportunity and all positions of the government had provided the idea of incentive based labor contracts. So he understood that people work only when you provide them incentives and you provide incentives based on the individual’s needs, for example, there’s a quote. It says, “The miser should be won over by means of wealth, the proud man by offering respect, the fool by flattery and learned and won by fruitfulness”. So here a sense of understanding of different types of people and how to motivate them to had incentives and that was kind of, one of his key traits and salaries were again provided according to graded skills. So for example, the highest grade was provided about 4000 to 48000 Panas, say for  example, in a civil service one of the higher grades they might whatever the salary range, so they had a like a segregation, the middle grade was given about two fifty three thousand Panas. The lowest grade is about 60 to 120 Panas.

But the interesting thing is, in the lowest grade, because there is a sense of discussion in the Arthashastra where Kautilya talks about the concept of minimum wage, it had a very conception level. He says below going a particular for employees, you can’t go below a particular point, that is flexible though, most of the time that is a mention over 60 Panas. So I mentioned that, that amount is flexible and that can be varied. So the concept of minimum wage that we have in the West, for example, the United States, so what eight dollars, eight or nine dollars minimum wage. Now they are trying to increase it. So at that level he also understood that people can’t be paid beyond a lower point and he had a benchmark for that and that was negotiable and that was interesting because he understood that because of other factors because of inflation or other factors this could all, this also needs to be changed, not a fixed kind of a notion and he believed in moral motivation as a driver of labor efficiency, which is again an interesting concept because he believed that if people who are honest and people had good moral fiber, modern moral ethics that could cause them to be more productive, that then the labor becomes more efficient. When you go and do a particular activity, you are honest, you do the activity properly and then you come out there’s no corruption no none of all that.

So he believed in the moral motivation as well as a driver of efficiency. And the idea of labor contracts, there is, for example, a quote which says “the agreement between a laborer and one hiring him must be public. The laborer should be paid wages as agreed upon. If there is no prior agreement laborer should be paying accordance with the nature of the work, time spent on his customary rates”. So this is a translated version of one of the translations where he mentions the some level of understanding an agreement has to be done between the laborer and the employer and that has to be transparent, so that it also shows that he also focused on the rights of the laborer and put to some extent protected it as well with big companies and like I mentioned earlier the concept of minimum wage was something that I think. It’s been explored in the Arthashastra or at least spoken about and there’s also focus on skill based workforce, for example, there were camps or at least agricultural skill development schemes, which he kind of thought about he believed that skill based labor force is something very important. So skills were core to his way of developing the social framework.

Lastly what ethics? He firmly believed in the rule of law governed by the rule of law, which alone can guarantee security of life from the welfare of people. It’s in turn dependent on the self-discipline. It’s also important that he believes that the king, the person who’s ruling the country, needed to have a ethical framework far higher than normal people because he believed that the king had to lead by an example, and he had to obey law and he had to be well versed in a wide range of things including scholarly work as well as other types of work and that was the benchmark here.

Yogakshema was one of the focuses of Kautilya. I mean he could call it Lokakshama or yogakshema. But essentially global welfare who irrespective of the citizenry in the country, even if some foreigner comes in, they were given equal, if not better treatment during that phase time, because he believed that, he did not believe more in the concept of nation, national identities. He believed in being open to everyone and focused on using education. In those days of Vedas and other sources as a tool to enhance ethics and public discourse and also made a conscious effort to reduce the influence of superstition, which I mentioned earlier, promoted honest conduct, governance and honest conduct is a single most important governance tool during the Kautilya phase and obviously he believed fairness and society was integral to economic prosperity as well.

So in summary what we have just looked at over a period of half an hour, is that if you look at all these various boxes we look at taxation in trade, land, labor and ethics in taxation, I spoke about something similar to an income tax, similar to a corporate tax, we spoke about more or less in inheritance tax or wealth tax which is there and then in trade we spoke about governance structures, import duties and there is export duties and there is in land. We again spoke about land rights and ownership, which is what our land bill is, all about for people and private land ownership as well and statistics department, ministry of statistics, in terms of land and in terms of labor, we spoke about labor contracts, the minimum wage and also skill based workforce and ethics, obviously a freedom of expression in governance, which comes through say mechanisms like the RTI and honors governance and also promotion of best practices in government.

So in conclusion, I think these are the elements that some aspects that I have covered which are there in my book, which I hope to publish next year. But there’s a far more information available in terms of content. But the question is how do you extract the content, and do a correlation to contemporary times, and if you look at it, most of it as broad references because the way the texts shape, it’s so dense that it takes a lot of time to, kind of, make those references and pull together Kautilya’sthought process and it’s still a work in progress and in fact I have gone to a level, going worse by worse in some of the cases too, to see the translations because translation becomes another, I mean, I think most of you would kind of understand the complexity, because how do you translate a word like Dharma for example. You call it righteousness, do you call it truth, you call it way of life, do you call it you know Raj Dharma, you call it a lifestyle… So there are multiple connotations when it comes to entities and some of the Western translations might not get the grasp of this.

So some of our own older translations might not give you the full depth of it. So going through the things with gurus, and trying to understand it and then, and try to make a framework out of it, the problem I would call with the entire setup is, you don’t really have frameworks like what we have today. It’s more of a set of ideas perhaps in those times, it was something or others, there’s, there’s, there’s a locker key or something into those texts which could give you that. But perhaps in those times, those ideas were good enough. So the frameworks is or the establishing frameworks probably the next challenge, but it’s fascinating to note that a lot of the ideas that we have today how emanated during the time and probably they had, it’s all there in part of the text. I don’t want to go which came earlier and into that jargon, but just understanding this gives me a lot of pleasure and I think we should be also cognizant of this overall, but anyways this that’s about it and thanks.

Just one more thing on the acknowledgments. I just wanted to thank obviously the, the main text the Kautilya’s Arthashastra on by R Shyama Sastry is a fantastic translation. It was in nineteen, early nineteenth century Mr. Kangle and Mr. professor Balbir singh Suhag brilliant book and the Contours of  World Economy, that’s a must read anything for folks. Here if you can catch a copy of Angus medicines and Arthashastra and Niti Shastra. Another thing is that, a lot of the content in Arthashastra comes from Niti Shastra and Nyaya Shastra. So there’s a lot of overlap with the Dharma Shastra as well and it’s a sequence of 14-15 chapters which have kind of evolved over time. So if you really want to know this, you have to go into others scriptures and then bring back into content and ‘Corporate Life in Ancient India’ by Majumdar, is also a good source. But just like to thank all of them. I am just trying to use these and as well as try some of my own interpretations in my book and hopefully you guys buy the book and read it next year.

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Ancient History History Maritime History Medieval History Miscellaneous

India-China Conflict: India’s Victory of 1967 and the 2020 Clash #Sangam Talk By Probal DasGupta


The Indian army veteran and author of Watershed 1967: India’s forgotten victory over China, Probal DasGupta talks of the Indo-China relations, particularly the lesser known incidents of 1967. The present standoff in Ladakh has raised questions of war and has brought up the historic narrative between the two countries. today. For fifty years, the event that dominated our memories was the 1962 India-China war, which India lost. However, the present crisis has focused on India’s victory over China in 1967. Probal’s book Watershed 1967 has played a significant role in reshaping the India-China narrative. In this talk he discusses China’s motives and India’s options today, and how 1967 is relevant in the current India-China skirmishes.

About the Speaker:

Probal DasGupta is an Indian army veteran and author…

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Ancient History History Maritime History Medieval History Miscellaneous

Weapons from Punjab and Rajasthan seized in Maharashtra


While the Hanuman Chalisa and Azaan issue is simmering in Maharashtra huge batches of Swords and other weapons transported from states like Rajasthan and Punjab are being seized in Maharashtra. In last few days three such cases have been registered by Maharashtra police. Isn’t it a clear message that violence is knocking on the door? The rioters being celebrated and awarded in Karnataka and the long list of benefiters from Karauli riots convey the same! Wake up Hindus!


Maharashtra के धुले में मिला हथियारों का जखीरा, तलवार और खंजर समेत 90 हथियार जब्त, 4 आरोपी गिरफ्तार। अजान को लेकर राज ठाकरे की होने वाली सभा के लिए, राजस्थान से भेजी जा रही थीं तलवारें।

महाराष्ट्र के धुले जिले से भारी मात्रा में हथियार…

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Ancient History History Maritime History Medieval History Miscellaneous

One more territory lost to the changing Demography! The Uttarakhand!



In Uttarakhand the Tourism Industry has been taken over by Samuday Vishesh. After the change in demography this was bound to happen.

Gadhwal was lost already and and now kumaon getting lost. Be it Nainital, Bhimtal, Ramnagar, Bageshwar,Jageshwar,Ranikhet and Kisano every where you will find them.
Locals have leased their hotels and restaurants to them.

Even when they are of not so well off background still they are able to do highest bidding and are able to get the hotels on lease.
Samuday Vishesh People from far off places have come and taken over Uttarakhand Tourism.

They have removed the local waiters , cooks and…

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Ancient History History Maritime History Medieval History Miscellaneous

The Jama Masjid of Ahmedabad on the glorious Bhadra Kali Mandir



The Jama Masjid in Ahmedabad was originally A Bhadra Kali temple. It was converted into a mosque by Ahmed Shah I. The intricate flowers, coiled serpents representing Kundalini and bells, the remnants of the glorious temple that it may have been. Such carvings are banned in Islam. This goes on to support the history of the temple. Goddess Bhadrakali was believed to be the Nagar Devi of Ahmedabad.

One of Ahmedabad’s ancient names was Bhadra which was after Devi Bhadrakali. Ahmedabad was named after Ahmad Shah I of the Muzaffarid dynasty who forcibly captured “Karnavati” in 1411.

Bhadrakali temple is believed to be one of the oldest temple of Ahmedabad and located inside Bhadra Fort in center of city.The exact date of construction is not known but as per the evidence this holy shrine…

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Ancient History History Maritime History Medieval History Miscellaneous

Facts about Mahmud Ghazni


Courtesy: Eztainutlacatl

How many of you know that Mahmud’s father was a Kyrghyz Buddhist caught in childhood and converted forcibly? How many know that Mahmud is called Zabuli because he was born out of a forced union between that slave Sabuktegin and a Zabuli Princess?

And how many of you know that Multan sided Mahmud against the Shahis in the name of religion but Mahmud decided Multan was not Muslim enough and attacked it? And how many of you know that of the 17 raids of Mahmud, 14 are against his neighbour, the Shahis?

And how many of you know that Mahmud is not exactly great – he waged an annual jihad against India but in 31 his year rule, only 17 raids are known – what happened to the balance 13? And how…

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Ancient History History Maritime History Medieval History Miscellaneous

Kastur Ba: the secret shadow


On her 153rd Birth anniversary

Courtesy: Sheshapatangi1

“I simply cannot bear to look at Ba’s face, the expression is often like that of a meek cow and that in her own dump manner she is saying something” –

To keep the brand, “Mahatma” popular, they never told the miserable story of his wife.
On her 153rd birth anniversary, let us revisit a tragedy called #KasturbaGandhi.

Born on April 11, 1869 at Porbander, Kasturba was elder to Gandhi by 6 months, she married Mohandas with whom she played since her childhood.

Gandhi’s rejection of Kasturba came to the extent…

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Ancient History History Maritime History Medieval History Miscellaneous

My people uprooted


Courtesy: Shri Tathagata Roy

8 April 1950 a fateful pact signed betn Jawaharlal Nehru & Liaquat Ali Khan,PM of Pakistan. After 2 months of Govt-engineered pogrom,slaughter, rape of Hindus in East Pakistan. Estimated 50,000 Hindus killed. An instance of incredible political stupidity on Nehru’s part.

Upon Liaquat’s glib assurance that Hindu refugees would be taken back and restored,the gullible Nehru decided that no rehabilitation of Hindus was necessary in India. Result: no refugee went back and were forced to live under inhuman conditions in Indian camps.

The Pakis were so insincere about the pact that their Govt issued secret instructions not to restore any Hindu to his property. Even after the pact all Hindu passengers in down Assam Mail were pulled down and killed just outside Santahar station.

The two Bengali ministers…

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