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Kautilya’s Framework For Defense, Communal Harmony And Governance

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.

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