Saptanga Theory

There is not any fixed date found when Kautilya was there on the earth, but a Brahmin named Chanakya, who destroyed Nanda Vansha (dynasty) in the history of India is known as Kautilya.

  • The main treatise of Kautilya is Arthasastra where he depicts about the state, its nature and a theory of ‘Saptanga’ for the establishment of the strong state. The state is a natural and inevitable institution according to him.
  • The state is a whole consisting of the following seven interdependent pasts as called ‘Saptanga’ theory.

1. The swami or sovereign: The king as a head of the state is a swami or sovereign.

  • A good ruler should be equipped with various qualities through meditation, sound education, political training, etc.
  • A good ruler should always care people and the state.

2. Amatya: Amatya means composition of council of ministers and bureaucracy.

  • The king should take advice from all ministers, should consult in all matters but the king could take own decision, this is an Machiavelli approach.

3. Janapada: The people and territory, should be suitable and balanced between jana and pada.

4.Forts: Construction of various kinds of forts for the protection of state and king as well.

  • Especially, the capital should be well fortified and easily defendable against external and internal attacks.
  • Fort should be self sufficient enough in periods of crisis both internal and external crises.

5. Establishment of strong treasury: Discretion of king in expenditure.

6. Strong army for the state’s defense: Arrangement of punishment through army as well as other forces should exist in the state.

  • Fear of punishment should be comprehensive to save the state’s sovereignty externally and internally.

7. The ally: Friendship with many countries as far as possible.

  • Kautilya is sometimes criticized as Eastern Machiavelli who was too power monger.

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