Arthashastra: The Kingship Theory

  • Achyut Shukla
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  • Achyut Shukla

    Student at Maharashtra National Law University, Nagpur, India

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The lack of moral and ethical values amongst a few elected representatives and the political leaders which leads to acts of dishonesties and questions the entire political structure of the nation is the central stage of debate in the contemporary Indian politics. Various political thinkers and philosophers deliberate today the importance of politicians being moral and ethical. The Indian knowledge system should be explored to understand the duties and characteristics of a leader. The first Indian political thinker who has extensively written and discussed about the ethicality of a ruler (the government) is the great Kautilya. Kautilya in his treatise Arthashastra has very well defined and explained who a ruler actually is and how he should be working for the welfare of his state and people without being biased. Kautilya has deliberated upon the duties and responsibilities of a king besides on the ways how a king should be trained. The author in the paper attempts to understand the Kautilyan philosophy of kingship and state, and how a ruler (leader) should perform his duties and hence achieve good governance. Further in the paper author talks about the justice delivery system suggested and explained by Kautilya in Arthashastra, since Kautilya believed that good governance in state can only be achieved by a just and effective justice delivery system. The paper further tries to analyze the basic difference between Kautilya and other western philosophers.


Research Paper


International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 6, Issue 3, Page 2399 - 2408


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