Vol. 4, Issue 3 (2017)
Political thoughts of Kautilya: An overview
Author(s): Mithun Howladar
Abstract: Kautilya was the Prime Minister of Chandragupta Maurya, the founder of the Mauryan Empire, who defeated the Greek ruler Seleukos and the mighty Nandas whose empire stretched over a large part of eastern India. Political thoughts of Kautilya are summarized in a book he wrote known as the Arthashastra, a Sanskrit name. ‘Arthashastra’ can be explained as ‘Science and art of politics and diplomacy.’ Kautilya’s Arthashastra is magnificent work on ancient political thought which was undoubtedly composed between 3rd -2nd century B.C. In his political and administrative ideas, the focus of attention was the king. Kautilya used power as a tool to control his society as well as his enemies. He aslo believed that it is the king’s duty to seek material gain, spiritual good and pleasures. Kautilya thinks that for a king to attain these three goals must create wealth, have armies and should conquer the kingdoms and enlarge the size of his state. He thought that for the smooth functioning of administration and for the welfare of the people, the king had to be acquainted in the four vedas and four sciences of government (Anviksiki, Trayi, Varta and Dandaniti). Kautilya proclaimed that politics was the supreme science and supreme art. In this paper, I have discussed elaborately Kautilya’s political ideology.