Though Charanya, Paraskara, Bharadvaja, Brihaspati, and Sukra had been some of the ancient poltical thinkers, Manu, the father
of mankind, and Kautilya, the learned author of Arthashastra, had been the path breakers,. According to Manu, god created a
king for the protection of whole creation. However, Kautilyadeparts from the myth of the divinerights of the king.
The advent of the Britishers and the freedom movement ushered in new thinking. Patriotism and nationalism formed the core
of the poltical ideas and practices of Indian leaders. After Independence, the desire has been to bring about social, economic
and political democracy. Eminent Indians: Political Thinkers and administrators brings to focus the lives and contributions of
some of the distinguished indians. In Addition to Kautilya, Jawaharlal Nehru was the architect of independent india and laid the
edifice of socio-economic planning, and development in science and technology. Babasaheb Ambedkar, among other things, was a
social scientist and the chief architect of the Constutution of India C.N. Annadurai, the founder of DMK, laid the fiybdatuib
if reguinalism which has now paved the way for the coalition form of government both at the state and national levels.
V.K. Krishna Menon had been the spokesman of India'sfreedom movement in europe and a link with radical movements of other countries.Indira Gandhi the first woman Prime Minister, transormed the structure of Indian poltics by placing the issue of poverty in the forefornt of national debate. V.V. giri, a great freedom fighter and an active participant in the working class movement, had been the President of India. K.R. Narayanan, the tenth President of India, combined professional diplomacy with intellectualism in dealing with foreign policy problems. Atal Behari
vajpayee successfully head a non-congres multi-party government as the thirteenth prime Minister of India.
Recipient of Janseva Sadbhavana Award, M.L. Ahuja, M.A., DLL, DCS, is the author of over twenty books now. He is associated with book publishing
and distribution of books and journals. He has travelled extensively both within and outside india. he has presented a number of papers at several national and international seminars. He has also contributed a number of articles to journals and books , which are mostly on publishing and karketing of books and journals.
T'hough, Charanya, Paraskara, Bharadvaja, Brihaspati and
Sukra have been some of the top ancient political thinkers,
Manu, the father of mankind and Kautilya, the learned author
of Arthashastra, who explained the state craft, are regarded
as the path breakers in Indian political thought.
The Laws of Manu in Sanskrit or Manusmriti or
Manavadharmasastra is an encyclopedic work. It contains
social obligations and duties of the various castes of individuals
in different stages of life. Besides, it lays down proper guidelines
for a righteous King to govern and inflict punishments on the
transgressors in his domain. Manu has also described the social
relations between men and women of different castes, husbands
and wives in the privacy of the home, birth, death, cosmogony
karma, rituals and their practices, minor details of everyday
life, the procedure of settling traffic accidents, penance for
sexual improprieties with one's guru's wife, etc.
Manu reminds us of the theory of contract. He states:
"When creatures were dispersed in various directions out of
fear from each other, the Lord created a King for the
protection of the whole creation. The King was formed out of the essence of the eight deities, viz. Indra, Pawan (wind),
Yama, Sun, Fire, Varuna, Moon and Kubera (Lord of Wealth)
to guard the universe." The Patriarch has been described as
son of Lord Sun. Obviously, such a King surpasses all mortals
in glory. King's authority is based on force and for fear of
danda (punishment). The subjects obey their ruler. However,
the ruler acts with justice in his kingdom. Manu's theory of
coercive authority explains his view of the origin of the State.
Evil, being inherent in man, the fear of danda makes men
Manu believed in the organic theory of the State. The
State had seven limbs: King, minister, capital, rashtra, treasure,
army, and ally. Hence, the State is termed as a spa tanga, i.e.
having seven limbs. Since the King holds a predominant position
the State and the King are generally used interchangeably. The
State is known as rashtra and its citizens are called rashtrakas.
The first King was created by Lord Brahma for the security
of creation and was hence considered as Divine. Manu wanted
the Divine King to be an embodiment of certain qualities.
Some of the main functions of the State are: (a) to make all
"Varnas" observe their duties and obey general laws; (b) to
maintain peace within the State and keep the State free from
external control, (c) to make laws for controlling the prices
of articles; (d) to settle disputes of families and guilds; (e) to
compel the Vaishyas to carryon trade, agriculture and animal
husbandry; (f) to compel the Shudras to serve the higher
castes; (g) to stop conflicts, cropping up between groups and
keep every individual in his due position; (h) to promote
cultural institutions and (I) grant charities to those unfortunates
who are unable to help themselves.
Kautilya or Chanakya, as he was also referred to, departs
from the myth of the divine rights of the King. He has been
vested with discretionary authority to depart from prevalent law for its preservation. He is to be a blend of Indra, the
bestower of reward, and Yama, the inflictor of punishment.
Kautilya thought that training of the Crown Prince is
indispensable. He had a pragmatist view of the political
dimension, the acquisition and administration of the State.
The authority of the State finds justification on the ground
that it is the consequence of a contract entered into by the
people and the King at the behest of gods just to bring them
out of the state of anarchy, confusion and chaos. The
Arthashastra recommends that the contractual explanation of
the King's origin must be circulated among the people. He
takes the origin of the State as a fait accompli.
Kautilya's account of the State signifies that the King
exercised political authority and the officials advised him on
administrative matters. The King ruled over his territory from
a fortified capital. The stability and security of his rule was
ensured through army and treasury. The allies rendered him
assistance in safeguarding the King. Kautilya considers monarchy
as the normal form of government and deviation from monarchy
as a vyasana or calamity of the State.
The advent of the Britisher: and the freedom movement
ushered in new thinking among the Indians. The intellectuals
as well as the masses plunged themselves into the freedom
struggle in their own way. Right from the times of Vasudev
Balwant Phadke and Gopal Krishna Gokhale to Mahatma
Gandhi and Sub has Chandra, it is an inspiring and thrilling
scent" of struggles and sacrifices. The Western influence had
its impact on them. They accepted and adopted their political
ideas and practices. They drew upon the national heritage with
pride, used it to stimulate change in social outlook. It, in turn,
strengthened the national movement. They contributed in
diverse manner to the national mainstream. To them, patriotism
was their religion.
The most distinguished amongst these leaders were Dadabhai
Naoroji, Mahadev Govind Ranade, Pheroze Shah Mehta, S.N.
Banerjee, Gokhale, Tilak, Bipin Chandra Pal, Lala Lajpat Rai,
Aurobindo Ghosh, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and a
host of others. Gokhale and Mahatma Gandhi, i.e. the Guru
and the disciple, played a significant role. Both came from
diverse background. Their contribution has been distinct in
several fields. Their detestation of the political subordination
and their sacrifices for freedom were their characteristics. The
presence of the Britishers in India coupled with the expanding
means of transport and communication, printing press and the
newspaper and the expanding influence of English language
facilitated the import of western political ideas in India.
In West, the political theory was based on supremacy of
the society, and not of State; on duty alone and not on right.
But Gokhale and Mahatma Gandhi explained their concepts
on the basis of the ancient heritage. The emergence of Indian
National Congress provided a common platform for the
exchange of views. It also provided a very good opportunity
for planning of action. Further, it paved the way to appeal and
approach for cooperation and for the common good. Leaders
like Dadabhai Naoroji, S.N. Banerjee and Gokhale educated
the people in nationalism and national unity. They introduced
the concepts like "Modern State", "Civil Liberty" and
"Progressive Society". They believed in liberalism and
moderation, compromise and fairness. Extremists like Bal
Gangadhar Tilak and Lala Lajpat Rai believed in self-reliance
and not in mediocre politics. They laid emphasis on passive
resistance and non-cooperation; Swadeshi and on recognition
of education to serve the national ends in a better way. Their
ultimate aim was national freedom.
They used the medium intelligible to the people to bring
them under one umbrella for national struggle. They interpreted their ideas and actions through the common and popular
religious symbols, mythical personages and historical heroes.
They used religious concepts to educate the people. On public
festivals, when people assembled in large numbers, they
contacted them and gave wider base to their political ideas.
The concept of "Indian Nation" in the guise of "Mother India"
made deep and wide appeal; words like "Swadeshi" and
"Swaraj" gained wide currency. They made self-confidence
and self-reliance props of their strength. They stood for
constitutionalism and progress.
Raja Ram Mohan Roy (1772-1833), who is considered as
the "Father of Indian Renaissance", was the pioneer of religious
and social reforms and was the first to speak about the rights
and privileges of the people. Syed Ahmad Khan (1817-1898)
was a patriotic Indian who advocated the inclusion of Indians
in the Legislative Councils, analysed the causes of India Revolt
against the East India Company and emphasised the necessity
of friendship and sympathetic intercourse between the rulers
and the ruled.
Swami Dayanand Saraswati (1824-1883) was an arch
nationalist who gave a clarion call to his countrymen to go back
to the Vedas and to lay their foundation. The Arya Sarnaj, of
which he was the founder, proved to be a very potent force
against British imperialism. He suggested the moral purification
of the individual and the necessity of social reconstruction. He
supported principle of election for the legitimate organs of the
government in his ideal polity. He envisaged a political system,
which could possess the essence of democratic idealism though
externally it may have monarchical structure. He stands for
the inception of a Commonwealth with the village as the
effective unity. On the basis of the Manusmriti he suggested
the integration of the village with the administrative
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