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TitleArtha Shastra
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Table of Contents
                            CONTENTS
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
INTRODUCTION
	A BRIEF NOTE ON THE CONTENTS OF ARTHASASTRA
	PERCEPTION, POWER AND COMMUNICATIONS
	MILITARY ISSUES THAT ARE RELEVANT TODAY
SCHOLARLY CONTROVERSIES
GETTING KAUTILYA RIGHT
REASONS RESPONSIBLE FOR NEGLECT OF THE STUDY OF KAUTILYA
COMPARING AND CRITICIZING KAUTILYA
RE-VISTING IDEAS OF MANDALA, MISREPRESENTATION AND DISTORTION OF KAUTILYA'S ARTHASASTRA
OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES ON RESEARCHING
	RESEARCH PUZZLES
POLICY SUGGESTIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHY
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 1

IDSA Monograph Series

No. 20 July 2013

Arthasastra
P K Gautam

Years of
One Hundred

Kautilya s

Page 75

74 | IDSA MONOGRAPH SERIES

relevant. Only good news for policy hungry and demanding
national capital region is that Delhi University has included
Kautilya in MA political science course as Indian Traditions in
IR.164 As yet, no IR professor of current generation, in an Indian
university, to the best of my knowledge has made efforts in
public domain to have him re-discovered and placed at par with
ancient Greek or modern Western scholars.165 Thus his teachings
lie scattered.

D-Kautilya Suspended between Schools of Nationalists

and Marxists

In India, historians are from two different schools - nationalists
and Marxist. Upinder Singh explains the existence of these
different schools of thought. While they challenge the idea of
oriental despotism, the nationalists continue the periodisation
of India’s past into Hindu, Muslim and British.166 Their search
for Golden Age coalesced with communal tendency to valorize
the “Hindu” period and to project the advent of Turks and Islam
as a calamity and tragedy.167 On the other hand, Marxists focused
on delineation of social and economic structure and processes
like class stratification and agrarian relations. Religion and culture
were often sidelined or mechanically presented as reflections of
socio-economic structure.168 It appears that this has led to “either

164 E mail correspondence with Navnita Chadha Behera of August 4, 2012. See Annx III,

University of Delhi, MA (Political Science) Rules, Regulations and Course Contents

2011-2012 page 15, Paper 401, paragraph 2, Realism b) Indian Tradition: Kautilya’s

Realpotique.

165 The only one which had made a good case with a brief explanation for inclusion of

Arthasasatra I could locate through search from international refereed journals is

Navnita Chadha Behera. See Navnita Chadha Behera, “Re-imagining IR in India”,

International Relations of the Asia- Pacific, Vol.7, No.3, 2007, pp.341-368.

166 Similar is periodisation of Pakistan’s history by Pakistani historians.

167 Upinder Singh, A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th

Century, New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 2008, pp.7-8.

168 Ibid.

Page 150

No.1, Development Enclave, Rao Tula Ram Marg,
Delhi Cantt., New Delhi - 110 010
Tel.: (91-11) 2671-7983 Fax: (91-11) 2615 4191
E-mail: [email protected] Website: http://www.idsa.in

Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses

his work establishes the need for relevance of Kautilya's Arthasastra to Tcontemporary security studies. It shows why not much progress has been
made by identifying reasons for its neglect. The paper provides an overview and
an update of various academic and scholarly controversies on its age and
authorship, and also on the misperceptions which abound on Kautilya himself.
Overall, Kautilya has been treated unfairly in the disciplinary fields of political
science, realpolitik, geopolitics and statecraft. It is not that Kautilya invented
human behavior, which was never idealistic, but he only observed truths that still
survive or even thrive today in the enduring principles of statecraft and
diplomacy.

Since independence, political leaders, policy makers and academics have
acknowledged his ideas and have argued for the revival of his work for
contemporary times at par with thinkers from other civilizations. The work also
makes a case for scholars and policy makers to revisit Kautilya in an a-political
manner. There is a need for value addition by identifying the opportunities and
gaps in knowledge. This will facilitate reinterpretation of his work for
contemporary times. This demands a new multidisciplinary impetus of
research. Kautilya's contribution to political thought and theory needs to be
placed at a high pedestal. This is possible now using his work which
encompasses disciplines of linguistics, political science and theory, history,
military science, defence and security, international relations, internal security,
intelligence studies, management and leadership, to name a few. All nations
and especially countries of the Asian subcontinent sharing ancient civilisational
traditions need to claim him.

About the Author

The author joined IDSA in 2005. He has been researching on non traditional
security, Tibet and military issues with a number of publications. He is at present
researching on indigenous historical knowledge with focus on “Strategic
Vocabulary on the Art of War : An Interpretation of Kautilya's Arthasastra”. His
other work on Kautilya includes “Relevance of Kautilya's
Arthasastra”,Strategic Analysis, Vol.37, No.1, January-February 2013 and
“Understanding Kautilya's Arthashastra:In Praise of Rote”, World Affairs:The
Journal of International Issues, Vol.17, No.1, Spring (January-March 2013).

He is the co-editor of two forthcoming publications Indigenous Historical
Knowledge : Kautilya and, Kautilya: Creating Strategic Vocabulary.

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