Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 02 May 2017 01:54


ldev wrote:The link below contains the full document of the Joint Doctrine of the Indian Armed Forces released by the Chairman of the COSC on April 26, 2017. It's a 86 page document and I am posting it in this thread only as there are aspects mentioned in it which address the issue of nuclear deterrence. However it can also be cross posted in other threads in the Military Forums.

http://bharatshakti.in/wp-content/uploa ... Forces.pdf


ramana wrote:Bharat Karnad critique:


Security Wise
Bharat Karnad – India's Foremost Conservative Strategist

Joint Forces Doctrine — passive, defensive inward-turned, and disappointing
This was not unexpected, but still it is surprising just how unventuresome, diffident, hesitant and, therefore, thoroughly fainthearted the ‘Joint Doctrine Indian Armed Forces’ really is. Issued by Headquarters Integrated Defence Staff (IDS), Ministry of Defence, this document supposedly outlines the jointness mission for the military. As such, it is a fairly innocuous bit of paper indulging in banality-mongering to the max, taking extreme care to not touch on the practical aspects of integrating authority, military resources, and effort. It is a document that at best reflects an intent to realize jointness in the indeterminate future. Because, on the ground, the individual services still reign supreme and who regard IDS more as encumbrance than help.

However, IDS and its work is played up by the military brass whenever they sense movement by government to restructure the higher defence organization by replacing the existing order with a Chief of Defence Staff-system. When Manohar Parrikar was around there was real fear that one fine day he’d take it into his head to get on with the long pending job of major organizational reform and restructuring. Whence, this document was conceived as a way to postponing even an interim solution of a permanent 4-star post as Chairman, Chief of Staff Committee, recommended by the Committee headed by the arch bureaucrat, Naresh Chandra. Known to his 1956 IAS batchmates as “ustaad” for his ability to size up a situation, manage it, run circles around politicians and the lesser civil services, and generally maintain the status quo in which babus are top-dogs (especially in MOD), Chandra was not about to suggest anything radical. Sequentially chief secretary, Rajasthan, and at the centre, defence secretary, home secretary, and finally, cabinet secretary before beginning his unending post-retirement tenures in government, including being retained by Atal Bihari Vajpayee as Indian Ambassador to the United States, Chandra was one of the charter members of the bureaucratic clique that has pushed and pulled Indian policy towards close India-US ties at the expense of every thing else. He sided as cabsec, it may be recalled, with those in Delhi (K. Subrahmanyam, Air Cmde Jasjit Singh, et al) and keeping up the drumbeat from Washington where he was appointed ambassador in 1996 for India to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. With Finance Minister Arun Jaitley back as part time defence minister, everybody who counts in the military hierarchy seems reassured that the pressure is off, and the incumbent raksha mantri does not have the time or inclination to do anything substantive. In that sense, this “doctrine’ is the military brass’ collective sigh of relief!

There’s much to question in this paper, but here’s my reaction to certain aspects of it (in no particular order of importance) stuck me as troubling.

1) In the sub-sections (pp 1-2) on “National Aim” and “National Interests”, for instance, there’s no mention anywhere about extending India’s influence in South Asia, Asia, and the world. In other words, the Indian armed forces are happy where they are and with the country where it is, namely, sidelined even in the extended region.

In this circumscribed sphere, the armed forces described as the “Military Instrument of National Power” (p. 6) their utility limited to being “a means of deterrence and conflict resolution”. While acknowledging their “coercive nature” the paper stresses the armed forces’ being “gainfully employed” in “non-conflict situations and natural disasters”, in short a uniformed version of Oxfam or similar social service agency.

2) Have railed in all my writings for some 30 years now about the wrong threat perceptions animating the Indian military. When one gets so basic a thing wrong, what can the armed forces get right? Anyway, here’s proof, albeit indirect, about just which threat our military is preoccupied with — Pakistan. In a section entitled “Strategic environment scan”, the document speaks (p. 7) of “the requirement to safeguard our territorial integrity” owing to the “disputed borders” and lists the Line of Control in the west first.

A related section (pp. 8-9) on “Security Threats and Challenges” rather than speaking straightforwardly about China, Pakistan, etc., talks obliquely about competition for resources, of “inherited faultlines” and “increasing blurring lines of traditional and nontraditional challenges”.

3) In pondering the “Nature War (sic) and character of conflict/war” (p. 10), the attributes of future wars are listed as “ambiguous, uncertain, short, swift, lethal, intense, precise, non-linear, unrestricted, unpredictable and hybrid”. Whew! Scrounging together all these adjectives, leaves the big Question open — so what’s India to prepare for??? Because the forces required to fight short, swift, lethal, intense, precise counter-force wars are surely quite distinct and different from those needed to engage in necessarily long duration conflicts that are ambiguous, uncertain, non-linear, unrestricted, unpredictable, and hybrid. When minds are not applied, vapid statements like this result.

It reminds me of Reagan’s jibe against Walter Mondale when the latter advanced a fairly inane proposal in the 1984 US presidential elections – “where’s the beef?”

4) Part of the problem — other than passing off the banal as profound — is with the language. In getting inventive in using the English language, the result is grating, to wit, (p. 12) — “There are four levels of of War; Political/Grand strategic , Military strategic, Operational and Tactical; each level being twisted to the other.” In this construction, “each level being twisted to the other” appears in italics — meaning what the authors themselves know the phrase makes zero sense, or that there’s a meaning the reader is not supposed easily to divine, what…?

Further in a slightly confused discussion on “Generations of War” (p. 13) — again the language and content problem emerges — there is a statement of war transiting quickly from 1st generation to 5th gen hybrid warfare of today which ends with this — “Simply put, it is a war in which one of the major participants is not a State but rather a violent non-state actor or non-state actor sponsored by a State”, thereby synthetically separating non-state actors from the patronage of the adversary state, which division carries little weight in the practical world.

In the section following on “India in Conflict/War” (p. 14), the paper refers to an “operationally adaptable force” almost as an imperative without anywhere explaining how the country is to obtain it. This harks back to my #3 above. Is such a force to be the all-purpose military capable of short intense wars as also long duration attrition conflicts? If so, it was all the more necessary IDS had at least sketched out how this is to be achieved and at what cost.

5) In the chapter on “Military — An Instrument of National Power” and section therein concerning “Functions of Military Power” that dilates on conventional offensive and defensive operations (p. 19), we have such gems as “offensive operations” to address “The adversary’s centre of gravity” by “attacking enemy’s criticalities….” etc. If this is a primer on the military, what is such stuff doing in a doctrine? This is succeeded by a para on offensive ops wherein is semi-detailed “A philosophy of pro-active defence” that the doucument claims is “most suited for India”, which is revealing of the Indian military’s attitude generally, perhaps, mirroring the Indian Government’s mindset. In trying to conform to NSA Ajit Doval’s fairly elementary rendition of “offensive defence”, this document — emphasizes “defensive operations” by “ensuring security of own forces, secur[ing] bases for launching forces and creat[ing] favourable conditions for offensive operations”.

In line with such thinking is the section on “International Defence Cooperation” (p.22) which talks of this pol-mil-diplomatic activity without once mentioning the absolute predicate for such military outreach and presence, namely, bases in the Indian Ocean Region and in the states on the landward periphery (such as in Central Asia). Staying and operating from homeland bases, the country is expected to “leverage” the achievement of “National Security Objectives”. This is like proposing to lift a tub while standing in it. Hard, in the event, to take much of this document seriously.

6) This unsophisticated, college sophomore-level paper rounds out by analyzing Jointness, observing correctly, for a change, that military integration is mandated by resource constraints and will make possible “centralized planning” and appropriate allocation of resources to obtain “the right mix [of forces] at the right time and place” and “a high level of cross-domain synergy”. (p. 39) But after saying all this about the urgent need for integrating the military and realizing that they had gone out on a limb with their masters, IDS quickly backtracks, reiterating on the very next page (p. 40) that all the preceding material notwithstanding, “It does not imply physical integration” of the three armed services.

7) This is almost a throwaway line, but on page 50, the document asserts, in the context of establishing a joint “Special Operations Division” the fact that “the possibility of a conventional war under a nuclear overhang recedes with attendant political and international compulsions” but stops short of saying that this is just the reason for a major overhaul of the extant military force structure, especially the rationalization of the three strike corps for exclusive use on the Pakistan front into a single composite corps that I have been advocating for nearly 25 years now, and transferring the materiel and human resources to form additional two offensive mountain corps for use against the Chinese PLA in Tibet. This would be the sort of force rejig that cries out to be implemented. Except the existing armed services are inclined to preserve and protect their autonomy at all cost, and even at the expense of the national interest.

8) More disarmingly, this IDS paper is upfront about needing to strike “a balance between indigenisation and foreign purchase essential to India’s military independence and modernization” (p. 54). This translates into continued reliance on imported armaments even though any level of foreign purchases is inimical to the country’s “military independence”.

9) And absent is any nod to the nuclear deterrent other than a wary affirmation of credible but minimum deterrence that reflects lack of deep insights and knowledge in the field. The doctrine refers to the need to shift force structuring from a threat-based template to a capability-based one. The Indian strategic deterrent too could do with a similar change in its fundamentals.

10) And, finally, there’s a pointed last page (61) reference to the perennial military-bureaucrat tension, saying “The functionaries in the MoD ought to be enablers” and facilitators of “free flowing communication” between the political class and the armed services, to make possible “critical and timely decision making” rather than being another variety of vested interests gumming up the works in the national security field.


Taken in toto though, this paper is a lot of thin air masquerading as Joint Doctrine. Pity about this. Because serious thought is warranted regarding all aspects of the Indian military. Alas, this paper contains little of that.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 13 Jun 2017 04:19

Old Op-ed by Ajit Doval, currently the NSA ten years after this article is written

Needed War on Error by Ajit Doval

Needed War on Error

Ajit Doval

For nations, it matters what happens to them; but the course of their history is often determined less by what happened and more by how they reacted. What is happening to India on the terrorist front is bad, but what is worse is the way we are reacting to it.

The worst reaction of a government to such a serious national challenge would be to underplay it, divert the discourse from core issues to the peripherals. Asserting that all is well and nothing needs to be changed, emphasising maintenance of social harmony as the core concern, complimenting people for bravely suffering losses and returning to normal lives, talking about human rights and protection of minorities — these are all laudable objectives. No one disputes them, but they do not address the core issues.

In the face of a threat as serious as this, the national focus should be on: how serious is the threat; its long and short-term implications; our capacities to counter the threat, both in policy formulation and policy execution; and how to address the deficiencies. This would involve considering ways to leverage civil society, media, the scientific community, religious leaders to the best national advantage; ways to neutralise the fast-growing domestic base of terrorism, including availability of hardware and human resource, collaborative linkages of the terrorists with organised crime, gun runners, drug syndicates, hawala operators, subversive radical groups, and how to break the nexus. Debate on the adequacy of the country's laws, judicial administration, security systems and doctrines, etc, in the light of assessed threats is also important. The right discourse should also centre on our policy options vis-à-vis countries and groups involved in terrorist incidents in India. This is not happening, and that's the tragedy.

It is not happening because a basic requirement is missing: a political culture that can subordinate electoral and other political considerations to the nation's supreme sovereign interests. This requires the political will and ability to carry the whole country together. If the nation fails to do so, it may face many Hyderabads, and worse.

That Hyderabad is on the terrorist radar has been well known for quite some time. Here are a few illustrative events that could have served as alerts to undertake surgical operations, covert and overt, to sanitise the city, whatever the cost.

On April 1, 2007, an ISI agent, Maqsood Ahmed, was arrested while recruiting youths for sabotage and espionage activities. Neither was he thoroughly interrogated nor was follow-up action taken. On May 20, 2007, Mohamed Sayeed was arrested by the West Bengal police from Jharkhand's Jantara district. He gave copious details of his links with terrorist modules in Hyderabad. On May 25, 2007, Shoaib Faqruddin Jagirdar, muttawali (custodian) of a local dargah, was arrested for sending RDX and youths from Jalna in Maharashtra to Hyderabad for terrorist actions. He was reportedly released under political pressure. On June 15, 2007, Mohamed Abdul Sattar, an ISI agent, confessed he had received armed training in Pakistan along with Shahid who was responsible for the May 18 Hyderabad blasts. On August 12, 2007, the Aurangabad police seized 29 kg of ammonium nitrate explosive, abandoned by a man who came from Secunderabad (near Hyderabad).

If we have to win the battle against terror, political considerations, communal pressures, administrative and police lethargy, and a weak legal-judicial regime will have to be negated. Let us not sugarcoat our response, like announcing that India and Pakistan as victims of terrorism are in the same league, lest we sent ambiguous signals to India's enemies.

It is a myth that terrorists strike anywhere, any time and against any target. Had that been so, they would have caused havoc not just in India. Terrorists strike where their intentions and capabilities meet the opportunities. The success of counter-terrorism lies in degrading their capabilities, forcing them to change their intentions and denying them opportunities to strike. We appear to be failing on all three counts.

Their extended capabilities are obvious by their spreading the arc of violence to cover almost the entire country. The fact that masterminds and critical perpetrators of all the recent terrorist depredations remain by and large unidentified is a matter of concern. This brings the deterrence threshold down. There is no change in the intentions of those within and outside the country who seek to bleed India, appeasement within and peace parleys outside notwithstanding. We have also not been able to deny them the opportunities. All these infirmities can be corrected only through an integrated strategic and tactical action plan aimed at empowering and enabling security agencies, strengthening our legal-judicial response regime, upgrading intelligence, and complementing our defensive regime with defensive offence capabilities.

Besides the government and its security agencies, civil society has a seminal role in this. The nation has not been able to produce a powerful ideological movement within the Muslim community to counter the radicals and deprive them of religious legitimacy within the community. The last few years have witnessed alarming growth of Salafism and Wahabism at the cost of the indigenous variant of Islam, which is more tolerant and accommodative. Funding to such organisations from outside the country also has to be stopped, if need be, by further strengthening our laws on the subject and their implementation.

India's neighbourhood, particularly Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, must be understood. Fundamentalist forces have acquired strengths, resources and capabilities to survive and strike on their own strength. They have global collaborative linkages, sustainable channels of funding, access to modern technology and an unending stream of jihadis keen to kill and die. The global growth of Islamic radicalism, proximity of jihadi epicentres close to Indian borders and the tilting of some sections of Muslims within the country pose real problems. The imported variety of terrorism whose planning, infrastructure and resources are of foreign origin will continue to haunt us for quite some time.

The current phase of terrorism has a marked Bangladeshi dimension, closely linked to illegal immigration. Most of the recent cases are linked to Harkat-ul-Jihad-e Islami, which operates from Bangladesh, where it has an extensive network. Al-Qaeda's linkages with HUJI are old and intimate with total ideological convergence. Al-Qaeda is out-sourcing terror through franchised groups, who enjoy local advantages and can raise their own resources and operate as stand-alone entities. A special action plan needs to be formulated to contain HUJI's entrenchment.

All this will happen if we bring the discourse on the right track and set priorities right. We need to do a quick VED analysis focusing on the Vitals, keeping a watch on the Essentials and leaving the Desirables till the vitals have been achieved and essentials addressed. For those who govern, let political interests, at best, fall in the category of desirables.

The writer was director of the Intelligence Bureau

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 13 Jun 2017 04:26

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby rsangram » 22 Jun 2017 23:09

Interesting name for a thread. "Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought".
I for one, see neither "Evolution", nor "Strategic" in Indian Thought. Frankly, I don't see any "Thought" of any consequence, in India.

On the other hand, I see plenty of Strategic Challenges, some of which are a direct result of this lack of "Evolution", or "Strategy" or "Thought", in India.

One such serious challenge is as follows:

X-posted from another thread.

Poster - rsangram-

So, heard this from a fairly reliable source, who is from Langley

Trump is very impressed with the Chinese for "trying" to help out with the |North Koreans, despite the fact that, that "trying" yielded no results - zero, zilch. However, the Chinese have now bought credibility with Trump, to a point, where the pressure is off of them from the US on trade, currency and other such issues. It seems that Trump is even willing to throw Taiwan under the bus and not rake up the South China Sea issue much, as long as the Chinese don't rub it in the Americans' face. There is a sense in the White House now, that despite fiery campaign rhetoric, a confrontation with China now is unwinnable, and therefore, not worth entertaining, as losing a confrontation with China, even a diplomatic one, will be perceived as a defeat in Middle American, which the Trump White House does not want to risk. There also seems to be intelligence to the effect that the Russian Ambassador to Washington, Kysliac, is playing a very important role in mediating between Trump's inner circle at the White House and the Chinese, via Lavrov, who, as Putin's "Erdogan-esque" lapdog is getting increasingly closer to Xi Jinping.

With the above paragraph as context, it appears as though the Chinese, using Russians as intermediaries, are proposing a long term settlement in Afghanistan to Trump and Trump is listening to Bannon on this, and Bannon is inclined towards this deal. It must be remembered, that Bannon heads the isolationist wing in the White House, in addition to the hardcore racist wing and therefore, is loathe to continue this war in Afghanistan. Trump's instincts too are isolationist, and hardcore racist, and he tends to coalesce around Bannon on these issues. Besides the Trump/Bannon combine along with many others in Washington in the White House and the Capitol, look upon the Afghan war as an unwanted inheritance and an irritant, which they want to get rid of, at the earliest, so that they can focus on "more important issues", such as Domestic Policy, Controlling illegal AND legal immigration and scoring small victories overseas, which would help brand Trump as a warrior president among Middle America, which by the way, is the wet dream of every US President in history.

The outlines and contours of the Chinese proposed, long term deal on Afghanistan, according to this source in Langley, are as follows:

1. Keep the status quo going with the US actually increasing the number of troops by about 5000, for the next year or so, so that this does not appear to be a full and blatant capitulation by US.

2. After a year or so, the US would join a "peace conference", on Afghanistan, convened by the Russians, with the Chinese, Pakis, Afghans, Talibans, Saudis and the Turks attending. The Saudis, the Turks and the Chinese, including the Russians, will put pressure on Taliban to disband, thereby, handing a "victory" to the Americans. The Americans will declare victory or Trump might even declare a Triumph, for winning a war, which everybody said was unwinnable.

3. In the same conference, it will be agreed that in return for Taliban disbanding, a lot of their members will be accorded power sharing, and in essence this will be a Taliban government, in everything but name.

4. The Taliban government will agree to allow other "pro American" and old "Northern Alliance" factions to live and exist and be token participants in the government, provided they disband and do not maintain any private armies. The Americans will guarantee this castration.

5. The Pakis, the Turks, the Saudis, the Chinese and the Russians will guarantee to the Americans, there this new "Taliban" government, will not allow any "radical groups", meaning, any anti-Western groups to exist in Afghanistan or establish bases there, to carry on anti-West activities from Afghanistan.

6. The Americans will not ask for any guarantees or even assurances from any of these countries, including the new "Taliban" dispensation of Afghanistan, to refrain from any terrorist activities directed towards India. At best, there will be some vague statement about the new "Taliban" government wanting good relations with all its neighbors and will work, as it has always worked, even in its previous life, not to destabilize any of its neighbors.

7. The Chinese will be granted deep footholds in Afghanistan, once this new Taliban dispensation has taken power, to develop and exploit the natural resources and minerals of Afghanistan, for the "benefit of Afghans, of all shades". The Chinese will come up with this "Grand Vision" of developing Afghanistan into this economic powerhouse, which will play a vital role in connecting East Asia (China), South Asia (Pakistan) to Central Asia and ultimately Russia, via what they will propose as the "South to North" corridor of its Silk Road initiative.

8. The Americans will be thrown some crumbs in the form of some mining contracts in Afghanistan, particularly in those areas, where the Chinese do not have the technology to exploit the mineral resources of Afghanistan.

9. The Pakis will be big economic beneficiaries in all of this, as all the trade generated from these new economic initiatives and the Chinese "Grand Vision", the maritime portion of it, will be routed via Gawdar and the Pakis will collect handsome rent for that.

10. The Americans will declare PAkis as their strategic and Non-Nato ally, and announce a long term aid and arms package worth billions every year.

11. The Russians will get iron clad assurances from Paki, Chinese, Turks, and the Saudis, that there will be no Islamic Terrorism targeted at Russia, certainly not from Afghanistan and if rogue Islamic groups do target Russia, that it will have the full support of all these countries, if Russia decides to retaliate in the most brutal fashion. Russians may even get some accommodation from Saudis on future Syrian dispensation and particularly on securing their naval base in Syria

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 30 Jun 2017 22:37

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 18 Jul 2017 05:39

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 05 Jan 2018 06:08

Not India but a US book on

Policy Analysis in National Security Affairs: New Methods for A New Era Richard Kugler

Its 638 pages long and quite illuminating.

RoyG et al please read.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby A_Gupta » 31 Jan 2018 18:51

Seen on the internet:
"The more general point about achieving results when the enemy's base area is in a neighbouring State, with which you are not formally at war, is addressed in Harry G Summers, "On Strategy""
Refers to this book:
https://www.amazon.com/Strategy-Critica ... ry+summers

Re: J&K, the enemy's (Pakistan base area, is in a neighbouring State, with which India is not formally at war. Does Harry Summers have anything useful to say?

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby RoyG » 08 Feb 2018 09:57

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby panduranghari » 10 Mar 2018 15:46

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby SaiK » 15 Mar 2018 09:34

This is a strategic thought of the highest order!

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 18 Mar 2018 11:09

Netflix has an Indian series called Adrishya on Indian spies through the ages.
Do watch and appreciate the lessons. Especially on Jeevasiddi.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 18 Mar 2018 11:11

SaiK wrote:This is a strategic thought of the highest order!

This does not belong to this thread but to the Army thread and has been posted there.

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 12 Jul 2018 01:36

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Re: Evolution of Indian Strategic Thought-1

Postby ramana » 12 Jul 2018 01:39

In response one of our members sent this. Waiting response.....

This was email to AmitBhai’s office :


Influence of dharma over politics :

Chanakya upheld the primacy of dharma over polity. But there is subtle difference. Earlier Vaidik political thought contributed to dharma both strengthening the polity as well as controlling it. Chanakya's reforms intended to have dharma strengthen the polity but NOT CONTROL IT. He is strong proponent of using DHARMA to maintain internal security as well as whipping up the propaganda to direct that public fury against enemy (especially if enemy is of different religion).

Every varNa should follow its duty. What is dharma? What is Adharma ? chanakya says these questions are to be answered by people on their own using the three vedas (not four, three. Atharvaveda is not considered a pure veda by many). The primacy of Vedas is supreme, Chanakya says.

He seems to be largely influenced by Purva -mimaamsa. He ends this section of arthashaastra by saying - " A king who does his duty - he attains Svarga and eternal brahmaananda. If he does not, it leads to various communities infighting in his kingdom which leads to destruction". (arthashaastra 1.2-1.3)

A king should not allow people to deviate from their jobs in life (as varNaashrama Dharma mandates). If people deviate from their jobs, they start causing trouble (AS 1.4)

King should pay attention to local customs, traditions and gods of the people whom he has conquered. Talented people should be given concession in taxes and other incentives. King should actively try to uproot adharma from the land he controls. (AS 1.6)

King should prohibit killings of women and "खच्चीकरण" of youth by inimical forces (both mental and physical which leads to young people turning lazy and slothful due to pleasure or addiction etc) (AS 13.5)

He emphasizes on utilizing espionage agencies to maintain intern law and order. A king should convince public that he embodies both Indra and Yama - They have power to grant you boon or curse you to death.

Charita (traditions), vyavahaara (agreements), dharma (as per mandate of shaastras) and raajaagnaa (political law) - these are the four pillars of "Smriti".

This order is in ascending order of primacy and strength. THis means raajaagnaa is most powerful pillar of all which supersedes others in case of conflict (AS 3.1)

Superstition and politics

A king should let lose propaganda that vetaal, and other evil beings do his bidding and are at his command. He should spread the rumours that gods are happy with his saadhana and that they are favourable to him. He has given various tricks and methods to spread such narrative among public - to ensure that public maintains order and continues viewing king in high esteem. The list is quite big. He also encourages use of women and courtesans and artists for this purpose.

For king however the recommendation is different -

There are three impediments hurting the "sampatti" of a king - wish for an excellent afterlife post death (paralokaapekshaa), extreme insistence on being virtuous (dhaarmikatvam) and belief in astrology (mangala-tithi nakshatra sutitvam). (AS 5.2 onwards).

while king should give importance to all these hypocracies in his public life, if he starts believing in them, lakshmi deserts him.

Raajaagnaa supersedes all - dharmashaastras included (when it comes to material aspects of life).

Finally -

King is Sheep. Prajaa is the shepherd. While alive - sheep dances, gives milk, gives wool to the shepherd. After death, sheep gives meat, hide and horns. Thus in both life and death, sheep serves the shepherd. King should be thus.

If he ensures that his prajaa is materially happy and content and that the society at large is upholding the vaidika dharma, then 1/6th of puNya of all his subjects goes to the king and he attains high svarga (his personal virtues and vices immaterial). Same applies for 1/6th of paapa of all his subjects if he is not upholding the dharma and keeping public happy, occupied while living a pious and virtuous personal life.


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