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Mandal Siddhant - Arthshastra

Updated: Oct 6, 2022

Chanakya is considered one of pioneer of the Indian political thought, he has given Arthshastra which is widely recognized due to it's relevance even today, the wisdom in it gives a very good understanding about state craft. If you wish to read about Arthshastra, read here at one of my previous blog.

One of the idea from Arthshastra , is the Mandal Siddhant. The context of Mandal Siddhant is about Raja Dharma that is the Kshatriya Dharma that is WAR. It says that after coronation king has to start for annexation as the state is like an organism that is, it is bound to grow so it is wise to be on the winning side by start planning for it in advance. In ancient India there used to be tradition for YAGNA'S Example: the Aswameda Yagna, Rajasuya Yagna. As per Kautilya, king should aspire to become the 'Chakravarti Samrat'. He addresses the king as 'VIJIGISHU' (one who aspires for victory).



Mandal Siddhant is based on the concept of 'Geopolitics' that is to grow otherwise you will perish or captured by someone else. Thus states are naturally expansionist in Nature. As per it, land is the main source of material well being and achievement of other goals depend on it.

Thus it says that it is compulsion for both kings to expand (that is your neighbor too) so neighbors are your natural enemy as both try to acquire, piece of land. For example - India-Pakistan-China will be enemies and India -Afghanistan are natural friends. Kautilya gives his kings forward direction as shown in the diagram (Source: politicsforindia.com ) that is 'King- Ari- Mitra- Ari Mitra- Mitra Mitra- Ari Mitra Mitra'. While king is on expedition he has to take care what is left back and enemy at back is called - 'Parshva Nighra' while the friend at back is 'Akranada'.



In this direction he gives sequence of kings (backward) -> 'Parshvanighra, Parshva Nighra Sara, Akranada, Akranada Sara'. Then there are two other kings -> Udasina (neutral) in present context it is the Switzerland and Turkmenistan as these both countries have declared themselves neural in context of WAR that means both the parties who are at War have equal access to their territory. Example - Nepal also aspires to become neutral as it is sandwiched between India and China. But Nepal's neutrality is against India's national Interest. If UN recognizes Nepal as neutral, then in case of India -China war both will have access to its territory which is bad for India as India already has access to Nepal territory as per our agreement of 1950. So Kautilya says, bring the Neutrals in your favor as well.

Then 'Madhyama' is the Buffer state again best example is Nepal for India and China. Earlier Tibet was also a Buffer state for India but China invaded Tibet in 1951.



The examples of Pakistan, China and Nepal so much suits the present conditions with India that it makes the Mandal Siddhant much more relevant then it ever had.


stay tuned for more..


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