Minasuk/ July 6, 2016/ Uncategorized

An Ancient Treatise and the Making of Modern India | Public Books | July 2016

India today, the Arthaśāstra is
considered analogous to Aristotle’s Politics
and Machiavelli’s The Prince. Its
topics include kingship, governance, and law in early India. Its perspectives
on these subjects have proved to be as important to the project of Indian
modernity as the theories of violence and nonviolence, state, community, and
self-rule authored by such political thinkers and founding figures of the
postcolonial Indian nation as Gandhi, Ambedkar, Tagore, Savarkar, and their
peers. British India’s foremost anticolonial leader and free India’s first
prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, brings up the Arthaśāstra half a dozen times in his classic popular history, The Discovery of India (1946), written
in jail on the eve of Independence. Sixty years later, Amartya Sen, Nobel
Laureate in Economics, still treats this work as relevant to our times.