Discuss state and sovereignty in ancientIndia

Discuss state and sovereignty in ancientIndia


State and Sovereignty in Ancient India : In lineage society during the mid-first millennium BC, the essential unit was family under the control of the senior most male member. the top person exercised his authority over the clans through kinship and rituals. The families were tied together due to the genealogical relationships. The kin connections and wealth led to differentiations between the ruler and therefore the ruled within the society. The state system emerged due to the increase , shift from pastoral to peasant economy, socio-cultural heterogeneity and various other factors.

Discuss state and sovereignty in ancientIndia

Romila Thaper in her seminal work on social formation (History and Beyond, collection of essays) says extensive trade, the autumn of political elite and democratic process resulted within the shift towards state system. State and Sovereignty in Ancient India With the formation of state, the difficulty of governance became a serious concern of the society. In Mahabharata, there's reference to Matsyanyaya, a condition during which small fishes become prey to big fishes.

Discuss state and sovereignty in ancientIndia

It happens during a society where there's no authority. To avoid such a crisis, people agreed to possess a group of laws and that they selected an individual to become the ruler or appealed to the God for a king who will maintain law and order within the society.

Discuss state and sovereignty in ancientIndia

There are thus references to both Divine Origin of Kingship and agreement Theory of Kingship. State and Sovereignty in Ancient India Various studies however, suggest that the polity emerged as an independent domain. Monarchy was the dominant sort of government within the early Indian polity. As mentioned within the Shanti Parva of the Mahabharata, there have been seven constituents of the State.


For State and Sovereignty in Ancient India , The three theories of origin of state in ancient India are as follows: 1. Social Contract Theory 2. Divine Origin Theory 3. Organic Theory. The core issues in the study of political science are the state and the government. The institution of state is studied in relation to its origin, nature, aims and functions of the state in ancient India. The dawn of civilization was stated to have marked the beginning of the origin of state. The state in ancient India was considered necessary, for it ensures peace, order and happiness. It was a social organization with political power. However, ancient scholars were not unanimous in their opinion with regard to the origin of the state. According to some, state was the outcome of a contract mainly political in nature between the rulers and the ruled.

Social Contract Theory:

In the State and Sovereignty in Ancient India : The social contract theory, one of the common theories of the origin of state, believes that state is a result of a contract between the king and his subjects or representatives. The king, thus appointed, was expected to save the state and the subjects from external aggression and establish order and security within the state. However, the earliest Vedic works never stated that state was the result of a contract. But, they clarified that king was elected to wage a successful war against the demons.

Discuss state and sovereignty in ancientIndia

Divine Origin Theory:

This theory of origin of kingship as well as the state was not widely acclaimed in the ancient Indian polity. The king, according to this theory, was a subordinate to law, which was made by the society and not him. The community as a whole was given greater importance than the king. The king was not allowed to act indiscriminately and was expected to act as a father to his subjects, and treat them with affection and kindness.

Organic Theory:

This theory holds the view that state is like an organism and that each organ has a specific function to perform. The theory believes that the healthy functioning of the whole organism depends upon the healthy conditions of each part of the body or organism and its efficient functioning. The seven parts of the body, that is, state are the king or the sovereign, the minister, the territory and population, the fortified city or the capital, the treasury, the army, the friends and the allies. State and Sovereignty in Ancient India , Among all the seven elements or parts, it is the king who is most important.

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