Eminent Indians: Administrators and Political Thinkers

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Item Code: NAE723
Publisher: Rupa Publication Pvt. Ltd.
Author: M.L. Ahuja
Language: English
Edition: 2007
ISBN: 9788129111074
Pages: 130
Cover: Paperback
Other Details 8.5 inch x 5.5 inch
Weight 160 gm
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Book Description
Back of the Book

Though Charanya, Paraskara, Bharadvaja, Brihaspati, and Sukra had been some of the ancient poltical thinkers, Manu, the father of mankind, and Kautilya, the learned author of Arthashastra, had been the path breakers,. According to Manu, god created a king for the protection of whole creation. However, Kautilyadeparts from the myth of the divinerights of the king.

The advent of the Britishers and the freedom movement ushered in new thinking. Patriotism and nationalism formed the core of the poltical ideas and practices of Indian leaders. After Independence, the desire has been to bring about social, economic and political democracy. Eminent Indians: Political Thinkers and administrators brings to focus the lives and contributions of some of the distinguished indians. In Addition to Kautilya, Jawaharlal Nehru was the architect of independent india and laid the edifice of socio-economic planning, and development in science and technology. Babasaheb Ambedkar, among other things, was a social scientist and the chief architect of the Constutution of India C.N. Annadurai, the founder of DMK, laid the fiybdatuib if reguinalism which has now paved the way for the coalition form of government both at the state and national levels. V.K. Krishna Menon had been the spokesman of India'sfreedom movement in europe and a link with radical movements of other countries.Indira Gandhi the first woman Prime Minister, transormed the structure of Indian poltics by placing the issue of poverty in the forefornt of national debate. V.V. giri, a great freedom fighter and an active participant in the working class movement, had been the President of India. K.R. Narayanan, the tenth President of India, combined professional diplomacy with intellectualism in dealing with foreign policy problems. Atal Behari vajpayee successfully head a non-congres multi-party government as the thirteenth prime Minister of India.

About The Author

Recipient of Janseva Sadbhavana Award, M.L. Ahuja, M.A., DLL, DCS, is the author of over twenty books now. He is associated with book publishing and distribution of books and journals. He has travelled extensively both within and outside india. he has presented a number of papers at several national and international seminars. He has also contributed a number of articles to journals and books , which are mostly on publishing and karketing of books and journals.


T'hough, Charanya, Paraskara, Bharadvaja, Brihaspati and Sukra have been some of the top ancient political thinkers, Manu, the father of mankind and Kautilya, the learned author of Arthashastra, who explained the state craft, are regarded as the path breakers in Indian political thought.

The Laws of Manu in Sanskrit or Manusmriti or Manavadharmasastra is an encyclopedic work. It contains social obligations and duties of the various castes of individuals in different stages of life. Besides, it lays down proper guidelines for a righteous King to govern and inflict punishments on the transgressors in his domain. Manu has also described the social relations between men and women of different castes, husbands and wives in the privacy of the home, birth, death, cosmogony karma, rituals and their practices, minor details of everyday life, the procedure of settling traffic accidents, penance for sexual improprieties with one's guru's wife, etc.

Manu reminds us of the theory of contract. He states:
"When creatures were dispersed in various directions out of fear from each other, the Lord created a King for the protection of the whole creation. The King was formed out of the essence of the eight deities, viz. Indra, Pawan (wind), Yama, Sun, Fire, Varuna, Moon and Kubera (Lord of Wealth) to guard the universe." The Patriarch has been described as son of Lord Sun. Obviously, such a King surpasses all mortals in glory. King's authority is based on force and for fear of danda (punishment). The subjects obey their ruler. However, the ruler acts with justice in his kingdom. Manu's theory of coercive authority explains his view of the origin of the State. Evil, being inherent in man, the fear of danda makes men righteous.

Manu believed in the organic theory of the State. The State had seven limbs: King, minister, capital, rashtra, treasure, army, and ally. Hence, the State is termed as a spa tanga, i.e. having seven limbs. Since the King holds a predominant position the State and the King are generally used interchangeably. The State is known as rashtra and its citizens are called rashtrakas. The first King was created by Lord Brahma for the security of creation and was hence considered as Divine. Manu wanted the Divine King to be an embodiment of certain qualities. Some of the main functions of the State are: (a) to make all "Varnas" observe their duties and obey general laws; (b) to maintain peace within the State and keep the State free from external control, (c) to make laws for controlling the prices of articles; (d) to settle disputes of families and guilds; (e) to compel the Vaishyas to carryon trade, agriculture and animal husbandry; (f) to compel the Shudras to serve the higher castes; (g) to stop conflicts, cropping up between groups and keep every individual in his due position; (h) to promote cultural institutions and (I) grant charities to those unfortunates who are unable to help themselves.

Kautilya or Chanakya, as he was also referred to, departs from the myth of the divine rights of the King. He has been vested with discretionary authority to depart from prevalent law for its preservation. He is to be a blend of Indra, the bestower of reward, and Yama, the inflictor of punishment. Kautilya thought that training of the Crown Prince is indispensable. He had a pragmatist view of the political dimension, the acquisition and administration of the State. The authority of the State finds justification on the ground that it is the consequence of a contract entered into by the people and the King at the behest of gods just to bring them out of the state of anarchy, confusion and chaos. The Arthashastra recommends that the contractual explanation of the King's origin must be circulated among the people. He takes the origin of the State as a fait accompli.

Kautilya's account of the State signifies that the King exercised political authority and the officials advised him on administrative matters. The King ruled over his territory from a fortified capital. The stability and security of his rule was ensured through army and treasury. The allies rendered him assistance in safeguarding the King. Kautilya considers monarchy as the normal form of government and deviation from monarchy as a vyasana or calamity of the State.

The advent of the Britisher: and the freedom movement ushered in new thinking among the Indians. The intellectuals as well as the masses plunged themselves into the freedom struggle in their own way. Right from the times of Vasudev Balwant Phadke and Gopal Krishna Gokhale to Mahatma Gandhi and Sub has Chandra, it is an inspiring and thrilling scent" of struggles and sacrifices. The Western influence had its impact on them. They accepted and adopted their political ideas and practices. They drew upon the national heritage with pride, used it to stimulate change in social outlook. It, in turn, strengthened the national movement. They contributed in diverse manner to the national mainstream. To them, patriotism was their religion.

The most distinguished amongst these leaders were Dadabhai Naoroji, Mahadev Govind Ranade, Pheroze Shah Mehta, S.N. Banerjee, Gokhale, Tilak, Bipin Chandra Pal, Lala Lajpat Rai, Aurobindo Ghosh, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and a host of others. Gokhale and Mahatma Gandhi, i.e. the Guru and the disciple, played a significant role. Both came from diverse background. Their contribution has been distinct in several fields. Their detestation of the political subordination and their sacrifices for freedom were their characteristics. The presence of the Britishers in India coupled with the expanding means of transport and communication, printing press and the newspaper and the expanding influence of English language facilitated the import of western political ideas in India.

In West, the political theory was based on supremacy of the society, and not of State; on duty alone and not on right. But Gokhale and Mahatma Gandhi explained their concepts on the basis of the ancient heritage. The emergence of Indian National Congress provided a common platform for the exchange of views. It also provided a very good opportunity for planning of action. Further, it paved the way to appeal and approach for cooperation and for the common good. Leaders like Dadabhai Naoroji, S.N. Banerjee and Gokhale educated the people in nationalism and national unity. They introduced the concepts like "Modern State", "Civil Liberty" and "Progressive Society". They believed in liberalism and moderation, compromise and fairness. Extremists like Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Lala Lajpat Rai believed in self-reliance and not in mediocre politics. They laid emphasis on passive resistance and non-cooperation; Swadeshi and on recognition of education to serve the national ends in a better way. Their ultimate aim was national freedom.

They used the medium intelligible to the people to bring them under one umbrella for national struggle. They interpreted their ideas and actions through the common and popular religious symbols, mythical personages and historical heroes. They used religious concepts to educate the people. On public festivals, when people assembled in large numbers, they contacted them and gave wider base to their political ideas. The concept of "Indian Nation" in the guise of "Mother India" made deep and wide appeal; words like "Swadeshi" and "Swaraj" gained wide currency. They made self-confidence and self-reliance props of their strength. They stood for constitutionalism and progress.

Raja Ram Mohan Roy (1772-1833), who is considered as the "Father of Indian Renaissance", was the pioneer of religious and social reforms and was the first to speak about the rights and privileges of the people. Syed Ahmad Khan (1817-1898) was a patriotic Indian who advocated the inclusion of Indians in the Legislative Councils, analysed the causes of India Revolt against the East India Company and emphasised the necessity of friendship and sympathetic intercourse between the rulers and the ruled.

Swami Dayanand Saraswati (1824-1883) was an arch nationalist who gave a clarion call to his countrymen to go back to the Vedas and to lay their foundation. The Arya Sarnaj, of which he was the founder, proved to be a very potent force against British imperialism. He suggested the moral purification of the individual and the necessity of social reconstruction. He supported principle of election for the legitimate organs of the government in his ideal polity. He envisaged a political system, which could possess the essence of democratic idealism though externally it may have monarchical structure. He stands for the inception of a Commonwealth with the village as the effective unity. On the basis of the Manusmriti he suggested the integration of the village with the administrative mechanism.


Mahatma Gandhi1
Babasaheb Ambedkar13
lawaharlal Nehru25
Shyama Prasad Mookherji38
Lal Bahadur Shastri53
Indira Gandhi68
K.R. Narayanan83
Atal Behari Vajpayee95
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