The Arthashastraby Kautilya
The Arthashastra (IAST: Arthaśāstra) is an ancient Indian treatise on statecraft, economic policy and military strategy which identifies its author by the names Kautilya and Viṣhṇugupta, who are traditionally identified with
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The Arthashastra (IAST: Arthaśāstra) is an ancient Indian treatise on statecraft, economic policy and military strategy which identifies its author by the names Kautilya and Viṣhṇugupta, who are traditionally identified with Chāṇakya (c. 350–-283 BC), who was a professor at Takshashila University and later the prime minister of the Maurya Empire.
The original identification of Kautilya or Vishnugupta with the Mauryan minister Chānakya would date the Arthaśāstra to the 4th century BC. However, certain affinities with smrtis and references that would be anachronistic for the 4th century BC suggest assigning the Arthaśāstra to the 2nd through 4th centuries CE. Thomas R. Trautmann and I.W. Mabbett concur that the Arthaśāstra is a composition from no earlier than the 2nd century AD, but based on earlier material. K.C. Ojha puts forward the view that the traditional identification of Vishnugupta with Kautilya was caused by a confusion of editor and originator and suggests that Vishnugupta is in fact a redactor of the original work of Kautilya. Thomas Burrow goes even further and says that Chānakya and Kautilya are actually two different people. The end of this treatise Arthaśāstra, however, says: "This Sástra has been made by him who from intolerance (of misrule) quickly rescued the scriptures and the science of weapons and the earth which had passed to the Nanda king." More recently, Mital concluded that the methods used by Trautmann were inadequate to prove his claims, and therefore "there exists no direct evidence against Kautilya being the sole author of The Arthashastra, nor evidence that it was not written during the 4th century BCE."
The text was influential until the 12th century, when it disappeared. It was discovered in 1904 by R. Shamasastry, who published it in 1909 and the first English translation in 1915.
Kautilya,also known as Chanakya is India's most illustrious political economist.He regarded economic activity as the driving force behind the functioning of political dispensation annd went to the extent of saying that revenue should take priority over the army because sustaining the army was possible out of a well-managed revenue system.
Kautilya advocated limiting the taxation power of the State,having low rates of taxation,maintaining a gradual increase in taxation and devising a tax structure that ensured compliance.He strongly encouraged foreign trade.
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