adhyaksha pracAraH – centralising, federating, decentralizing governance

The second adhikaraNa of artha SAstra is called “adhyaksha prcAraH

adhyaksha means one who supervises, who looks after governance of a specific field.

The purpose of artha SAstra is to establish a holistic system of governance in which everyone  fearlessly be able to live and achieve their life goals (dharma, artha & kAma i.e, the tri-varga ) protected from internal and external disturbances in an environment that is suitable to perform one’s own duties based on unique natural skills inherently present in each individual.

Such a holistic system is possible with a cooperative leadership model lead by a rajarshi who is conscious of his duty.

The functions of government, that are performed in both centralized & decentralized or federated modes are described in the second book of artha SAstra. The second adhikaraNa consists of 36 adhyayAs i.e., chapters.

Establishing internal governance units within the kingdom with natural boundaries consisting a balanced and self sufficient population is the first topic. Various administrative activities like collecting taxes etc., all the way up to the functions of a nAgarika i.e, a mayor of a city are described in this book.

A good governance structure needs verticals of functions and horizontals cutting across the boundaries to get the best out of available resources.

A wonderful matrix structure of governance can be derived and deployed from the cANakya’s teaching. We will see some more details in the coming posts.


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