A basic tenet of Hindu political thought was the belief that the king must regard himself not as the creator of the law but only as its guardian. The Narada-Smrti is an exception. Perhaps the most authoritarian of Indian writers, Narada demands that the king be obeyed whether right or wrong in his actions. Modern Indian political thought is one of the fascinating areas of scholarly debates and discussions in contemporary India. It also signifies a shift away from. Indian Political Thought: Issues and Approaches, Socio-Political Reform in the 19th Thomas Pantham, Kenneth L Deutsch, Political Thought In Modern India.


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The chapters discuss the contributions of the thinkers and at the same time examine some important themes including the indian political thought of state, civil rights, ideal polity, governance, nationalism, democracy, social issues like gender and caste, swaraj, satyagraha, liberalism, constitutionalism, Marxism, socialism and Gandhism.

Symbols of foundation were continually invoked. The heroic role thus came to be institutionalized: And it was kept within bounds by its subservience to the indian political thought spiritual power.

The former whether represented by Romulus or Varuna is that mysterious potency which is always in an equivocal relationship indian political thought society. In guarding the established order against hostile forces it may be necessary to take on characteristics not unlike those of the enemy.


Authority is transformed into naked power. In India the amoral dimension of ksatra found its fullest expression in the figure of the god Indra, who represented the warrior virtues, power indian political thought well as authority.

Indra had the right to go indian political thought the sacred code when necessary for its protection. But purification and compensation were always required.

This is one reason for the importance of the sacrifice in Aryan ideology.

Indian political thought most characteristic feature of the sacred is its dangerous and proscriptive indian political thought. Intermediaries are needed to make possible communication between the realms of the sacred and the profane, since the forces unleashed in the contact between the two spheres are so powerful they might otherwise destroy each other.

It must have been only a matter of time before the power to manipulate the gods began to seem superior to the gods themselves.


Some students of Indian philosophy insist that the monistic principle usually associated with the Upanisads had long been dominant in Brahmanism. Political and legal treatises Although in the Vedas an indian political thought caste form is portrayed the Purusa hymn names the four orders but does not directly indicate that status distinctions indian political thought intended; see Rg Veda x, 90, 11 ff.

Indian Political Thought: Dharamshastra

The brahman was the referent whereby rank position was determined, and distinctions had come to be based on relative ritual purity. The two highest castes brahman indian political thought and ksatriya nobility monopolized duties that required ritual purity.

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The ksatriya ideal that dominated the centuries of the Gangetic expansion—personal honor and military valor—was tamed with the establishment of the territorial state. Protection and regulation became the major responsibilities of the governing elite.

The demand for specialists in the techniques of coordination and adaptation grew, and indian political thought influence of the minister began to challenge the traditional status of the knight.

Indian political philosophy - Wikipedia

The needs of the settled community were bringing the indian political thought more directly into political activity; he was often the person best indian political thought for indian political thought deliberative, advisory, and supervisory roles of the emergent state. But at the same time the governing nobility took unto itself offices and powers that had formerly been reserved for the various corporations of society and for religious functionaries.

The ksatriya role had become more specifically political —in that secular authorities, with bureaucratic instrumentalities at their disposal, regarded themselves as charged with mobilization of social resources for the achievement of collective purposes. Before this class structure had hardened into a caste system, it was confronted by the indirect challenge of heterodox salvation religions, which themselves were part of an intellectual movement reaching back to the seventh century B.

Introduction to Modern Indian Political Thought - Course

It is the theme of many of the Upanisads that knowledge alone—knowledge acquired through meditation—can transform the individual, raising him to union with the eternal One. In such an argument indian political thought member of society is equal to every other, in that all participate in the divine.

By the time of the Buddha c. These new disciplines and schools, Buddhism included, were not reform philosophies intent on social change; they offered, rather, an alternate way of life, introspective and world-renouncing.

Buddhism is not the indian political thought of active brotherliness; it would be more accurate to say that the teaching calls for a retreat from intense involvement in social relationships.