Kautilyan theory of Arthashastra still relevant: Shyam Saran

New Delhi, Jan 12 (IANS) Former Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran on Thursday said the wisdom advocated in Arthashastra, is still critical in today’s political set up.

Commenting on several elements of Arthashastra that are relevant even today, Saran, Chairman Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS), said the importance of a good ruler and a good counsel, based on knowledge and wisdom as advocated in the Arthashastra, is critical.

He was speaking at the occasion of the book launch of “Kautilya’s Arthashastra: an Intellectual portrait-Classical Roots of Modern Politics in India” and “The Arthashastra in a Transcultural Perspective: Comparing Kautilya with Sun-Zi, Nizam al-Mulk, Barani and Machiavelli”, at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA).

Reflecting on the resonance of Kautilyan theory in the practices of statecraft, Saran said that the categorisation of what constitutes ‘national power’ has been amply defined in Kautilya’s Arthashastra.

Speaking on the occasion, Subrata K. Mitra, Director, Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS), National University of Singapore (NUS) noted that the Arthashastra covers all the broad aspects of socio-political life and the different components of power but are absent in the political discourse of Plato and Aristotle.