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Unformatted text preview: 5 The Confucian Tradition UNIT 6 INDIAN POLITICAL TRADITIONS Structure 6.0 Objectives 6.1 Introduction 6.2 Nature of Early Indian Political Thought 6.2.1 Introduction 6.2.2 Problem of Nomenclature 6.2.3 Concept of Matsyanyaya 6.2.4 Dharma and Danda 6.3 Indian Political Thought : Sources 6.3.1 Drawbacks and Limitations 6.4 Characteristics of Indian Political Thought 6.4.1 Political Life Conceived within the Framework of Dharma 6.4.2 Influence of Ethics 6.4.3 The Influence of Caste Based Social Structure on Politics 6.4.4 Government as a Partnership of the Upper Varnas 6.4.5 No Clear Distinction between State and Society 6.4.6 Monarchy was the normal form of Government 6.4.7 The Government was not Sovereign 6.4.8 Other Distinguishing Features 6.5 Buddhists’ Contributions to Indian Political Traditions 6.5.1 Origin of Kingship 6.5.2 Democratic Nature of the Buddhist Sangha 6.5.3 Theory of the Origin of the State 6.5.4 The Principle of Righteousness 6.6 Contribution of Muslim Rule to Indian Political Traditions 6.6.1 Nature of State 6.6.2 Divinity of the King 6.6.3 Duties of the King 6.7 Let Us Sum Up 6.8 Key Words 6.9 Some Useful References 6.10 Answers to Check Your Progress Exercises 6.0 OBJECTIVES This unit deals with the evolution of political thought in early India. After going through this unit, you will be able to: • explain the nature of Indian political thought; • explain the meaning and significance of the concepts of Dharma and Danda as basic concepts of Indian political tradition; • understand the contributions of Buddhism to Indian political tradition; and • appreciate the Islamic contribution to Indian political thought. 6.1 INTRODUCTION The beginning of the systematic study of ancient Indian political thought can be traced back to the nationalist movement. Most of the important works on Indian 6 Political Traditions political thought were written during this period in response to the criticism that ancient India made no contribution to political thought and political science was not a separate and distinct science in India. The widely held belief among the scholars was that the Hindu science of political was, infact, a part of Hindu Philosophy or Hindu religion. This opinion, though incorrect, seems to have been created on the account of the different names given to the concepts like ‘politics’, ‘political science’, and ‘state’. Many scholars face this problem as they make an attempt to study the development of political thought within the framework of analysis provided by the West. Given an entirely different historical setting and socio-cultural contexts of India, it is a futile attempt to discover in it the same concepts and categories, which are the characteristics of European thought. We must understand that social and political thought is intimately related to social and political milieu in which it originates....
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