Kautilya's conception of 'Rajrishi' is very important for a good king and it is similar to the conception of 'philosopher king' given by Plato.a. What are the main indicators of good governance identified by Kautilya in Arthashastra?b. Why Kautilya lays great stress on appointment of Amatyas, the highest in status?

What are the main indicators of good governance identified by Kautilya in Arthashastra? 
According to Kautilya an ideal king should have highest qualities of leadership, intellect, energy and personal attributes. Even in the era of monarchy, Kautilya suggested the king to be servant of state. Some indicators of good governance as per Kautilya are:

  • The King Must Merge his Individuality with his Duties, Means the ruler should surrender his individuality in the interest of his duties.
  • For people’s welfare, there must be properly guided administration.
  • Extremes should be avoided without missing the goal.
  • A disciplined life with code of conduct for king and ministers
  • Fixed remuneration to king and public servants
  • Law and Order should be prior responsibility of King
  • Wisdom and communication skills
  • Preventative measure against Corruption and corrupt officers
  • The King should replace inefficient and dishonest ministers with better one.
  • King should not be dilatory in decision-making, Also appointment of Amatyas (who were the highest in status) should be based on merit, great care should be taken while selecting them.

Kautilya pursued good governance even in the time of instability and therefore there be no compromise on good governance, whether it leads to stability or instability.
Kautilya lays great stress on appointment of Amatyas because
According to Kautilya it was as impossible for a king alone to govern efficiently and successfully. So he stressed the need to appoint Amatyas who are well knowledgeable persons in their respective fields. Their importance lies in another fact that they were appointed to look day to day administration and were highest officials of the state.

Question for UPSC Mains:
Kautilya’s conception of 'Rajrishi' is very important for a good king and it is similar to the conception of 'philosopher king' given by Plato. a. What are the main indicators of good governance identified by Kautilya in Arthashastra? b. Why Kautilya lays great stress on appointment of Amatyas, the highest in status? {150 words, 10 marks}

Published: September 22, 2017 | Modified:June 27, 2019

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