Kautilya's Arthashastra in war | 1948 and 1962 war , Biography of Kautilya

What is Kautilya's Arthashastra

We know how Kautilya's Arthashastra was used by Chandragupta Maurya to defeat Nanda and also to stop the advancement of Alexander, leading to the formation of a united India.

Kautilya has explained state priorities and economic conditions and has propounded that the power of the state rests on seven Prakriti, and if any one of the seven Prakriti is weak the state is fragile. We need to understand the contemporary security environment by applying his theories.

Max Weber Theory

According to the political theories of Max Weber, a state could be said to succeed if it maintains a monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force within its borders. When this is broken (for instance, through the dominant presence of warlords, paramilitary groups, or terrorism), the very existence of the state becomes dubious, and the state becomes a failed state.

Political scholar Queenie Hanlon says that states are of three categories-weak, failing, and failed. Hanlon says that half of this world is in the fragile category today and it is that which leads to instability conflict and war that provide conditions for terrorism, militias, and crime in the twenty-first century. Fund for Peace Fragile States Index underlines the democratic character of state institutions in order to determine their level of failure.

Kautilya's Arthashastra in 1948 War

An application of Kautilya's ideas in the 1948 Indo-Pak war explains the relevance of terrain, weather conditions, and strategy as important dimensions.

The Indian Army could have marched ahead in the POK zone to drive out Pakistan, but the hostile climate and Pakistani guerrilla tactics prevented India from taking these measures. Kautilya clarifies that a state should not go and fight in an area that has a territory that is ungovernable. The inhospitable terrain of POK and its hostile climate made India land up in a situation where it could not, finally, capture POK. The logistics kept India back while poor military infrastructure compounded upon it to complicate issues.

In August 1947, British rule in India came to an end. The state of Jammu and Kashmir was not clear. In October 1947, Pakistan, through tribal Pathans, began to invade Kashmir. Sensing a security threat, Hari Singh, Maharaja of Kashmir, acceded to India by signing an Instrument of Accession. The conflict between India and Pakistan in Kashmir ended on 1 January 1949 with an agreed ceasefire. The ceasefire created a Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) region.

The two concepts of Kautilya, Bhumisandhi (not entering in the territory which is ungovernable) and Vyasana (a state needs to take precautions and ensure logistics before the war), were both missing.

Kautilya's Arthashastra in 1962 War

In the case of the 1962 conflict with China, which ultimately concluded in a ceasefire in Arunachal, the Chinese had indeed reached the foothills but retreated because the people of Arunachal did not support China and from the Bhumisandhi point of view, China refrained from getting into the business of capturing land (Arunachal) which was deemed ungovernable.

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