A R TH A SH A STR A
Kautilya's Arthashastra is an excellent treatiseon statecraft, economic policy and militarystrategy. it is said to have been written byKautilya, also known by the name Chanakya orVishnugupta, the prime minister of India's firstgreat emperor, Chandragupta Maurya.In Arthashastra, Kautilya mixes the harshpragmatism for which he is famed withcompassion for the poor, for slaves, and forwomen. He reveals the imagination of aromancer in imagining all manner of scenarioswhich can hardly have been commonplace in reallife.Centrally, Artha
stra argues for an autocracymanaging an efficient and solid economy. Itdiscusses the ethics of economics and the dutiesand obligations of a king. The scope ofArtha
stra is, however, far wider thanstatecraft, and it offers an outline of the entirelegal and bureaucratic framework foradministering a kingdom, with a wealth ofdescriptive cultural detail on topics such asmineralogy, mining and metals, agriculture,animal husbandry and medicine. TheArtha
stra also focuses on issues of welfare (forinstance, redistribution of wealth during afamine) and the collective ethics that hold asociety together.