Proposing Chanakya University By Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani

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Proposing Chanakya University
By Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani

No one can deny the importance of the Political Science in the today’s era as it provides useful knowledge which is beneficial to both the ruler and the ruled. The renowned Greek philosopher, Aristotle, defined political science as the study of the state. Similarly, many other philosophers including Plato, Confucius, and Machiavelli also presented their theories on the subject of political science but a highly visionary philosopher belongs to our land is so far incomparable with anyone else.

The great philosopher is known as “Chanakya” who born in Taxila, part of present-day Pakistan. The great legendary philosopher, who dedicated his life to prove his theories on practical grounds, had succeeded to transfer the great knowledge to next generations in the form of an amazing book named Arthashastra. His wisdom assisted a poor person Chandragupta to establish Maurya Empire which is considered the first ancient Indian empire consisting of different parts of present-day Indian sub-continent. At that time when the armies of Alexander The Great were conquering almost half of the world, Chandragupta, following the valuable advises of his mentor Chanakya, defeated Greek army with the support of local small states.

According to the historians, Chanakya was born during 371 BCE. at Taxila where he spent his entire life. He is also identified as Kauṭilya or Vishnugupta, and authored the ancient Indian political treatise, the Arthashastra. The book title “Arthashastra” is often translated to “the science of politics”, but the book covers a number of topics such as nature of government, rules and regulations, civil and criminal court systems, ethics, economics, markets and trade, the ministerial and administrative set up, diplomacy, theories on war, peace and development, and the duties and obligations of a rulers. In addition, Hindu philosophy, economic and cultural aspects on agriculture, mineralogy, mining and metals, medicine, animal husbandry, forests and wildlife, are also part of this amazing book. The book originally written in Sanskrit language is translated in to different languages including English and Urdu. Artha means prosperity, wealth or economic security while Shastra is the Sanskrit word for “rules” or “science”.

A series of major economic and political reforms were passed in the Maurya Empire for the betterment of public on the recommendations of Arthashastra. Some of those included central administration, highly organised bureaucratic structure, and speedy justice system. The Chanakya’s book also provided principles so that the empire could develop a strong economy, with a focus on trade and agriculture. The book presented the concept of mixed economy, where private sector and state enterprise frequently compete side by side. The Maurya Empire also made important contributions in the fields of art and architecture. At a time when the Dark Ages were looming large, Chanakya founded a university at Taxila which is considered as world’s ancient university.

Here, I would like to extract some quotes from Arthashastra which I used to study during leisure time. “A person should not be too much honest. Straight trees are cut first and honest people are eliminated first. There is some self-interest behind every friendship. This is a bitter reality that there is no friendship without self-interests. Before you start some work, always ask yourself three questions: why I am doing it, What the results might be and Will I be successful. Only when you think deeply and find satisfactory answers to these questions, go ahead. Once you start working on something, don’t be afraid of failure and don’t abandon it. People who work sincerely are the happiest. The biggest guru-mantra is: Never share your secrets with anybody. If you cannot keep a secret with you, do not expect that others will keep it? It will destroy you. A man is great by deeds, not by birth. Time perfects men as well as destroys them. Books are as useful to a stupid person as a mirror is useful to a blind person. Education is the best friend. An educated person is respected everywhere. Education beats the beauty and the youth.”

It is regrettable that such a wise philosopher who born in present-day Pakistan is being portrayed as a negative “Brahmin” character in his own country of birth. Ironically, when the people of Pakistan are being forced to disown him, the world recognizes him a great visionary philosopher. Scholars admit that the Arthashastra is still very much influential, most particularly to understand the political scenario and diplomatic relations among different nations.

Chanakya is also highly regarded as a great thinker, diplomat and philosopher in India. The diplomatic enclave in New Delhi is named Chanakyapuri to acknowledge the diplomatic services of Chanakya. The then-Chief Justice of the United States Earl Warren, while inaugurating the US Embassy located at Chanakyapuri, had also acknowledged Chanakya and reportedly said that India had a philosopher who taught almost three hundred years before the birth of Christ that a ruler must have to ensure through his policies to keep his public happy. Various Indian institutes are also named after him including Training Ship Chanakya, Chanakya National Law University and Chanakya Institute of Public Leadership.

Although, Arthashastra is divided into 150 chapters which cover different topics but we unjustifiably used to attribute the great philosopher Chanakya for only teaching the cunning ways. The methods for spying, propaganda and acquiring information about enemy states, are just a small portion of his comprehensive book and such unwanted but necessary tactics are widely practiced by almost all states whether belonging to Muslim caliphates or today’s modern countries.

We must understand that such intellectuals are indeed gift of God to the whole mankind, and who ever follow their teachings based on wisdom, could achieve success in his life goals. We must feel honor for having the land where once the great philosopher Chanakya used to spread wisdom and in this regard, I would like to propose establishing a world-class university in Taxila to acknowledge him. The doors of proposed International Chanakya University for Political and Social Sciences could also be opened for foreign students, which will ultimately result in projecting knowledge-friendly, free from religious prejudice, and positive image of Pakistan on international level.

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