Kautilya’s theory of foreign affairs is still relevant, do you agree?

Kautilya’s theory of foreign affairs is still relevant, do you agree. Give your reasons?

Kautilya is regarded as a great theorist of inter-state relations. His views on foreign policy constitute a brilliant, comprehensive and logical analysis of all aspects of relations between the states. Kautilya propounded the theory which is almost universally applicable. Even today, an immediate neighbouring state is an enemy and a neighbor’s neighbour who is separated from oneself is a friend.

Another significant aspect of Kautilyan policy is that he does not count power purely in terms of resources of state or the size of army. Greater importance is given to the power of good command, analysis, and judgement as well as well grounded policies.

King should develop the state by augmenting its resources and power, enemy should be eliminated; those who help are friend; a sensible and careful approach should be followed; peace is to be preferred to war. Same careful approach, giving high priority to peace, is preferred today also when any potential conflict takes place.

In the sphere of foreign policy what Arthashastra says is largely true. We still have the same distrust of one nation by another, same pursuit of its own interest by every nation, the same effort to secure alliances and same disregard of these alliances in self-interest, the same kind of intelligence agencies maintained by one nation in the territory of another which we find referred in Arthashahtra.

After conquering the enemy the ruler should adopt a policy of enjoying these acquisitions peacefully and shall rule it according to dharma. Same approach is preferred today when military dominated or dictatorships are being discouraged by international organisations and rule of law is encouraged. 

So even if the society has been changed completely what Kautilya wrote 2300 years ago is still very much relevant.

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  Posted on Thursday, September 3rd, 2015 at 5:59 AM under   Polity