Ancient India Government

Ancient India

Ancient India government: It is believed that ancient Indian period was very peaceful and calm. People were very understanding and cooperative among each other. However with the growth of civilisation and increase in population there arose the need of a government. When people started to settle at one place for agriculture and livelihood then government came into formation. People settled were mostly tribes. The head of the tribe was the king or the ruler of the group.  The main aim for the formation of government at that time was for distribution of responsibilities and work. The model and the structure of the government was very simple and interesting.

It is not clear the way people did governance during Indus valley civilisations. From 6th century BC to 5th BC it is considered as most important period in ancient India. Beginning of 6th BC northern part of India consisted of large number of independent kingdoms which was monarchy in nature. During this period there were 16 Mahajanpadas or kingdoms who ruled during the Vedic period.

 During the Vedic period caste system which started to rise gave more power to Brahmin. He acted as a decision maker.

In Rig Vedic period government was mostly monarchical. King was ascended through hereditary system. To assist king various ministers were appointed. The administrative units were known as Kul, Gram and Vish. Gram is the village and Vish is group of villages. One can also see a mention of Sabha and Samithi which were the two democratic bodies which controlled King. The head of the judiciary was the king himself


Ancient India government

With the birth of Mauryan Empire and other empire the governance became more complicated and interesting. The king became the supreme head and the governance was divided into legislative, executive and judiciary. Everyone had to accept his decision which was the final one. The ministers advised the king about their respective jobs. All the minsters were paid salary for their work. With the increase in population all the concerned ministers started to maintain the records about the development of work in the society. They were answerable to kings. The society was guarded by well developed military system. The soldiers were well equipped and trained for war. Financial department played crucial and important role. Every rupee spent was notified to the king. The finance minster was accountable for the loss and profit in the governance.

Judiciary played another important role in maintaining peace in the society. It kept a check on the thefts and robberies and punished the guilt. The entire empire was further divided into provinces and each province was given the power to make some decisions. They were called as Rajukas. They were present during the Mauryan period. They became more powerful during Asoka period.  The ancient Indian governance was very disciplined and interesting. There were regular updates of death, birth and population to the king.

The king himself disguised some times as a spy and spied the state to know about the welfare of his citizens. Spy system was an important feature during Mauryan period.  The governance was further improved during the Gupta period. The provinces were given more power in Gupta period than in Mauryan period. Slowly but steadily governance became an important part in maintaining peace and growth of society. Arthshastra is one the most important source to know the governance in ancient India.