BALLB 1st semester Indian History sample question answer :In this article you will read about Discuss the qualities of Dand niti in ancient Indian politics? What was the method of punishment in ancient India| Write short note on Manu’s Theory of Coercive Authority
Dand is a sanskrit word which means equivalent of punishment was used in ancient India by Hindu.
Table of Contents
Q. 1. Discuss the qualities of Dandaniti in ancient Indian politics?(ballb)
Ans. Dandaniti Kamandaka has mentioned, like other Hindu Blinkers, four kinds of learning : Anvikshiki (logic), Trayi (knowledge of three Vedas), Varta (Science of economics) and Dandaniti (science of politics and art of government). These are essential for the well-being of people. Varta and Dandaniti are mainly instrumental in realising the worldly objectives, Dandaniti (propounded by Usanas or Shukracharya) has been described as the beginning of all other branches of learning, Self-control or punishment is the name for danda. A king depends on danda and his policy is Dandaniti. This is called policy, because it helps the king to trend on the right path. The king should protect himself with this and other branches of knowledge. Dandaniti is beneficial for all the people and the king is its protector.
Kamandaka also gives the clue to the basis of danda’s legitimacy: a wise obeys even a poor or crippled or otherwise defective husband through the fear of danda. Implicit here is an appeal to the law or moral cause and effect (karma); disobedience to a rightful master will produce unpleasant results in the form of danda, which may well be violent or coercive, but do not depend purely upon the master’s physical resources; they depend upon fate. When the king employs danda, he may be using force, but if another man used force in the same way to thwart a rightful king that would not be danda-it would be the sinful conduct of fallen man. Clearly much depends on the point of view; two rivals might both consider themselves rightful kings. But the point is that danda was more than a physical thing. It meant the principles of justice at least as much as the punishment, and implied the right to punish, which was instructively accepted, at least as much as an act of violence.
Shukra also says that Anvikshiki, Trayi, Varta and Dandaniu : the four branches of learning – should always be studied by the king. Danda is restraint and punishment, hence the king is also known as Danda. The Niti that regulates punishment constitutes Dandaniti, so called because it governs and guides. That king, who possesses the strength Of dandaniti and army, wealth in all its aspects comes to him easily.
Social order Kamandaka has recognised the scheme of Varna and
Ashrama a king should uphold the four Varnas as well as the four ashramas. He adheres to the traditional division of functions for the four varnas.The Brahmana is so called because of his virtue he is habitually a worshipper
of the gods with knowledge, practices and prayers he is peaceful, restrained, and kind. The man who can protect
Men, who is valorous, restrained and powerful, and who is the punisher he wicked is called Kshatriya. Those who are expert in sales and bases, whoever liver by commerce, who are lenders of cattle: and
Who cultivate lands are called Vaishyas in this world. Those men of the lower order who are servants and followers of the twice-born; who are bold peaceful and have mastered their tenses; and who are drivers of the plough drawers of wood and grass are called Shudras. Those who have deserted practising their own duties, who are unkind and troublesome to others, and who are very excitable, envious, and foolish Cara Mlechchhas. The author, after enumerating the Smriti list of duties of the castes and orders, observes with the older masters that the observance of law (dharma) which relates to all the castes and the orders leads to heaven and salvation, but without it the people would suffer intermixture and destruction. The king sets in operation this whole scheme of duties, and without him these world be lost and without the duties the world would perish.
Shukra thus accepted the scheme of varnas, but according to him its basis is quality and deeds not birth. Shukra’s view of the origin of the social order furnishes an instructive contrast with the dominant orthodox dogma on the point. One does not, he says, become a Brahmana or a Kshatriya or a Vaishya or a Shudra or a barbarian (mlechchha) by his caste, but these differences are derived from their respective characters and deeds.
But the placed women, Shudras and Yavanas in lower position In the society. According to him, women should be assistants in the functions of malcs, viz, agriculture, shopkeeping, etc. The Shudra is the fourth caste and hence
belonging to a caste has certain duties. The Yavanas have all the four castes mixed together. They recognise authority other than that of the Vedas and live in the north and west. Regarding morality, he says that the theory of religion and morals is very complicated ,hence people should practise the rules of Shruti, Smriti,
and Puranas which have been followed by good men. The study Shruti, Smriti and Puranas together with the Angas, Upnishadas and Kalas is beautiful to man. Hunting, gambling, womanizing and drinking are the passions for man; so these should be given up.
Q. 2. What was the method of punishment in ancient India.(ballb)
Ans. Importance of punishment (danda) has already been discussed, so here we shall only be concerned with various kinds of punishments which from modern standards were severe. ‘The nature. and severity of punishment differed not only with the gravity of the crime but also with the object with which it was committed. According to political thinkers and jurists punishment was to be largely deterrent, its aim being to overawe people and prevent them from the commission of similar crimes. They felt that by nature people were bad and prone to commit crimes, and it was only the fear of punishment by the king or the judge that deterred them from doing it. Further, a culprit was punished with a view to correct him, make him give up his bad ways and take to good ways of life. Lastly, it was also considered as a means of the purification of the culprit. For, by committing a crime he committed a sin against morality and society, which threatened the very foundations of law and security; and in order to absolve him of the sin he had to be made to undergo punishment proportionate to the gravity of the offence.
The normal code of punishment appears to have therefore been severe, it includes fines, imprisonment, flogging, mutilation of the limbs, banishment, removal of the tuft of hair on the head, and confiscation of properties. In general it may be said that punishment bore some relation to the crime. Grave offences like treason against the king or the royal household, offences against government, and robbery, and open rebellion were treated as a class apart and the offenders including the members of their family were very severely dealt with. Causal offenders were treated in different ways. In such cases as a murder, the object of the act was taken into account for the award of punishment, whether it was committed deliberately or whether it was only accidental, homicide not amounting to murder. Cases of the latter type were decided usually with some leniency to the culprit.
Manu recommends, in order of severity, (gentle) admonition, (harsh) reproof a fine, and lastly corporal punishment. To this may be
Added banishment, actually prescribed in many cases. The king having fully ascertained the motive, the time and place (of the offence), and having Considered the ability (of the criminal to suffer) and the (nature
crime shall cause punishment to fall on those who deserve it. But he adds : ‘Unjust punishment destroys reputation among men and fame( after death), and causes even in the next world the loss of heaven:
Therefore, beware of inflicting it.’ The same consequences ensue king who punishes those who do not deserve it and punishes not
to a king who punishes those who deserve it.’
Another important feature of the system of punishments in ancient in was that differed with castes of the offenders. While Brahmanas enjoyed several privileges and immunities, Shudras, in particular were awarded more severe punishments. Caste privileges and disabilities are
reflected in criminal law, especially on matters of morality and social hygiene. Different punishments are laid down in identical offence with the caste of the criminal. As a general rule, Brahmanas were to be
exempted from capital punishment as regards civil law, reference may he made to certain interesting points only. The monthly interest on debt is allowed at the rate 2, 3, 4, or 5 percent according to the order of the castes. The enjoyment of property for ten years give a prescriptive right to it, but a pledge, he property of infants, an (open) deposit a sealed deposit, women, he property of the king and the wealth of a Srotriya, are exempted from the operation of this rule. A contract made by a person toxicated or insane, or grievously disordered (by disease and so forth), or wholly dependent, by an infant or very aged man, or by an unauthorised (partly) is invalid; and so also is the agreement which is contrary to law or to the settled usage of the virtuous’..
Kautilya believes in the immunities of Brahamanas in seven letters, frees them generally from corporal punishment, only aiding that they be branded, or imprisoned in cases of serious crime, exempts their property from escheat and from forced contributions, and even provide for their receiving substantial largesses from the king, in cases where an innocent man has been punished. ‘In these, he is like Manu, though he does not go to the lengths to which Manu would proceed in giving such privileges and immunities. But, Kautilya would apparently not exempt even Brahmanas from the law against suicide, while, in cases
Of their committing treason he would have them drowned, and he would
also allow the Brahmanas to be killed on the battlefield or in self-defence
Method of Punishment
Adultery was punishable by branding on the forehead, burning live, or public humiliations. Banishment and cutting off the sex organ were also punishments. The fourteen places of punishments on the body indicated by Brihaspati are : both hands, both feet, the male organ, the eye, the tongue, both ears, the nose, the neck, one half of the feet, the thumb and index fingers, the torched, the lips, buttocks and hips. Ingenious methods of inflicting pain on all these places are given by ancient writers. Fraud, stealing, insulting members of higher castes, sacrilege against temples of gods, witchcraft trespass, murder, rape, and many other acts were found listed in the texts as crimes against which various punishments are given. Torture was also regarded as a rather salutary method for dealing with crimes. According to Kautilya, there were in vogue four kinds of torture, six punishments, seven kinds of whipping, two kinds of suspension from above, and the water tube.
Fines also played a significant part in the judicial system of ancient India. The king should cause danda to be meted out to offenders according to the measure of their offences. The wealthy should be punished with fines and confiscations, they that are poor with loss of liberty. Those that are very wicked should be chastised by the king even with corporal infliction. The law-books give lengthy recitations on the nature of crimes and the amount of the fine to be imposed. Fines are in four gradations and especially in the case of Brahamans offenders, may be substituted for corporal punishment.
Imprisonment was certainly a feature of Indian punishment, but very little information is given in the Hindu texts concerning the length of prison sentences or the crimes for which offenders were sentenced. It appears not to be mentioned at all in the Vedic texts and possibly was not used as a general form of punishment until around 800 B.C.; as a matter of fact the use of prisons assumes a fairly advanced judicial administration.
Question.3. Write short note on Manu’s Theory of Coercive Authority.(ballb)
Answer. Manu’s Theory of Coercive Authority (Danda)
As regards Manu’s theory of coercive authority (danda) of the
ruler it can be firmly maintained that he (Manu) develops it along the lines
of the old Arthasastra thinkers. He tells us that for the king’s sake the Lord created in days of yore. His own son Danda the protector of all creates, law (dharma) formed of Brahma’s luster : Danda is the fine the male, the director, and the ruler as well as the surety of observance of their duties (dharma) by the four orders (asramas), Danda, he further tells us, rules all people danda alone protects them; danda is awake when others are asleep, the wise declare danda to be identical with the law (dharma). Through the fear of danda, the author continues, all creatures movable and immovable. “yield themselves for enjoyment” and swerve not from their duties. The whole world, as observed in Arthasastra texts, is kept in order by danda good men are rare and it is through the fear of danda that the whole world “yields the enjoyment which it owes”. Even the gods, the demons, the demi-gads, the goblins as well as the bird and snake deities, the author adds with magnificent exaggeration, “yield themselves for enjoyment”. only when they are tormented by fear of danda. The king, we read is a just inflictor of danda, who is truthful, who acts after due consideration, who is wise and who is conversant with Virtue, Pleasure and Wealth : the king who is voluptuous partial and deceitful, on the other hand, is destroyed by: the same danda which he inflicts : when the king swerves from his duty (dharma), danda strikes him down with his relatives and his kingdom, nay more, it afflicts the whole world and likewise the gods and the sages. Regarding the ruler’s qualifications the author remarks that danda cannot be inflicted justly by one without assistants or a food or a covetous man, or one whose mind is unimproved, or one who is addicted to sensual pleasure, while it can be justly inflicted by one who is pure and truthful, who act according to the canon; who has good assistants and who is wise.
The doctrine of danda is dealt with by the author much more briefly in two short extracts. The whole world, he says in one place (VII, 103), stands very much in awe of one who is every ready to apply dánda. Neither the father, not the mother, nor the friend, nor wife, nor Son, nor the domestic priest, we are told in another place (VIII, 335),
exempt from the from the king’s danda should they fail to follow
in these extracts the author in the first place emphasizes the old
Arthasastra idea of the high authority of danda by raising it to the level of the foremost political principle as well as a divine institution derived from the highest divinity. This view is justified by the function of danda in ensuring individual security in respect of person and property as well as stability of the social order. The above conception of the origin of danda fits in with and completes the author’s doctrine of Divine creation and endowment of the temporal ruler. In the second place the author repeats the old Arthasastra doctrine of identification of danda with law, so as to mean probably that the one is the essential means of fulfilment of the other. Thirdly, the author justifies his view of the high function of danda by reference to an old Arthasastra principle based upon human psychology, namely that the fear of danda is the grand motive for the fulfilment of individual obligations. Fourthly according to the author, the king’s mode of application of danda is the key to the weal and woe of the individual and the community. Fifthly the author enumerates the good qualities (truthfulness, discrimination, wisdom, submission to canonical authority and equipment with good assistants) qualifying the ruler for the exercise of danda as well as the bad qualities (self-indulgence, partiality, deceitfulness, greed, ignorance and want of assistants) disqualifying him for the same. Sixthly and lastly, the author lays down the principle of the king’s unlimited jurisdiction over offenders irrespectively of their rank of status. The involves the application of the old Arthasastra-Smriti principle enjoining strict impartiality upon the king in the administration of criminal justice.