Chandragupta Maurya: The Glorious King Of Ancient India – OpEd
Chandragupta Maurya, even today, is considered as one of the most prominent Hindu kings of ancient India. He was the founder of the Maurya dynasty, which ruled over most of the Indian subcontinent from 321 to 185 BCE. He is celebrated for his military conquests, administrative skills, and contributions to the development of Indian culture.
Apart from this, the history of ancient India is rich with accounts of various Hindu kings who ruled over different regions. Hinduism, which is the dominant religion in India, had a profound influence on the politics and culture of the country. The Hindu kings of ancient India played a significant role in shaping the country’s political and cultural landscape.
In the context, Chandragupta Maurya who was one of the most famous Hindu kings of ancient India conquered many territories and expanded his empire to cover most of the Indian subcontinent. As a great warrior and strategist, he defeated the powerful ruler of Magadha, Dhana Nanda, to establish his empire and became famous as a patron of art, literature, and science. He was very fond of education established universities and encouraged scholars to conduct research in various fields. In administration, he also introduced the concept of a centralized government and divided his empire into provinces, each governed by a governor. This system of governance was later adopted by many other rulers in India.
Childhood and memorable contributions
Chandragupta Maurya was born into a royal family in the kingdom of Magadha. He grew up in a turbulent time when various kingdoms and empires were vying for power in India. He was a gifted warrior and strategist who learned the art of warfare from his mentor, Chanakya, who later became his prime minister.
Chandragupta Maurya established his empire by conquering various kingdoms in northern India. He defeated the powerful ruler of Magadha, Dhana Nanda, and consolidated his power by forming alliances with neighbouring kingdoms. He established a strong centralized government and divided his empire into provinces, each governed by a governor. He also built a strong army and established diplomatic relations with other empires and kingdoms, including the Seleucid Empire in the west. He was known for his patronage of the arts and architecture and built many temples, palaces, and other structures.
The Mauryan period is considered a golden age of Indian art and architecture, and many of the structures built during this time, such as the Great Stupa at Sanchi. Chandragupta Maurya’s rule was marked by peace and prosperity. He was known for his policies of religious tolerance and social justice, which earned him the respect and admiration of his subjects. He was a staunch believer in Hinduism and performed many religious rituals, but he also respected other religions and allowed his subjects to practice their own faiths. In nutshell, Chandragupta Maurya was a remarkable king who established one of the largest and most powerful empires in ancient India.
Welfare schemes of the king
Chandragupta Maurya, the founder of the Mauryan Empire, was known for his administrative and social welfare policies and the notable welfare schemes of Chandragupta Maurya include:
a. Public Works: Chandragupta Maurya initiated several public welfare-related programs, such as the construction of roads, waterways, and public buildings. These projects helped to improve the infrastructure and transportation system of the empire, which facilitated trade and commerce.
b. Social Security: Chandragupta Maurya introduced a social security system that provided financial assistance to the disabled, the elderly, and the destitute. The government also provided free medical care and education to the poor.
c. Food Distribution: Chandragupta Maurya introduced a food distribution program, where the government started distributing food to the poor during times of famine or drought. The food was provided free of cost, and the program helped to prevent starvation and malnutrition.
d. Price Regulation: He also introduced a system of price regulation to prevent hoarding and black-marketing. Under the policy, the government would fix the prices of essential commodities such as grains, oil, and salt, and traders were not allowed to charge more than the fixed price.
e. Land Reforms: Chandragupta Maurya introduced land reforms that aimed to redistribute land among the poor. The government would confiscate the land of absentee landlords and redistribute it to landless farmers. The reforms helped to improve the socio-economic condition of the rural poor.
To conclude, he was a visionary king who introduced several welfare schemes that aimed to improve the lives of his subjects.
Contribution to politics and society
Chandragupta Maurya was a remarkable ruler who made significant contributions to politics and administration during his reign. His administrative policies and political acumen helped to establish the Mauryan Empire, which became one of the most powerful empires in ancient India. Some of his notable contributions to politics and administration are:
a. Centralized Government: Chandragupta Maurya established a centralized government, which enabled him to govern his vast empire efficiently. He divided his empire into provinces, each governed by a governor, who was responsible for maintaining law and order and collecting taxes.
b. Efficient Administration: Chandragupta Maurya was known for his administrative skills. He established a system of bureaucracy, which included ministers, advisors, and secretaries, who helped him in the day-to-day running of the empire. He also introduced a system of spies and informants, who helped him to keep a close watch on the activities of his enemies.
c. Law and Order: Chandragupta Maurya established a strong system of law and order, which helped to maintain peace and stability in the empire. He introduced a set of laws, which were known as the “Laws of Manu,” that codified the various legal and social norms of the society.
d. Military Reforms: Chandragupta Maurya introduced several military reforms that helped to strengthen the army and expand the empire. He organised the army into different divisions, each with a specific role and responsibility. He also introduced new weapons and tactics that helped to give the Mauryan army an edge over its enemies.
e. Diplomacy: Chandragupta Maurya was a skilled diplomat, and he used diplomacy to expand his empire and establish friendly relations with neighbouring kingdoms. He formed alliances with other rulers, negotiated treaties, and married into royal families to cement his alliances. His contributions to politics and administration were significant and had a lasting impact on Indian history. His legacy as a visionary ruler and administrator continues to inspire generations of Indians even today.
Dr. Rajkumar Singh is a Youth Motivator, presently Professor of Political Science and Dean, Student’s Welfare (DSW), at B.N. Mandal University, Madhepura (Bihar), India. His 23 books published in addition to 900 articles in national and international journals and daily newspapers from 25 foreign countries.