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Oriental despotism is deeplyrooted in Greek thought. Despotism in the governance in which the ruler has theabsolute power over the country and his people. The king is called as theoriental despot/despot.

Though it is connected to Aristotelianpolitical philosophy it was French Philosopher Montesquieu who popularized thenotion of oriental despotism in the west in the seventeenth and early Eighteenthcenturies. According to Aristotelian political philosophy the despot (the king)in the oriental despotism need not necessarily rule his people by power/ force,but by consent of the people. Hence, it is not the dictatorship which gives thepower to the king but his fairness of rule is what makes the King powerful. Thistheory doesn’t hold true for ancient India even though we are ruled by Mughal emperorsbecause the political history of India commences from the sixth century B.C.E.,and at this time republicanism was as prominent a form of government asmonarchy. It is true that the Magadha empire rose at the expense of suchrepublics, but when Alexander invaded India in the fourth century B.

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C.E., hehad to fight against as many republics as kingdoms on his way to the Punjab. Brahmana,kshatriya, Vaishya and shudra8 republics are attested to by Panini, the famousgrammarian assigned to the fourth century B.C. if not earlier, and Alexanderhad to defeat both a brahmana and a Shudra republic in the course of hisconquest. The concept of misconception came during the ruling of Mughal emperorsthat is one of the dominant representations of European was the arbitrarinessand fickle-mindedness of the Mughal Emperor and whimsical nature of hisgovernment.

According to them, he ruled by a particular style of government,where he was the master and all his subjects were his absolute slaves. He ownedall the property and wealth of his nobles. No man in India had the right to ownanything. His rule was totally arbitrary and based on his own sweet will.

DeLaet emphasized that point when he wrote. But, 4.   Under Arthashastra, the duties of the King have been writtenelaborately as to what he is expected to perform daily for the welfare of hissubjects (Chapter XIX). He is expected to collect taxes and gold (hiranya),verify the accounts of his superintendents appointed for overseeing tax andtrade functions, personally attend and hear all petitions (patrasampreshanena),call for prayers and engage in the scientists and doctors of his Empire.

Similarly,the land is not completely owned by King , the king can excise only partialpower over this as the ownership of land stayed within the hands of farmers andking acted only as a regulator.

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