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Oriental despotism is deeply
rooted in Greek thought. Despotism in the governance in which the ruler has the
absolute power over the country and his people. The king is called as the
oriental despot/despot. Though it is connected to Aristotelian
political philosophy it was French Philosopher Montesquieu who popularized the
notion of oriental despotism in the west in the seventeenth and early Eighteenth
centuries. 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 the
power to the king but his fairness of rule is what makes the King powerful. This
theory doesn’t hold true for ancient India even though we are ruled by Mughal emperors
because 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 as
monarchy. It is true that the Magadha empire rose at the expense of such
republics, but when Alexander invaded India in the fourth century B.C.E., he
had 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 famous
grammarian assigned to the fourth century B.C. if not earlier, and Alexander
had to defeat both a brahmana and a Shudra republic in the course of his
conquest. The concept of misconception came during the ruling of Mughal emperors
that is one of the dominant representations of European was the arbitrariness
and fickle-mindedness of the Mughal Emperor and whimsical nature of his
government. 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 owned
all the property and wealth of his nobles. No man in India had the right to own
anything. His rule was totally arbitrary and based on his own sweet will. De
Laet emphasized that point when he wrote. But, 4.   Under Arthashastra, the duties of the King have been written
elaborately as to what he is expected to perform daily for the welfare of his
subjects (Chapter XIX). He is expected to collect taxes and gold (hiranya),
verify the accounts of his superintendents appointed for overseeing tax and
trade 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 partial
power over this as the ownership of land stayed within the hands of farmers and
king acted only as a regulator.

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