Corona, the societal evil has made us culturally more rooted by looking at clapping hands and lightening divas with more scientific reasons behind them. What has added to this ideology is telecasting of popular programmes of the 80s and 90s like Ramayan, Mahabharat, Dekh Bhai Dekh, Chanakya and many more. Guess what, Doordarshan is high on with rocketing TRPs.
Well! History has never been my favourite subject but Indian scholars have always attracted my attention. Being one of the granules in the education system, Gurukul system has always inspired me and when I say Gurukul system, how can I not mention Takshila and Chanakya. Since the time, I have developed an inclination to study about our Indian Scholars, Chanakya has been an inspiration and this quarantine gave me time to inquire more about him.
Traditionally known as Vishnugupt and Kutaliya, Chanakya is the reason behind the first Mauryan emperor Chandragupta who raised him to power. Chanakya served as the chief advisor to both emperors i.e. Chandragupta and his son Bindusara.
Some scholars believe him to be Jain and some believe him to born to a Brahmin family with his education at Takshila, where he became archarya later. His father was killed by Dhanan, ruler of Magadha, which led Chanakya to take revenge from him and administration ethics was major reason behind his dislike.
He is known for his popular Shastra like ‘Arthashastra’and ‘Nitishashtra’ that cover subjects from economics to ethics and philosophy to Politics. A great philosopher, administrator, economist and political strategist, he was the most respected teacher at Takshila Gurukal. He was also an expert in ‘Samudra Shastra’ in which he could judge and analyse what a person is thinking by only looking at his facial expressions. It is also believed that the dangers of so called secular India was first felt by Chanakya as he could understand the internal politics pretty well.
A renowned man was also known for his shrewd political strategies and negative ideologies for women. Ashwini Sangi, in his book, mentioned that Chanakya raised an army of girls known as ‘Vishakanyas’ that were given lethal training right from their childhood against their enemies.
To my surprise, the much popular historical serial ‘Chanakya’ telecasted on Doordarshan these days is not only directed but also written and enacted by Chandarprakash Driwedi.
‘The test of purity of gold is performed by rubbing, heating, pounding and cutting. Similarly, the true characteristics of a person are revealed at the time of intense trouble.’
The ideologies, character, art direction and the depiction have been unmatched by any of the serial based on Chanakya so far.
Chanakya was a genius in running an administration. He had a sheer understanding of the challenges faced by the kingdom, strategies for handling internal and external politics, qualities and responsibilities of a king and role played by the education system towards nation-building. He openly used to advise the development of an elaborate spy system reaching into all levels of society and encourages political and secret assassination. A book called ‘Chanakya Neeti’ beautifully describes his ideologies in case anyone wants to read further.
‘Kissi bhi Vayakti ko bahut imandar nhi hona chahiye,
Seedhe vriksh pehle kate jate hain’