Thoughts on economics and liberty

Reports of total integrity and honesty of the people in ancient India #2: Fa Hien (Fa Hian/ Faxian)

This needs more exploration but the following (source) seems to be a good summary:


Fa-hien started his voyage to India in 399 A.D. … He reached India about 400 A.D. and remained here up to 411 A.D.

There were a few quarrels or disputes and the people rarely felt the necessity to approach the judiciary. Mostly, corporal punishment was avoided and usually fines were exacted from the offenders according to the nature of their offence. Those who attempted repeated offences against the state were punished severely and in that case their right hands were cut off. It suggests that the offences were few and minor and, probably, death penalty was absent.

The public highways were secure and free from the menace of thieves and dacoits.

The kings and the rich people had built rest-houses (Dharamshalas) where every convenience was provided to the travellers. They had also built hospitals for the poor where free medicine was distributed to them.

The account, thereby, suggests that the administration of the Guptas was benevolent and successful and the rulers not only maintained peace and security within the empire but also looked after the welfare of their subjects.


Sanjeev Sabhlok

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