30th April 2019
Reports of total integrity and honesty of the people in ancient India #6: The integrity of government Ministers
Extracts from Pramathanath Banerjea’s Public administration in ancient India
This great influence possessed by Ministers of old was doubtless, in a large measure, due to the selfless spirit in which many of them served the State. Though such Ministers controlled the destinies of large kingdoms and sometimes extensive empires, they, as a rule, led very simple lives,1 and were renowned for their honesty, integrity, and nobility of character. Numerous examples of devotedness to duty on the part of Ministers, sometimes under very difficult and trying circumstances, are recorded in Indian history and literature.2 [Footnote: In Bhasa’s Pratima-Nataka and Svapna-Vasavadatta, the Prime Minister is described as a man ready to undertake any risks for the sake of the King. The devotion with which Rakshasa sought to serve a fallen master’s family extorted the highest praise even from his bitter enemy Chii.nakya (Mudra-Rakshasa, Act II.)]
From the records preserved in Indian literature as well as from the accounts left by foreign travellers, it seems quite clear that the administration of justice was very efficient in Ancient India. This must have been the result of three factors, namely, the upright ness of the judges, the efficiency of the police, and the general honesty and probity of the people.