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Recent questions on GM crops and HT Bt cotton in India’s parliament

This started on 4 July as two questions. Now I’ve updated the title to provide a running record of parliamentary question on GM crops (There are a few more as well: http://164.100.47.5/qsearch/QResult.aspx  and http://164.100.47.5/qsearch/QResult.aspx)

QUESTION #1, 2 July 2019

PDF here, Word document here

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA

MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE AND FARMERS WELFARE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, COOPERATION AND FARMERS WELFARE

LOK  SABHA UNSTARRED QUESTION NO.1691

TO BE ANSWERED ON THE 2ND JULY, 2019

BAN ON GM CROPS

  1. DR. SUKANTA MAJUMDAR: SHRI KHAGEN  MURMU:

Will the Minister of AGRICULTURE AND FARMERS WELFARE  be pleased to state:

  • whether a number of Genetically Modified (GM) crops have  been  banned for cultivation in the country;
  • if so, the details threrof;
  • whether incidents  of  illegal cultivation of Genetically Modified seeds like  Bt  Cotton,  Bt Brinjal  have  been reported in different parts of the country;
  • if so, the detail thereof;
  • whether the  Government  has formulated various measures and bio-safety protocols for the introduction of GM crops  in the country; and
  • if so, the steps being taken by the Government in this regard?

ANSWER

MINISTER  OF AGRICULTURE AND FARMERS WELFARE (SHRI NARENDRA SINGH TOMAR)

(a) & (b): Bt. cotton is the only Genetically Modified (GM) crop approved in 2002 by the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change for commercial cultivation in the Country and, therefore, cultivation of other unapproved GM crops are banned in India.

(c) & (d): Few incidences of suspected open cultivation of Bt. brinjal and HT cotton were reported in Maharashtra, Haryana, Punjab, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh.

Department of Agriculture, Cooperation and Farmers Welfare has issued advisories to States to take appropriate necessary action to curb and control the spread of Bt. Brinjal and HT cotton. State Governments have given the directions to all District Administration to take necessary legal steps to curb the production and selling of illegal GM crops.

  • & (f): There is a well established regulatory framework for approval of GM Crops as per “Rules for the Manufacture/Use/Import/Export and Storage of Hazardous Microorganisms, Genetically Engineered Organisms or Cells, 1989” under  the  Environment  (Protection)  Act, 1986 in the

Evaluation of each application of GM crop is done on a case-to-case basis after  a thorough examination of health, environment, food and feed safety assessment studies undertaken in a systematic and scientific manner as per prescribed guidelines, manuals and standard operating procedures stipulated by various regulatory agencies under the Rules, 1989 from time to time. The data generated by the applicants is reviewed at every step in the development process of GM crops by various Statutory Committees under the Rules, 1989 such as Institutional Biosafety Committee, Review Committee on Genetic Manipulation and Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee.

A series of guidelines and protocols have been issued by Department of Biotechnology and Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change relating to Genetically Modified Organisms and product thereof as under:

  1. Recombinant DNA Safety Guidelines, 1990
  2. Revised Guidelines for Research in Transgenic Plants, 1998
  • Guidelines for the  Safety  Assessment  of  Foods  Derived  from  Genetically Engineered Plants, 2008
  1. Guidelines for  the   monitoring   of   Confined  Field   Trials   of   Regulated,  Genetically Engineered (GE) Plants, 2008
  2. Standard  Operating   Procedures   (SOPs)   for   Confined   Field   Trials   of   Regulated,

Genetically Engineered (GE) Plants, 2008

  1. Protocol for Food and Feed Safety Assessment of GE crops, 2008
  • Guidelines and Handbook for Institutional Bio-safety Committees (IBSCs), 2011
  • Environmental  Risk   Assessment   of   Genetically   Engineered   Plants:   A   Guide   for Stakeholders, 2016
  1. Guidelines for  the  Environmental  Risk  Assessment  of  Genetically  Engineered  Plants,

x     Risk Analysis Framework, 2016.

********

QUESTION #2, 2 July 2019

PDF here. Word document here.

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA

MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE AND FARMERS WELFARE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, COOPERATION AND FARMERS WELFARE

LOK SABHA UNSTARRED QUESTION NO.1746

TO BE ANSWERED ON THE 2ND JULY, 2019

  1. COTTON PRODUCTION
  1. PROF. SAUGATA ROY:

Will the Minister of AGRICULTURE AND FARMERS WELFARE be pleased to state:

  • whether the Cotton production in the country is rising;
  • if so, the details thereof, State-wise;
  • whether the  Government  has  taken  necessary  steps  to  ensure  the  price  is commensurate with the cost of production; and
  • if so, the details thereof?

ANSWER

MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE AND FARMERS WELFARE ( SHRI NARENDRA SINGH TOMAR)

(a) & (b):  Yes Sir, the production of cotton is rising since last three years (Annexure-I).

However, separate production figures are not available for Bt cotton and non-Bt cotton.

(c) & (d): Government fixed Minimum Support Price (MSP) of cotton at minimum of 50% as the margin over cost of production.

Annexure-I

Cotton production in major cotton growing States:

Production (‘000’ bales of 170 kgs. each)

S. No.States2015-162016-172017-18
1Andhra Pradesh1888.001564.002087.00
2Gujarat9400.008575.0010187.00
3Haryana993.002041.001627.00
4Karnataka2000.001010.001844.00
5Madhya Pradesh1800.002050.691620.00
6Maharashtra7500.0010618.766094.00
7Odisha300.00382.00408.00
8Punjab750.001031.031283.00
9Rajasthan1214.001401.921893.00
10Tamil Nadu369.00359.00445.00
11Telangana3661.003444.005195.00
12Others130.00100.00122.00
All India30005.0032577.4032805.00

Source: Directorate of Economic and Statistics, DAC&FW.

QUESTION #3, 12 July 2019

Source

This admits that there are two views on the issue and that GAEC has advised further studies. The continued moratorium is unfortunate but the answer possibly amounts to some progress since courts will not tolerate arresting people on a matter on which the government admits to having different expert opinions.

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT, FOREST AND CLIMATE CHANGE

LOK SABHA

STARRED QUESTION NO. 288

TO BE ANSWERED ON 12.07.2019
Genetically Modified Crops

*288. SHRI JAYADEV GALLA:

Will the Minister of ENVIRONMENT, FOREST AND CLIMATE CHANGE be pleased to state:
(a) whether various NGOs are objecting to the Genetically Modified (GM) Mustard, Brinjal, etc.;

(b) if so, the reasons therefor;

(c) whether it is true that farmers are demanding introduction of more GM crops and if so, the details thereof;

(d) whether the Ministry has released the bio-safety data on GM Mustard, Brinjal, etc., if so, the details thereof and if not, the reasons therefor; and

(e) whether his Ministry has got any feedback from various stakeholders, general public, experts and others in this regard, if so, the details thereof?

ANSWER
MINISTER FOR ENVIRONMENT, FOREST AND CLIMATE CHANGE (SHRI PRAKASH JAVADEKAR)

(a) to (e) A statement is laid on the Table of the House.
***
STATEMENT REFERRED TO IN REPLY TO LOK SABHA STARRED QUESTION NO. 288 TO BE ANSWERED ON 12.07.2019 REGARDING GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS BY SHRI JAYADEV GALLA:
(a) and (b) Yes. This Ministry has received some representations objecting to Genetically Modified (GM) Mustard, Brinjal crops etc. on grounds that GM crops may adversely impact environment, biodiversity and human health.

(c) Yes. Shetkari Sanghatana, a farmer’s organisation in Maharashtra has written to this Ministry for permitting access to more GM Crops for the welfare of farmers in India.

(d) Yes, biosafety data on GM Brinjal and GM Mustard was made available during public consultation by Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee as per biosafety regulations.

(e) Yes, feedback was received from multiple stakeholders both for and against release of GM Brinjal and GM Mustard. The feedback was suitably considered by the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee, which has advised additional studies to be conducted for assessment of impact on environment and health.

QUESTION #4, 19 July 2019

Source

[Screenshot here, and PDF, in case GOI removes this info]

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT, FORESTS AND CLIMATE CHANGE
LOK SABHA UNSTARRED QUESTION NO: 4441
ANSWERED ON: 19.07.2019
Safety of GM Crops
Kirti Vardhan Singh
Will the Minister of ENVIRONMENT, FORESTS AND CLIMATE CHANGE be pleased to state:-

(a) whether the Government is aware that Genetically Modified (GM) crops are unsafe and if so, the details thereof and the preventive measures taken by the Government in this regard;
(b) whether GM crops are assessed case by case;
(c) if so, the details and the outcome thereof;
(d) whether the Government is aware that GM crops like Bt. Brinjal are being cultivated by farmers even though it has not been approved by the competent authority; and
(e) if so, the details thereof and the action taken by the Government so far to check the further farming of Bt. Brinjal?

ANSWER
MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT, FOREST AND CLIMATE CHANGE
(SHRI BABUL SUPRIYO)

(a) to (c) All Genetically Modified (GM) crops have to undergo elaborate food, feed and environmental safety assessment following regulatory guidelines and Standard Operating Procedures under Rules for the Manufacture, Use/Import/Export and Storage of Hazardous Micro Organisms/ Genetically Engineered Organisms or Cells, 1989 of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 for approval of commercial cultivation in the country. As of now, Bt. cotton is the only GM crop approved for commercial cultivation in the country after extensive evaluation and satisfying all regulatory requirements.

There is no scientific evidence to prove that GM crops are unsafe. GM foods are regulated under Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 which consolidates laws for manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption. So far, no Living Modified Organisms relating to food has been approved by the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change.

In order to ensure that GM crops are safe for human health and environmental release in the country, bio-safety assessment is done for each crop on a case by case basis as per applicable guidelines, manuals and protocols prescribed from time to time by relevant agencies under Rules, 1989 under Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.

(d) and (e) Yes. This Ministry has received complaints on illegal cultivation of Bt. Brinjal in Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra, and Punjab. All States/Union Territories (UTs) have been directed to constitute and strengthen State/UT Biotechnology Coordination Committees and District Level Committees for monitoring instances of illegal cultivation of GM Crops and taking appropriate action under Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
***

 

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A 2007 PhD thesis on Kautilya’s Arthashastra – interesting summary of the ancient Indian state and economy

I’m always interested in analyses of the Arthashastra. Reporting this here for my future reference. The thesis confirms my readings so far from a variety of sources. The ancient Indian state can be best characterised as a pre-liberal capitalist state. The moot question relates to the level of freedom of thought and speech. It appears that there was significant freedom of thought and religion, but there was somewhat limited freedom of speech.

KAUTILYAN ANTECEDENTS OF THE WESTPHALIAN ORDER
By Sunny Jiten Singh

SOME QUOTES (not necessarily linked to Arthashastra)

KING’S PRIMARY FUNCTION OF SECURITY

The responsibility of the raja in the Vedic sources was primarily that of a leader in battle and the protector of the settlements.

it is also important to note the Aitareya Brahmana literature, which stated that, “state and kingship had emerged from military necessity.”25 In exchange for the protection of people, the king received obedience and their contribution to the maintenance of his reign.

INDEPENDENT DELIVERY OF JUSTICE

After taking into full consideration the person and the offence, the motive, seriousness or lightness (of the offence), the consequences, the present (effects), and the place and time, the magistrate shall fix the highest, the lowest and the middle in the matter of punishment remaining neutral between the King and the subjects.

KING RESPONSIBLE TO SERVE THE PUBLIC INTEREST

the king, at least in theory, was considered subordinate to the popular will of the people, as mentioned in the Kautilya Arthasastra

PROTECTING TRADE WAS A KEY FUNCTION

“Local circuits of trade linked the villages, gramas, with the local market centres, nigamas, and these in turn with the towns, nagaras, the commodities in circulation being largely items of basic consumption.“39 Trade was certainly not limited by India’s natural waterways; in fact, trade flourished along the Ganges and river traffic “provided a wider circuit of exchange.”” While some scholars doubt the extent of trade with neighboring empires, it must be pointed out that, well before the Vedic age, archaeological evidence of clay seals throughout the Indus Valley and the ancient states of Mesopotamia like Ur, Lagash, and others suggests a strong trading environment between the inhabitants of theIndus Valley, specifically Mohenjodaro/Harappa and the Ancient Mesopotamia.

KING HAD NO ROLE IN MATTERS OF RELIGION

Kautilya advocated separation of church and state

NO ROLE FOR THE STATE IN EDUCATION

Surprisingly however, Kautilya did not mention much about the importance of education as an important element of statecraft. [Sanjeev; this is important. The king in Arthashastra DOES NOT involve himself in education]

RESPECT FOR FOREIGNERS

As described in Fragment I, Diodorus II, “among the Indians officers are appointed even for foreigners, whose duty is to see that no foreigner is wronged. Should any of them lose his health, they send physicians to attend him, and take care of him otherwise, and if he dies, they bury him, and deliver over such property as he leaves to his relatives.”103 [Sanjeev: great respect for foreigners]

NO TENURE FOR SENIOR OFFICIALS

This is precisely why Kautilya suggested that the monarch set up a recruitment policy to “establish (each) department with many heads and without permanency (of tenure of office).”5

WELL-ADMINISTERED COUNTRY WITH VERY HONEST PEOPLE

“They dislike a great undisciplined multitude, and consequently they observe good order. Theft is of very rare occurrence. Megasthenes says that those who were in the camp of Sandrokottos, wherein lay 400,000 men, found that the thefts reported on any one day did not exceed the value of two hundred drachmae…”69 

“Their houses and property they generally leave unguarded.”72

[Sanjeev: this reflects the HIGH levels of morality in ancient India- achieved through effective governance systems.]

NO SLAVERY

“…of several remarkable customs existing among the Indians, there is one prescribed by their ancient philosophers which one may regard as truly admirable; for the law ordains that no one among them shall, under any circumstances, be a slave, but that, enjoying freedom, they shall respect the equal right to it which all possess: for those, they thought who have learned neither to domineer over nor to cringe to others will attain the life best adapted for all vicissitudes of lot: for it is but fair and reasonable to institute laws which bind all equally…” 83 [Sanjeev: Ancient India DID NOT authorise slavery]

HOWEVER: “Scholars contend that despite the comprehensive welfare provisions in place under Mauryan rule, slavery was commonplace in ancient India. The issue of slavery in ancient India remains contentious amongst historians.”

it was noted by Megasthenes that the populace in India during his stay seemed generally content. Indeed as noted, one can gather this to be true because stringent control of the state in fact produced a protected society, thus Megasthenes’ further claim that crime was rare. The permanency of the message is striking as five centuries later, Fa-Hsien and his companions would also note that, “the inhabitants are prosperous and happy. [Sanjeev: a well administered country was India]

COMPREHENSIVE BUT RELATIVELY LIGHT TAXATION

“…the Administrator should cause to be entered in the Register the number of villages, classifying them as best, middling and lowest…grains, cattle, cash, forest produce, labour and produce in place of tax.”7 Kautilya further detailed what was taxable from the countryside so that his superintendents knew exactly what constituted revenue for the state. He told them, “the aggregate tax, the one-sixth share, provisions for the army, tribute, tax, the ‘lap’, the `side’, compensation for loss, presents, and income from stores constitute revenue from the countryside.”8 The “one-sixth share” in the sentence above refers to bhaga, which is to be understood as a share of produce from private lands, usually one-sixth. The one-sixth share is not fixed, as the tax fluctuated depending on the condition of the countryside. In fact, it went as high as one-fourth or one-third from the most fertile land, “according to yield” on an average land. Not much was expected from un-arable land which, as Kautilya stated, was better suited for infrastructure.

Despite comprehensive taxation, “taxes were intended to be light and equitable. The King is advised not to put too great a burden on the people, nor to resort to unrighteous and covetous methods.22 This sentiment was affirmed by Kautilya, who wrote that, “the King should exempt from taxes a region laid waste by the army of the enemy or by foresters, or afflicted by disease or famine.”23 Furthermore, Kautilya reached out directly to farmers when he said, “And he [referring to the King] should favor them with grains cattle and money. These they should pay back afterwards at their convenience.”24

[Sanjeev: this was a sophisticated tax system, underpinned by the ability to pay but never excessive, with one-third being the max. Sunny further details how taxation worked. Worth a read.]

…he should ask money of the rich according to their wealth, or according to benefits (conferred on them), or whatever they may offer of their own will [Sanjeev: this was for an emergency]

As Kautilya noted, “even actors, singers and prostitutes are to pay half their income.” [Sanjeev: Not quite sure about this – but appears that some categories of labour were at least partly supported by state regulation – so presumably they had a greater obligation to pay tax – need to check this when I find time]

Further:

The merchants dealing in gold, silver diamonds, precious stones, pearls, coral, horses, and elephants were to pay fifty karas. Those that trade in cotton threads, cloths, copper, brass, bronze, sandal, medicins, and liquor had to pay fourty karas. The trader in grains, liquids, metals and he who deal with cart were to pay thirty karas. Those that carried on their trade in glass (kaca) and also the artisans of fine workmanship, as well as those who kept prostitutes were to pay ten karas. Those that traded in fire wood, bamboos, stones, earthen pots, cooked rice, and vegetables had to pay five karas. Dramatist and prostitutes were to pay half their wages [Source]

LIMITED FREEDOMS AND PRIVACY

The Kautilyan police state was almost total. There was no room for anything resembling the modern Bill of Rights because individual liberties like freedom of speech and privacy were absent in the Kautilyan State. [Sanjeev: this is natural, given the constant fear of enemy attack in his times. The idea of liberty requires a strong state that is fully capable of performing its security functions. When security is compromised, freedom generally suffers.]

SUPPORT FOR THE POOR

…in all cases, he should favor the stricken (subjects) like a father.102

And the king should maintain children, aged persons and persons in distress when these are helpless, as also the woman who has borne no child and the sons of one who has (when these are helpless).’°3

And those women who do not stir out — those living separately, widows,
crippled women or maidens, – who wish to earn their living, should be given
work by sending his own female slaves to them with (a view to) support them.

Section officers inquired about each family’s income and expenditure to determine each family’s living conditions. Furthermore, the use of local and state officers provided
for an extremely structured welfare state.

USER-PAYS PRINCIPLE FOR INFRASTRUCTURE FUNDING

Kautilya gave due attention to the physical attributes of cities and towns. In other words, the dwellings in cities and towns had to not only adhere to certain criteria for maximum benefit of the people but at the very least had to provide resources within their reach.

 

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The capitalist economy of Ram Rajya as detailed in Valmiki’s Ramayana

I’m starting to study the Ramayana economy. Here are preliminary notes from this version of Ramayana. There is not the slightest hint of socialism in Ram Rajya.

Ramayana versions

Griffith version.

A modern translation.

MARKETS AND TRADERS – KING DIDN’T RUN BUSINESS

The city had beautiful and massive gates and charming markets;

Innumerable ambassadors and merchants dwelt there and people from many lands traded peacefully within its walls.

Let beautiful and eloquent women and merchants follow in his train, together with rich traders who can set up stores stocked with those things necessary for the army of Shri Rama. [Sanjeev: The army did not produce its own stocks – these were purchased from traders]

Of a celestial aspect, it was filled with different kinds of merchandise, and traders from every country came there. [Sanjeev: Ram Rajya was a FREE MARKET]

In the market, in the houses, at home and abroad, all spoke only of the coming proclamation of Shri Rama as ruler.

Those cities with their innumerable parks, filled with vehicles and well-stocked markets,

KING DIDN’T PRODUCE

0 Foremost of Men, I give  thee gold and silver coins; take with thee a quantity of gold and  set out, having furnished thyself with supplies of weapons, food and conveyances. [Sanjeev: the idea here is to go and BUY these things from the market, INCLUDING WEAPONS]

STRONG DEFENCE

The city was enclosed by strong fortifications and a deep moat which no enemy, by any expedient whatsoever, could penetrate.

ROLE OF KING

On a kingdom destitute of a  ruler, clouds charged with lightning and thunder pour down  rain and hail! In a rulerless land, the peasants sow no grain ;  fathers and sons oppose each other and wives no longer remain  subject to their husbands. In a rulerless land, there is no  peace, thieves and brigands exercise their power; women,  unfaithful to their consorts, leave their homes! Where women  lose their virtue, trust is also lost. In a rulerless land, there  are no assemblies, nor do the people visit pleasant parks and  gardens or build temples and homes of rest. [Sanjeev: People build their own temples – at least for the most part, not the king]

In such a land, the self-controlled brahmins offer no sacrifice nor do those of pious vows, assist them in the sacred rite. In a rulerless land, the brahmins do not receive their due share of the sacrificial fees ; neither do actors nor leaders of song or dance find joy in such a land. The holy festivals promoting the land’s prosperity are no longer held, nor do those reciting the holy tradition give satisfaction to their hearers.

In a rulerless land, virgins adorned with golden ornaments, do not frequent the flower gardens at close of day, nor do the devotees of pleasure, riding swift chariots in company with charming damsels, repair to the forest.

In such a land, the wealthy are not protected, nor does the husbandman, the cowherd and the shepherd sleep at ease with open doors.

In a rulerless land, great elephants of sixty years of age do not wander on the royal highways adorned with tinkling bells. The twanging of the archer’s bow is no longer heard, nor do the merchants travelling the roads in security bring their goods to sell from distant lands. [Sanjeev: Ram NEVER trades or produces anything: he provides security to traders]

In a rulerless land, the self-controlled sage, fixing his mind, in contemplation, on his identity with the all-pervading spirit, receives no hospitality when night falls.

Wealth is not unassailable, nor are man’s needs supplied, the armies have no leaders, nor can they match the enemy in war.

In a rulerless country, no man, gorgeously apparelled, riding in an excellent chariot, drawn by swift steeds, can go forth without fear; [Sanjeev: CLEARLY, THE KING’S MAIN FUNCTION IS OF SECURITY] nor can the learned disputant propound his doctrines in the city or forest.[Sanjeev: the king is not busy running schools or colleges]

In such a land, garlands and sweetmeats, alms or other gifts, are not offered by worshippers as a sacrifice, nor in the springtime, do the princes, like blossoming trees, adorned with sandalwood and ambergris, walk abroad.

A kingdom without a sovereign is like a river without water, a forest without vegetation, or a cow without a keeper. As a chariot is known by its standard, as a fire is indicated by smoke, so the king, a light representing the kingdom, has been extinguished.

No man loves his own kind in a rulerless land, but each slays and devours the other. [Sanjeev: this is the basic theory of Hobbesian social contract, repeatedly in various Indian scriptures]

Atheists and materialists, exceeding the limits of their caste, assume dominion over others, there being no king to exercise control over them. [Sanjeev: this sounds like a bit of a problem – but note the king ONLY intervenes when they assume “dominion” over others. There is no prohibition in being an atheist]

JUSTICE

“”A wise and learned king, having obtained and ruled the entire earth, properly by righteousness and by administering justice to the people, indeed ascends to heaven when detached from the mortal body.” [Source]

“The king will have great renown for he is the ruler of the righteousness of these people, a protector, a respectable and adorable one, and as he wields the sceptre of justice,” [source]

As the eyes continuously point out what is dangerous to the body, promoting its welfare, so the king ever regards the advantage of his people, promoting truth and ethical conduct. [Sanjeev: the king’s ONLY role is to promote good conduct]

The king leads his people in the path of righteousness and guides them in integrity, he is the parent of his subjects and the greatest of benefactors. [Sanjeev: This is where we can differ radically from Ram Rajya, since the king is a servant of the people, not master]

In the path of duty he excels even Yama, Kuvera, Indra and Varuna. The king, discerning good and evil, protects his kingdom [Sanjeev: the defence function, again]; bereft of him, the country is enveloped in darkness. 0 Holy Vasishtha, while the king lived, we obeyed thy! mandates as the sea keeps within its boundaries. 0 Great Brahmin, consider our words and the danger threatening this, our kingdom, and appoint someone as king if he be of the house of Ikshwaku.

ADDENDUM

ANCIENT INDIAN THOUGHT WAS PURELY CAPITALIST. IT INVOLVED SEPARATION OF STATE AND BUSINESS, LOW TAXES

“‘The king, O Bharata, should always act in such a way towards the vaishyas [merchants, commoners] so that their productive powers may be enhanced. Vaishyas increase the strength of a kingdom, improve its agriculture, and develop its trade. A wise king levies mild taxes upon them” (Mahabharata,XII.87).

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