According to Kautilya’s Arthashastra, which of the following are correct?
- A person could be a slave as a result of a judicial punishment.
- If a female slave bore her master a son, she was legally free.
- If a son born to a female slave was fathered by her master, the son was entitled to the legal status of the master’s son.
Which of the statements given above are correct?
[UPSC Civil Services Exam – Prelims 2022]
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
- Statement 1 is correct as the Arthashastra mentions that a man could become a slave through various means.
- Statements 2 and 3 are correct as the Arthashastra defines the legal relationship between master and slave, stating that if a female slave bears her master a son, she becomes legally free and the son inherits the legal status of the master’s son.
- According to the Arthashastra, when a female slave gives birth to her master’s child, both the child and the mother are considered free. However, if the mother is required for sustenance, her brother and sister will be set free.
- The Mauryan Empire had a vast territory, and various levels of administration were necessary to govern it effectively.
- The Arthashastra, Greek accounts, and Ashokan inscriptions provide insights into the administrative system of the Mauryan period.
- The Arthashastra mentions the use of slaves in agricultural operations during the Mauryan period.
- While domestic slaves were present in ancient Indian society since Vedic times, it was not a slave society in the traditional sense.
- Kautilya’s Arthashastra consists of 15 adhikaranas or books, with the first five focusing on the internal administration of the state, the next eight dealing with relations with neighboring states, and the last two covering miscellaneous topics.
- The Arthashastra addresses issues of administration, property, and crime.
- It argues for a fully-centralized government for the empire and mentions the existence of female bodyguards and spies employed by Mauryan rulers who were skilled in archery.
Therefore, option (d) is the correct answer.