Ancient Indian History - Vedic Politics
- Politics of Vedic India was well structured and organized.
The political structure of Rig Vedic India can be studied in the following ascending order −
The Family (Kula), the smallest unit.
The Village (Grama)
The Clan (Vis)
The People (Jana)
The Country (Rashtra)
Kula (family) included all the people living under the same roof (griha).
A collection of several families constitutes the grama (village) and its headman was called gramini.
The collection of several grama (village) was called as the Vis and its head was called Vispati.
Several Vis constituted a Jana as it is mentioned as Panchajanah, Yadva-janaha, and Bharata-janaha.
The aggregation of all Jana constitutes Rashtra (country).
The hereditary kings were the popular form of Government.
The provision of a democratically elected king by the assembly of people Jana was also known.
The Rashtra was small states ruled by a raja (king).
The bigger kingdoms were ruled by ‘samrat’ that reflects that they enjoyed a position of greater authority and dignity.
The Raja administered justice with the assistance of Purohita and other officials.
The Raja was offered bali, which was voluntary gift or tribute for his services. The bali was offered by his own people and also from defeated people.
The crimes were strongly dealt with by the administration. Major crimes were theft, burglary, robbery, and cattle lifting.
The important royal officials were −
Purohita (chief priest and minister)
Senani (army chief)
Gramini (head of a village)
Sabha and Samiti were two important assemblies mentioned in the Rig Veda. These assemblies were forms the essential feature of the government.
The Samiti was mainly dealt with the policy decisions and political business, included common people.
The Sabha was a selected body of the Elders or Nobles and less political in character.