Ancient Indian History - Vedic Politics

  • Politics of Vedic India was well structured and organized.

Political Structure

  • 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)

    • Dutas (envoys)

    • Spies (spy)

  • 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.