Kautilya's Views on Secret Activities of Intelligence in Arthasastra and Its Current Relevance

Ni Made Sumaryani


Kautilya's Arthashastra is considered the best political and war discourse was ever written in prose. Dating from the 4th century, which contains views on elements of war tactics and covert activities. Political science contains law, combat techniques, attack strategy, defense strategy, including intelligence. Kautilya has outlined the principles of intelligence by emphasizing the importance of spies in securing and defending a country. This paper tries to study the intelligence aspects established by Kautilya and tries to solve modern age problems such as terrorism, internal conflict, armed insurrection, and ultimately guarantee one's safety. Intelligence activity was directly under the authority of the ruler with the formation of secret service organizations, through the recruitment of secret agents from all groups and the deployment of secret agents in two basic groups (samstha and samchār). The method of spreading secret agents in Arthasastra aims for early detection in one's own country, an enemy country, a friendly country, and a neutral country to find out the strengths and weaknesses of each element of the country.


Kautilya, The Arthasastra, Intelligence, Secret Activities, Defense Strategy, Threat

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.25078/ijhsrs.v5i1.2158


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