Chanakya neeti continued….

Chanakya and misognysm:

Many critics argue that Chanakya was a misognyst and hence accuse him of downgrading women to the core; while they list a few couplets from Chanakya neeti one should not forget that Chanakya’s neetis are NOT religious tenets nor they are codes of conduct. The era which he wrote was known for polygamy,considering which such degradation of women would sound true. In those days women served as spies to the kings who were quite scrupulous so his bashing of such women should not be taken for women in general. To dismiss him as a misognyst one should not neglect to read about his life which tells us that he had great respect and compassion for women. 

Instances given such as, when Dhanananda was defeated ,the first thing Chanakya does is visit an old woman whose son was wrongly killed by the soldiers of Dhanananda,he also has dinner with her later when his proposal of marriage of Chandragupta(Chanakya wanted that as a political strategy to peacefully unify both the ruling clans inorder to strengthen unity of the country), to the daughter of Nandas is rejected by the bride,Chanakya does respect it thinking that its a girl right to deny her marraige against her will.

So just by reading certain couplets we cannot dismiss him as a misognyst ,rather readers should take a note of this verse from Chanakya neeti:

अधीतेदम यथाशास्त्रं नरो जानती सत्तम:

धर्मोपदेशविख्यातं कर्योकार्य शुभाशुभं

If a person studies these tenets with the same dedication as he studies other scriptures,he shall learn to recognize between good and evil; he shall know what is expected from him according to the scriptures and what not to do. He shall be a better judge of situations.


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