Professor J.J. Anjaria presents a lucid overview of the role of the State in Hindu thought and its connection to the modern State. The starting point is Dharma, which in Hinduism furnishes the elegant conceptual framework to understand the universe and thereby also the nature of political obligation and the purpose of human activity. In particular Hindu thought sees the State and its rulers as subservient to Dharma.
Prof. Anjaria argues that in modern times State regulation of men and institutions based on birth power wealth or gender will block the fulfillment of the individuals true aspirations and the development of a harmonious society. He calls for a renewed concept of Dharma, which would allow the State, in a true democracy, to fulfill its crucial role of supporting individual human endeavor. This requires moving away from the old view of Dharma, which over the centuries came to be implemented as a rigid, static set of rules that sought to preserve a status quo.
This work offers fresh insight into ancient Hindu political theory and a new perspective on Prof. Anjarias scholarship.