Kautilya's Mandala Analysis

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In Kautilya’s own words, “Strength is power, and happiness is the end.” However, power is not constant at all times and thus, the Mandala Model assumes, that any two kings, whose territories are geographically contiguous, are natural enemies of one another. Although, this model bestows a high degree of theoretical sophistication and as per the Realist School of thought precedes Machiavelli’s philosophy, it does present an ideal representation of the contemporary international system. Since, it presumes a nation state to be unstable, conceivably self-destructive in the long run, as the system is in a constant state of conflict and there is no equilibrium, i.e. state of cooperation. The main focus of this paper is to highlight the Kautilya’s Madala Model in the existing geo-political scenario and its application as the model emphasizes on relative power in the international system.

In the first example, Pakistan is the Vijigishu and the main states that constitute the various elements in Pakistan’s Mandala i.e. enemy, ally, middle king and neutral king are discussed below, with justification and evidence. In the context of Pakistan’s bordering, the other states with contiguous borders are Iran, Afghanistan and China, although relatively do not share the same stature as India. India and Pakistan were born out of their independence from British colonial rule in 1947, with similar cultural, historic origin, and contiguous territories, India is identified as Pakistan’s natural enemy as prescribed by Kautilya.
Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 was the direct military confrontation between India and Pakistan during the Bangladesh Liberation War, India’s dominance in the military, political and economic realm since has been indisputable. In an ...

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...utral, and portrays Iran to be a military threat to vital interest in the Gulf, however the gulf leader focus on ideological difference and perceived political threats .
The analysis of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia within the current geopolitical scenario using Kautiliya’s Mandala Model proves that any two kings, whose territories are geographically contiguous, are natural enemies of one another. Also, ‘the pathological need for power’ as proposed by the Realist School of thought is substantiated through the examples. The struggle connotes instability and conflict within the system, inter-state alliances reveal inherent tensions and opportunities that accompany the choices exercised by states such as ‘double policy’, ‘war’, ‘peace’ etc. the case study aims to illustrate the contemporary international system and highlights the applicability of Kautiliya’s Mandala model.

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