The concept of “saam, daam, dand, aur bhed” (negotiation, price, punishment, and difference) is attributed to Kautilya, also known as Chanakya, an ancient Indian philosopher, statesman, teacher, strategist, and royal advisor. He is considered to be the pioneer of the field of political economy and statecraft in India, and is widely credited with having played a key role in the establishment of the Maurya Empire. The concept of “saam, daam, dand, aur bhed” is an ancient Indian political strategy that can be used to achieve one’s goals.


Kautilya’s Arthashastra, a treatise on statecraft and economics written in the 4th century BC, is one of the most important works on ancient Indian political thought. In the Arthashastra, Kautilya discusses a variety of topics, including statecraft, diplomacy, military strategy, and economic policy. He also devotes a significant amount of attention to the concept of “saam, daam, dand, aur bhed.”


Kautilya believed that these four methods were essential for any ruler who wanted to maintain power and achieve their goals. He argued that negotiation was the best way to resolve disputes peacefully, but that it was also important to be prepared to use bribery, punishment, and diplomacy as needed. The concept of “saam, daam, dand, aur bhed” has been used by rulers and leaders throughout Indian history. It is still used today in business, politics, and other fields.


Here is a quote from the Arthashastra that illustrates Kautilya’s views on the use of “saam, daam, dand, aur bhed”:

“The four methods of statecraft are: conciliation, bribery, punishment, and sowing discord. The wise king should use these methods in accordance with the time and place, and should not be partial to any one method.” (Arthashastra, Book 1, Chapter 14)


It is said that Kautilya did not advocate for the use of these methods in a ruthless or unethical manner, and that he believed that they should be used only when necessary, and that the goal should always be to achieve the best outcome for the kingdom and its people. Nonetheless, it can be said that the concept of “saam, daam, dand, aur bhed” can be used for good or for evil, depending on the intentions of the person/s using it. There is a possibility that the concept of “saam, daam, dand, aur bhed” is being put to use in the Indo-Naga political talks too, we never know.

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