MA Political Science students of BHU asked to write essay on GST in Kautilya’s Arthashastra

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Students appearing for MA Political Science paper at Banaras Hindu University were asked to write an essay on the nature of GST in Kautilya’s Arthashastra and discuss that Manu is the first Indian thinker of globalisation.

GST
(Express Photo: Anand Singh)

When students protested highlighting that the topics were not part of the subject,  Professor Kaushal Kishore Mishra, who set the question paper, said that it was his idea to ‘introduce these examples.’

Defending his 15-mark questions, Mishra said that he had ‘interpreted the two thinkers and taught their philosophies through new and current examples like GST and globalisation.’

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“It was my idea to introduce these examples to students. So what if these are not in the textbook? Isn’t it our job to find newer ways to teach,” he was quoted by Indian Express.

One student was quoted as saying, “Sir had dictated the answers, and specifically told us that we would get these questions. They are not part of our textbooks but we took down notes.”

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But students of colleges affiliated to BHU disagreed and said that they had not been taught the answers adding that it was not part of their course material.

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According to Mishra, “Kautilya’s Arthashastra is the first Indian book which hints at the current concept of GST. The concept of GST primarily says that consumer gains the most. The meaning of GST suggests that the country’s finances and economy be unified and uniform. Kautilya is one such thinker who propounded national economic integration — ekikaran… In fact, Kautilya had specified in his time that taxes on house construction be 20 per cent, gold and other metals 20 per cent, border tax 20 per cent, gardens 5 per cent, singers, dancers and artistes 50 per cent.”

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Mishra added, “Manu was the first thinker to have introduced the tradition of globalisation in the world… Nietzsche has said this in as many words when he lauds Manu’s economic, political and religious principles. Manu’s thoughts spread the world over, and were adopted by countries. Evidence of Manu’s teachings on religion, language and politics is found in China, Philippines, New Zealand. In New Zealand, the word for ‘manav’ or man has been borrowed from Manu.”

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