(Last Updated on : 16-05-2011)
Consolidation of the Kingdom as mentioned in the chapter IV of Book V in Arthashastra
enables the minister to organise such rituals for the welfare of the king and the kingdom which shall help them to avert all forms of natural calamities, or destruction of the enemies, or capable of prolonging life as well as procuring son as heir apparent if the king does not have one of his own. On appropriate occasions the minister is advised to place a pseudo king in front of all the relatives, friends, and enemy in disguise and make the false king to speak in favour of the kingdom. He is advised to utilise the occasion for establishing new relations with neighbouring states and if among the neighbouring kings anyone seems to pose a threat with invasion must be invited in this occasion. The treasury and the army shall be kept under the command of two reliable and confidential persons, both inside as well as around the periphery of the kingdom.
Consolidation of the kingdom then advises the minister, with the help of nobles and king's family, to install heir apparent and show him in public; he shall then conduct the rest of the administration on the behalf of the newly installed heir apparent. The chapter then reflects light on the intrigues played by the minister who pretends to be against the state when a king is dead in the enemy area. As such Kautilya
makes a mention that with the end of the king the minister is free to invest himself with all powers of sovereignty. On the positive side the minister shall righteously place a prince on the thrown who shall possess all amiable qualities in his character.
Consolidation of the Kingdom then specifies that the role of a responsible minister shall begin with installation of the prince to the thrown and shall end only when the prince reaches the age of self administration during which time he shall request him to relieve him of his responsibilities and settle for a simple life reading Puranas and other Vedic literatures of Vedic age.
Thus, Consolidation of the Kingdom has been written by Kautilya
to evaluate the future of the kingdom after the death of the king .The minister shall play a role of intermediary and function for the state in the absence of any actual ruler and look after the security of the kingdom in their absence.