(Last Updated on : 22/11/2010)
Protection of Prince as a part of king's personal responsibility has been discussed in chapter XVII of Book I of Arthashastra
. Ever since born the king is supposed to take personal care of him along with his responsibility towards the wives. While the protection of the prince has largely been discussed by other scholars, Kautilya
says that when the king has only one son who is either devoid of all worldly pleasures or is king's most affectionate then he can be kept under checks whereas if the king possesses more than one son he can be sent to other far off places who either do not have heirs or a child just born.
Protection of prince also identifies three types of sons: one who possess sharp intelligence; one with stagnant intelligence and some with perverted minds. Accordingly the prince who possessed with good and amicable qualities, he may be made the commander in chief or the heir apparent. He who carries into practice whatever he is taught concerning righteousness and wealth is one of sharp intelligence; whoever never carries into practice the good instructions he has imbibed is one of stagnant intelligence; and whoever entangles himself in dangers and hates righteousness and wealth is one of perverted mind.
Protection of Prince further makes provisions that if a king has an only son (of perverted type), attempts shall be made to procreating a son to him; or sons may be begotten on his daughters.
When a king is too old or diseased (to beget sons), he may appoint a maternal relation or a blood relation (Kula) of his or any one of his neighbouring kings possessed of good and amicable qualities to sow the seed in his own field. As such it has been made clear that a son with perverted mind and wicked temperament will never be allowed to be the king.
Thus, Protection of a Prince remains vital as he shall be responsible to be the ideal ruler in future carrying the moral ethics of the kingdom. Any negligence on the upbringing and security of the prince will lead to mislead the kingdom.