(Last Updated on : 17/11/2011)
Indian and foreign kings ruled India in the post Mauryan period. The foreign rulers included Indo Greeks, the Indo Scythians, the Indo Parthians and the Kushans. However the administrative structure did not differ in both of them. Foreign rulers were highly influenced by the Indian political thought.
The system of dvairajya was a practice introduced by Scythian rulers. Under the Sakas and the Parthians, the king and the heir-apparent ruled with equal powers. Under the Western satraps, the father ruled as Mahakshatrapa simultaneously with his heir-apparent as Kshatrapa. Both issued coins in their own names. In dvairajya the junior member seems to have exercised greater powers as compared to Yuvaraja of the Indian kingdom. Some queens like the queen of the Satavahana dynasty used to act as regents. The powers of the king increased. There was no revival of assembly like the samiti of the Vedic period. The power was vested in the king and the ministry. The ministry was responsible to the King. Ministers were known as matisachivas and karmasachivas under the king Rudradaman I. The treasurer was known as Koshthtagarika or Bhandagarika. The secretariat functioned as in the earlier period and used to serve as the link between the Central Government and Provincial and District administrations.
The foreign rulers changed the designations of some offices. The province governor was called Kshatrapa or Mahakshtrapa under the Sakas and the Kushanas. The district officer was known as merider and the military commandant as strategos under the Greek rulers.
The general administrative structure did not differ from that of the earlier period. Senior officials were known as Mahamatras and Rajjukas. Under the Satavahanas private secretaries to kings and treasures were also Amatyas. The Amatyas were omnipresent in the administration during this period.
The chief officer over Rashtra was known Rashtrapati or Rashtrika. Village continued to be the smallest administrative unit. The village headman was known as Gramani, Gramika or Grameyaka or Gramabhojaka. He was assisted by a council of elders, Grama-mahattaras.
Land tax, customs and extra impositions are the main taxes that were imposed as per evidences. They were paid in kind or cash. The army, the general administration and the royal household received the major share of the state revenues. A considerable part of the state's income was spent on charity to temples and monasteries and in construction works of public utility.
On the downfall of the Mauryan Empire republics reasserted themselves. The Kunindas, the Yaudheyas
, the Arjunayanas
and the Malavas became independent by c. 150 B. C. The central executive was tending to become hereditary. No president of the republic state was allowed to issue coins in his own name.
No ruler of the period issued administrative edicts like Ashoka. The country was not visited any curious foreigner. It can be presumed that under the bigger kingdoms of the period like the Sungas the Satavahanas and the Kushanas, the state discharged most of the ministrant functions and had extensive administrative machinery as that of the Mauryas.