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Ancient Indian Law: Its Implementation, Rights and Protection

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Item Code: HAP897
Author: Krishna Kumari
Publisher: Prashant Publishing House, Delhi
Language: English
Edition: 2024
ISBN: 9789391520274
Pages: 259
Other Details 9.5x6.5 inch
Weight 588 gm
Book Description
About The Book

The rule of law in India originated in dharma. Dharma meant law, duty, and righteousness. It was a guiding element of every Indian's life. Dharma was considered to have a divine origin. It was considered to be imposed by God for the proper functioning of society. Just like any law, dharma created a sanction. It was believed that those who did not walk on the path of dharma will be punished by God. It was the basis and supreme law of the nation. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that dharma was not just limited to law but also included ethics and moral beliefs. In Indian society, no one was considered to be above dharma. Even a king was bound by Raj dharma (law of ruler) and Kshatriya dharma (law of warriors). In India, we find a section of legal codes from 1st CE, which by reaching to 6th century have developed themselves in the form of legal procedure which is known as 'Vyavahara', we have found the evidence in the inscription of the Ashoka Empire, in which he told all his judicial officers to be impartial, and follow the Dharmashastras. According to Manu Smriti, the Ancient Hindu Law has, 18 titles which are similar to the modern laws, some of them are non-repayment of debt, deposit, partnership business, resumption of gifts, nonpayment of wages, duties of husband and wife, adultery, disputes between the master and the servant, breach of contract, gambling, theft, etc. The sources of law during this period were Sruti, Smriti and acharas (customs). Sruti consist of the 4 Vedas namely Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda and Atharvaveda. These Vedas chiefly dealt with religious duties, practices and customs. The second source is called Smriti, which literally means 'as remembered' and refers to tradition. They are the humanly authored written texts that contain the collected traditions. This book will definitely prove to be a boon to teachers, students and research scholars.

About the Author

Dr. Krishna Kumari, a reputed name in the world of history and has studied Indian history thoroughly. She is highly qualified and did her B.A. (Hons.) History, M.A. (History) and Ph.D. At present she is Asst. Professor and teaching History at Non-collegiate and Laxmi Bai College Under Delhi University. She has qualified Bihar Eligibility Test (BET) for Lecturership (UGC). She is an academician and a prolific writer and has published a number of research papers in widely recognized journals across the country. She is a visiting faculty of history at a reputed I.A.S. Academy Delhi.


India has a known legal history that dates back to the Vedic eras. It is thought that there was a judicial system in place in ancient India, even during the Bronze Age and the Indus Valley Civilization. India has a long history of using philosophical and religious teachings to shape the law. It was a fruitful area, enhanced by practitioners from various Hindu philosophical schools and later by the Jains and Buddhists. It sprang from the Vedas, the Upanishads, and other holy scriptures.

Smritis are what are remembered. These were texts based on the remembrance of sages who were considered the "repositories of the sacred revelation". Smritis were also called dharmashastras. The most famous Smritis are the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. Other smritis include Manusmriti, Yajnavalkaya smriti, Brihsapati smriti, and Narada smriti.

Historically, the term "Hindu" has been used to describe an ethnic group rather than a religion. The term "Hindu" was first used to refer to the ethnic group of people known as Indians by the Persians, then by the Greeks, and it became more common in the thirteenth century to separate them from the Islamic kingdoms within India. Rare country of this world had such a long and colorful tradition of national identity. The Civilization Valley has one of the world's oldest civilized societies. The idea of Nyaya can be traced in the scriptures such as Ramayana, Mahabharata, Smriti, and Vedas.

Manusmriti is the most important and the oldest of all smritis. It is believed that it was based on manava dharmasutra though it cannot be ascertained. It deals with the duties of people from all walks of life and in each stage of life. It includes everyone ranging from the common to royal people. Even Manusmriti has stated that dharma is the supreme law. The members of the royal family, including were also subjected to dharma.

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