06 May, 2021

Year Of The Guru

It’s hundred years since the discovery of Chanakya’s great work from a manuscript

Nilot Pal Baruah
Year Of The Guru

Against Amnesia

  • This is the centenary year of the publication of Kautilya’s Arthashastra
  • The manuscript is in a cupboard in the director’s office at the Oriental Research Institute, Mysore
  • Its pathbreaking discovery, and publication, by Shamashastry altered our view of ancient Indian history
  • The institute is still not clear how the centenary should be celebrated
  • Shamashastry’s family fears the event may go unnoticed


The Oriental Research Institute (ORI), set up in 1891 by the then maharaja of Mysore, is a magnificent heritage building, blending architectural styles such as Gothic, Corinthian and Romanesque, and housing nearly 60,000 palm-leaf manuscripts from antiquity. What brought fame to the institute, however, was the discovery among them of Kautilya’s Arthashastra some 100 years ago. A manuscript of the treatise on politics and...

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