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Learn from Chanakya to tackle Terrorism

Attack on Mumbai! So what’s new? Ask any Mumbaikar how tired he has become of hearing the same thing every year, almost becoming used to it. Most have a fatalistic philosophy of “Akhir ek din to marna hi hai” (After all, we have to die one day).

But there were also numerous disturbed readers, who sent mails to me, asking specifically if Chanakya had any solution for terrorism in his treatise Arthashastra.

He did. Chanakya had said:

“Three Magistrates, all of them of rank of ministers, shall carry out suppression of criminals” (4.1.1)

This is the opening verse of Book 4 of Kautilya’s Arthashastra on tackling (“suppression of”) criminals.


How many times have we observed that even the most deadliest of criminals manage to get away scot-free in this country? There is no fear of the law.

Therefore, the state has to adopt a much stronger law & order policy. Did you note how, after 9/11, America did not have any more terrorist attacks? In our case, it just grows bigger and deadlier with time.

Since 2004 itself, we have faced as many as 16 major terrorist attacks. Why do we still need a reason to wake up? Why are we not ready to learn from our mistakes and rectify it? A strong anti-terrorism posture is the utmost need of the hour.


Our ministers should study how America and other countries have tackled similar situations. They should learn from them and make an action plan.

And, after doing this, it’s important that they do not just sit back doing nothing.

Our ministers should learn to execute these plans. In the final showdown, it’s always in the hands of the leaders. They have to learn to be pro-active.


Read what Chanakya said centuries ago: Not one, but three people who are judges should come together. Why? Because they will come up with different view points and angles of thinking. However, in the same sutra (verse), Chanakya also advises that these “Magistrates” should be of the rank of ministers.

In the olden days, a minister was close to the king. The same situation can be replicated today by giving our law experts and judiciary more power, especially to those who have already proven the soundness of their executive powers in the past.

Mumbai will get back to normal – it always does. This is the city’s strength.

But, my dear leaders, have you decided to sleep again till the next attack wakes you up? Please decide to get stronger.

As they say: “Lets work hard now so that we can have a peaceful sleep later”.

(The author, Radhakrishnan Pillai is a ‘strategic leadership’ trainer and consultant and also the Director of SPM FOUNDATION, the vision of which is to bring back ancient Indian knowledge in modern day applications. Can be contacted at

The above article can be found on line – click here:


LISTEN TO RADHAKRISHNAN ‘CHANAKYA’ PILLAI ON RADIO Every week on the show ‘Ask Chanakya’ (Sunday 11-12 noon & Friday 8-9 pm Indian Time) on Moksha channel no 602 of Worldspace satellite radio. For details click below


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