August 27, 2010

Satavahana Administration

The Satavahana administration was very simple and was according to the principle laid down in Dharmashastras. The king laid no claim of divine right. They had only the most modest title of rajan. They had no absolute power. Their power was checked in practice by customs and shastras. The king was the commander of war and of threw himself into the thickest of the frays.

A peculiar feature of the Satavahana administration was the presence of feudatories of different grade. The highest class was that of petty princes bearing the kingly title raja and striking coins in their own names. Next in rank was the maharathi and mahabhoja. Both titles from the beginning were hereditary and restricted to a few families in a few localities. Probably mahabhoja ranked higher than that of maharathi.
The mahabhojas were the feudatories of Satavahanas. They were primarily located in western Deccan. They were related by blood to the feudatory maharathi. It is definitely known that the maharathis were the feudatories of Satavahanas. They also granted in their own name villages with physical immunities attached to them. The maharathis of the chitaldrug enjoyed the additional privilege of issuing coins in their own name.


Quit India Movement

In August 1942, Gandhiji gave the slogan 'Quit India'. The Congress passed a resolution on 8 August 1942 which stated that the immediate ending of British rule in India was an urgent necessity both for the sake of India and the success of the United Nations. The Congress resolved to launch a mass civil disobedience struggle on the widest scale for the vindication of India' right to freedom and independence if the British rule did not end immediately. The day after the resolution was passed, the Congress was banned and all the important leaders were arrested. The arrest of the nationalist leaders provoked a wave of indignation among the people. Quit India resounded throughout the country. There were spontaneous demonstrations at many places and people resorted to the use of violence to dislodge the foreign rule. The government used army and police to suppress the movement.Hunderds of persons were killed and over 70,000 arrested in less than 5 months. The struggles continued through out the period of the Second World War.


Elections for Constituent Assembly

The elections were held in 1937 and about 15.5 million people cast their votes. Many parties including Congress and Muslim League participated in the elections. The Congress swept the polls in most part of the country. In 6 provinces it won an absolute majority and in 3 other provinces, it emerged as the single largest party. There were 482 seats reserved for Muslims. Of these Muslim League won only 108.In 4 provinces, including the North –West it failed to secure even one seat.

The nationalist movement under the leadership of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan secured significant victories. In July 1937 on the assurance of the Viceroy that the governors would not interfere in the administration; the Congress formed its ministries in 6 provinces –United Provinces, Central Provinces, Bihar, Orissa, Madras and Bombay. In the North-West Frontier Province and Assam, the Congress formed its ministries later and in Sind a ministry was formed with the support of the Congress. These ministries took some important steps immediately after coming to power. Political prisoners were released and bans on newspapers were lifted. Important steps were also taken in the field of education.


Subhas Chandra Bose and INA

In 1941, Subhas Chandra Bose had escaped from India and reached Germany. He carried on activities for India's freedom from there and made broadcasts exhorting the people of India to over throw British rule. In July 1943 he came to Singapore.Ras Bihari Bose an Indian revolutionary who had escaped from India to Japan in 1915 had set up the Indian Independence League. After the Japanese had defeated British, the Indian National Army was organized from among the Indian soldiers who had taken prisoner by the Japanese.Subhas Chandra Bose took over the leadership of Indian Independence League and reorganized the Indian National Army to liberate India from British rule. On Oct 21 1943 he proclaimed the setting up of the Provincial Government of Free India .In 1944 three units of INA along with the Japanese troops moved into Imphal-Kohima region of N-E India. The attack was repulsed. Even though the attempt to liberate India failed the activities of Subhas Chandra Bose and the INA served to strengthen the anti-imperialist struggle in India.


Andhra Satavahanas


(a) Aitrareya Brahmana puts the Adhras beyond the pale of Aryanism.

(b) Nasik Prasasti lays claim to Gautmi as a brahamana.

(c) Puranas called them their services to Aryanism they were - admitted to the Aryan folk after their services to Arynanism - there is a reference to them in the Asoka inscriptions as well as by Megasthenes.

(d) Some call them Brahmins - some, mixed Brahmins of Naga origin, aqnd some, protectors of Brahmins,

(e) Numismatic evidence points to the origin in Western Deccan and Madhya Pradesh. Epigraphic and literary evidence points to their western origin - the figure of the founder of the dynasty is found in paition in western Deccan.

(f) Epigraphic evidence refers to them as Satavahanas, not as Andhras.

(g) Possibly, Andhra is the Tribal name : Satavahana, the dynastic name, and satakarni, the Surname.


(a) Puranas - mention 30 kings,.

(b) Aitrareya Brahmina.

(c) Literary sources -- Gunadhya's Brihatkatha. And Leelavati, which deals with the military exploits of Hala.

(d) Nasik inscription of Gautami Balsari.

(e) Hathigumpha inscription of Kharavela for inferring the date of the first ruler.

(f) Sanchi inscription extent of the Satavahanas kingdom till Malwa.


(a) The founder war one Simukha - probably the first century B.C. - supplanted the lingering Sunga and Kanva rulers - rule of the dynasty was for 300 years. Simuka was succeed by Krishna or Kanha.

(b) The next known king was Satakarni - the kingdom expanded - probably defeated by Kharavela - performed Ashvamedha Pratishthana was the capital - confusion after him. Kshaharatas or sakas occupied parts of Maharashtra.

(c) Hala is the 17th in the list of Puranas - his book is saptasataka - deals with both erortic and philosophical themes. Gundhaya's Brihatkatha deals with the rivalry between Prikrit and Sanskrit.

(d) Beginning from 25 A.D. to 75 A.D. there was confusion - saka eruption.

(e) The greatest ruler was Gautamiputra Satakarni. He was the 23rd according to Pupranas - around 72 A.D. the Nasik inscription of his mother talks of his being the destroyer of Sakas, Yavanas and Kshaharata - also says that he crushed the pride of Kshatrias - overran konan, Saurashtra, Bihar and Malva. A Philanthropist, he maintained Arya Dharma - put an end to Varna - Sankara - some regard him to be Vikramaditya. Built the city of Benakataka and assumed the titles of Raja Raja and Svamin.

(f) The next known ruler was Pulumayi II around 96 A.D. - first ruled Andhra country - Vaijyanti and Amaravati famous cities - Satavahanas a naval power - probably overseas colonisation - large number of inscription.

(g) The next know ruler was Vasishtiputra Batakarni of sri Pulumayi - married the daughter of Rudradaman, a Saka ruler -- however Rudradaman twice defeated him. Also, Sri Pulumayi lost to Chastana, son of Bhosmotika.

(h) Next known ruler was Yajna Sri Satakarni - around 160 A.D. - Malva, Kathiawad and North Konkan - inscription found in Konkan and Krishna - coints found in Gujarat and Kathiawad - defeated Kshatapas.

(i) After the declined Salankeyanas ruled over the Satavahana territory.


(1) The Very area over which they ruled was important connecting link between link between northern and southern India - Andhras were instrumental in spreading Aryan culture to the south.

(2) Their colonizing activities spread to South-East Asia - influence of Amaravati sculptures on South-East Asian sculptures.

(3) They did maintain contact between India and the Western world in matters of trade.

(4) They were instrumental in curbing the penetration of Sakas further into south.

(5) Some of the later southern dynastic like Ikshvakus, Kadambas, Tarikutakas and Abhiras continued the Satavahan tradition and the Pallsvas and the Chalukya claimed the tradition of Satavahanas.