DMPQ: Write a short note on the republican constitution of the The Licchavi’s .

There were two Systems of government in the Eastern region. The states of Anga, Magadha, Vatsa etc. were monarchies. Those of Kasf, Kaulala, Videha etc. on the other band were republics. Two of these republics were quite well known, the Republics of the Vajjis or Licchavis and that of the Mallas. Republics were later developments of monarchies and the precursors of democracies. The  Licchavis founded their Republic with a view to consolidating their political power. The credit for its foundation goes to Cetaka, who was a wise and valorous king of Videha. He was also the President of the whole Republic. This Republic was the union of eighteen political units, nine of which belonged to the Licchavis and the remaining nine to the Mallas.

The Kings of each unit comprising the Vajji Republic were called Gananayakas. The council of the Gananayakas was called Gana Sabha or Republican Council. It made the constitution and the laws. The individual units were governed in accordance with the constitution of the Gana or the Union. The Vajji Republic was rich and well developed in the fields of Politics, Economics, Society and Religion. The monarchists were highly jealous of this powerful Republic. They were bent upon destroying it. But they were helpless in the face of the powerful Vajjian army.

Videha with its capital at Vaisali was the biggest unit. Vaisali was divided into three zones. The first zone consisted of seven thousand residential houses with golden domes. The middle of the town consisted of fourteen thousand houses with silver domes. The third zone consisted of twenty-one thousand houses with copper domes.

These zones were inhabited by the high, middle and lower classes respectively. Vaisali was not only the capital of the Licchavis, it was the capital of the entire Vajji Republic. It was enclosed within four city walls, each at a distance of two miles from the others. It had several ramparts and entrance-gates. The Republic was a confederation of six clans viz. the Ugras, the Bhojas, the Rajanyas, ihe Iksvakus (the Licchavis), the Jnatasand the Kauravas.

 

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