Answer the following question in detail.
Describe the democratic and oligarchic states in ancient India.
Democratic States :
- Some of the ganasanghas were divided into regional zones called 'Khanda'.
- They functioned through a group of elected individuals, who were found capable.
- Each of the elected members represented his respective khanda.
- These elected members were installed with collective authority for the smooth running of the ganasangha.
- This was a democratic system. Ganasanghas which functioned in this democratic way existed in Punjab and Sindh at the time of Alexander's invasion.
- Each elective representative of the respective regional zone was designated as 'Ganamukhya'.
- Every ganamukhya was a member of the assembly known as 'Gana Parishad'.
- The decisions made by the Gana Parishad were implemented by designated functionaries of the various cadre.
- He was known as the 'Adhyaksha' or 'Raja'.
Oligarchic States :
- In this type, the elite class in the society held all the powers of decision-making and administration.
- Panini and Kautilya mention them as 'Rajshabdopajivi' Sangh.
- Panini includes Vajji, Andhaka, Vrishni, Yaudheya in the Rajashabdopjivi type.
- Kautilya includes the Vrijji or Vajji, Madrak, Kuru, Panchala, etc. in this type.
- This type of ganasanghas were more prevalent in the eastern region of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
Concept: Federation of States (Ganarajya)
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