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Day 59 – Q 2.Expand upon the philosophy of ‘Saam, Daam, Dand, Bhed’. Is it relevant today? Comment.

2. Expand upon the philosophy of ‘Saam, Daam, Dand, Bhed’. Is it relevant today? Comment. 

साम, दाम, दंड, भेद के दर्शन पर विस्तार करें। क्या यह आज भी प्रासंगिक है? टिप्पणी करें।


Arthshastra written by Kautilya/ chanakya/ vishnugupta (different names of same person) has reference of “Saam, Daam, Dand & Bhed neeti” (persuasion, temptation, punishment, and division) as various, different, and sequential means to achieve an end.


This is by far the most practical idea applied by Vedic kings since time immemorial, practical even to this day.

  • Saam Neeti: When disagreements arrive, and are not substantially settled, conflicts grow. Identifying and allaying disagreements is the object of Saam.It means paying attention to your adversary’s argument and understanding his/her perspective. 

  • Daam Neeti: People work for money, incentives, recognition, awards etc. Chanakya suggests rewarding people sufficiently in order to get the work done. Organizations decide to facilitate by cash or kind, depending upon the policy formulated.
  • Dand Neeti: Chanakya says “King with rod becomes a terror. A king with mild rod is despised; king just with rod is honored”. Many employees may not show sign of improvement from above methods of motivations in spite of constant follow up.  If neither reward nor incentive brings them out of lethargy, punishment is stronger option, but need to be used very intelligently. Punishment is always prescribed for view to improve not to deteriorate. 

  • Bhed Neeti: Much abused neeti, divide and rule, Chanakya says something very important. When no weapon works, then this the hard option, though not encouraged at all, it is final step.

All of the above mentioned neeti goes in a sequence, starting with Saam, if this fails, then there is a need to move to Daam Neeti and so on. The final step being the Bhed Neeti and it is observed in almost all cases that results are attained or seem to be attained if we follow the above principles. 

Relevance today

Let us try to understand the Neeti’s using examples

  • Saam Neeti: In any organisations, there is a possibility of conflict between people working in a group. To sort these differences, there is a need for proper discussions.We need to listen and understand others problem, convince them about management perspective. Solutions can be worked outto complex problems through negotiations. Sometimes expertise from external or internal agency also can help.This principle can be applicable even in International Relations, where forums can sort out their differences.
  • Daam Neeti: Piece rate system of wages is an example, which is a reality in almost all the organization for certain defined work, target based incentives scheme, where target may be sales volume, productivity, machine efficiency. Award system, like best employee, most regular employee, long serving employee etc. all these fall under Daam neeti.
  • Dand Neeti: Fear of punishment that people refrain from doing unrighteous things. Punishments like warning, show cause notice, suspension or salary cutting. Punishments under CCS Rules for civil servant deter them from wrong-doing. Depending on level of irregularity, type of punishment can be used in view of maintaining discipline.
  • Bhed Neeti: When both employee and organization cannot work together and Parting is the only option left, else company can think of transferring to some other work area, which may not be very crucial. Government officers, mostly policemen or IAS officers often face transfer under this policy.


The concept of Chanakya Neeti must be understood in a broader sense. Sometimes people seem to misuse them for their personal benefits. It must be utilized for a good cause; It must always abide by the law & order and help in improvement and not deterioration.

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