Gaṇa sangha

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Gana-Sangha [1] (Sanskrit: गणसङ्घ) or Gana-Rajya [2] (Sanskrit: गणराज्य), refers to a type of republic or oligarchy in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent.

Sanskrit language of ancient Indian subcontinent

Sanskrit is a language of ancient India with a 3,500-year history. It is the primary liturgical language of Hinduism and the predominant language of most works of Hindu philosophy as well as some of the principal texts of Buddhism and Jainism. Sanskrit, in its variants and numerous dialects, was the lingua franca of ancient and medieval India. In the early 1st millennium CE, along with Buddhism and Hinduism, Sanskrit migrated to Southeast Asia, parts of East Asia and Central Asia, emerging as a language of high culture and of local ruling elites in these regions.

A republic is a form of government in which the country is considered a "public matter", not the private concern or property of the rulers. The primary positions of power within a republic are not inherited, but are attained through democracy, oligarchy or autocracy. It is a form of government under which the head of state is not a hereditary monarch.

Oligarchy is a form of power structure in which power rests with a small number of people. These people may be distinguished by nobility, wealth, education or corporate, religious, political, or military control. Such states are often controlled by families who typically pass their influence from one generation to the next, but inheritance is not a necessary condition for the application of this term.

The gana sanghas were generally found on the periphery of the Indian kingdoms, and tended to occupy the higher ground. [1]

Their general make-up was either that of a single clan (e.g. Shakya), or a confederacy of clans (e.g. Koli).

Shakya former country in present day India and Nepal

The Shakya were a clan of late Vedic India and the later so-called second urbanisation period in the Indian subcontinent.

Koli people Kshatriya Koliya

The Koli people are an ethnic Indian group in Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Karnataka and Jammu and Kashmir states.

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  1. 1 2 Thapar, Romila (2002). "Early India: From the Origins to AD 1300". Google Books. University of California. pp. 146–150. Retrieved 28 October 2013.
  2. Majumdar, Asoke Kumar (1977), Concise History of Ancient India: Political theory, administration and economic life, Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers, p. 140

Further reading

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