a) Orientdespotism is a state in which all the power and domination has been manifestedby a single person and everybody else are the secondary to it. That singleperson is mostly the King. This concept of orient despotism has been promotedfrom the ancient Greeks by Aristotle, a Greek philosopher and scientist.
In the Middle East andAsia, the orient despotism existed as tribute-collection which was based on thesystem of production-property relation. During the Aryans rulingperiod (rig-vedic period), pastorals and cattle was considered as wealth. Asthe agricultural practices got advanced due discoveries of mineral cores likeiron, the worth of land got increased. After the rig-vedic era, the concept oforient despotism got widely spread and accepted.
During Dharmashastra period,despotism can be seen as the King could not donate or trade the land of hiskingdom as the land were belonged to the all the residents of the kingdom. And also during Maurya period, Kautilya was in complete favor offull authorization of the ownership to the king. During the Muslim sultans’ period (in 1200s), eventhough there were no ownership of the land but some taxes were imposed onaccordance of the size of the land on the land holders during Sher Shah Suriperiod.During British rule when Governor General was lord Corwallis, ownershipof land was transferred to Zamindars, which passes from generation togeneration to the male heir. Therefore, the Orientdespotism can not apply to ancient India.
b) In Arthshastra, King had toperform dual role, one as a participant in trade and secondly, as a regulatorof trade or more specifically of prices.As a price regulator, king has to prevent theformation of price making markets in land. The reason for this regulation was tomaintain a fixed profit rate (approx. 5%) to traders above permitted purchaseprice of local goods and 10% for foreign goods. The objective was to measure 3 entities-1) Profit to King.2) Profit to Merchant.3) Meeting demand of public at fair price.