Role of Guilds in Ancient India: The origins of the culture of India have always been an intriguing topic and many researchers have devoted their time to looking for traces and evidence of the various occurrences that have happened in Ancient India. India has been a land of thousands of civilisations and empires being formed since the initial times. People formed societies and stayed together due to various reasons. They started forming guilds in the later phases and started getting together on the basis of the works they do and the crafts they are into.
These small groups that were formed on the basis of jobs and arts were known as guilds. Guilds have been a very interesting topic for archaeologists and historians as they provide a new direction and another way to uncover the various happenings that occurred at that time and can also give up a glimpse of what kind of a lifestyle the people had then. We do have a number of documents and papers that can confirm the arts and styles of the people of that time, especially the Harappan civilisation but the evidence that covers the existence of guilds of the time has still not been discovered.
Role of Guilds in Ancient India:
Researchers are still not sure of the origins of the guild system. As in the Vedic period, the division on the basis of varna and function had begun, the formation of groups on this basis can be expected. As the guilds were formed in history, the crafts and trade started flourishing because of which the concept of providing goods instead of any other good or service was initialized. The kingdoms that were formed saw it as their duty to raise and support guilds in order to grow their cities and towns and generate revenues.
Role of guilds in ancient India in spreading and attaining crafts, trade, and culture:·
- As the crafts started spreading and cities started coming up with their own specialities and arts, people started getting more and more aware of the new and high-end materials and technology. ·
- There were cities that were popular for one craft and the other city was popular for some other craft. This led to people that were interested in one specific craft move to the most suitable place for it and settle there. Not only this, some cities were formed just for trading and crafts purposes. ·
- Cities stated being known for the craft that was being flourished and helped invite more people into it. As for the cities that were serving people belong to all kinds of works and sectors were divided as per the work. ·
- For instance, people who were good with painting and drawings lived in a certain part of the village, while people who were good with carpentry were living in some other part of the city. Streets and colonies were divided on this basis and were even named accordingly. ·
- This helped the state and the people in many ways. The people who wanted to purchase goods or wanted to be a part of the authentic craft could go the designated streets and colonies and make purchases very easily. ·
- Additionally, the government found it easy to govern people on the basis of their craft and had to take decisions by keeping in mind the guilds and not the individuals of the place. ·
- The children who were born to families following a certain craft could easily learn their family craft by staying under the influence of the masters of the craft since their birth and were able to develop appreciable skills due to this. ·
- By segregating the people on the basis of their jobs and work helped people grow an even strong bond between the people and were able to find extended families in their culture.
Final words: By giving a brief thought to the role of guilds in ancient India, we can figure out the way our societies have been formed and how did we get where we are today. The flourishing of trade and commerce was an important role that the guilds played. Due to the formation of such groups, people found strong bonds between them and were able to take their culture to an even greater level.