structure from state ritual.
State’s Interest in Commercial Ventures as a Second Resource The
same is valid for the hypothesis of ‘politics of plunder’, which ignores this
interdependent arrangement as well as the state’s active interest in trade and
commercial ventures as a second resource base. It regards Chola warfare as
determined by economic needs, to secure access to ‘free floating resources’
through predatory raids, and not as a policy of expanding trading interests
through overseas expeditions, for royalty and the temple were the biggest
consumers of luxury items which such commerce provided. Customs at royal
ports, the presence of foreign (Srivijayan) agents at Chola ports, and
embassies to China were also intended for securing a second source of
revenue.
Chola Bureaucracy
Traditional Approach vs Segmentary State Approach Maintaining the
picture of the Chola state as centralised, with a Byzantine royalty of imperial
dimensions, the traditional approach looked at the abundant inscriptional
references to adikaris and other such high ranking personages as representing
a powerful bureaucracy, hierarchically organised and thoroughly efficient. It
was differentiated from local officials, especially village officials and local
magnates. The segmentary state concept refutes the existence of a powerful
bureaucracy, regarding all the titles including the adikari and muvendavelan
as those of powerful local chiefs and magnates rooted in the locality rather
than having significant links with the king’s government. They are viewed as
the political arm of the dominant peasantry in their respective nadus.
Modifications of this approach conceded that the Chola state was lightly
bureaucratised.
New Approach Based on Recent Empirical Studies More recent
empirical studies based on a statistical analysis and concordance of personal
names and designations in the Chola inscriptions, the chronological and
topographical distribution of titles, status terms, etc., make a clear distinction
between terms referring to office and status, between central and local
officers, between officials and locality leaders, pointing out evidence of a
hierarchically organised officialdom     in revenue administration. Local chiefs