Ashoka The Great… one of the greatest emperors of ancient India…

Who reigned from 273 BCE to 232 BCE as a great Mauryan Emperor..

Ashoka means “without any sorrow”

He was also called “Dev?n?mpriya” meaning the “one who is beloved of the Gods”.

The famous science fiction writer, H G Wells once said about Ashoka,

In the history of the world there have been thousands of kings and emperors who called themselves ‘their highnesses,’ ‘their majesties,’ and ‘their exalted majesties’ and so on. They shone for a brief moment, and as quickly disappeared. But Ashoka shines and shines brightly like a bright star, even unto this day.

What made Ashoka so famous?

Over 1,00,000 deaths that took place in the Kalinga war, most of whom were civilians..

The great amount of destruction resulting due to Ashoka’s invasion of Kalinga..

The after math of the Kalinga war, the pain and sorrow of Ashoka when he saw the destruction he and his army had made…

He uttered, “Oh God, what have I done?”

Ashoka embracing of Buddhism after the Kalinga war…

His giving up of war and violence ever after the Kalinga war..

His spreading of the message of peace and love..

The mission which resulted in the entire east asia getting converted into Buddhism as far east as China, Thailand, Japan..

In the west he spread Buddhism as far as Rome and Egypt…

His children Sanghamitra and Mahindra established Buddhism in Srilanka…

But what was this Kalinga Kingdom whose invasion by Ashoka rewrote the future history of a large part of the world?

Kalinga is the oldest known democracy in the world. It was a kingdom in the current Indian state of Orissa.

Unlike other kingdoms in the ancient India where there was a king who ruled the kingdom.. Kalinga had a monarchical parliamentary democracy system, it was a Republic!

The people prided in their democratic system and so when Ashoka asked the Kalinga kingdom to submit to his rule, they refused resulting in the massive bloodshed, which finally led to the embracing of Buddhism and denouncing of violence by Ashoka…

Since ages, India has been practicing democracy and democratic and non-violent means to bring about peace and order in the world.. Kalinga is just another example, where the sacrifice of a 1,00,000 people resulted in the largest message of peace and non-violence being spread all over the world…

India even today prides itself as being the only country which achieved independence through non-violence and peace!! One of the most populated country protesting against the british rule via non-violence and peaceful demonstrations! Just imagine where the British would have been then if these millions of Indians had turned violent then!

Or probably, if Indians had carried out a more organized violent aggression against the violent british rule, India would have become independent in 1857 itself during the First war of Indian Independence when mangal pandey ignited the minds of Indians on April 8th 1857 at Barrackpore, Calcutta..

India would have got independence even before Gandhiji was born!! Independence 90 years before 1947!

There would have been no bloodshed of Indians by the British like the one at Jallian Wala Bagh nor would there have been the partition of India..

Again, even in 1947 I dont think it was because of Gandhiji or non-violence that India became independent.. it was more because of the world war II that ended in 1945, where the British had suffered terrible losses.. Britain was unable to maintain its troops anymore in India… they had already plundered India to its max.. Subhash Chandra Bose had already shown a sample of what an organized Indian military strike can do… they had a lot to do to set their own houses in order at Britain first..

And so the British left India in 1947.. What say?

Below is a nice theme music of “Mangal Pandey – The Rising” with an alternate video…