The Reign of the Ruthless Conqueror, Ashoka

Asoka was the ruler of the Mauryan Empire ( the main empire of India for 2000 years). After his remorse of the mass killing, for the land of Kalinga he was known for the spreading of the worldwide religion known as buddhism. The battle of Kalinga was Asoka’s most well known battle, it included the sudden gorey death of 200,000 citizens of Kalinga. Keep in mind Kalinga was a peaceful ruling, they paid their tribute to the Mauryan empire, never started conflict and strived to live in harmony with the Mauryan empire. Asoka conquered them as well as mercilessly obliterated the people of the kingdom. Asoka took control of the whole Mauryan empire in 268 BCE. Thinking he was a good guy for this action, would be incorrect, the peoples of today are clouded with nostalgia and only focus on the part of him spreading buddhism. Asoka was a ruthless conqueror and his practice of being one is still evident, yet still is neglected by today’s people. Asoka was a ruthless conqueror and it is evident if you glance at the battle of Kalinga. In document A it states that 100,000 were slaughtered in the capturing of Kalinga, 100,000 were killed by disease infection (infections may of been caused by Ashoka’s army as well as the wounds may not of been tended to properly and had a high chance of getting infected.) This supports the claim of ruthless conqueror by showing how many were killed, not to mention the the 150,000 citizens driven out of the city to find new land. A popular question for an uninformed reading this may be “There has to have been a motive.” and it would be correct to think that. According to document B it states that Kalinga was a very important trading route for the Mauryan, in order to trade with China.

But also according to document B, Kalinga the small kingdom regularly paid tribute to the Mauryan empire to stay on good terms judging by the edicts. Another reason for this immense bloodbath was to rid of neighboring opposing power. This supremely supports my claim of Asoka being a ruthless conqueror. All of the facts brought up in this essay point to the fact that Ashoka was a ruthless conqueror. Asoka killed many people in Kalinga therefore putting him on the naughty list. He conquered land that paid tribute/tax to the mauryan empire, and allowed the mauryan empire to use the trade port. Ruthless is to have or show no pity or compassion for others. Asoka demonstrates this through the battle of Kalinga. He supported, led as well as partook in the murder of 200,000+ citizens for an unjustified reason. 200,000 is a lot now but think about how immense that number was back then. Many argue Asoka is an enlightened ruler due to his feeling of remorse after the battle as well as spreading the religion of buddhism. Even then he cannot shed his ruthless skin, if one did not abide by the law he created they were to be executed, even for a minor misdemeanor. If the truth about Asoka is continued to be shunned by historians as they spread false information, the image of Asoka shall be positive when he deserves a negative one.

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