August 23, 2018
Asoka: Ruthless Conqueror or Enlightened Ruler?
Asoka was more of a ruthless conqueror than an enlightened ruler and the reasons to this are because he went to war and killed over 200,000 Kalingans, he only conquered Kalinga because of the money, and he never meant anything he said and he only wanted forgiveness because he wanted to conquer another area and expand his economy so he was really never done fighting with the Kalingans.
The first reason is because he went into war and killed over 200,000 Kalingans. Document A shows Asoka conquering a part of India called Kalinga by going into that area and killing a bunch of Kalingans so he could have more land. It also shows that Asoka’s forces had an advantage against the Kalingans by surrounding them and outnumbering them, allowing Asoka to conquer that area. 100,000 Kalingans were killed in battle and another 100,000 died of disease or hunger. In total 200,000 Kalingans died because of him. In Document F it shows that late Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru said that he considers Asoka a national hero because he spread Buddhism just so the Kalingans could forgive him for his wrongdoings. He wanted forgiveness from the Kalingans by spreading Buddhism as stated in Document F, but who would forgive someone who had just killed 100,000 and then let another 100,000 Kalingans die of disease and hunger. This is the first reason why Asoka is more of a ruthless conqueror than an enlightened ruler.
The second reason is because he only conquered Kalinga because of the Ganges River Valley and how it would provide him with a convenient source of income or money. In Document B it states that Asoka only conquered Kalinga so it could help the economy of his empire by the Ganges River Valley providing him a convenient source of income. Document B also tells us that after Asoka conquered Kalinga how he ceased to indulge in wars of aggression because his empire was complete and because people on the frontier were too weak to go to war against him and now that the kingdoms of southern India were on friendly terms with him because of the edicts he made. Document D shows some of the edicts he made and he made them because he wanted to be forgiven by the Kalingans. He made promises to the Kalingans and he was going to be fully committed...