On Sunday, Twitter erupted in questioning the history books which believe that the Mauryan emperor Ashoka was the one who actually propagated Buddhism which is now the world’s fourth-largest religion.
There has been a notion that our history books have been teaching a lie in the country. According to our history books, emperor Ashoka renounced war after the Kalinga war and embraced Buddhism. However, turns out that there is a lack of clarity.
As per other texts, emperor Ashoka invaded the Kalinga region in 260 BCE and slaughtered over 100,000 residents of Kalinga and drove out 150,000 more. He also looked that many others die of the disease and famine. As Ashoka walked through the battlefield, he had a change of heart as he saw lives crumbling on the streets. He is believed to have given up war and embraced Buddhism and then embarked on the path of peace. An article says that,
“He made himself available to his subjects at all times, addressed what they considered wrongs, and upheld the laws which benefited all, not only the upper class and wealthy.”
However, author Sanjeev Sanyal says a different story in his book The Ocean of Churn: How the Indian Ocean Shaped Human History. Sanyal says,
“None of the Buddhist texts link Ashoka’s transformation to any event in Kalinga. It is also fascinating to note none of the Ashokan inscriptions in Odisha mention any regret the emperor may have. If his regret over the tragedy of the Kalinga war led to his conversion at least one place should have mentioned the expression of his emotions. In fact, the inscription where he supposedly expressed his regret is in modern-day Pakistan. Even in those inscriptions he never offered to release those prisoners. Instead, he warned the tribes of the region of dire consequences if they tried to resist his invasion.”
However, a twitter user started to question history books after he pointed out a lie that has been fed to people. He said,
“When Ashoka became Buddhist: 4th year of his rule. When he invaded Kalinga: 8th year. Ashoka was a BUDDHIST when he waged the Kalinga war. After the war, he killed 18,000 non-Buddhists who allegedly “insulted Buddhism”. Whom do they finally blame? Yes, Hindus and Hinduism. Yes, the great Buddhist emperor Ashoka killed 18,000 Ajivikas & Jains because a Nirgrantha Jain of Pundravardhana (Bengali) named Jnatiputra drew a picture of Buddha prostrating at the feet of Mahavira. Worse, this information comes from a Buddhist source.”
Here are other reactions on Twitter.
When Ashoka became Buddhist: 4th year of his rule.
When he invaded Kalinga: 8th year.
Ashoka was a BUDDHIST when he waged Kalinga war.
After war,he killεd 18,000 Non-Buddhists who allegedly "insulted Buddhism".
Whom do they finally blame? Yes, Hindus and Hinduism pic.twitter.com/lZ8bWARWaQ
— True Indology (@TIinExile) August 8, 2020
Ever since i started following @TIinExile, i have been blown away so many times that i do not even remember.
— Praveen CK (@PravCK) August 8, 2020
Warped, manipulated and twisted history that’s taught to us is to make Hindu conscious fall asleep so the seed of awakening lies dormant in us, as a result we have a generation of anti national librals,communists and fighting them are the small town nationalist Bhakts – KR https://t.co/92s42HKGnY
— Team Kangana Ranaut (@KanganaTeam) August 9, 2020
It's amazing to see how Hindus walk straight into the trap laid by Marxists and Leftists whenever Kalinga war is mentioned. Kalinga War was a conflict between the armies of two states – Maurya and Kalinga.
— Satish Verma (@satoverma) August 9, 2020
I am stunned. Was taught Ashoka became Buddhist out of remorse after seeing the bloodbath of the Kalinga war.
Is anybody challenging TI on this fact?
If TI is right, those who wrote our history should face trial. https://t.co/S2Sej0tAvY
— Abhijit Majumder (@abhijitmajumder) August 9, 2020
Nearly all of us taught that after the #Kalinga war and the destruction of the war #Ashoka was so depressed that he accept the buddhism. But now I am shocked to know that He turned into buddhism way befor the kalinga war.thanks to @TIinExile for lighting the truth.
— Shekhar D (@shekharD1989) August 9, 2020
Important thread. Biggest lie ever taught in school – Ashoka converted to Buddhism after Kalinga War. Unlearn whatever history you had learn in History text books (nothing but communists manifesto) in schools. Read primary sources and enlighten yourself. https://t.co/tvMdXRpCQu
— Vikrant Dhenge (@vikrantdhenge) August 9, 2020