Opinion: India Needs The Peaceful Doctrines Of Ashoka Now More Than Ever

There is nationwide unrest everywhere. A violent ambiance is rampant and wildly spreading. To dispel the darkness of untruth and violence, there is an upsurge of Ashoka’s doctrine. Ashoka is the pioneer of nonviolence and solidarity. He has glorified our country by the ideology of secularism with a spirit of solidarity. The golden credit for such idealism belongs to only a few who, by their glorious achievements, influenced our history so powerfully and enormously.

History stands a silent speaker to Ashoka’s grand conception of nonviolence and brotherhood. Image credit: Ancient-origins.com

Ashoka, considered to be one of the mightiest kings of ancient India, still stands as a great pillar of integrity and unity. Ashoka as an immortal emperor is still ruling in our hearts for his brilliant, unparalleled nationalism. Ashoka as a great monarch determined to unify India became a Rajchakravartin. The ideal of ‘Digvijay‘ pursued him to conquer Kalinga. The Kalinga war was, however, a turning point in his life. The atrocities that he had witnessed changed him to a different persona. The bloody river of Daya was sufficiently powerful to convince him of the futility of conquest by physical force.

The irreparable and irreplaceable loss of families in that Great War brought an unfulfilled void in his mind. The usefulness of violence and devastation created anarchy everywhere. Therefore, he sought to bring peace to his country by the nonviolent policy. And Ashoka waged no further war during his reign. The famous Kalinga war was indeed the first and last war during his monarchy. After the devastation and mass destruction of more than one lakh men, a profound sorrow crushed his heart of course with regret and guilt.

The massacres, slaughter and violent deaths of people forced him to change his looks towards a peaceful dynasty. His various missions towards the speculations of Ahimsa showed his keen interest in international statesmanship. He sent messengers to foreign countries to preach the doctrine of Ahimsa. He dissolved all his sins by seeking the blessings of Buddha. History stands a silent speaker to Ashoka’s grand conception of nonviolence and brotherhood.

Why can’t we practice the doctrine of peace and secularism currently in our life? Why there is a loss of faith and degeneration everywhere? Religious crises and spiritual loss are prevailing everywhere. Crises of hope and mistrust are clouding our aspirations. Religious discrimination is the root cause of such negative behavior. Why can’t we attain the principles of Ashoka? He spread the message of love and compassion. He even tried to unite the Hindus and Muslims to attain the spirit of integration. He converted to Buddhism. He devoted his entire life to practice and propagate Dharma, which shaped his personality to a unique emperor of India.

Not only has he practiced this ideology in his life, but also has constructed 84,000 stupas and viharas. Sanchi at Madhya Pradesh, Dhamak at Sarnath (Uttar Pradesh ), Bodhi temple at Bihar, Taxila at Pakistan are some of his golden creations. Even he has sent numerous missionaries across the world to spread the pious doctrine of nonviolence.

His son Mahinda, daughter Sangamitra, went to Sri Lanka to spread the pristine spirit of Buddhism. The 13/14 rock state that Ashoka won a victory (Dhamma) by sending peace messengers to several kingdoms. The inscription and sculptures are the forebears of his devotion to Dharma, religious tolerance, and renunciation of war.

We should follow his ideologies of transformation and unification of cultural interests. He was indeed a unifier of cultural and religious relics. Political leaders should imbibe his philosophy of cross border integration to revive our immortal ideas of secularism and brotherhood. It is righteous to attribute him as a victorious ambassador and a great patron of Indian culture and ethics. A new and modern India indispensably needs the golden treasure of values like nonviolence and peace for reigning in the world.

Similar Posts

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below