Asoka: Ruthless Conqueror or Enlightened Ruler?

539 Words Feb 19th, 2018 2 Pages
Or what about a peaceful leader who was deeply concerned about people? Apparently, no one would want to be known by anything negative acts they’ve done during their lifetime. But what about Asoka? Was he a ruthless conqueror or enlightened ruler? Asoka was the ruler of most of what became India from 268 BCE until his death in 232 BCE. He was the founder of India, and to Indians now and then, Asoka was a warrior and a ruler beyond any in their history. He made a large impact on the world, and became Buddhist. He spread his beliefs without force, but Asoka also had a dark side. Although he fits into multiple categories, which ones should he be identified as? Asoka should be remembered as an enlightened ruler because he ended violence and worked to help people, he spread Buddhism, and he inspired Modern India.
To begin with, Asoka was kind and concerned about people. He became peaceful, enlightened, and more open-minded after finding enlightenment. Asoka’s ideas changed after his conquering of Kalinga because he felt sorry for them. According to historian Michael Wood, “[It was] a rejection of a whole way of understanding history.” ( Doc C). By this, Wood means that Asoka rejected the way rulers in the past felt after conquering land. Regardless of who they were, they enjoyed being victorious. But instead of abandoning the Kalingans, who had lost so much, Asoka’s reaction to the…
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