Asoka Ruthless Or Enlightened Analysis

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Asoka: Ruthless, or Enlightened? Asoka was a powerful, yet arrogant leader of the Mauryan Empire over 2,000 years ago. His empire reigned over most of modern India. After years of war over land, Asoka ended violence and turned to the Buddhist religion to influence his new edicts (commands obeyed like laws). The question is, what type of ruler was he; ruthless or Enlightened? Asoka was a ruthless leader due to the fact he was power-hungry and ignorant.

Power-Hungry Leader
One reason why Asoka was a ruthless leader was because he was power-hungry. In his conquering of Kalinga, he killed hundred of thousands of Kalingins to get what he wanted; more land (Doc A). Not only did he kill thousands for his claiming of land, but he claims he gave up violence and decides to live a peaceful and happy life when he
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How does it take hundreds of thousand of his own people dead for him to realize he should change? How does it take his own enslaved people suffering for years for him to understand that his actions are wrong? Should it had took his supporters, and his society dying for his conquering of land to open his eyes to the fact he is taking human lives? (Frey 161). Many modern notorious villains have done the same thing. Whether it be 2,000 years ago or today, these ‘leaders’ all have one thing in common: Taking lives of individuals, (forcefully or not) to fulfill an ultimate selfish goal. In conclusion Asoka is a ruthless leader due to the fact he was power-hungry and ignorant. Although he could be considered enlightened because he changed his ways, how he got to his positive ending was wrong and egocentric of him. There was other possible ways to get to his positive and nonviolent life without having to kill thousands to get there. Asoka only turned to his enlightened self because he had no more reason to use his immense power. If threatened, he could have easily turned back to his old

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