Posted by: digirak | December 13, 2009

The cholas were quite barbaric

Now it so happens that i dabble in history it also happens that i am a fanatic follower of the cholas
Now it so happens that when i read history its rarely dispassionate, thats because i mostly associate it to reality as i see it now this might be a frawleyian narrative with a lot me personal touch nevertheless let me attempt it
It all started with me reading shastri pretty balanced historian and one of the few who wrote to enthrall and not bias folk. The history of south india is filled with conquests and is politically resoundingly rich.

It all started with KAN’s The History of South India book, it had posessed me in the last 3 months or so, an avid reader nevertheless it took me sometime to digest the matter written therein by KAN. Let me espouse a brief background here, i am a little emotionally attached to the cholas, the major reasons seem to elude my grasp and the minor reasons are too personal for me to discuss in a public forum but as we shall see it is the result which matters. The voyage started with Kalki krishnamurthy with my father reading out the partiban kanavu when i was much younger, the embeliishments stayed in my mind till much later.

With this in mind i am passionately attached to the history of the tamil country. Now coincidentally i found friends back at work who could be as passionate about and we use to discuss the chola campaigns right till kalinga(modern orrissa). However i was still a n00b those days to truly understand the implications  of the 12 century combats. KAN however objectively states thus”…. rajaraja desecrrated the countryside on his invasion into the pandyan kingdom” Now Rajaraja represents to me the pinnacle of success and kingly genius, to be more verbose if there are 3 kings i really hero worship in india it would be Chatrapathi Shivaji, Narasimhavarman pallavan and Rajaraja chozha.This seemed to me the first sign of blasphemy. Bulstering in contempt i read on.

Of course KAN could not have been wrong he provides solid indisputable evidence that the wars indeed were followed by most of the countryside by laid to waste by the victors. It also happened to be modus operandi for the pandyas and the chalukyas as well as thehoysalas.However if you think thats the law, well it so happens that the local sentiment for the chozhas is fairly strong and loyalty to the king was something th locals really valued(read k krishnamurthy/sandilyan etc).

With this as the background i think it is simple to arrive at the conclusion that i was pretty much put off at acts of barbarity . Now what really amazes me is the fact that despite such barbarities the cholas dont come across as the kalabhras kinds they certainly seemed to benevolent rulers who would bestow their subjects with goodness when it suited them, however what continues to amaze me is that despite the so called barbarities the cholas continue to enchant and enthrall people with their governance but the fact remains that where they struck they will remembered as barbarians


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