RSS-backed magazine targets Ashoka: ‘He was reason for India’s decline… (but) worshipped as great’

The RVKP is affiliated to the Sangh Parivar as a part of the RSS’s tribal wing, the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram, which is headquartered in Chhattisgarh.

Written by Mahim Pratap Singh | Jaipur | Updated: July 1, 2016 9:22 am
king ashoka, ashoka the greast, rss, Sangh Parivar ashoka, rss targets ashoka, rss magazine ashoka, rss magazine akbar, rss ashoka news, rss magazine ashoka article, rss magazine ashoka news, india news, latest news While the article recognises Ashoka’s greatness as a world leader before his conversion to Buddhism, it quickly moves past that to note that after his conversion he started over-promoting some principles related to ahimsa. (Illustration by C R Sasikumar)

After Mughal Emperor Akbar, the Sangh Parivar has now raised questions about the legacy of Emperor Ashoka. A publication backed by the RSS has claimed that Ashoka’s conversion to Buddhism and his promotion of ahimsa opened India’s borders to foreign invaders.

It has also accused followers of Buddhism under Ashoka of having played a seditious role by assisting Greek invaders thinking they would destroy “Vedic religion” and pave the way for dominance of Buddhism.

The article was published in the May issue of the mouthpiece of the Rajasthan Vanvasi Kalyan Parishad.

The RVKP is affiliated to the Sangh Parivar as a part of the RSS’s tribal wing, the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram, which is headquartered in Chhattisgarh.

While the article recognises Ashoka’s greatness as a world leader before his conversion to Buddhism, it quickly moves past that to note that after his conversion he started over-promoting some principles related to ahimsa.

“It was India’s misfortune that the same Emperor Ashoka, who became the reason for India’s decline…we worshiped him as great…It would have been better if, like Bhagwan Buddha, Emperor Ashoka too, would give up his kingdom, become a monk and promote Buddhism…(then) India would not have had to face such a mountain of hardship,” noted the article published in the magazine, Bappa Raval.

It further added that “instead, he (Ashoka) turned the entire empire into a giant monastery for promoting Buddhism. It was because of the Buddhist leaders of Magadha that Greek invaders returned to conquer India…Buddhist monks propagated seditious, senseless, anti-India ideas among their disciples that Buddhism did not believe in caste or nation. Whenever foreign invaders sympathetic to Buddhism attacked India, these Buddhists colluded with them, instead of fighting them bravely.”

The article is part of “Bharat: Kal, Aaj, Aur Kal (Bharat: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow)”, a series of essays on India’s history that is featured regularly in the magazine. RVKP office bearer and magazine editor Dr. Radhika Ladha, who authored the article, said she did not mean to accuse Buddhists or Emperor Ashoka of anything.

“All I wanted to say was that although our ancestors were great luminaries, our country has had to face so much due to certain small mistakes on their part. I never called Buddhists seditious…it was only meant to convey their poor understanding during that period,” Ladha told The Indian Express.

“My perspective was that we should learn from our mistakes and lead the country on to a path of prosperity and development,” she added.

The RVKP, established in 1978, works with six Scheduled Tribes in Rajasthan across 3000 tribal villages. It operates residential schools, hospitals and sports training centres in scheduled areas.

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  1. V
    Vedic power
    Jul 1, 2016 at 7:54 am
    Yes right they were not part but came out of hinduism and flowered but were critical of vedas they r the non vedic relegion came out of hinduism or vedic relegion n people itself but become anti of it just like u become christian out of hinduism or watever to become comfortable imilative respective of relegion culture u come out is very important running n working of new relegion that why they become anti to hinduism that is why rss is criticizing them
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    1. A
      Ankit bihari
      Jul 1, 2016 at 10:59 am
      H.G. Wells wrote of Ashoka in his book The Outline of History: "Amidst the tens of thousands of names of monarchs that crowd the columns of history, their majesties and graciousnesses and serenities and royal highnesses and the like, the name of Ashoka shines, and shines, almost alone, a star.
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        Ankit bihari
        Jul 1, 2016 at 11:13 am
        Reality is that Ashoka change the religion for political unity but brahmin (shunga) fail them.
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          Manjunath
          Jul 1, 2016 at 10:44 am
          Arayn dogs are fast marching towards annihilation!
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            Manjunath
            Jul 1, 2016 at 10:47 am
            Asoka got really fed up with the criminal mind of brahmins, and converted to Buddhism.
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