The glorious Chola king lost in history


New to Parliament The installation of Sengol, a symbol of transfer of power with royalty and justice in the building, has also served as a reminder of the glorious Chola dynasty. At least in the history textbooks of post-independence India, the content should have been selected and decided in such a way that the present has a holistic understanding of the glorious chapters of the past, so that a strong foundation stone can be laid for the future. How many students, teachers, common or enlightened Indians would be there today, who would have proper knowledge about the names of the kings of Chola dynasty, their work, their kingdom-expansion, their contribution in the fields of art, architecture, literature and culture etc.? Maybe very few or none at all.

The Chola dynasty was established in 300 BC, about 2300 years ago, whose influence lasted from the ninth century to the 13th century. Ashoka’s inscriptions, Panini’s Ashtadhyayi, Vartika composed by Katyayana, Sangam literature (100-250 AD), Buddhist text Mahavamsa, many inscriptions in Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada languages, coins of that period, foreign accounts etc. Get authentic information about the glorious history of. The reign of Vijayalaya (848–871 AD) saw a revival of the Cholas from the middle of the ninth century. There were about 20 kings in the dynasty of Vijayalaya, who ruled for more than four and a half hundred years in total. Aditya I, Parantaka I, Parantaka II, Rajaraja I, Rajendra Chola I, Rajadhiraja I, Kulottunga I, Vikram Chola, Kulottunga II, Rajaraja II, Rajadhiraja II, Kulottunga III, Rajaraja III and Rajendra Chola III etc. were prominent among them. Rajaraja I (985-1014 AD) and Rajendra I (1014-1044 AD) were the most majestic and mighty kings of the Chola dynasty. During his reign, the influence and expansion of the Chola Empire was spread from South Tamil Nadu, Andhra, Kerala, Karnataka to today’s Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Burma, Vietnam, Thailand, Maldives, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Cambodia etc. His navy was so powerful that he had established his supremacy over the entire Bay of Bengal. About 1000 years ago, such a developed navy is a reflection of the strategic foresight and power of the Cholas.

It is known from various inscriptions of the Cholas that their administration was well organized. The supreme authority of the state was the king, who ruled with the advice of ministers and state officials. Their bureaucracy was well-organised, with two classes of officials, higher (perundanam) and lower (shirudanam). From the point of view of good governance, the entire state was divided into several mandals. The mandal was also divided into smaller units like Kottam, Valnadu, Nadu, Kurram, Gramam. The nagarams were the assemblies of those places where the merchant class was dominant. The village councils were called ‘ur’ or ‘sabha’. The executive council of these ‘Sabhas’ was elected on the basis of merit for a fixed period. According to the record obtained from Uttarmerur, the village-governance was done by five sub-committees of ‘sabha’. The ‘Sabhas’ were free to rule and the king’s interference in their functioning was almost negligible. There was a system of very efficient and organized and developed committees from the point of view of the rules of the constitution, which were called Variyam, for conducting the work of ‘Sabhas’. In a way, an early glimpse of today’s democratic and local autonomous governance can be seen in the governance of the Cholas.

Most of the Chola kings were worshipers of Shiva, but they were also liberal and tolerant like other Hindu kings. Jains, Buddhists etc. followers also had equal rights in his state. Brihadeshwar, Rajarajeshwar, Gangaikonda Cholapuram etc. temples built by him are unique examples of architecture and architecture. The Chola bronze sculptures are considered to be among the best in the world. The idol of Nataraja in the Tandava dance pose shows the excellence of his sculpture. For irrigation, the Chola kings dug many wells and tanks and made reservoirs surrounded by stone dams to stop the flow of rivers. Despite all this, the history textbooks are almost silent on the extensive contribution of the Chola dynasty. It is sad that in our schools and universities emphasis is laid on teaching and learning only Delhi-centric history or singing praises of foreign invaders. For a holistic, complete and balanced understanding of India today, there is an urgent and urgent need that there should be a comprehensive change in the history textbooks and all the glorious chapters of the past, such as the Cholas, the Chalukyas, the Palas, the Pratiharas, the Pallavas, the Paramaras, the Maitrakas, the Rashtrakutas, the Vakatakas, Including all influential states and dynasties like Karkot, Kalinga, Kakatiya, Satavahana, Vijayanagara, Odair, Ahom and Naga, their methods of governance, their relations with other states and countries, import-export partnerships, trade policies and conditions Their contribution and attitude towards commercial routes, military-structures, strategic strategies, conquests and art, religion, society, literature and culture etc. should be taught in detail.

(The author is an educationist and founder of the social organization ‘Shiksha-Sopan’)
Pranay Kumar

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