|Accordingly, people enjoyed a
stable government and a benign rule. Peace and prosperity made India their permanent
abode. As a corollary, arts flourished and crafts thrived; industry developed and
commerce ventured across the seas and won glorious links with other cultures. Revolt, or its mother
discontent never dared to step out of its dark dungeons. Might be, they
were suffocated to death there itself.
For, Asoka was a dictator. He was
so, with a difference. He was a benevolent dictator. He fully realised the truth of the
dictum that the peace and prosperity of the King lies in the peace and
prosperity of the people. He strove for them and acted accordingly. And promptly too.
He sought peace and fought for it
outright. With the able guidance of his council of ministers, he succeeded in ushering in
Rama Rajya in his kingdom.
Delighted at the prospect of
peaceful reign, and elated by the contentment of his people, he turned his head to survey the
extent of his empire that fell to his good lot. He felt disappointed. Surely,
sorely so. Despair overwhelmed him, for; Kalinga, a petty, pocket -
sized independent state, lying between the great rivers Mahanadi and Godavari on the east coast of
India appeared an eyesore to him. It was left unconquered.