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Historians take on Odisha BJP leader for remark on Kalinga War


Bhubaneswar: A day after senior BJP leader Biswabhusan Harichandan sparked off a controversy describing Kalinga War as ‘myth’, several historians criticised him for his remark.

The history is written on the basis of various facts and evidence. It could not be taken as lightly, said former VC of University of Culture Prof Amiya Patnaik, adding “Harichandan needs to justify his arguments.”

Earlier, the controversy had been sparked over place of birth of Gautam Buddha. Subsequently, it turned out to be false, said University of Culture former VC Bimalendu Mohanty, who is also president of Odisha Mahabudhhi Society.

He termed the Kalinga War statement by Harichandan as ‘political’.

While we are claiming Paika Rebellion as the first war of Independence, the former minister Harichandan is shifting the focus to elsewhere. Several historians have mentioned about Kalinga War in their books. King Ashoka was believed to have adopted Buddha religion after witnessing the post war scene and sent his messengers to spread the religion in other countries, Mohanty added.

Historian Preetish Acharya rubisshed Harichandan’s point of view about Kalinga War.

He said that the question can be raised about the exact number of soldiers killed in the war. Lakhs of soldiers might not have been died in the bloodshed, but Harichandan’s remark ‘Kalinga War as a myth’ was not justified.

The historians and edicts mentioned about Kalinga War. It should not be questioned at all, said eminent historian Atul Chandra Pradhan.

Amidst high political tension in BJP over alleged link of party leader Golak Mohapatra in connection with Chhatrapur Councillor murder, Harichandan dragged public attention by claiming Kalinga War as a ‘myth’.

Addressing the visitors at Kalinga Pustaka Mela in Bhubaneswar on Monday, Harichandan raised question on happening of Kalinga War that had claimed lives of lakhs of Kalinga (presently Odisha state) military forces.

He said that the war was never fought at all, rather the history was written to build up image of Maurya emperor Ashoka and to humiliate people of Odisha.

There was no king in Kalinga when the war was fought during 262 – 261 BC. It is impossible to take place such a big war without a powerful king.

The ‘Military History of Orissa’ book clearly mentions that King Ashoka of Maurya dynasty had fought the war at Dhauli Peace Pagoda and conquered Kalinga killing lakhs of soldiers and arresting many.