Wrote this poem in my mother tongue Axomiya (Assamese) first and then translated to English today. Posting it here in the reverse order.

Just asked your name,
My friend,
To get introduced, and
You gave a long list of
For me there was
Only one identity of you,
I wanted to build a bridge,
But the high wall of your identity, built by
The long list of
Nationality, ethnicity, language, religion,
Made it a bridge far away;
That you did not include
The color of your skin,
Acknowleging that I am not blind,
Thanks for the small mercy,
Friend of mine.
Au revoīr my friend,
Look me up
If one day you yearn
For company of man,
I shall be here,
The world is my home.
Oh, you never asked my name,
My friend,
May be it is unnecessary to you,
Still, let me introduce myself,
I am human.

নাম পৰিচয়

সুধিছিলোঁ নাম তোমাৰ বন্ধু
চিনাকি হ’বলৈ,
তুমি দিলা দীঘল তালিকা
তোমাৰ পৰিচয়ৰ,
মোৰ বাবেতো আছিল এটাই মাথোঁ
পৰিচয় তোমাৰ,
গঢ়িব খুজিছিলোঁ মই
বন্ধুত্বৰ সেঁতু,
জাতি, ধৰ্ম, ভাষা, দেশৰ তালিকাৰ
উচ্চ প্ৰাচীৰেৰে গঢ়িলা বন্ধু,
বিভাজনৰ হেতু,
তথাপিও জনালোঁ তোমাক
ধন্যবাদ বন্ধু,
নাইযে তালিকাত তোমাৰ
ছালৰ ৰং,
নাভাবিলা মই অন্ধ;
বিদায় বন্ধু আজিলৈ,
আহিবা বিচাৰি
যদি কেতিয়াবা হয় প্ৰয়োজন
মানুহৰ সঙ্গৰ,
থাকিম মই ইয়াতেই,
পৃথিৱীয়ে মোৰ ঘৰ;
অ’, নুসুধিলা মোৰ নাম,
হয়তো তোমাৰ নাই দৰকাৰ,
তথাপিও দিলোঁ পৰিচয় বন্ধু,
মই মানুহ ।

Thursday Tidbits: Lesson from history

Lessons on politics are spread around the pages of Indian epic Mahabharata. We may ignore them at our own peril by dismissing Mahabharata as mythology but its teachings still ring true in this modern age.

My intention today is not to discuss the teachings of Mahabharata but about a few episodes form the first major empire of recorded history in India. History of the first major ruling dynasty of India has a few lessons of its own that are still valid today. I am not talking about the current Nehru-Gandhi dynasty. This is about the rise and fall of the Mauryan Empire (322-185 BCE).

1. Kautilya Chanakya (Vishnugupta), the author of “Arthashastra”, considered one of theImage result for free picture of Chanakya and chandragupta maurya greatest treatises on economics, politics, foreign affairs, administration, military arts, war, and religion ever produced(Maurya Empire-New World Encyclopedia),was the brain behind rise of Chandragupta Maurya and the Mauryan Empire.  Chandragupta Maurya defeated King DhanaNanda (Nanda dynasty) in battle for the throne. Dhana Nanda’s erstwhile prime minister Rakshasa plotted with enemies of Chandragupta.  With the good of the country in his heart, Chankya skillfully manipulated Rakshasa to accept a prominent position in Chandragupta’s administration. Chanakya knew that Rakshasa was an able administrator and counsellor who would be an asset to Chandragupta in friendship rather than as an adversary. Chanakya’s courting and manipulation of Rakshasa for accepting the position is the story of MudraRakshasa kavya.

Lesson : For greater good of the country, build bridges and not sit on your ego. Reward merit.
May be Machiavelli learnt a thing or two from Chanakya.

2. Asoka, grandson of Chandragupta Maurya converted to Buddhism after the battle of Ashoka's visit to the Ramagrama stupa Sanchi Stupa 1 Southern gateway.jpgKalinga and opened the exchequer for proliferation of Buddhism far and wide neglecting the army and thereby leaving the country vulnerable to external attacks. Maurya empire did not sustain for long after Ashoka’s death thereby fragmentation of the central authority and balkanization of India the price for which modern India paid with the division of the country.
Lesson: Do not mix religion and politics.
Lesson: The exchequer is not personal property of the ruler to be spent on pet projects to the detriment of the country.

This is my simplistic readings of history. Opinions of intellectuals may differ.

Emperor Ashoka’s picture source is Wikipedia, Chanakya’s impression from New World Encyclopedia