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Alexander, a great ethnic cleanser?


The mythos of Alexander
The mythos of Alexander

Yet those who opposed him during his 11-year reign suffered for it. His bodyguard Cleitus, who probably saved his life at the battle of the Granicus, was killed by Alexander at a party because he dared to criticise him. Callisthenes, his resident historian, was starved to death in a cage because he objected to proskynesis – full prostration before the king. The city of Thebes was razed and its 35,000 surviving inhabitants sold as slaves because they refused to accept Alexander’s will. Alexander was also the first real ethnic cleanser, waging total war on the brahmins of India, determined to eradicate them. (via Alexander, a great ethnic cleanser – Article – TES Connect).

Lost in translation

Classical Indian ethics and etiquette prohibited violence against Brahmans. In ‘modern’ English it means freedom of speech and intellectual freedom.

How many Indian kings would have massacred non-combatant Brahmans? So, while the Greeks were serving hemlock to Socrates, and Alexander (actually a Macedonian) was busy massacring Brahmans (intellectuals and thinkers) in India, Indian systems ensured that freedom against violence against intellectuals and thinkers.

Alexander’s record in India

Alexander’s massacres in India, a colonial historian informs us (without naming a source), earned him an “epithet … assigned (to) him by the Brahmins of India, The Mighty Murderer.” This Indian Brahmanic characterization of Alexander, commonly taught to English schoolchildren and present in English college texts, as The Mighty Murderer, curiously disappeared from Western-English texts soon after 1860 – and instead now “a positive rose-tinted aura surrounds Alexander” … !

Greek writers report, that Alexander finally realized that it was the Indian Brahmins who had influenced Indian princes to organize and support the Indian war against Alexander. Greek sources cite, after this realization, at ‘The City of Brahmans’, Alexander massacred an estimated 8000-10,000 of these non-combatant Brahmans. His question-answer sessions with the 10 Indian-prisoners-Brahmans (called Gymnosophists by the Greeks), related by Plutarch, shows Alexander at sea, completely lost.

And arising from this frustration, came Alexander’s wanton massacres at Takshashila – which thereafter limped along for the next 1000 years, but never to fully recover.

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