Arikesari Maravarman

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Arikesari Maravarman (r. c. 670–710 CE), also known as Arikesari Parankusa, was an Indian king from the Pandyan dynasty. He ruled parts of the present-day Kerala and Tamil Nadu. He expanded the Pandyan power substantially, and the Pandyan inscriptions credit him with several victories, including those over the Cheras ("Keralas") and the Pallavas.

Quotes[edit]

  • As we might expect from Marxists who seek to mould rather than inform public opinion, this listing of evidence has been done with some editing. Thus, Romila Thapar writes that "the Shaivite saint Jnana Sambandar is attributed with having converted the Pandya ruler from Jainism to Shaivism, whereupon it is said that 8,000 Jainas were impaled by the king". She omits that this king, Arikesari Parankusa Maravarman, is also described as having first persecuted Shaivas; that Sambandar vanquished the Jainas not in battle but in debate (upon which the king converted from Jainism to Shaivism); and that he had escaped Jaina attempts to kill him. Unlike the Muslim persecutions, this Shaiva-Jaina conflict was clearly not a one-way affair. For the sake of blackening Hinduism, the Buddhists and Jains had to be depicted as hapless victims, and their share in the intra- Hindu violence had to be concealed. It is even a matter of debate whether this persecution has occurred at all: the Hindus were never careful historians, and like Hsuan Tsang they mixed legend and historical fact, so that the modern historian can only accept their testimony if he finds supportive outside (epigraphical and archaeological) evidence. Unlike the conscientious Muslim chronicles or Kalhana's Rajatarangini, this story about Sambandar comes in the form of a local legend with at most a historical core. Nilkanth Shastri, in his unchallenged History of South India, writes about it: "This, however, is little more than an unpleasant legend and cannot be treated as history."
    • Romila Thapar, Nilkanth Shastri. quoted in Elst, Koenraad. Negationism in India: concealing the record of Islam. 1992
  • It is even a matter of debate whether this persecution [of Jains [by Hindus] in the Pandya country] has occurred at all. Nilakanth Shastri, in his unchallenged History of South India, writes about it: "This, however, is little more than an unpleasant legend and cannot be treated as history." Admittedly, this sounds like Percival Spear's statement that Aurangzeb's persecutions are 'little more than a hostile legend': a sweeping denial of a well-attested persecution. However, Mr. Spear's contention is amply disproves by contemporary documents including firmans (royal decrees) and eye-witness accounts, and by the archaeological record, e.g. the destruction of the Kashi Vishvanath temple in Varanasi by Aurangzeb is attested by the temple remains incorporated in the Gyanvapi mosque built on its site. Such evidence has not been offered in the case of Jnana Sambandar at all. On the contrary: 'Interestingly, the persecution of Jains in the Pandya country finds mention only in Shaiva literature, and is not corroborated by Jain literature of the same or subsequent period.'
    • Nilakanth Sastri: History of South India, quoted from Elst, Koenraad (2002). Who is a Hindu?: Hindu revivalist views of Animism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and other offshoots of Hinduism. ISBN 978-8185990743

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