Again, we come back to the qualities of a great ruler, that may seem, from a Gandhian, Buddhist or Christian point of view, wrong. To my mind, a great ruler is ruthless with his or her enemies, does not think that all human beings or religions are good, or the same, or on the same level, and punishes, harshly, if need be, offenders, law breakers, enemies, opponents even.
If the goal is good and Dharmic, the means are IRRELEVANT – they are all good – and we should not clamp any labels on them.
I would go even further, a good leader does not care about his or her image, whether he is seen as a benevolent ruler, but he or she should work only for his or her people. We see that a Putin is hated by the West, but respected by most Russians, because he has the interest of Russia FIRST, even if it antagonizes further his enemies (who anyway will keep on hating him, even if he tries to please them by all means)
Only the strong can afford compassion and goodness. We see that China is so respected in the world, even though it has broken all barriers of decency, infected the world with Covid, knowingly, or unknowingly, ruthlessly pursues her interests, whether in Hong-Kong or Ladhak and uses any means to dominate the world. Whereas, India, which has a much better Human Rights karma, has never invaded any country to impose her religion or way of life, has always accepted in its midst all the persecuted minorities in the world, from the Syrian Christians to the Jews, from the Parsis, to the Tibetans today – is not respected and anybody, Media or foreign Govts, can do or say anything, knowing that there will not be any retaliation (like not dare mention anything about ‘Chinese Virus’, but having no problem talking about ‘Indian mutant’)…
#MaharanaPratap had no such qualms: he had declared a scorched earth policy against Akbar and the Moghols and he had a farmer, who did not respect it, judged and hung. The Gandhian view (I wish Indians would read what the Great Sri Aurobindo said about Mahatma Gandhi) would be that you don’t take a human life – but Maharana Pratap had a broader vision: he needed to make an example, so that his Dharmic goal, which was the defeat of the Moghols, whom he rightly deemed as foreign invaders, would be fulfilled, which indeed happened, thanks to his sacrifice and of other Indian heroes and heroines such Shivaji Maharaj or Tarabai.
We in the Shivaji Maharaj Museum of Indian History, pursue a Dharmic goal: that to show Indian History AS IT HAPPENED AND NOT AS IT HAS BEEN PORTRAYED IN YOUR HISTORY BOOKS. I have faced many problems, hurdles, threats: I have been labelled as a fascist, islamophobe, radical, etc, but I persevere, as I feel my goal is just. Support us, as this is a sewa project, entirely idealistic and send me a mail at email@example.com if you do so. At the moment, I am mounting exhibitions on the Vijaynagar empire, one of the greatest ever, Tarabai, a true Shakti, Jijamata, who shaped her son, the incomparable Shivaji Maharj, Rani Kittur Chennama, who fought the British and Science in the Vedas