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The controversy about Raja Raja Chola not being a Hindu, is typical of the Hinduphobia movement that finds its roots in a hostile western Indology, sustained by the missionary christian movement in India, which itself made an alliance with marxist ideology, profoundly hostile to Hindus. As Rajiv Malhotra and Vijaya Viswanathan point out brilliantly in their book, “Snakes in the Ganga”, American universities, such as Harvard, thanks to donations of ignorant and cretinous Indian billionaires (most of them Hindus unfortunately), have created entire curriculums devoted to the enslavement of Dalits in India by the so-called “brahmanical elite”.


Nothing is further from truth, as in my experience, of someone living in India for the past 50 years, this country, whether under Congress or BJP governments, has been striving to go beyond castes. In fact, my foundation FACT has made a film on Brahmins which shows that many Brahmins live below the poverty line, whether as coolies in railway stations, toilet cleaners in Delhi or priests in Varanasi. You can trust the Bollywood or Kollywood industry, heavily influenced by islamic Hinduphobia, to demean Hindus, and Kamal Haasan has again shown his true colours, and which atavism of the two religions him.


The truth is that Raja Raja was a staunch Shivaite. His main advisors, including the legendary Thiruvurar Siddhar, were very spiritual people, steeped in Hindu traditions. For building the Brihadisvara temple, for example,  he specially got architects that specialized in Hindu Agama shastras - in fact, the entire temple is covered with intricate Hindu sculptures. Furthermore, the Rajabhishek tradition of massive Shiva lingas, was started by him. Therefore, to say that Raja Raja Chola was not Hindu, is as ridiculous as saying RIchard the Lionheart was not a Christian! We should add : it’s very laughable that people keep saying the British gave us democracy. Cholas had the Kuravolai system, whereby there were representatives elected from each mandala & the king was merely a trustee and the servant of his subjects.


The first thing that Rajendra Chola did after his massive victories in Odisha and against the Pala Empire, in Bengal and Bihar, was to build the magnificent GangaiKonda Cholapuram, that should be visited at all cost if you come to Tamil Nadu, for its unique complex adorned with Hindu architecture, the temple being the main attraction. Unlike the Mughals, who built mausoleums, using slave labor and wasted tax money when people were starvin, the Chola temples were centers of economic and academic activities that benefited the subjects of the empire. On top of that, the famous Brihadisvara temple, as well as other shrines, also functioned as banks to lend money to small businesses. This temple itself is nothing short of a miracle : the tallest structure of its time, it was completely built of granite slabs taken from far away, probably from Thanjavur a distance of 50 miles. The temple is entirely built with 130 000 tons of giant granite pieces, without any cement or even limestone - it would be impossible to replicate today such an architectural marvel. Notice also the 80 tons Gopuram on top, as well as the 100 underground passages - all these withstood several earthquakes.


Raja Raja and his son Rajendra, as we said earlier, were totally devoted to the economic well being of their subjects : they dug large water reservoirs with far reaching irrigation canals that brought prosperity to farmers ; they also privileged the weaving industry of Kanchi by giving them huge contracts for temples ; they minted copper, silver and gold coins of various denominations, so that commerce flourished, thanks to well maintained trunk roads. Finally, they made trade agreements with the Arabs and the Chinese, and built Dharamshalas for pilgrims.


For people that think India was a weak country, we should remind them that Chola armies totally ruled Sri Lanka, the Maldives and nearly the whole of South Asia. As a show of strength, Rajendra Chola even sent his warships all the way to Indonesia, so as to control trade routes, which benefited Tamil trading organisations for centuries to come.


You should also know that when Mohammed Ghazni, who razed the famous Ayodhya temple, was raiding North India during Rajendra Chola times, both armies were only 30 odd miles apart - but somehow the battle did not happen. The Cholas had a massive organized army, and Ghazni was a raider that relied on shoot and scoot tactics. Ultimately he was beaten by Raja Bhoja, who was another great king, and also an ally of Rajendra Chola.


If you want more information on the Chola empire, please visit where you can watch an animated film on Raja Raja Chola as well as many other clips.



François Gautier (with inputs from Akshay Joshi)

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