Monthly Archives: February 2014

Seemandhra: The Road Ahead

The Road Ahead for the Lions of Andhra

Before we begin, I believe it’s important that we set the record straight. Many of our people–good people, some even educated people–have been swept away by emotion and have been casting recriminations against all of India for this betrayal. Some have even been committing sedition and stirring up treason and rebellion.

Make no mistake, the Republic of India is all that safeguards what remains of the culture, language, and spirit of the Andhras of old. Cast blame where it lies, with the parties and politicians responsible. Not the common people, the aam Andhras of whatever region or the aam admis of other parts of India. Neither forgive nor forget what happened on the Palnati of Rajpath, but if you have any sense, if you have learned anything from the blunders committed by the Telugus and other Indians of the last decade (and millennium), remember this wise flyer from a certain Revolution of 1776 that, unlike the 1857 Rebellion, actually succeeded in defeating its European oppressor:

States of colonial America also faced a choice

All the states, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and Gujarat to Guwahati must remain united–for their own security, prosperity, and posterity.

So for all those of you who have awakened in a spirit of political consciousness and societal renewal, prove yourself by doing the following:

1. Nip in the bud–through counterargument & comment–any sort of seditious talk, from not only yourself, but your friends, family, and even any nitwit who manages to get himself printed in a publication at home or abroad. Tell them that there are no quick fix solutions, and righting any wrongs must not create new wrongs.

2. Promise yourself now that you will for at least 15 minutes minimum each day, think, plan, read about, or do something for the awareness, education, and cultural & economic renewal of your society. It can be as passive as reading more than just 1 newspaper to get insight or as active as organizing a clean up of the trash heap in your neighborhood or as soulful as merely reading some Telugu/Sanskrit poetry. If you miss a day or several–make up for it, over the week or over several.

Making Sense of What happened

Now that the shock of last week’s trauma has worn off. Don’t just get mad, understand what actually happened. The devil is always in the details, so Read the Text.

Next, understand that a constitutional amendment is in the cards, and it is very like that Hyderabad will be carved out as Union Territory–(no doubt after the elections).

Third, Rayala-Telangana may very well be pushed through. So don’t get distracted–protest against this and prevent further partition. However aesthetically questionable the new geography may be, keeping our people together is the priority.

Finally, remember that what happened was not only a blot on democracy, but an insult to all Indians, who now see that Andhra Pradesh, the state that, more than any other, the Indian National Congress owes its undeserving riches and power, can be so contemptuously and communally ripped to shreds, then none are safe. It shows that even sycophancy, which idiot Indians (Telugu and Non-Telugu alike) have raised to an embarrassing artform, does not guarantee anything.

Bifurcation is an insult to all the great patriots sprung from India’s sacred soil. But secession, and separatism? No my fellow Andhraites, this is not only foolhardy and foolish, it is treacherous. Telugu Thalli is our Mother, but Bharat Mata is our Grandmother–to forsake either of them would be a sin worthy of Naraka. You would only be repeating the mistake of our Telangana brethren, and further divide your own Andhra people–in such an event, I certainly would not be on your side.

Remember that while an injustice was done to us all, India is all that protects you. For all your tough talk, it is primarily the lives of your North Indian brothers which safeguards you from the asuric scum of the earth across the LOC. Contributions to the national exchequer (which are decreasingly being used for national defense) are not only measured in money and infrastructure, but also in blood. The next time you dabble in Andhra or South Indian secessionism, ask yourself whether along with your BPO & IT coolie revenue your state disproportionately contributes jawans and officers as well…

As a great patriot once said:

So do not forgive and do not forget, but do focus (and tell any and all illiterate Andhra acquaintances to do the same). Focus your energies and your passions into productive and useful endeavors and efforts that, for once, help not only yourself or your family, but your community, people, region, and dharma. Instead of thrashing about like a headless chicken, learn the lesson. Indians may be the most historically challenged people on earth, but even they should be able to remember so recent an outrage (and the ultimate cause of it). So learn your lesson and focus your energy on making the most of what remains of Andhra Pradesh (irrespective of whether Rayala-Telangana happens after the elections). Focus on Rebuilding Andhra.

The first step is a cultural awakening. The second step is planning. One of our statesmen (pun intended) has already started a wonderful site focused on harnessing your youthful passion, energy, and fury, and using it for a productive purpose: To Rebuild Andhra.

I highly recommend you also check out his forum and participate and even contribute there. It is a far better use of your precious time, energy, and lives than ill-fated anti-national rebellion–or nonsensical and never-ending navel-gazing. Let ACP refresh your weary and despondent spirits in the fountain of Andhra culture, and let RA be the brain-storming room that builds a better Andhra, from the ground up. Both spirit and mind must be strengthened before the body   can again be made whole…

The Road Ahead

And no, I don’t mean just IT…

First and foremost, my personal view is, rather than continue to call our state Andhra Pradesh, we should call it Seemandhra (with Kosta and Rayalaseema divisions). This is because history was used to divide us (i.e. “Telanganites historically different”, “Andhra means only coast”, “Nizam did all development in Hyd.–even Hitec city and metro!”). Therefore, history must now be corrected. Andhra refers to the entire undivided state of Andhra Pradesh. That is historically Andhra (and ironically according to the Nizam’s own records, historical Telangana as well). Telangana was the name given by the Turks to the land of the Telugu speakers (aka “Telangi-Bedangi”). Our relatives in Telangana may have made their choice, let us make ours.

Second, let us avoid the mistake of the charlatans across the border who are moving on to the next step of social engineering before they get re-digested by the razakars. Having tampered with history, now they are tampering with language. So let us take time to understand who we were, who we are, and who we are destined to be. This means understanding your history and culture…and civilization. Andhras are an Indic people. Dharma is in our blood, and it is the unifying principle that ties us to all other Indians. So let us re-imbue our culture with this idea and together water this seed, so it may again bloom. In my view, irrespective of Hyderabad getting Joint capital/UT status, Guntur should be our new cultural capital–and a new foundation laid in the town that restores its ancient name of  Amaravati: the Rajdhani of the Satavahanas. To raise ourselves to dignity, let us dignify our names and cities once again.

Third, let us use our brains to not just memorize, spew, and thoughtlessly do, but actually think. Indians are great at jugaad, but terrible problem-solvers when it comes to medium and long term issues. Worse, we are simply horrible team players. Every idiot who got some rinky-dink gold medal in primary school thinks only he should know everything and be a dictator lording over the rest. Pick up a team sport if you have to (like field hockey); real thinking is not just analytical, it is systemic, and inter-personal. So throw away Ayn Rand and pick up Stephen Covey.

In sum, I again urge you all to take a look at this well-designed site, with a great vision, and a great mission so we can all unitedly Rebuild Andhra.

Samaikya Andhra: Live to Fight Another Day

Samaikya Andhra as Guernica

Alas, my brothers and sisters, it is done…

With the passage of the Telangana Bill in the Lok Sabha and now Rajya Sabha, bifurcation of our beloved state of Andhra Pradesh is all but certain.

This is truly a catastrophe for all Telugu-speakers. It is also a cautionary tale of the costs of disunity, ambition, greed, stupidity, and above all, loss of culture and dharma.

But rather than wring our hands in feckless emotion, let us take a page from the Musunuri Nayaks, and live to fight another day. Let us not lose our cool. Instead, let us recognize that those sections of our Telangana brothers (not all were pro-bifurcation) that sought separation may have made a terrible mistake–but they are still our blood. They may be childishly celebrating now, but in time, they will realize the full ramification of their error.

Let us also recognize that all Andhrites are responsible too–rather than blame the rest of India. It is Andhra Pradesh that gave maximum support to the adharmic UPA government not once, but twice (2004, 2009). An appropriate saametha for the occasion would be:  “Nuvve paamu ki paalu isthey, adhi karisina tharavaatha Amma meedha endhukani prathapam chupisthaavu?”

 It would not have been possible for these adharmics to come to power had it not been for the stupidity and selfishness and self-absorption of our own people. All sections have responsibility for this tragedy. So rather than primitively acting out in hasty anger–let all true lovers of Andhra treat this injustice as the karmic debt for the abomination that was inflicted on all of India these past 10 years. So let us do our prayascitta and svadhyaya before lashing out at others.

In such trying times, the solution is not to cave into sentiment (a perennial Indian weakness), but rather, to calmly and dispassionately reflect on what happened, why it happened, what can be done, and what should be avoided.

What Happened

This was not a new scheme. Dividing Andhra has been stratagem for power hungry politicians and a dream for anti-nationals for quite some time now. But this tactic was appropriated for the purposes of a certain “grand old party” and its dynastic puppeteers who specialize in pitting brother against brother. When people follow Duryodhana instead of Bharata & Lakshmana, why would anti-nationals not succeed?

If a book were written on the history of the T-state demand to this precise moment, it would be called Breaking Andhra. The idea may have come from within, but it was appropriated from without. False propaganda, by those ironically named for Sri Rama’s sacred bow, was then produced. Superficial and misinformed histories, erroneously claiming that the Andhra name only means Seemandhra,  by outsiders then added fuel to the fire. Then so-called “students”, aka unemployed 30-something naxal goondas, were hired to bully and riot. Some poor souls were then paid off to commit suicide–and there we have it, a non-Razakar rationale to create a Nizam Hyderabad Razakar state, oh, sorry, I mean “Telangana”. And oh, what’s this, a Union Territory for Old Hyderabad too?–just like a certain razakar descendant wanted…

However, even this well-coordinated operation stumbled in the wake of ferocious last minute Samaikya Andhra agitation. The Andhra Assembly even voted against the Telangana resolution and polls showed that almost 70% of united Andhra Pradesh was against division–but a little democracy never bothered the only really true fascist party in India which has the glorious heritage of the Emergency. In fact, not a few commentators remarked that the Media blackout in Lok Sabha by Congress was reminiscent of the actions of another “Mrs. Gandhi”. So a vocal and violent minority was again able to override the sentiments of the moderate majority. Perhaps it is true what they said after the Nazis. “If fascism ever comes back, it will be as anti-fascism”

In any event, though this game was played in the short term for votes, and in the medium-term for the cash cow that is Hyderabad (courtesy of Telugu Desam governance–pun intended), and a long term goal that should be obvious by now, others have pointed out that neither of the two main national parties did their duty to Seemandhra. While the Delhi gang of the BJP certainly does not have clean hands in the matter, let us not mix them up for the party in general.

Though it’s quite clear the TDP is the only party that genuinely and consistently cares about Telugu pride and resisting the “Delhi Sultanate”, let us not forget that they partner periodically with the BJP for a reason. TDP has state interests at heart, and at least the rank and file and literati of the BJP (like Arun Shourie garu) have the national interests at heart. So while actions speak louder than words, intentions speak more truthfully than actions. The BJP had a consistent stand on smaller states (rightly or wrongly). The Congress…well…the whole country saw what they were all about during the so-called “power glitch” in parliament…

How did it Come to This

Many today may point to volumes of movies produced by Tollywood and hail it as some sort of grand cultural accomplishment. But 99% are garbage–and most are flops. Others may say that even crooks like YSR  were proud Telugus–but they had no hesitation supporting and bowing before an unqualified foreigner. Still more may proclaim the development of Hyderabad–but is soulless material development at the cost of spiritual development true culture?

A culture bereft of dharma is no culture at all. Sophistication without sense.  Language without Etiquette.  Learning without Wisdom. Riches without Compassion. Ritual without Reflection. Power without Duty. And Culture without Dharma–these are all symptoms of a deeply sick people in a stupor of materialism and hedonism.

The word culture itself doesn’t mean crappy song and dance sequences–which are lame knock offs from the North– that we watch in an ignorant daze exclaiming “Aha Oho”. Culture itself comes from the word “cultivated”–meaning one who has sown and refined dignified qualities and interests. But do our culture and movies reflect dignity today? The highest form of civilization is spirituality–but what is the importance of spirituality in India today?

Sure, Superstars like Akshay Kumar and Salman Khan may be remaking Telugu movies–but they’re remaking the cultureless ones.  Akki and Sallu are both great actors and movie stars, but barring movies like 8×10 Tasveer and HAHK, how many movies of cultural value have they been producing of late? Their potential is being under-utilized as is our Andhra culture and Indian civilization.The fact that these atrocious Tollywood movies are being copied is a sign of cultural degradation in both Andhra culture and Indian civilization alike.

When movies like Annamayya (courtesy Nagarjunaare being remade or copied–then Telugu cinema and Andhra culture can be proud. Ours is now a popular culture so spoilt and rancid, that one of our greatest artistic jewels–Mangalampalli, Balamurali Krishna–had to leave for Tamil Nadu to get proper patronage.

Thus, the seeds for Telangana were sown not despite of our TV shows and Movies, but because of them–and the energy going into them that should have gone elsewhere.

What must our Ancestors be thinking 

GautamiPutraSatakarni.jpg
Satakarni overstruck coin of defeated Sakas

Satakarni must be spinning in his proverbial grave. The Trisamudra pitatoyavahana. The terror of the mlecchas, the destroyer of the sakas, yavanas, and pahlavas, must himself be appalled at the state of his people and land today. The Great Gautamiputra Satakarni of yore would be disgusted not only by the bickering and division among his Andhras, but the stupidity of putting national Indian interests in jeopardy in the wake of foreign imposed atrocity. He would ask, “Since when did Andhra, the land of those with a Lion as Mount (Satavahana), become those with a donkey mount”?

Musunuri Nayaks & Reddi Kings

Krishna “Kapaneedu” Nayak

Prolaya and Kapaneedu Nayaka gave their blood, progeny, and even lives in the cause of Andhra bhoomi. Despite being great aristocrats and Lords, they knew that their position existed to give people freedom. But the KCRs, YSRs, et al think the people exist to give them position.

The Reddy Kings proudly proclaimed themselves as Dharmic rulers and restored the agraharas to brahmanas and freedom to all other native sons who suffered under the depredation of the Turks. What would they say about the Reddies today who stirred this issue up in 2004 leading to the end game today?

Krishna Deva Raya

No man would be more enraged at the state of affairs today (or immediately after him…) than Andhra Bhoja himself. The sight of all the puke-inducing politicking, greed, and even anti-nationalism would make him wonder why he labored so hard for twenty years, to defend Dharma, safeguard Indians, and nurture Telugu.

Liberation Struggle/Operation Polo

Rajanna and Telugu patriots of India

And what of the great Telugu patriots sprung from the soil of the Telangana region to fight the atrocities of the Nizam’s razakars? They sent their womenfolk and children to their Kosta and Rayalaseema brothers for safe refuge while they gave their own lives for freedom. What would they say to the kcr goondas who praised the very men who oppressed and outraged them under Vetti chakiri and worse?

Sardar Vallabhai Patel

What  would this man, this great man, this Iron Man, who more than any other, stitched together the patchwork of India from 565 princely states… What would he say in response to all the pro-nizam and anti-national cries today?

What must be done now

Ashoka Chakra is the Dharma chakra

Humpty Dumpty can be put back together again. Warangal may have fallen, but there is  still Kondaveedu, Kondapalli, and above all Adoni (the keystone fort of Vijayanagara). Like Prataparudra, we waited until the last minute to face the enemies of Andhra, and like the Rachakonda Rajas, KCR and company sold out to foreigners so they could (temporarily) rule Golconda (Hyderabad).

Thus, the time has now come for the Musunuri Nayaks and Krishna Deva Rayas who will unite the people by revitalizing the culture and language. Sage Vidyaranya guided Harihara and Bukka Raya to refound a city dedicated to protecting Dharma. The same spirit must be reforged today . Telangana is a defeat to the hopes, aspirations, and rightful inheritance of all Telugu people–but it is not the end. It is the wake up call to snap people out of their stupor and stupidity and get them to start valuing and–most importantly–advancing and improving upon their own native culture and language.

This is done not once in a blue moon, nor in a last minute futile effort. Rather, it is done day by day, month by month, and year by year. It is done by turning off the pop culture garbage on TV and turning on some classical carnatic. It is done not by watching the next item number in theaters but in watching and encouraging the next great historical epic. It is done by demanding quality over quantity. It is done by not wasting all our time in malls or all our money on restaurants or all our education on being BPO coolies. It is done by not seeking to just become the CEO, but seeking to become the owner. It is done by paying attention to not just political rhetoric but policy, and not just reading cereal boxes, but serious classical literature. It is done by voting for good and dharmic governance rather than for political goodies .

And above all, it is done by putting family above individual, region above family, state above region, and country above all. That is true Dharma.

What must be avoided

The rank stupidity of Andhra politicians (even at this late hour) was nowhere better seen than here when they idiotically called for a separate Andhra country. These outrageously imbecilic ideas only play into the hands of India’s (and, by extension, Andhra’s) enemies. A balkanized India is precisely what China, and others including Pakistan want. Then Hyderabad (still on the lashkar/pak agenda) and Andhra would be easy targets.

Calling for a separate nation is no different than what YSR and company have been upto for the last ten years, by talking of Telugu while trampling on Andhra values and native culture. It represents a loss of sense and loss of identity (by pushing english as the language of schooling). It is also the result of loss of Dharma, which is the foundation of Andhra culture and Indic Civilization.

Many morons have been touting irrational and even anti-national ideas of India (“land of immigrants” and other such drivel…). But the truth of the matter is that India and Indic Civilization is defined by the concept of Dharma. It is this ideal that stitches together different traditions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism. That gave a place to orthodox Kerala Christians and Jews, and Parsi refugees to Gujarat and that honors true patriots like Ibrahim Khan Gardi. It is not a communal idea, but a community idea that gives India a shared history and a perceived future destiny. It is the motivating principle that transcends religions and emphasizes that this common idea of Dharma (righteousness) is rooted in the soil and in the common ancestry of all its citizens.  Remember, great Andhra personalities like Mallinatha SuriApastambha,  Krishna Deva Raya and P.V. Narasimha Rao are ALL INDIA figures to this day.

It is because of loss of Dharma that like the rachakonda rajas, kcr and the telangana advocates have betrayed Telugu Thalli (even debasing themselves by calling a certain foreign origin politician as “Telangana Thalli and constructing this disgusting abomination all while our own Hindu temples are decaying or destroyed) When temples are built for vishkanyas instead of Vishnu, what else can be expected? An ignorant and uncultured people have sycophancy. A dharmic and cultured people have dignity.  It is because of loss of Dharma that the masses voted in crooked politicians who abused their office for anti-secular/anti-dharmic purposes that changed people’s religion. It is because of loss of Dharma that the Telugu people have become–despite their wealth and ancient glory–crass, greedy, bickering, uncultured, and low.

Thus as a whole, Andhras must now avoid bickering, avoid taking what isn’t yours, avoid idle talk with no action, avoid emotional action without thought, and avoid expedience and convenience in place of Dharma.

All is not lost…

This was once the land of Satakarni, Kapaneedu, and Krishna Deva who sent shivers down the spines of Andhra’s and India’s enemies. They did this by raising up the banner of Dharma and seeking to unite, rather than divide and rule.  To raise ourselves up again, we must restore unity. To restore unity we must restore our culture. And to restore our culture, we must restore Dharma– in ourselves, in our samskruthi, and in the common protective nation of India. The battle for Telangana may now be over, but the Yuddham for Dharma is now begun.

Samaikya Andhra: The Dream Lives On

Narayanapeta Sarees

Hello, Hello dear ACP readers!

I am back this week with the second installment of my Spotlight on Andhra Sarees. This month’s feature is the Narayanapeta Saree.

Loyal readers may recall my first post on this topic was the Venkatagiri–truly the most opulent of Andhra Sarees and easily among the most fashionable of India’s offerings.

If the Venkatagiri represents luxury, then the Narayanapeta represents classy comfort. As I like to say, it is the “business casual saree”. Known more commonly as Narayanpet, it is a great all round wrap that’s not too formal but not too ordinary.

NarayanpetMap

Woven in both silk and handloom varieties, Narayanapeta fabrics are a specialty from the Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh. Narayanapeta is itself a taluk in Mahbubnagar district (formerly Manukota district) and is famous for this variety of saree. Because it is a border town near the tri-junction of Andhra, Karnataka, and Maharashtra, Narayanapeta reflects this melange of cultures.

History

 Chhatrapati Shivaji is said to have entered the town of Narayanapeta during his many campaigns and brought a number of weavers with him. These handloomers decided to settle there and joined hands with the existing local weavers and infused this unique style with Maratha motifs.

Characteristics

The trademark of a Narayanapeta saree is that it has a triangular embroidery (sikhara) that is repeated at the border. The border itself will feature a khadi-anchu (a plain double line that strikes through the border).

And so, there we have it: your background info on the Business Casual Saree.                     Hope you all enjoyed this week’s special from “City of Silk Sarees”…Narayanapeta! Bye!

 

References:

  1. http://www.handlooms.in/historyofnarayanpet.aspx
  2. http://www.utsavpedia.com/textiles/narayanpet-silk-cross-culture/

“The Andhra Steve Jobs”

satya_nadella_microsoft_ceo.jpg

…ok, so maybe I took liberties with that one—but the moniker “The Indian Steve Jobs” has now become commonplace for Microsoft’s new Andhra origin chief executive officer,

Satya Nadella.

I suppose it’s almost fitting that the first Indian CEO of a multinational software giant is a Telugu (given all our techies), but all Indians raise a toast to Satya Nadella this week.

Joining the upper ranks of the global businessworld marked by such names as Indra Nooyi and Ajay Banga (Pepsico & Mastercard respectively), Satya garu has a long and successful career in this sector—and promises to make a successful impact at the American blue chip company.

Born in Hyderabad, Satya Nadella’s family is native to Krishna district in mana Andhra Pradesh. He completed his education at Hyderabad Public School and Manipal Institute of Technology in Karnataka. He later earned a Masters in Computer Science at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. He eventually earned an MBA from the University of Chicago.

Nadella’s career started at Sun Microsystems, but he is now a 22 year veteran of Microsoft. He was the engineering lead behind the search engine Bing (which has received plaudits for its technical advancements). But he is best known for leading the Cloud division of Microsoft—Azure—which was one of its best performing. This is believed to have landed him the job.

Here’s what none other than Bill Gates himself had to say about Satya:

“Satya is a proven leader with hard-core engineering skills, business vision and the ability to bring people together. His vision for how technology will be used and experienced around the world is exactly what Microsoft needs as the company enters its next chapter of expanded product innovation and growth.”

Given Microsoft’s general position, Satya garu will have his work cut out for him. It will be interesting to see what direction he takes it.

We at ACP wish him—as one of our own—the best of luck in a successful tenure as the chief executive officer of Microsoft.

 

References

  1. http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/press/2014/feb14/02-04newspr.aspx
  2. http://www.apherald.com/Politics/ViewArticle/46718/Krishna-Dist-boy-to-head-Microsoft-/
  3. http://gadgets.ndtv.com/others/features/meet-satya-nadella-the-new-microsoft-ceo-479282
  4. http://www.politico.com/story/2014/02/satya-nadella-biography-key-facts-career-background-microsoft-103106.html

Personalities: Gautamiputra Satakarni

File:Portrait of Gautami Putra Satakarni.JPG

To inaugurate the first of a continuing series of posts on Andhra personalities, I thought it best to commence with one of the most celebrated and most successful of Andhra Kings, Gautamiputra Satakarni.

The most famous of Andhra’s most glorious line of rulers, the Satavahanas,  Gautamiputra was an Emperor, general, and defender of Dharma. This line of kings had many capitals, from Pratishtana and Pataliputra in the North to Amaravati in the South. It is the latter, however, that is most associated with the Empire, and its ruins (especially its famous stupa) can be seen in Guntur today.

Satavahana Dynasty

Referred to as the Andhra dynasty in the Puranas, the Satavahanas gained their patronym from the first of the Satavahanas, who was found riding a lion or “sata”, and thus had a lion for a mount or “vahana”. As one of our venerable Pandits adduced,  “Ever since the time of the Amaraavati Sculptures down to the recent time of ‘Sata silpi’ the lion seems to be emblem and the ideal of the Aandhra race. The god Narasimha, half man half-lion, is the deity of several popular shrines in Aandhra.  The privilege of being seated on the lion, the throne or seat of power is the ambition of every Aandhra…Saatavahanas, Aandhra emperors of Magadha had the warrior seated on the lion for their emblem“.

He also asserted that , “The Aandhras as a race show special, regard and love for the lion. A woman riding on the lion, ‘Simhastha’ is a popular deity in their religious literature and in the images of goddesses carved on the walls in their religious institutions.” Most appropriately it was noted that “The Aandhras enjoy even to this day a reputation for impulsiveness, enthusiasm and zest for noble action, like the lion.”  I guess some things don’t change!

The Imperial dynasty begins with Simuka/Srimukha, who was an Andhra in the court of the Kanva dynasty of Magadha.  With the assistance of the Andhra kingdom’s army he defeated and dethroned the last Kanva and began the glorious reign of the Satavahana kings.

The current Western historical paradigm establishes the Satavahanas’ imperial rule in around 200BCE and Gautamiputra in 78CE (though our Pauranic history places them much earlier).

There were many Satakarnis in the dynasty. To distinguish between the various Emperors, matronymics were frequently used.  Thus, this Satakarni was the son of Gautami, hence Gautamiputra Satakarni.

Background

GautamiPutraSatakarni.jpg
Nahapana Coin overstruck by Satakarni

The son of Gautami Balashrand Emperor Sivasvati Satakarni , Gautami-putra was a royal prince of great qualities. He was the 23rd in this illustrious line of Kings.

Satavahana society is recognised for the high status it accorded women. They were active not only as figures of high society, but even in affairs of state and administration. In short, “Satavahana society was free and open but not permissive”.  It was also significant for great artistic achievement. This dynasty is considered the main innovator of rock-cut architecture, as evidenced by a number of Chaitya halls and Viharas that are credited to them, and above all, the famous Amaravati stupa.

File:Amaravati Stupa.JPG

At the time of Gautamiputra’s ascension to the throne, India was under great pressure from foreign invaders such as the Sakas, who had broken through the Khyber pass. The Satavahana empire found its champion in this Satakarni.

Achievements

His rule took place at the time when audacious foreigners were breaching the borders of India. He proved himself to be the hero of the age, successfully defeating the Sakas (scythians), Pahlavas (parthians), and Yavanas.

He is most famous for his outstanding victory over and chastising of the Saka ruler Nahapana, who was uprooted from Malwa and Gujarat and consigned to the deserts of Rajasthan. The Sakas made peace through matrimonial alliance, marrying off the first of several princesses to Gautamiputra and/or his descendants. Indeed, what began as a clash of traditional Indian and recent arrival, would in succeeding generations become an inter-family rivalry due to the Indianising of the Sakas. Matrimonial relations were what prevented either dynasty from ending the other.

EmpireofGautamiputra

Satakarni conducted two Ashvamedha yajnas and one Rajasuya yajna to commemorate his sovereignty. His sway most likely extended at least as far as Rajasthan and Gujarat to Kanchipuram and Odisha, though his domain is presently considered to reach from Kutch and Ujjain to the Tamil Nadu border. Gautamiputra is credited to have conquered the lands of Anupa, Aparantha, Saurashtra, Kukura, and Avanti.   He is considered the greatest of the Satavahana Kings.

Legacy

His titles were Trisamudra-pitatoya-vahana (one whose horses had drunk waters from 3 oceans) and Saka-yavana-pahlava-nisudana (destroyer of Saka, Yavana and Pahlavas).

He was also a great patron of Sanskrit and Prakrit (which was the administrative language of the empire).

His wife, Queen Vasishti, was known for her charity and patronage of both traditional hindu vedic dharma and buddhism.

He is remembered today by historians as the Greatest of the Andhra Satavahana dynasty, and among the Great Emperors of India, making the Andhras truly “a race of lions”.

References:

  1. Rao, P.R. History and Culture of Andhra Pradesh. New Delhi. Sterling Publishers. 1994
  2. Kota, Pandit Venkatachalam. http://trueindianhistory-kvchelam.blogspot.com/2009/09/aandhrasaatavahana-or-saatakarni.html