- Gopal Sinha
A lesson from history
It was a small, sovereign state, located near the border of the country. The king was old, but
bold in his approach to deal with anyone, who tried to trespass, encroach or infiltrate into the boundaries of his state.
He maintained a small, but trained army of committed soldiers. Being a border state, it was
subject to occasional intrusions by neighbouring kingdoms, but each time, they were repelled successfully.
However this time it was a far bigger threat and also unexpected, from beyond the borders
outside. A king or commander of a little-known, far-off state outside the mainland of the country was fast approaching, with a very big army, tramping anything on the way and with an eye to plunder the riches of the vast country and subsequently subjugate it under his rules.
He had sent his emissary to his royal court with a message demanding acceptance of
suzerainty and free passage through his kingdom or face his army in the battle-field.
He was a mighty force to reckon with, having much larger an army, fully trained and equipped with modern armaments, besides they were assured of a handsome share and gifts out of all the lootings and plunders of a vanquished state. That had increased their greed and lust and they had fought their adversaries with ruthlessness and fanaticism.
Certainly they were no match to the advancing enemy in military strength, but as far as the
sense of patriotism was concerned, it was much higher than the fanatic zeal or lust for bounty offered to the invading army.
The royal court was having an emergency session.
All the ministers, commanders, intelligence head and courtiers were invited and were present there for discussions on state security and the measures to be taken immediately.
The matter was seriously discussed considering all the aspects in detail.
The king asked for the opinion of the cabinet and the house.
All most all the members were of the opinion that the country's honour was of prime importance and it should be defended with might and main, also there was no question of accepting the terms and conditions, dictated by the invaders.
It was conveyed to the emissary in clear terms.
It was unexpected, as most of the small kingdoms, on way, had preferred to bow, than to fight and invite their annihilation.
In shock and surprise, he asked whether the king and his courtiers were aware of the possible consequences of rather a one-sided war.
"We are ready for the supreme sacrifice, but not for a cowardly surrender and throwing the
gates open for the invading army to march to plunder my country.
Tell your commander that we would defend the boundaries and pride of our motherland with the last drop of our blood."
The king declared in a thunderous voice which was supported by clapping and raising patriotic slogans by all those, who were present there.
The emissary left in disgust.
The meeting, however, was not over and continued for sometime more to assess the position of infantry, cavalry, armors and royal treasury.
It was decided to approach neighboring kingdoms for making a common cause for the defense of our country, unite and jointly fight the invaders and drive them out of our borders.
However this was not to be.
Personal interests and enmity prevailed upon the common sense of some irresponsible kings, who set aside patriotism for petty gains and refused to cooperate on the grounds that they were not attacked, so why should they fight for him. It was a bad day, bad decision and a bad omen for the future.
Those selfish kings were not aware of what harms they were doing to their kingdoms and the
country as a whole and what perils awaited them one after the other in near future.
Their lack of foresight, disunity and unpreparedness would cost them dear and a dark age was to begin soon on that land.
People of the small bordering kingdom were pained, but not deterred in their firm and
unanimous resolve to defend the borders with whatever strength and little resources they had, at their disposal. All were firmly behind their king and their little army and were ready for any sacrifice in the service of their motherland.
They fought bravely till the last and laid their lives to defend the honour and pride of their
motherland. Victory for the aggressors, was a foregone conclusion.
However the leader of the victorious army, was much impressed with the courage, bravery and sacrifice of the vanquished side.
He said, "I had heard much about this country, its wealth and about the people of high moral character and conduct, their valour and respect for the honour of their country. Today I have seen it with my own eyes. However they have one weakness. They failed to unite and make a common cause against us, otherwise we might not have won the battle.
We must keep it in mind for our next assaults. It would be easy to divide them and defeat."