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Kerala PSC Indian History Book Study Materials Page 437Book's First Page
the name of Samba, a kumara (royal prince), in charge of Manemadesa. This is not only new information, but it also prompted a fresh look at the structure of the empire. Revised Views about Provincial Administration The previous notion that it had a neat organisation of four provincial centres in almost four cardinal directions, viz. Takshasila (north), Ujjaiyni (west), Tosali (east) and Suvarnagiri (south) under kumaras or provincial governors of Maurya descent (known from Asoka’s edicts from Dhauli and Jaugada in Orissa) has been replaced with that of a larger number of provinces. It has also been argued that the image of constant control and intervention of the central authority in the affairs of provincial and local level administration has to be revised in terms of a less centralised polity, with considerable autonomy to provincial administrators. The central authority’s presence is said to have been strongly felt in the newly conquered Kalinga area and the provisions in the two sets of REs (so-called Kalinga edicts), according to this view, were not applicable to the entire area of the empire. IMPORTANCE OF SANNATI EDICT The newly discovered edicts and fresh studies of the existing edicts have, in short, encouraged the stance that the Maurya empire was not a unitary state as it had earlier been argued for. This new perception of the structure of the Maurya state, however exhilarating, has again been questioned with the discovery of an edict of Asoka from Sannathi in the Gulbarga district of Karnataka. The important point is that this edict is the same as the edict from ancient Kalinga (i.e. Dhauli and Jaugada). It was generally believed that the edicts from Kalinga were of special nature, meant specifically for Kalinga, where Asoka deliberately did not issue REXIII, as it gave a vivid account of the massacre in Kalinga. This explains the use of the expressions such as Separate Rock Edicts, Kalinga Edicts, etc. The discovery of the record from Sannathi now puts beyond controversy that the statements made and certain measures taken by Asoka were not merely applicable to Kalinga, but were meant for the realm in general.