King Ashoka, king of India around the 3rd Century BCE left am amazing legacy as the first proto secular leader. He ruled about 80% of present day India/Pakistan Read his edicts and compare them to anything in the Bible or Koran.  He certainly understood pluralism and religious tolerance far more than Christians or Muslims today.  King Ashoka of India

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Tags: Buddhism, India, King Ashoka, secularism

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Comment by samhita on June 20, 2011 at 12:57pm
I'm a big fan of Ashoka's teachings as well. I have read quite a lot of history on him, and found him to be among the most magnanimous rulers of the pre-modern world. If only he had established a republic, his great efforts would not have been mostly lost to nepotism and the increasing insanity of the Moghul emperors that succeeded him.

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