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The kings of yore were examples of upright conduct and they never swerved from the path of righteousness. The Chula, Panda and the Cheri kings were known for their rectitude and they heeded the people’s call for justice. Their main motive as kings was to dispense justice to their subjects and work for the alleviation of their grievances. The period of the rule of the Chula, Panda and the Cheri kings was a golden era in the history of Tamil Nadu. A Pandean king while going round Madurai, his capital, in disguise to know whether any thieves were at work, happened to tap on the door of a house, when the head of the family, who had just returned from a town after his personal work, and his wife, were conversing. They raised an alarm as it was midnight. The king took to his heels. The next day the couple complained to the palace officials that someone tapped on the door of their house last night and fled.

The king confessed that it was he who tapped on the door of their house and punished himself by cutting off his right hand. He had a golden hand in place of the severed one. Amazing was the king’s sense of justice. Let us read the story of another just king. Once upon a time there lived a Chula king, called Manu Neath Chesham.

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He was particular that he should be always just. He was ever ready to hear the grievances and complaints of his people. He hung a bell outside his palace.

If anyone wanted to tell the king his grievance he should ring the bell. Hearing the sound of the bell the king would come out. Knowing the grievance of the person, who rang the bell, he would immediately take action. He was praised by one and all as the just king. One day the king heard the sound of the bell. It was a dumb animal which rang the bell. It was a cow shedding tears.

The king came out and on seeing the cow weeping was moved. It made some gestures. The king got confused. The cow began to walk away from the palace.

The king and his attendants followed it. It led the king to a place where its young one lay dead in a pool of blood. The king came to know that his son, who was coming in a procession on his chariot, crushed the calf under the wheels of the chariot as it ran excited.

The king wanted to do justice to the cow. He ordered that his chariot and his son be brought before him. He ordered his son to lie on the road. He drove his chariot fast and when the chariot passed over his son he was crushed and he lay lifeless in a pool of blood. The king wept uncontrollably, he experienced the intense sorrow experienced by the cow. It is said that the Cola king was a pious man. By God’s grace the king’s son woke up as if from sleep and the dead calf came alive. The story of the king’s dead son and the calf coming alive may be true or not but the incident shows the king’s strong sense of justice.

Justice to all and envy towards none should be everyone’s motto. Manu Neath Chesham has become immortal.

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