THE WINDS OF CHANGE…. SPARK A WILD FIRE
(Fifteenth in the series “The Martial Marketer”. War strategies for work!)
“You’ve always been a greedy, selfish bastard.
Your whole world is just you, right.
Shame on you.”
Vira Someshwara was crowned the King of the Hoysalas. What a long wait he had! Someshwara was waiting in the wings to take over and implement his plans. His father, Narasimha II, took time to hand over the reins. Narasimha wanted Someshwara to be ready. Now, of course, with his receding health, he needs to ensure continuity.
Someshwara was deferential to his father, though he had his own plans. He felt that his father had spent too much time focusing outside the Kingdom that he missed growing their defenses. Someshwara felt that the alliances his father had made were all in good faith but not much business sense. The senior partner in an alliance must be paid, in cash or kind. This was Someshwara’s thought process. Over the years, the Hoysalas had helped their southern neighbours. His father had waived off revenue and royalty collections, and this was hitting his Kingdom hard. He had inherited a good Kingdom in name, but the Treasury needed serious work.
With an extended focus on the Tamil Kingdoms of the south for a long time, Hoysala’s northern neighbours were acting up. Those on the other side of the Tungabhadra river crossed over and attacked his people at will. Someshwara strengthened the defenses all around and propagated rapid raids into the enemy territory. He neutralized them and placed his vassals to govern the regions, now under the Hoysala control. As the tax revenues and royalties started to come in, it gave him confidence and additional income to plan. Every new King has to prove himself to his people. Someshwara won the appreciation of his people as he provided more and reduced internal taxes.
A niggling thought, though, continued. If those in the north could pay me my dues, why aren’t the southern partners doing so? Why aren’t the Chozhas, whom we helped win a big war, paying us anything? Or the Pandyas whose regions we helped our partners gain — some of which is ours by right? He kept the thought to himself.
His sister Suganthi, wife of Rajarajan III, had come home to deliver her third child. She was a well-read strategist and took an active interest in all affairs of the state. She was now the queen of the Chozha Kingdom. It was her marriage that sealed the alliance. Her son would take over the Chozha throne when ready. A Chozhan-Hoysala blood will rule. When she mentioned this to her brother casually, he felt a pang. Does this mean that my son will not rule this region, will not be the emperor of the entire south?
Some conversations create a spark. These sparks rage into a larger fire with the right winds, consuming the self and everyone in the path. The pang that Someshwara felt grew by the day. “I can be the emperor for the whole and pass it on to MY son.”, thought Someshwara. He consulted his ministers, who also felt that the south must pay a royalty. Their army was more significant, and they had supported Rajarajan to win his Kingdom. Therefore, that made him a part of the broader Hoysala framework.
Someshwara did not talk to his sister, who resided in the same palace. Instead, he sent an emissary stating his stance and asking Rajarajan to pay fealty to the Hoysala Kingdom. He spoke about all the help that had been provided, without which Rajarajan would have been nothing. So, taxes and royalty payments must be made, he said.
Rajarajan read the letter and kept his own counsel for the night.
My wife Suganthi was there, with Someshwara. He is family, after all. Why did he write a letter like this? What’s in his mind? thought Rajarajan. He then wrote a letter to his wife, asking for further details and encouraging her to have a word with her brother.
Suganthi was furious when she read the letter. She rushed to Someshwara’s chambers:
“You’ve always been a greedy, selfish bastard. Your whole world is just you, right — shame on you.
Don’t you realize the Chozhas are also our family now? I am the queen of their Kingdom. What’s got into you? Did you talk to dad about it?”
Someshwara was silent. He looked at her and said,
“My son will rule the entire south, as the emperor. The Chozhas would be nothing without Hoysala’s support. What the north pays us, the south must too.”
The silence continued as the siblings stared at each other. Suganthi knew her brother well, and that once set, it was difficult to change his mind. This time though, she was in direct conflict with him and his people, who were also her people! Family, people, and allegiances will be put to the test soon.
It was a new King on the throne, and it was his ambition at play.
Suganthi’s allegiance now lay with the Chozhas. She knew both the Kingdoms. More importantly, she knew her brother well. Well enough to know what his next move will be. He was relying on his council of ministers than his commanders.
Alliance politics are going to change.
Conflicts are going to rise.
War was coming to the land, once again.
The rains have started, and the flood will come.
It was time for the Chozhas to prepare for war. The onus had shifted from the likelihood of an enemy not attacking to one’s own readiness for the attack. Wherever it may come from.
- Know the enemy and know yourself; you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.
- Know yourself but not the enemy; for every Victory gained, there will also be a setback.
- Know neither yourself nor the enemy; start digging your grave right away.
Lessons from Sun Tzu
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This is the fifteenth in the series called “The Martial Marketer”. War strategies for work!
1. Marketing Camouflage! Success is sweet.
2. A Trojan variation to defend and attack.
3. Victory at all costs.
4. Size does matter.
5. Fight the fight within, first.
6. The (marketing) warrior without vanity.
7. Playing with Perception.
8. Fools rush in.
9. An alliance is the way forward.
10. What will you do once your strategy is known?
11. When big attacks small?
12. A cornered tiger is most dangerous.
13. Strategy is Grammar.
14. The lull after the storm.
Pravin Shekar is an outlier marketer, parallel entrepreneur and a raconteur.
mic @ PravinShekar.com .
For creative collusions, join: http://bit.ly/JoinMyOutlierTribe
Pravin is the author of seven books: Devil Does Care, Marketing lessons from Mythology, Getting paid to speak, a Virtual Summit Playbook, Climb your way out of hell & a collection of travel pics/romantic poems, and stories from the heart!
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