King Asoka conquered Kalinga in 261 BC after a bloody war, then left his religion and became a Buddhist. What happened? Now he promoted equality, social justice, and religious tolerance. He  provided healthcare to all. Asoka has shaped today’s India more than any other leader. Buddhism was the vehicle he chose to transform India. His life story has it all: ambition, royal intrigues, murders, a bloody war, and his abiding love for Anga–the beautiful and impetuous daughter of the governor of Taxila. Buddhism was just a religious sect like many others in his time. He adopted Buddhism for its human values; he rejected (his own) Hindu religion because it glorified wars and divided the society into four castes. It was an act of leadership at its best.