Contrary to what Nasir Safar, now a former special assistant to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, said at a 1Malaysia forum in Malacca the other day, the Indians did not first come to the Malay Peninsula as beggars, but conquerors.
The Chola Dynasty in southern India attacked and invaded Kedah from Kalinga in 1023. This particular conquest was considered by the Cholas as one of their greatest achievements.
In those early days, Kedah was known to the Indians as Kadaram (or Kedaram), which means “sceptre”, commonly used by Hindu priests and warriors during ceremonies. This was partly because the first Hindu temple had been built at the foot of Gunung Jerai in Lembah Bujang, an area rich with archaeological finds dating from more than 1,000 years ago.