Saturday, September 16, 2006

MAHABHARATA : AN UNPREJUDICED VIEW....

Mahabharata! The epic. The hymns scream out the angelic morals. But somehow, somewhere deep in the unconscious mind we have an apprehension about the Pandavas being the so called saviours and crusaders of goodliness. Ever wondered why Kauravas were left at the receiving end all these centuries? One finds himself at bay choosing upon the just side on an impartial and unprejudiced read. It has always been the Pandavas who have been heaped praises for their valour and righteousness. But beneath lays some serious misgivings which points to foul play and injustice being stamped for years. It rather sounds paradoxically absurd trying to shift an age old maxim in favour of Suyodhana. For those surprised brows, Suyodhana was the eldest son of Dhrutrastra, the hereditary king. “Suyodhana”:- A warrior par excellence; a protector of rightful war practices. A man denied of his title for centuries which was so dear to him that he lost his life safeguarding it. Ever conjectured why he had to bear the brunt of Pandavas wrath? Surely answer comes in a gasp “The evils deserve hell”. RECONSIDER. With the type of upbringing we have, our mind and heart always laments the Kauravas. But let’s take a stock of the situation and give them their due respectfully. To begin with Dhrutrastra was the legitimate heir to the throne. But as luck would have it, being blind, the state was turned over to Pandu. Now the question arises “Who legally inherits the throne?” Though a tough nut to crack, the benefit of the doubt should have been ruled in Kauravas favour. Even otherwise, it would have taken little for the Pandavas to appreciate the folly of the situation. They choose to brag instead. Now let’s move the frame to Draupadi’s “swayambara”. Many may recollect that it was Karna who should have the first legitimate shot at the fish. But he was booed out for not being a Kshatriya. No prizes for guessing the invisible hand behind this act. It was a well established fact by then that Karna could defeat Arjun offhandedly. Well its worth mentioning that Karna was proclaimed to be the king of Angh Pradesh by Suyodhana. That’s what Suyodhana was for you. And what did Pandavas do on the eve of their brother’s marriage? Divide her for all of them! Well someone forgot that they were preachers. Scene: Hastinapur. All were invited for the showcase the Pandavas put in for their palace. Shakuni and Suyodhana both were ridiculed off for humane errors. Guess who joined in the act. Draupadi and her peers almost went to the point of stripping their humility. For a Kshatriya, to gulp down his own insult takes some beating. It all culminated in the game of PASHA. Many say it was unfair that Shakuni played the game. But nobody ever tried to stop him. He never played his hand hiding. Now, Yudhistira was asked to play, not to bet all. Alas! It was rather too simple a way out from troubles. It was left to Yudhistira to play his hand and like a sober man he should have kept a sight at his limits. Yet this great man put his wife Draupadi on line. Surely, this was the height of everything else what could possibly be thought off. Let’s roll the reel to the battlefield. Whether be it Pitamah Bheesma or Dronacharya, both were asked to play a biased hand. Ultimately they bowed out failing to play a one sided affair. So was this the so called bravery and valour of the Pandavas? Memories of Eklavya resurface without saying, who sacrificed himself for Arjun. The pitfalls of foul play bubbled throughout the war. Karna was made to donate his armour; even then it required Arjun to take aim at a weaponless man. If this was the strategy, it compelled them even lower to kill Jayadratha. Spiteful act! As if banging the last nail in the coffin, Bhima himself took aim at Suyodhana’s leg whilst in a match of clubs. Suyodhana accepted the match but never indulged in foul play fully conversant with the fact that Bhima had the cutting edge over him in a battle of clubs. Thus, he died leaving behind the true fighting spirit he had. What was he rewarded with? Duryodhana? Though lost, Suyodhana never lamented his lot. He saw himself being called Duryodhana whilst seeing Pitamah Bheesma, Dronacharya, Karna die. Thus, lain is a Mahabharata from Suyodhana’s eyes. Maybe what he deserves is an impartial, unbiased and unprejudiced read. Let us give him his due.

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