Ms. Kiran Bedi has compared our Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh with Dhritarashtra of Mahabharata. [Ms. Bedi tweeted – “PMO clears PM. Did Dhritarashtra in Mahabharata not support Kauravas even after they attempted to disrobe Draupadi? Indian genes/culture? Or?”]
Dhritarashtra was the blind king of Hastinapur who was put on the throne after his younger brother, Pandu, had to go to the forest to atone for his sins and his subsequent death. He was also the father of the hundred Kauravas.
Is the comparison valid? Let’s see.
- Dhritarashtra was blind and thus could not see; our PM is not blind (at least physically), but he still cannot see; else he would have done something about all the wrongs that are happening in his PM-dom.
- Dhritarashtra was blind to the aspirations of (his son) Duryodhan and despite knowing about the wrongs done by him, said nothing. Our PM was also well aware of the wrongdoings of some of his ministers (thankfully not his sons), take Raja for instance, but allowed him to continue, till the ant became an elephant, and it could not be hidden under the carpet.
- Dhritarashtra did not say anything when Draupadi was being disrobed in public in the court just as our PM is keeping mum when the country is being robbed off its pride and being abused by many known to him.
- Dhritarashtra did not have any friends who could guide him, but had many who would mislead him. PM too has no friends who can guide him, but is surrounded by allies who actually misguide him and have their way, as and when required. This lack of ‘good and true’ friends has been the bane of both Dhritarashtra and the PM.
Some differences though –
- Dhritarashtra did have some voices of sanity which used to try to dissuade him from following the wrong path, like Vidura, PM has none. There is not a single guide in his cabinet whose sane voice he can follow.
- Dhritarashtra always aspired to be the King, in spite of his disability, i.e. his blindness, but our PM is a reluctant politician, who knew well about his disability, i.e. lack of knowledge of politics, but went on to take the position of leadership. Needless to say, that both have proven to be poor leaders.
To conclude, let me tell you a small story which many might not know.
At the end of the war of Kurukshetra and on the death of his hundred sons, Dhritarashtra asked Lord Krishna as to why was he destined for such a tragic life, of blindness and bereavement of hundred sons during his life time? Lord Krishna asked him to close his eyes and Dhritarashtra saw, that in his previous life, he was a tyrant king. Once he was passing by the sea and saw a swan surrounded by a hundred cygnets (baby swans). On a moment of sadistic pleasure, he ordered that the eyes of the swan be gorged out and all the cygnets be killed. This cruelty had led him to be blind in this birth and was made to bear the death of his hundred sons, just as he had done to the swan. Dhritarashtra realised that this was his karma and none were to be blamed for this.
Dhritarashtra’s behaviour was due to his karma, but what is the cause of your behaviour Mr. PM?