Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Reboot of Mahabharatha

How sure are you to believe those 100 Kuravas are children are of both Dritharashtra and Gandhari? How did Satyavati's son Vichitravirya die? Do you strongly believe that five Pandavas are sons of Pandu and Kunti? The version of tale written by Shashi Tharoor gives life to the great epic by being more realistic. There is no magic or wizardry involved. There is no boon or curse. But, it only tells the truth. Its all beautifully presented in The Great Indian Novel. It maps people and incidents of Indian freedom struggle to that of characters and situations in Mahabharata. It marks the beginning of politics. I am not referring to politics by Krishna as stated in Bhagavad Geeta. I am inferring to the birth of Indian politics that is witnessed even today. The only prerequisite to read this book is you need to have knowledge of Indian Independence movement and you should have read Mahabharata.

Do you think that India got its independence due to resistance of our freedom fighters? The book mentions that after the World War, British were tired and lost capacity to rule India. So they appointed the last viceroy to clean up the mess quickly and return home. Indian leaders were given just eight months to form government. Meanwhile, Pandu was unhappy with Gangaji's principles of non-violence. He went mad when Dhritarastra was hailed as Gangaji's successor. He always believed in aggressive means to get rid of British. He left Kaurava Party and went on to build India's army. He took help of Japan for its formation. Eventually his movement wasn't successful and he got killed in an airplane crash.

At this time India was in a great predicament and agreement was never drawn between Kaurava Party and the Muslim Group. So, it was Mohammad Ali Karna parted with Karnistan as a separate state. There were Indian Muslims who backed Kaurava Party and they wanted to prove that there are many Muslims in India and India will help uplift them. And it did happen. Karna's theory was falsified. He stood firm on his belief that Muslims can only flourish if they are in a separate state but definitely not in India. It was under Mohammad Rafi as party president when Manimir was annexed to India overnight by Vidur. It also describes about the aftermath of Partition. What ignited the Manimir issue? Because of Dhritarastra's blind idealism, he was blamed when he got UN involved in this issue. Because of UN, part of it was given to Karnistan and bulk of it to India.

How well did Dhritarastra perform as first Prime Minister of India? He was becoming ignorant about social values that he had when he started the movement. Uplifting rural India wasn't being considered by him. That led to the rise of the Pandavas with Drona as their mentor. They stood for a cause of up bringing rural sections of Indian society. This posed a threat to the ruling party. Between Kaurava Party & the Pandavas stood Ms Draupadi Mokrasi; Ms D. Mokrasi, in short. I hope you got what I trying to say. And this is how she was objectified and exploited between the two. Yet she was protected by the five pillars of the nation: Judiciary, Army, Media, Diplomatic & Administrative Services.

It also discusses about expulsion of colonial rule in Comea and finally it was joined with Indian union. This happened under the leadership of Dhristarasta's most trusted minister: Kanika Menon. Kanika was India's representative at the UN and notorious for long speeches. The book elaborates about cause for Indo-Chakra dispute and also throws light on how India failed to defend Tebia. Indan jawans fighting in mountain regiments had no all weather rations and were obliged to wear canvas tennis-shoes in Himalayan snow. Dhritarastra was so immersed in the company of his popular minister Kanika that he had no desire to listen to the warnings. Our soldiers with their unprotected backs turned, warming glove-less hands before domestic stoves in icy mountain passes, as Defense Minister Kanika danced with a mask of confirmed conquer while Dhritarastra makes visionary speeches about non-aligned unity and brotherhood of Indians and Chakras. So he was criticized for his negligence and his decline was gradual but decisive. Gradually his daughter Priya Duryodhani gears up and takes the role of India's CEO. Her stubbornness and her will to operate as per her wish was her sole objective. Many initiatives were taken by her despite strong opposition. Her only appreciative accomplishment was India's victory in the Gelabi Desh war. She was found guilty corrupt electoral practice. The famous scene of Draupadi cheer haran is associated with how Duryodhani and her handpicked minions had been stripping the nation of the values and institutions we had been right to cherish.

It is no doubt that as we read along, our minds will start associating characters of the epic to the real people involved in Independence movement. Today's youth will definitely be enlightened after reading this book because I honestly did not understand what Manimir issue is all about. I couldn't make head or tail of it when I read about it in the newspapers or when I watched on television. I feel so relieved and inexplicably happy now to know all these things about my country. I was startled to discover so many things about Indian freedom struggle and its aftermath. The cunning nature, the shrewdness and the wickedness of those people whom we think as noble men are justified.

The language used is at its best. It is one of finest English literary works I have ever read. You will definitely start reciting the conversations as mentioned in the book.  It has a modern touch of everything. Sarcasm and humor are both just brilliantly played. And, you will also admire Tharoor's skill in the way this twice-born tale is organized and narrated. Definitely this book must be made a TV series with Tharoor as a screen writer and director, and cast should consist of acclaimed actors filling the screen with astounding performances portraying the characters - delicately and carefully - as described in the book. Undoubtedly, this book is a must read for every Indian.

Further reading:
The Great Indian Novel - Wikipedia

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