Double standards


For society to work, people have to all work from one set of rules.
Double standards cause confusion, lead to miscarriages of justice and are inherently unfair. 

Duryodhan :-
Duryodhan never played fair or by the rules, yet, he expected everyone else to play fair.  As the eldest Kaurava, he expected himself to be crowned as the king.  Yet, he objected to Yudhithir being the crown prince for being the eldest amongst the Kuru princes.

Duryodhan liked the idea of svayamvars, because princesses could choose who they wanted to marry at these functions.  Those who got chosen, felt they were “special” in the august assembly of princes and kings.  Duryodhan wanted to feel special, very special.  If the svayamvar had an edge by way of a “feat of prowess”, where the princes had to prove their manliness, it suited him better, as it would show how great he was.  Yet, he was unhappy when Arjun won Drupadi’s hand by way of proving his prowess.  Infact, even when he abducted the princess of Kaling, it was Karna who protected his back.  Duryodhan always got others to do his dirty work and took the credit if it went well.

Duryodhan was happy that Pandavas were given an arid, forested part of the kingdom rather than the agriculturally rich one.  Yet, he burned with jealousy when he saw how Pandavas prospered through their own endeavours.  Wealth, pomp, power and prestige displayed at the Rajasuyagna added fuel to the fire and he was desperate to deprive Pandavas of everything – everything just to spite them.  Pandavas had acquired their wealth and power by fair means.  Duryodhan knew he could not defeat them in open battle, so he used foul means to snatch away the wealth and kingdom of the Pandavas. 

At no point would Duryodhan or any Kaurav prince have staked his own wife in a game of dice.  Yet, the Kaurav cohort happily suggested Drupadi as a stake in the game.  At no point would any Kaurav prince want his own wife or concubine to be dragged in to public court and shamed the way they watched Draupadi being shamed.  Glee-faced, they watched Pandava and Drupadi’s distress with great pleasure.  Would they have been so happy had the boot been on the other foot ?  Duryodhan showed his vilest side by asking Drupadi, his own elder bhabhi, to sit on his naked thigh in public !!  When Bhima vowed to break that thigh, he laughed.  On the eve of the battle, he taunted Bhima and asked him to prove his manliness by fulfilling his vow.  Yet, when Bhima actually broke his thigh with his mace, the same Duryodhan uttered bitter recrimination of foul play !  If you taunt a testosterone fuelled warrior to prove his manhood by striking you, you can’t possibly complain when he fulfils your wish !

They who snatched Pandava’s kingdom by foul unfair means, were absolutely insistent that all the terms of the exile be followed to the letter.  They tried to out the Pandavas by every means and when that failed, they were still insistent that Pandavas could not have even the tiniest speck of Kuru kingdom without a fight.  Fighting by unequal, unfair rules is not befitting a warrior.  It does no honour to the victor.  But Kauravas, Duryodhan in particular, were not bothered about honour, only perpetual wealth ! 

Duryodhan, Dushashan, Shakuni and others who knew the evil plans they had hatched all their lives to deprive the Pandavas of all comforts of life, shouted “foul” when their own kinsmen were being killed in the great battle at Kurushetra.  It was a it rich of them to call Pandava strategies “foul” when everything the Kauravas had done so far was utterly foul.


Bhishma Pitamaha :-
Grandsire Bhishma was toppled by using Shekhandi to shield Arjun.  In battle fields, princes often fought together to protect each other’s chariots, horses etc.  Shekhandi was fighting with full force too – he wasn’t just a passive shield.  When NATO and “Libyan Rebels” wanted to topple Connell Gaddafi of Libya, they used Shekhanti like shield of “civilians” to disarm, dispose and destroy the enemy.


Guru Drona :-
Guru Drona had used means fair and foul in the battlefield to help Duryodhan win. 
Reprehensible as it was, he had advocated the strategy of six MahaRathis attacking an unarmed Abhimanyu to kill him off.  Guru who had always taught his students to fight fair, used foul means to achieve his ends. 
Night fight is particularly devastating for the foot soldiers than the generals.  Yet, not caring for the common soldier, during Drona’s generalship, Kaurav army carried on fighting well into the night. 
Dona himself had taught his son and Arjun that celestial weapons should only be used in a dual or war, were both sides are capable of defending themselves from it.  An overwhelming use of force against an incapable foe is against the rules of “just war”.  Yet, Drona himself used celestial weapons against the Pandava army on two occasions. 

How else were the Pandavas to defeat there Guru who wasn’t fighting fair ? 

Drushtadhyman chopped off Drona’s head while he had put down his weapons. 
Hadn’t Drona sat silent when Drupadi was being insulted by Kauravas just because Pandavas’s had laid down their weapons in Kuru court ? 
Wasn’t a chaste woman’s public disrobing tantamount to the same thing as cutting off her head and the heads of all the Pandavas ?

In a battle as heated as this one, what guarantee that a person who has put down his weapons wont pick them up again ?  Hadn't Arjun unstrung his Gandiva bow at the start of the war only to restring it after his short lived desire to retire from war ?  What would have happened of Guru Drona had done the same ?  Unless an enemy leaves the field of battle, how can you be sure they have actually retired from the battle ?


Guru-putra Ashvasthama :-
Guru-putra Ashvasthama justified his heinous murder of Panchals and sons of Drupadi based on the single fact that his father was killed whilst he had abandoned his weapons and was about to retire from war.  In a war as hotly contested as this one, who was to know who had retired from war and who hadn’t ?  Who is to say someone who has declared an intention to retire wont re-engage ?  At the start of the war, didn’t Arjun himself declare “I wont fight even if others attack me”, unstring his bow and sit down only to re-engage fully in the battle ?  Didn’t Duryodhan equally resolutely resign from battle at the end 18th day only to re-engage when taunted by the Pandavas ?  Who is to say Guru Drona would not have re-joined the battle if he found out his son was still alive ?  In a battle as fierce as this, it would have been foolish to presume anything !

As the Pandav’s general supremo, Dhrustadhuman was in charge of the safety of all the Pandavas.  Drona had vowed to capture Yudhisthir and deliver him to Duryodhan like a bound captive.  Dhrustadhuman simply did his duty by killing the opposing general at the first opportunity. 

If Abhimanu can be killed when he had no weapon, why not Drona ? 

Dhrustadhyman had vowed to avenge the humiliation of Panchal and his father Drupad.  Everyone knew from the beginning that killing Drona was Dhrustadhyman’s destiny, just as killing Duryodhan and Dushashan was Bhima’s destiny.

Guru-putra Ashvasthama was a wicked person.  Though a respected brahmin, all his life he actively played along with the crooked schemes and plots of Duryodhan and his cohorts.  After the battle was utterly lost and Duryodhan was drawing his last breath, Guru-putra Ashvasthama still hoped to turn the tide of war – by any means – fair or foul.  Seeing an owl attack a sleeping colony of crows, he took inspiration from this and attacked the sleeping army of Pandavas.  If he was angrey that his father was killed by foul means, what means was Guru-putra Ashvasthama employing to reach his goal ?  Two wrongs do not make a right.  Guru-putra Ashvasthama should and would have known that.  Yet, he killed all the Panchalas, Drupadi’s sons and the sleeping army at night.  Night attack is against the rule of war.  Guru Drona and Guru-putra Ashvasthama both carried out night attacks to win the war.  Were they so far above the laws that regulated wars to do this ?  Was their action ever sanctioned by anyone other then their own inner circle of evil-doers ? 

Having killed sleeping men, like cowards and foul terrorists, Guru-putra Ashvasthama, Kul-Guru Krupacharya and Yadav-Kulbhushan Krutavarma fled from the battle field.  What sort of warrior stabs you in back and runs away to hide from an army ?  Only thieves, vagabonds, gangsters, cowards and terrorists commit such a crime.  By their actions, the three most reprehensible remnants of the Kaurav army proved they were unfit to be called brahmin or kshatriya, guru or mitra.

Lowest point in Ashvasthama’s life came when he attacked the unborn foetus of his foes.  Unable to kill a single Pandava, or Krushna, he aimed his weapon at Uttara’s womb.  What sort of brahmin, kshatriya, vaishya, shudra or even a mlechha attacks a pregnant woman ?  In his blind rage, Ashvasthama acted as no one should.  War between armed combatants is one thing, but to attack unarmed innocents is the very definition of  an uncivilised terrorist.  Weak, cowardly, inefficient, uncivilised and unprincipled – only terrorists try to justify their heinous crimes by saying “any means are fair in achieving your overall objective”. 

Like all terrorists, no amount of negotiation or peace treaty will ever get them to see the error of their ways.  Infact, the more we negotiate, the more they will demand.  Even if they got everything from you, enslaved you, they would still want more to the point that even your death will not satisfy them.  Such is the “take take take” attitude of all terrorists the world over.    

Ashvasthama’s glory was already gone when he attacked the Pandava camp whist it slept.  Arjun took away the physical glory from the “hate-filled shell” Ashvasthama had become.  Krushna cursed Ashvasthama to live and suffer for his crimes till the end of Kalee yuga.  Diseased and derided by all civilised beings, Ashvasthama is still paying for the sins he incurred at the end of the battle.


Dhritarastra :-
However, the greatest hypocrite and king of double standards was Dhritarastra. 

Having surreptitiously usurped his brother’s kingdom, he used his sons’ ego as his means to keep hold of the kingdom.  Like a coy prostitute, he kept protesting against his son’s schemes only to relent at the first opportunity and joined his sons’s evil schemes to rob his own nephews.  Very early on, his sons knew that their father was only pretending to be impartial. 

Even when Dhritarastra had lost everything, including his sons and grandsons, he still clung on to life and titles like a leach holding on to an fattened prey.  Knowing how thoroughly cruel his sons had been to the Pandavas and how magnanimous the Pandavas were in victory, he kept praising his sons in Pandava presence and kept spending Pandava money on rituals to appease the souls of his sons.  Even at the last moment, when he declared that he will go into the jungle for good, he could not resist one last splurge of Pandava cash for his cruel sons.  At no point did he feel remorse for his actions, or that of his sons.  Such total blind faith in his actions as being “right” shows how truly blind Dhritarastra really was.


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