Fool’s Hope


It is amazing that Yudhisthir continued to be so kind, generous and filial to the Kauravas despite the fact that they were so undeserving.  Time after time, they showed how little they thought of his kindness, and yet, Yudhisthir could not bring himself to be unkind to them.  Despite everyone’s advise against it, Yudhisthir kept being nice to the Kauravas because he thought the milk of kindness will eventually transform them into the cousins he always wanted – kind and brotherly.  Sadly it was NEVER to be.   

Snakes do not change their nature by change of diet and continue to spit venom.  Similarly, all the advise of elders, kindness of Yudhisthir and threats of annihilation could not change Kauravas or their nature.

Kauravas took Yudhisthir’s kindness to be a character fault.  They laughed at him as a simpleton - publicly as well as privately and still Yudhisthir expected them to change.  Kauravas took advantage of his generosity and kindness at every opportunity.  They trapped the Pandavas through Yudhisthir’s generous and kind nature on a number of occasions.  Yet, Yudhisthir kept making excuses for them, trying to find reason for their unreasonable behaviour.  He kept hoping for them to change.  Not only Kauravas, Yudhisthir hoped Shishupal, Jayadratha and Kichak would also reform with time.  Despite evidence to the contrary, Yudhisthir kept hoping for everyone to improve. 

His biggest hope was Dhritarastra.  He hoped his uncle would be equitable to him and his brothers.  He hoped Dhritarastra would be the father Pandavas lost.  His uncle never protected him from his evil sons, nor did he divide the kingdom fairly between Pandavas and his own sons.  Even when his uncle called him to a sham game of dice - twice - Yudhisthir had faith in his uncle's sense of fair play.  Yudhisthir's hopes were dashed time and again - yet he still had faith !  Even after his uncle's evil plans were laid bare Yudhisthir continued to be kind to his uncle, treating him like his father.  Even when he lost all his sons and relatives due to Dhritarastra's greed, he kept his uncle as the nominal "head of state".  Even when his uncle squandered Pandava's wealth on his dead brood, Yudhisthir did not check or censor him.  His hope - fool's hope - that his uncle would improve proved futile.

Infact, Yudhisthir's faith in all the Kuru elders protecting and safeguarding him and his brothers proved unfounded. 

With the benefit of hindsight, we can see how foolish his hopes of changing Kauravas were.  Hindsight is a great thing – if only we have it to hand in the present-tence too !  Hindsight is only helpful if we can use it for foresight too !!

Right now, aren’t the western countries doing exactly was Yudhisthir was doing for the Middle Eastern countries ?  Aren’t western governments blindly supporting muslim nations that bear them no love what-so-ever ?  The more aid and assistance they give these muslim nations, the more vociferous their protests against the western donor nations !  Yet, they keep giving ever increasing amounts of aid !                                                                                                           

Isn’t India doing the same with Pakistan and Bangladesh ?  From the first day of independence, when a train load of dead bodies arrived from Pakistan to India, India knows how much Pakistan hates it.  Every time India makes move towards peace with the two Pakistans, some terror attack or border incursion or war is declared from across the border.  India’s efforts to give them money during natural disaster are also spurned.  And yet, Indian government keeps making peace overtures !  You would think 60 years on, India would have learnt its lessons.  But obviously not !  Even with the hindsight of history, India and its politicians haven’t learnt !!



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