Ashutosh Nadkar is originally from Madhya Pradesh. He has been active in print, television and web journalism for the past two decades. He is currently working with the Network18 group as an associate editor.
Writing history will help you learn history. We have already discussed the importance of becoming actively engaged in the subject of history. What better way to do so than to actually do it? In other words, writing about history means a personal involvement with history and this will necessarily produce a greater understanding of history, a good thing in itself!
In all the negative qualities associated with Shakuni, a very important quality of his has been overlooked. Shakuni was a very good judge of human nature and character. He knew well about Dhritarashtra’s lust for monarchy and his inability to hold on to it due to his lack of vision, both literally as well as figuratively. He was aware of his nephew, Duryodhan’s hatred for his cousins and his ambition to become the King and continued to fan the flame of hatred in his heart and mind. He was also aware of Yudhishtira’s weakness for gambling and knew that Yudhishtira would give in to the slightest provocation and that is what he ensured during the dice-game. He was also well aware of Krishna’s love and support for the Pandava’s and also recognized the fact that Krishna was the only match to his guile and intelligence in the Pandava camp, and ensured that all the wrong meted out to the Pandavas occurred in Krishna’s absence. One can see these examples as evil intentions, or as smart strategist who moved towards his personal objective in a slow, but steady pace.
Popular notion sees Shakuni as the villain, but was he really one? Wouldn’t any individual with slightest of self-respect feel insulted if a matrimonial proposal was sent for his daughter/sister from a person who is not only ineligible but also handicapped? Who would not feel insulted if such a proposal was given to them, just because it was not in their power to decline? Was this not exploitation of one’s superiority? Did Bhishmapitamah not know the inadequacies of Dhritarashtra, who though elder of the family was not eligible to be the King? Was the matrimonial alliance not being sought after more for physical and political reasons rather than simple matrimony? With all this and more, what else can a relatively weaker person do, if not act like a termite and eat into the system, to avenge his insult? This is exactly how rebels are created due to acts of insult, injury and oppression. The case of Shakuni was no different. In the light of such acts by the mighty stalwarts and guardians of Hastinapur, was Shakuni really a villain?