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Similarity between Shakuni and Periyar

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Shakuni is although portrayed predominantly as a negative character in Mahabharat but in real sense Shakuni was not as negative as described or known. Shakuni was quite brilliant and was a great visionary. Bhishma waged war against his country- Gandhara to marry his sister Gandhari to the blind Dridarastra, king of Hastinapur. In the war, entire Gandhara kingdom was destroyed. Shakuni carried his anger and revenge to destroy the entire Hastinapur.

To destroy Hastinapur the only option he had was to break the relationship between Pandava and Kaurava brothers, impose the theory of confusion, create fear on the identity and existence of Kaura clan, continuously tutor Kaurava with hatred against Pandavas, abuse and criticize Pandavas publicly and abuse Kauravas as well in an advisory note were the strategies Shakuni had adopted. To hide the true identity of Shakuni from getting noticed, he too played the victim card along with Kauravas and identified himself also as a true member of Kaurava clan. But he belongs to Gandharva kingdom.

Shakuni also made known his hatred for Pandavas but in real sense, Shakuni did not have any hatred for Pandavas and his anger was more towards Kauravas and Bhisma. But to execute his revenge, he divided Kauravas from Pandavas. Shakuni poisoned the mind of Duryodhana even when he was a small boy.

The exact reason for the state of mind (revenge) of Shakuni was more of personal than political.  But he used his personal revenge to script Mahabharat war and destruction of the entire Kauravas. At the end Dharma won thanks to Lord Krishana.

If we compare the characteristic sketch of Shakuni with Periyar, we can find several similarities between them. These are only similarities and need not be same. Periyar was born in an ardent Hindu family. He made a visit to Kaasi temple as a part of pilgrimage. He could not get free meal in the choultries as it was meant for upper caste Hindus. That incident had infuriated him and possibly the hunger and anger would have transformed as revenge and shaped his thinking.

Periyar started to abuse, criticize and spread hate politics against Brahmins by calling them non-Tamil people and descendants of Aryan race. He continuously belittled the people of Tamil Nadu by calling them ‘Sudra’, children of prostitute and Tamil language as barbaric etc., and Brahmin as Aryan.

Periyar brilliantly crafted the anti-caste, anti-Brahmin movement but was extra brilliant to keep both the agendas alive so that his activism would get continuous relevance and recognition. Otherwise he could have asked the first DMK government to abolish caste system in Tamil Nadu as he had already excommunicated and persecuted Brahmins from Tamil Nadu as Aryan race (non-Tamil race). But instead the Dravidian party used different castes to formulate its electoral politics to remain in power.

Periyar also cleverly borrowed the term Dravidian from Bishop Robert Cladwell came to India to spread Christianity and smartly used the Dravidian term to mask the Tamil identity. Like how once congress coined the term India is Indira and Indira is India. Periyar too renamed the real name of Tamil as Dravidam and what for he did so remain secret.

Initially he claimed entire south to be Dravidian land but when the states like Kerala, Andhara Pradesh and Karnataka refused to buy his theory, he even abused all those states but brilliantly etched Dravidian identity to Tamil Nadu. Today several people raise doubts and express suspicion over why Periyar referred Tamil people as Dravidan race. The possibility is that Periyar and many of his associates may want to hide something and hence renamed Tamil as Dravidam.

Periyar also showed extraordinary intelligence to keep his mission alive by spewing his hatred towards God, temple culture and religious faith etc., besides against Brahmins may due to the reason that only that way he can continue his mission permanently. Brahmins were very small population in Tamil Nadu, and were weak politically and economically.

Only difference of Shakuni is that Shakuni at the end, in the battle field confessed for his actions and then embraced eternity. But Periyar even in his last speech in Thyagaraya Nagar said that he is leaving all those Sudra as orphan and never confessed for how he converted his personal revenge to define the political landscape of the entire state.

The interesting aspect of both Shakuni and Periyar is that both could convert their personal incidence or anger or revenge into real fate of the state. Shakuni caused destruction of the Kaurava clan but on the contrary Periyar helped his followers to capture power but did nothing to eliminate caste system within his manufactured race called Dravidian. Periyar appears to have allowed the Dravidian party to use different castes to formulate electoral politics to win election.

Anna although followed the principles of Periyar but when he formed DMK, diluted his stand against Brahmins. MGR was the one who really saved the culture of Tamil Nadu and did something substantial for the people of Tamil Nadu like Kamarajar. MGR diluted hate politics, brought divinity, god worship and ancient treasures of Tamil culture which was further expanded and resurrected by Amma.

Had there been no MGR and Amma, the state would have been destroyed totally by the Dravidian politics. Today the Dravidian politics has reduced to dynastic ruler culture, has frozen the great Tamil tradition, Bhakti culture and God belief among people. People are coming back to divinity and hope that they would elect Narendra Modi to rebuild New Tamil Nadu and end the Dravidian politics. Ironically today the DMK is identifying the one who search his Brahmin DNA as Prime Minister of India. It looks like DMK has changed and hope people also would change and elect a leader with national vision larger cultural identity of our India.

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