Episode # 265 – “A king’s sole motto is the welfare of his people and nothing else!” – Vidura’s strong leadership message!!!

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In the previous episode we had witnessed an extended discussion of yet another important point that again closely pertains to “Nepotism”, which we had discussed few episodes earlier. Here in this context, Vidura explains clearly to King Dhirdiraashtra that he is trying to promote his “power-monger” and a maverick son of his to ascend the throne of Hasthinapura kingdom. He slams King Dhirdiraashtra for his pathetic mindset in promoting the crook called Duryodhana to the throne. More than even that, Vidura accuses King Dhirdiraashtra that he’s dancing to the whims and fancies of his crooked son, who is an epitome of all “Adharma” in this world!

We had witnessed this similar context in the current day scenario as well. We witnessed and example in the previous episode with regards to one political party in India wherein the “first family” rules and controls everything in the organization and nobody else in the party has any say or oppose the decisions made by the “first family”. We’ve seen the implementation of this policy for a period of ten years from 2004 till 2014, where the entire country was left to kneel down at the mercy of this “first family”! This shows how this bane called “Nepotism” transcends and spoils the entire country’s growth in the progressive direction towards excellence. Hence the message here is that, as leaders, we should realize the ill-effects of “Nepotism” and try to cut it down to the maximum extent possible. Of course I’m not saying that if there’s a competent person in one’s close circles, he/she shouldn’t be given an opportunity. It can be done! However the question comes only when an incompetent person transcends up the ladder, when there are competent people waiting for their due opportunities to progress further in their career.

Now moving on further, Vidura hits out at King Dhirdiraashtra again by saying that as a king, he should only focus on those activities that are useful and beneficial for his kingdom and his subjects. But instead, what is King Dhirdiraashtra doing here? His only focus is to somehow make his son the successor of the Hasthinapura kingdom by hook or crook and by demeaning the Paandavas and their potential. Vidura says thus:

“Prayojaneshu ye saktaaha na vishesheshu bhaarata!”

The message is loud and clear here! Vidura slams King Dhirdiraashtra left, right and center by lamenting thus, “Oh King Dhirdiraashtra! The ‘Raaja Dharma’ and your actions are completely in contradiction to each other! I’ve never witness such opposite poles ever in my life! Your focus is only on your son and his welfare. Your notion is such a short-sighted one and within a closed circle only. You do not have time to think about your people’s welfare at all! Did you ever think of the plight of your people if your crooked son becomes the king? Do you even foresee how bleak the future of your people is, by promoting and backing up such a crooked son of yours? Let me tell you this – If tomorrow Duryodhana becomes the king of Hasthinapura, he is going to go to any extent to establish his footstep in terms of money, power and fame! He is going to harass your people and swindle all their wealth and property! He’s going to torture them with his crookedness and greed! He’s never going to let the Paandavas especially with a peace of mind. For such a crooked son, you’re giving so much of importance and are dancing to his tunes! Thus, what kind of a justice you’re doing to your subjects? Aren’t you aware that a king’s sole motto should be to do what is fruitful for the kingdom? Now look at your condition – Your sole motto is to promote an incompetent, arrogant and a crooked son of yours to the throne! In what way is it going to be of any benefit to your people? Is this your answer for their loyalty and devotion towards you as their leader? Is this how you betray the faith of your people?”

Slamming thus, Vidura continues to advice him thus, “Oh King Dhirdiraashtra! Even now it is not too late! Please alter your approach! A king’s sole purpose of sitting on the throne is to direct all his actions towards the welfare of his people. Please understand this ‘Dharma’ and do accordingly! I’m not even talking about the Paandavas or Bhagawan Krishna here. I’m only talking about you and your activities. So please understand this and do the needful!”

Saying thus, Vidura renders valuable advice to King Dhirdiraashtra with respect to the “Raaja Dharma” that a king’s motive is only to serve his people and not anything else. In the modern day context too, the prime duty of a leader is to take care of the benefits and welfare of his people, rather than his/her own personal gains at the cost of the subjects! So for today let us spare a thought on this important point and ponder over! We shall take this as our New Year message and try to implement this in our professional and personal lives too! We shall wait till the next episode to witness Vidura’s next point of advice. Stay tuned! 🙂

Published by Dr. Jeayaram

Holds a PhD in Management Psychology from Universite Paris Saclay, Paris, France. Also an Asst. Professor of Human Resources management at Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham in Kerala, India. A professional South Indian classical musician (singer) performing concerts. Through this blog, I'm trying to bring out the richness of Indian culture & values and I request your support and feedbacks in making this humble effort a success!!

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