In the previous episode, we had witnessed Yudishtra being promoted as the “Yuvaraja” of the kingdom even as Duryodhana fumed. Duryodhana was clearly miffed with Yudishtra’s and the Paandavas’ indomitable growth in power. Duryodhana felt that it was the right time to pull the plug on the Paandavas before things escalate further. He rushed to his father and confronted him straightaway. Duryodhana appealed to his father that Yudishtra was a wrong choice to be the Yuvaraja! However, King Dhirdiraashtra at that point in time was extremely righteous and neutral in whatever he did. He defended his decision of making Yudishtra as the “Yuvaraja” and tried to pacify Duryodhana. However, Duryodhana was in a savage resolution – He did not want any pacifying or “sales talk” from his father. He meant business. As King Dhirdiraashtra did not pay heed to his words, Duryodhana touched the emotional and the softer aspect of King Dhirdiraashtra’s emotions. He knew where to hit his father. King Dhirdiraashtra, although being righteous as a king, had a hidden soft corner towards his son, Duryodhana, which Duryodhana used to his convenience! He now tried to capitalize on the “emotional front” and cornered King Dhirdiraashtra that he was taking a decision against the interest of his own son and with this, his son would be pushed into poverty and slavery under the hands of Yudishtra and Co.
This is the same thing that Manthara (the old woman) did to Kaikeyi during the Ramayana time. Readers might remember that in our previous Ramayana project, we had witnessed how initially Manthara failed to convince Kaikeyi to send Bhagawan Rama to the forest and ask King Dasharata to coronate her son Bharata. Kaikeyi initially scolded Manthara for her “divisive tactics” to wreak havoc at Ayodhya. Kaikeyi as a mother had never seen any difference between Bharata, Rama and Lakshmana. She treated all the four children as her own. However, when Manthara touched the “emotional card”, Kaikeyi’s mind got shattered. She fell into Manthara’s trap when Manthara was repeatedly stressing upon the point that if Bhagawan Rama becomes the king of Ayodhya, “her son Bharata” would be pushed into slavery! This is the same thing that Duryodhana is doing here too – He repeatedly stresses upon the point that if “King Dhirdiraashtra’s son Duryodhana” is not given due recognition, Yudishtra is going to treat him as a slave.
As Duryodhana repeatedly stressed upon this point 2-3 times, King Dhirdiraashtra’s mind started to waver towards Duryodhana. He slowly started falling into Duryodhana’s trap. Now King Dhirdiraashtra replies back to Duryodhana thus, “Oh son! Whatever you’re saying is right and I’m not denying that. Perhaps I shouldn’t give the entire kingdom to just one person. I should maybe share the kingdom between you and Yudishtra!” As King Dhirdiraashtra replies thus, Duryodhana fumed further, “Oh father! You still haven’t learnt the lesson! I’m saying that even if you give them half the kingdom, they’re going to dominate and ruin your son’s future! Hence, do not give them anything and send them back to the forest, which is the place they rightly belong to!” For this, King Dhirdiraaahtra meakly opposes. He is now slowly not able to talk back to his son with aggression. However, he replies thus, “Oh Duryodhana! Please do not think otherwise. I know about Yudishtra and the Paandavas. They are not such people like you think who would push you into slavery. Like you say, I do not have the heart to destroy them and their future, as they are my own brother’s sons. Maybe what we can do is, let us call someone who is well educated and an expert in “Raaja-Dharma”. We shall tell our dilemma to that person. Let him decide which is the right path for us to take and we shall then take a decision based on that!”
As both of them were talking this way, there was a person by name “Kanika” who came in. This Kanika was supposed to be an “expert” in the Raaja Dharma and was a very shrewd administrator. King Dhirdiraashtra and Duryodhana were very happy to see Kanika and welcome him. As Kanika settles down, King Dhirdiraashtra explains the dilemma to him and seeks a solution. Kanika, instead of guiding them in the right way, gave the wrong guidance. He replies thus, “Oh King! Whatever Duryodhana says is right! He has a valid point to his credit. The kingdom should be solely given only to Duryodhana and not Yudishtra. By doing this, you’re only escalating the power of the Paandavas further, who do not even have any right to claim the throne. You are the king now and the successor to the kingdom should be only your son. If Paandu would have been the king, the story would perhaps have been different. So you may stick to the idea of Duryodhana!”
Saying thus, Kanika clearly misguides both of them. He further adds a few more points thus, “Oh King Dhirdiraashtra! There is nothing in this world called “Dharma”! Many people would time and again come and try to talk about “Dharma”, which is totally irrelevant! If you’ve to win over someone, you should always go on the offensive to beat or kill them! If you feel someone is your enemy, you should never spare him or her. You should kill that person along with his / her friends and family. You should not even spare his wife or children. The entire “Vamsa” should be finished off, so that he wouldn’t be able to cause any problem to you in the future. Even if the enemy is a woman, you should insult her and kill her without being merciful. Even if the enemy is a child, you should go ahead and kill the child without any compassion! Just like how a small fire in the forest would destroy the entire lot of trees and shrubs in that area, if there is even a small enemy, you should not hesitate to destroy the entire surrounding of that enemy!”
With all these words, Kanika tried to drive his agenda towards King Dhirdiraashtra and Duryodhana. Further to this, Kanika is going to narrate a story of a fox and how the fox was extremely smart! We shall wait till the next episode to find out what this story is about and how King Dhirdiraashtra and Duryodhana fell into Kanika’s trap! Stay tuned! 🙂