Tuesday, April 24, 2007

karna syndrome, and chindia

apr 24th, 2007

i have been hearing a lot about 'chindia' which to me is completely bogus. china is china, an imperialist nightmare. india is like karna, the one with immense potential who was handicapped by difficulties not of his own making, always the hard-luck kid.

i need to write about the 'karna syndrome'. karna is the most interesting character, in fact the hero of the mahabharata, in my opinion. the one with the greatest endowment, the one whose good intentions always turn out negatively. it is a curse, a cosmic handicap. this is what is afflicting india as well: always the bridesmaid, never the bride, to mix metaphors wildly.

and back to the 'chindia', if there is an alliance between india and china (remember hindi-chini-bhai-bhai) it will be like an alliance with microsoft for a small software company. all the benefit will accrue to china (like to microsoft) and india (like the small company) will be screwed.

7 comments:

Harish said...

i totally agree with the Karna analogy..Cudnt have been better put..

The real hero of mahabharatha but a life filled with pain and hurt and in the end failure...
Is this gonna be India's future as well.. I wud think so...

humdinger said...

Rajeev,

I dont agree with Karna analogy. Yes, Karna was a great man but the importance of his characted is about " friendship". He sided with wrong men and helped them. So, he is bound to be doomed. Isnt this the moral of Karna's character in Mahabharatha?

We were all mislead by many great men about the greatness of Karna. But, we never tried to understand the motive of Vedavyasa in framing this character.

multisubj yb said...

1. Karna was a victim of the four caste system. Our epics and Puranas are hell-bent on enforcing the caste system. All the three books of ours Ramayana, Mahabharata, Mahabhagavata enforce caste system through their heros Rama and Krishna. For some snippets you can visit my blogs www.ramayanayb.blogspot.com. www.mahabhagavatayb.blogspot.com.

2. If Karna has some bad qualities and befriended bad persons (Duryodhana), won't Pandavas have bad qualities? They too have. But they are not highlighted because Mahabharata's object was to deify Krishna and glorify Pandavas.

3. Better not to compare India to Karna. India has its own strengths and weakness.

4. Better not to compare India to China. China got 25 billions Dollars in one year for building Casinos at Makalu. In one year, the total foreign investment received by INdia is only 5 billion Dollars. China's ends and means are different. Our ends and means are different.

humdinger said...

@multisub whatever

if our puranas and epics are so hell bent on reinforcing the caste system...why the hell are they written by so called low caste people? Do you know who is the author of Ramayana? Is Sage Valmiki an upper caste fellow? Did he try to reinforce caste system?

Do you know who is the mother of Sage Veda Vyasa? Did Veda Vyasa try to reinforce caste system?

Do you know how much Vidura is resected through out Mahabharatham? Of course he is one of the very few who gets chance to see the "viswarupa" of Sri Krishna.

I am really wondering which versions of these epics you read. try reading the original Samskrut versions.

Dont be like our leftist morons who keep quoting some mis translated versions of the epics.

nizhal yoddha said...

humdinger, i don't think karna was wrong to befriend duryodhana et al, nor do i think that's the moral of the mahabharata. this is an epic tragedy, and karna is a tragic hero, who has a fatal flaw: that he is too good and righteous.

for instance, he stuck with duryodhana despite recognizing that duryodhana was evil, only because he had a debt of gratitude to him. in other words, he followed the dharma of a righteous man in fulfilling his obligation to duryodhana who had befriended him in his hour of need.

in addition, karna, even while recognizing the wily indra as the mendicant, did give away his impregnable defense mechanisms to him because he stuck by his vow of charity.

this sort of shall we say blind allegiance to dharma when your opponent is an adharmic person is not appropriate. this is exactly what happened with prithviraj chauhan and that mohd of ghori/ghazni (i can never keep them straight.) when you are fighting adharma, don't play by dharmic rules: use whatever wiles you have to defeat the adharmic. this is what, eg. shivaji did. one has to keep the big picture in mind.

in other words, karna's fatal flaw was that he was too focused on the detail, not seeing the big picture. for instance, he should never have given the assurance to kunti that he would not attack any of his brothers but arjuna; these are all noble but foolish sentiments. kunti had absolutely no right to petition him after having abandoned him at birth. indians are prone to be sentimental when brute rationality is what is needed.

karna is still a great tragic hero like other great tragic heroes in world literature: ulysses, who lost everything; hamlet; othello.

daisies said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
humdinger said...

Rajeev,

Sneha dharma is not to feed to the foolishness of your friends. It is reforming your foolish friends.

Karna,in the name of grattitude, contributed to the adharma of Duryodhana. There by accruing adharma for self. Karna faced his destiny of living with wrong people. Many tales in Panchatantra point out this in a very good way.

Even Bhartrahari mentions this in his Subhashitams. Water, staying on hot iron disappears as vapour in a moment. The same water shines as a gem when it stays on a tender leaf.

Choose your friends in the right way, not by grattitude or any such reason. Did Duryodhana help Karna out of his virtue? Nope, Duryodhana saw someone who can fight with mighty Arjuna. So, Duryodhana's friendship is motivated by vested interests, similar to the love of US towards Pakisan.

Karna is not a tragic hero. He is an otherwise great man who befriende the wrong people.