Society has been a composition of benign and evil in all the ages, but with the passage of time the evil has become more and more dominant. There is an irrefutable scientific principle—the entropy of an isolated system always tends to increase. The entropy refers to unusable energy or disorder. In the context of social science, it can be considered unusable resources, corruption or anarchy. In the last few months, the painful glimpses of the Dwapar era have been observed in the country.
The last century of the Dwapar era observed the great war between Kauravas and Pandavas, called the Mahabharata, mentioned in scriptures. This story is well known through the TV serial Mahabharata aired on Doordarshan. Nevertheless, one incident of the story needs to be mentioned. Duryodhana and Yudhishthira played two rounds of Chausar in the courtroom of Dhritarashtra, the king of Hastinapur. In the first round of the game, Yudhishthira lost all his wealth, royal palace, properties, army and kingdom. He put himself at stake along with his brothers and became the slave of Duryodhana after losing. In the end, Draupadi was also put at stake, and was lost. On the orders of Duryodhana, Draupadi was forcibly dragged into the courtroom by Dushasana, and an attempt was made to strip her naked. Considering this as unreasonable, Draupadi requested for intervention of King Dhritarashtra and other members present—the eldest Kuru Bhishma, Dronacharya, Kripacharya etc., but all expressed their inability by observing silence. Pandavas (Yudhishthira & brothers) also could not help.
Disappointed from all sides, Draupadi meditated seeking help from Krishna Bhagwan. This way she was saved by Krishna. In the meantime, Queen Gandhari entered the courtroom and reprimanded Duryodhana and Dushasana. Cursing King Dhritarashtra, she warned the Hastinapur of dire consequences for the heinous crime of insulting women. Frightened King Dhritarashtra returned everything that Yudhishthira had lost. The Pandavas got ready to go back. Before going back, Arjun met his grandfather Bhishma and expressed his anguish over the humiliation in the courtroom. But Bhishma blamed Yudhishthira and other Pandavas themselves for their decision to participate in the Chausar and putting everything at stake including Draupadi.
It is said that Bhima and Draupadi ridiculed Duryodhana during Yudhishthira’s Rajasuya Yajna. Duryodhana retaliated by humiliating them after defeating them in Chausar. But this method of retaliation cannot be considered appropriate. Hurt by ridicule, Duryodhana should have lodged a protest with Yudhishthira, so that the dispute could be resolved.
Islamists Instigated Society
In the last few months, a few similar incidents have come to light in the country, which also deserves mention. The statement of former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma, in response to the co-panelist Taslim Ahmed Rahmani’s remarks in a TV debate took the form of a serious controversy. A section of the Muslim society across the country staged fierce demonstrations taking it as an insult to Prophet Muhammad. The fundamentalists instigated society to commit violence through provocative speeches and sloganeering.
According to media reports, Nupur Sharma received threats of rape and murder, and also to kill her family and supporters. Dozens of FIRs were registered against her in several States. Although it was an internal matter of the country, yet 15-Islamic countries also lodged their displeasure with India over the matter. The Opposition parties also attacked the Government in a familiar manner. Some members from Hindu organisations and a few others did support Nupur Sharma, but the number of supporters was very less.
Murders by Islamists
On the allegations of supporting Nupur Sharma, a few persons have been brutally murdered by the fundamentalists. This whole incident has been the subject of discussion in the media. Considering the police action in different States separately and the crisis in her life, Nupur Sharma prayed to the Supreme Court to transfer all the legal proceedings to Delhi. Instead of getting relief, she got the reprimand on July 01. The Supreme Court also held Nupur Sharma guilty for the reactionary violent action of the fundamentalists. Some jurists, legal experts and intellectuals expressed dissatisfaction over this stand of the SC. However, it is a matter of satisfaction that the SC granted her relief on the second request on August 10.
In difficult circumstances, one always expects support and help from capable and responsible persons and groups of society. Nupur Sharma would definitely have similar expectations. Admittedly, the party removed her from the post in order to maintain peace (damage-control) in the country and abroad. But society had a lot of expectations from non-ruling parties at the Centre to rise above party politics and oppose the communal propaganda and violent activities of the fundamentalists. The Maratha Hindus, who claim to be gada-dhari Hindus, would definitely have come forward for protection. A few women organisations in the country have been making media headlines on fighting for gender equality, and a few women lawyers remain prepared to defend the cases of the women victims for free. The inaction of all of them on Nupur Sharma’s anguish is beyond comprehension. This period of hope and despair appears as if humiliated Draupadi in Mahabharata expects support from the king Dhritarashtra, Dronacharya and Kripacharya etc. in the court. The Supreme Court’s view dated July 01 on Nupur Sharma’s request to transfer all the cases of legal proceedings to Delhi is reminiscent of the role of the eldest Kuru Bhishma. Those who oppose the threats made by fundamentalists, and those who express dissatisfaction over the SC’s comment on the matter appear to be in the role of Mahatma Vidur, the PM of Hastinapur. The role of Krishna Bhagwan is not clearly visible in the entire episode. Though the Supreme Court granted relief to Nupur Sharma on August 10 on her second prayer, yet the action cannot be considered sufficient for the role of Krishna. Such a Dwapar era does not represent the welfare system.
In a democracy, the unresolved controversial issues can be resolved only in the court. The order of the court is unquestionable. For social harmony, one should respect the communal symbols of others as well. The Nupur Sharma episode is just a single controversy, the real issue is the clarification on the limits of freedom of expression.
Filmmakers, comedians, celebrities and other intellectuals including even those occupying constitutional posts, despite not having authentic knowledge of Sanatan Dharma, often deliberately insult the symbols as the soft target just to gain cheap popularity. This may cause unpleasant reactions and disturb social harmony. There should be extensive debate in the Hon’ble Supreme Court to clarify the limits on Freedom of Expression uniformly for all communities to avoid repeated disputes. The cases need to be resolved in a fast track court and culprits must be awarded exemplary punishment. Society wants to see the judiciary, especially the constitutionally empowered Supreme Court, in the role of Krishna Bhagwan. Role of Krishna is clearly mentioned in Srimad Bhagavad Gita—Paritranaya Sadhunam, Vinashaya cha Dushkritam, Dharma Sansthanaya, i.e. protection of the benevolent, punishment to the malevolent, and establishment of welfare system for the entire society.