Duryodhan was lying on the battlefield injured with Bhima’s assaults. His entire body was smeared with blood. It was just a matter of a few seconds before he would die. Even in that condition, he showed three fingers to Sri Krishna. He wanted to say something but he didn’t have the strength to say even that. He was speaking in a low voice. Hence Sri Krishna went up to him and asked him, “What do you want to say?” He replied, “I have committed three mistakes in the war because of which I am defeated.”
First of those three mistakes was choosing Narayani Sena instead of Narayan himself. Second was appearing before his mother (Gandhari) wearing tree barks rather than being fully naked and third, he went to war at the end of war. Had he chosen Narayan to be on Kaurava’s side, the result of the war would have been totally different. Had he gone fully naked before Gandhari, no warrior would have been able to defeat him. Had he been at the forefront of the war, he could have learned many things and probably the lives of his brothers would have been saved.
After hearing what Duryodhan said, Sri Krishna said, “The reason why you lost everything was not these three mistakes. It was your Adharmi (non-dutiful) conduct and egoistic attitude. You have written your destiny with your own hands.”
This story from Mahabharata can be aptly applied today in the case of Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray’s faction. This party, which ruled Mumbai single-handedly and was a partner in Maharashtra’s power, is lying in an abysmal state today. There are many reasons behind them and there is no end to people telling and retelling them. Even every word and letter in the order given by the Election Commission of India is being deciphered for this purpose. However, the original cause of these dire straits is totally different and that is – Adharma and Ego.
Betraying Fadnavis Proved Costly
Uddhav had written a new Pride and Prejudice novel about Maharashtra’s politics. The downfall of Uddhav Thackeray was fixed the day he charted his own way, severing ties with BJP after three decades. Devendra Fadnavis forged an alliance with Uddhav Thackeray’s party in 2019 Assembly elections against the will of central leadership and BJP workers in the State. Rather than living up to that gesture of friendship, Uddhav Thackeray betrayed Fadnavis for power. His fate was sealed that moment because he had chosen the path of Adharma and the path of Adharma leads only towards downfall. This was decided the moment when he mocked the same alliance partner, in whose name he had begged the votes and gained 50-60 MLAs, saying that the former’s 105 MLAs were made redundant. That mocking was full of the same egotism and same vanity which Duryodhan had while defeating Pandavas with the help of Shakuni in the game of dice. That egotism was evident at every step during the last two and half years. That was to be met with its own Kurukshetra and it did last Friday. (What a coincidence!)
Deriding Hindu Deities
During the COVID-19 crisis, when the devotees were asking for opening the doors of the temples, Uddhav’s army was busy writing the frenetic editorials deriding that ‘the Gods have left the battlefield’. What a pride, what a conceit! Shiv Sena chief Balasaheb Thackeray always endorsed Hindutva and his own son enjoyed the company of Sharad Pawar, who openly insulted Hindu deities bragging, ‘I am the father of all gods’! It was as if he had found his own Shakuni! Uddhav was busy crushing people in Indira Gandhi’s style with the singular thought that he was the son of Balasaheb Thackeray and nobody could touch him. That is why his sensibility never awakened during a series of atrocities from Karmuse case to the Ketaki Chitale case where gullible individuals were targeted and oppressed. Therefore, it was but natural for matters to come to such a pass! In a democracy, nobody should be forced to say, “Just as my house is broken today, your pride will be broken too some day.” But it was uttered and yet, Uddhav couldn’t read the lettering of destiny. In Isap’s fable, the babies of lady frog made her swell up till she got burst. Uddhav met with the same fate in a way. Any lady frog who does not realise that she cannot match a bull, no matter how much she swells, cannot but burst.
Devendra Fadnavis forged an alliance with Uddhav Thackeray’s party in 2019 Assembly elections against the will of central leadership and BJP workers in the State. Rather than living up to that gesture of friendship, Uddhav Thackeray betrayed Fadnavis for power
In Macbeth, Shakespeare wrote that Macbeth was told by witches that he would be the king. Macbeth goes on a rampage with the obsession of becoming the king. A series of murders took place and what happens in the end? Both Macbeth and his wife go crazy with the guilt of their own crimes. Just like that, someone advised Uddhav to become the Chief Minister and a series of iniquity arose out of it. What is the result of that? A horrible loneliness where there are no friends, no colleagues, no party and no organisation. The party has gone, the symbol is gone, the name also has gone, as Raj Thackeray teased, and now all Uddhav Thackeray can do is to cry and taunt. Balasaheb Thackeray painstakingly developed the Shiv Sena and instilled confidence in the people; he carved a special place in every home and every mind. Uddhav negated all of this with a superior complex of being Balasaheb’s son. That is why Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said that he has salvaged the bow and arrow (party symbol) that Uddhav had mortgaged. That’s a substantial fact.
The ECI has empowered CM Eknath Shinde’s party (no longer a faction) to use both party’s name and party symbol. Balasaheb’s party has gone to his genuine, worthy and ideological heir. Shiv Sena had two factions – the Shinde faction and Uddhav Thackeray faction – after the rebellion in July last year. Both these factions had staked claim to the bow and arrow symbol to ECI. Hearings on this was held by ECI. Uddhav Thackeray’s faction showed its pride even during these hearings. But it is a Constitutional institution where the pride had no place. Moreover, the Election Commission even chided Uddhav that the current constitution of the Shiv Sena party is anti-democratic.
After this entire episode, just as Karna invoked Dharma when he saw the death in front of him, Uddhav began to remember democracy after he was completely destroyed. Where was democracy when he claimed, without any proof or witness, that he had promised to make a Shiv Sainik Chief Minister and usurped that post himself? Where was democracy when a desperate Devendra was calling, albeit to fulfill that claim, and Uddhav did not even bother to take the call? Well! What was to happen has happened. Now the next phase of the power struggle will be played out in the Supreme Court. There too, Uddhav Thackeray is slated to meet the same ignominy. He may have already prepared his mind perhaps for this. A party is not run by mere speeches, accusations and emotional appeals. The ability to lead, organisational skills, and, more importantly, to reach out to the party workers becoming an ordinary person are also essential. He is not expected to realise this, but it will be better for his if he does.
After experimenting with Maha Vikas Aghadi, Uddhav Thackeray’s new friends had started calling him Janaab Uddhav Thackeray. Uddhav’s media-made Chanakya Sanjay Raut smartened the arrogance of power with couplets in the language of those friends. There is a couplet in the same language, words of which fit on Uddhav’s party. It reads, it is possible that both the God and the sailor have drowned the boat together. The storm alone cannot be the cause of my devastation.
In this case, God, Narayan, stands on the side of dharma. But does one need to tell who the sailor is?