My posting on the article in the Hindu http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/indias-epic-dilemma/article17960992.ece?utm_source=true&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=Newsletter#comments
This is a very interesting article on the Hindu epics. I am of the same opinion that these epic stories are only ethical texts. To impose on them ideological or moral percepts is wrong. Rama may be called MARYADA PURUSHA but he was still a man constrained by the mores and customs of the age and the place. Such epic stories must be debated in each age.. I enjoy rereading of these epic stories from Iravathi Karvet to Devadutta Patnaik. It is not only religiously orthodox people who find ideological meanings behind them. Even Peiyarists (followers of Periyar) find ideological meaning in the stories. One Periyarist says that he was intrigued by Ravana who kidnapped his somebody else’s wife but never molested her is considered bad whereas Indra and Krishna are considered as gods. Indra is (atleast now) is not considered as god of the pantheon but Krishna is. The periyarist gives ideological meaning to the epic stories. But Krishna is an epic hror and very fascinating character with his amorality (yes I repeat amorality) both in this young age when he flirted (perhaps even more) with the girls older to him or as a war hero during his adult period who maneuvered to see that his friends Pandavas win (hook or crook). In Peter Brooks depiction Krishna agrees at the end that there was no other way out for good people (comparatively) to win. Yes I also agree Bhisma was ambivalent in his RAJA DHARMA. He kidnapped the three daughters of Kashi king for his blind brother and this shows that Bhisma considered women as property. That is the reason why he quietly allowed Draupadi to be molested in the open court. He may have given many advises to the warring clans on his deathbed but my feeling is he was repeating some well established ideological percepts. See http://www.harekrsna.de/artikel/bhisma.htm. The eldest Dharmaputra in spite of his dharmic character erred in many ways. Durdyodhana and Karna the darling of the Radicals were full of false morality. Duryodhna abetted the disrobing of his cousin’s wife in the open court Karna enjoyed disrobing because Draupadi refused his love, similar to the present day boys killing the girls whom they love unilaterally. I welcome re-interpretation of epics, particularly Mahabharata, by every age and more number of times in each age.