I have always had a decent interest in epic stories and myths. Following that I started watching the Mahabharata show in Vijay TV which is obviously a dubbed version of a Hindi show. So far the traits portrayed in the show are Jealousy, Injustice in the pretext of morals, Caste discrimination, selfishness, treating women as mere tools for creating progeny for the kingdom, not appreciating or even trying to understand women and as if this is not enough, women considering the purpose of their lives to be marrying a king, give him a progeny and die serving their husband and most of all stupidity. I agree whatever is portrayed as Mahabharata in today’s world might not have been how it happened originally. The show is an utter disaster in spreading values till now. Only the Krishna snippets in between give something to think about genuinely.
Here are some samples and my feelings towards them:
1. Satyavati is shown to demand the right to be a queen and her children to be the heir to the throne. This causes Bhisma to take his famous vow of celibacy. This selfishness causes many a trouble in maintaining a king for the kingdom in the future. Not once has she regretted for causing this. What irritates me more is that a son throws away his life so that his dad who has lived his life to the fullest can marry the lady of his interest. I accept that love has no age but love is also unconditional, remember? If Satyavati really loved Shantanu, why does she keep demands? If Bhisma has not taken that vow, a lot of mishaps could have been avoided.
2. The way Dhritarashtra is shown to treat Gandhari for sacrificing her sight to share her husband’s world of darkness, for not being able to deliver children within 10 months is just disgusting. And what more, she does not have one regret against him treating her like that. I cannot explain how my blood boils on this portrayal. If this was how the royal men of that time were, I don’t even want to learn about them.
3. The niyoga method of producing an heir to the throne. If this is accepted, I feel that someone belonging to non-royal bloodline can also be chosen as a king based on merit and values.
These are just some of the many irritating depictions. Of course, even in the story line we know there are many aspects that are not so good. It’s the same case with the other epic stories too. They might be the original happenings or very far from them, I don’t know. However, if you are going to portray something as the epic story of our country, I would want to see the good side of it so that we learn something from it.
I would love to read the original version or close to original version of our epics to clean this mess created about this whole thing by distorted versions. So if anyone of you has any sources, I’d be grateful.
Until later 🙂
A good post and I accept with it partly. Though your inference may seem to be inclined on the not-so-good parts, that is where an epic had to stay and say the moral.
All the epic stories had good and both in common. You can not spare the one at the cost of the other. Moreover, the value of the good is understood well at the cost of the bad thing.
Though I can agree with your very first point of not so treating well of the female gender, as you yourself had narrated it well, it all had a reason to do so. To be very sincere and devoted to husband, who is the living form of god to the women at those era. Definitely we can’t accept this in this modern world. That itself may give you a convincing punch 🙂
I also started watching the same Mahabharatha in Tamil on Vijay TV and it is on my own pace. I am still watching Oct month episodes. But a difference is I generally try NOT to push my thoughts while watching rather I will be an observer and digester of the story.
Raghavan alias Saravanan M
I agree with you that the bad part is shown so that we would appreciate the good enough. I don’t have much issues with the story of Mahabharata, my issues are with respect to the show and how it is portraying certain facts as stated above.
Being sincere and devoted to husband is one thing and being a tool in the husband’s life without any respect for individual is a different thing. That’s what the show fails to capture properly. Once you see the coming episodes, you might agree with this anna 🙂
Just to add, there are lot of books you can get it on different languages.
I can refer Rajaji’s Vyaasar Virundhu for you to have a very quick read. It is roughly around 200 pages (if I am right).
Thanks for the sources anna! I will try to get a hold on it.
This could be a really good source. 🙂