Friday, May 29, 2009

Karunanidhi won where Dhritharashtra lost!

The Mission of Mahabharatha of Karunanidhi is finally accomplished with the anointment of his pariwar in the Centre followed by the anointment of the King- in- waiting, taking charge as Deputy Chief Minister in Tamilnadu.

This grand story of the Grand old man in politicking that has no parallel anywhere in the world’s democracies has ended well for him and his clan. The Kauravas have won with their Dhritharashtra at the helm!

This story has surprised many who still have some faith in the age-old dictum that dharma alone triumphs. While these people would continue to argue how a Dhritharashtra type story can not win, they are missing some salient points. They have failed to see that Dhritharashtra has won with the acumen of the Pandavas!
The story of Karunanidhi Vaibhavam is that of victory of Kauravs using the tricks of Pandavas.

Perhaps this is the way Kali yuga must proceed where what you see around you are all kauravas but you can not do anything about them, for kauravas project themselves as Pandavas.

Let us see how this ‘Pandavisation’ of Kauravas happened!!
For our easy identification of them from kauravas of Mahabharatha, let me call the pariwar of Karunnaidhi as ‘Karaunavas.’
Kauravas were in the period of Mahabharatha,
whereas ‘Karaunavas’ of Karunanidhi are of present day Bharatha.

Let us analyze how the Karaunavas excelled or exceeded others in the battle for power

(The inspiration is from Hemanth Paranji who has brought out the management points from Mahabharatha. The analysis given here for Kauravas and Pandavas are from Hemanth while the Karaunavas part is done be me.)


The Kauravas were huge in number having 11 Akshouhini
and Pandavas were smaller having 7 Akshouhini.
(1 Akshouhini 21,870 chariots, 21,870 elephants, 65,610 horses and 109,350 foot-soldiers (in a ratio of 1:1:3:5).

In contrast Karaunavas had less number of alliance partners this time whereas the opposition had a better number of partners – same as what the Karaunavas had last time with which they swept all the 40 seats. Past data shows that Karaunavas must lose, but they won – the reasons for which are discussed below.


Kauravas :

• Bhishma
• Drona
• Karna
• Shalya
• Kripacharya
• Ashwatthama
• Duryodhan

Pandavas :

• Arjuna
• Bhima
• Dhrshtadyumna
• Abhimanyu
• Ghatotkach
• Shikhandi
• Satyaki

Karaunavas :

No Generals
Only Princes,
one in Madurai,
and one in Chennai,
The Patriarch was in Hospital or bed-ridden most time,
as happens whenever Srilankan trouble erupts.

The princes are never known for pulling crowds by speech or presence.
But they are known for their ‘action’!
That makes the difference.
And they made their presence felt among the soldiers
whose reach was far and wide.
They did everything to empower the soldiers at all levels.

So instead of having one General or half a dozen generals,
effective division of labour – area/ locality-wise was done.
The several lakhs of soldiers proudly called as Organizational workers
were allotted clearly demarcated areas,
for them to make their precision hits!


Pandavas :

Exiled for 13 years.
Have no kingdom.
Their main strength both in terms of political and financial power depends on their friends and relatives : The Pancalas, The Yadavas, The Magadhas and The Chedis.

Kauravas :

In power for 13 years.
Duryodhan has been a benevolent king.
Theres no guarantee that the Subjects really miss the Pandavas.
Not only have they the wealth and power of Hastinapur, but also that of Indraprastha, the kingdom that the Pandvas had taken such labors to build and which had surpassed the Hastina of old in all degrees.
Karna had gone on a nation-wide conquering on behalf of Duryodhana.
They are the national sovereigns.

Karaunavas :-

Benevolent king who gives color TVs and cheap rice.
In power for quite long and
in powerful posts for quite long that they are fit to be at the top of the Forbes list of the richest.
But no.
The Forbes does not consider politics as a profession!!
But that doesn’t matter.
They will anyway be topping the list in the Swiss accounts – which we can never know, thanks to the UPA back in power.

The benefits of this money is felt at the time of winning electoral battles.
The un explained advantage that Karaunavas enjoy is that no one questions about this wealth.
If someone dares to question, the rival’s (Jayalalithaa’s) wealth will be quoted by the Karaunavas to neutralize the effect.
Who knows how much wealth Jayalalithaa amassed?
What we know of her wealth is what the Karaunavas have told us in the distant past while slapping court cases on her.
Losing those cases or calling them off later is not remembered by people.
That is an advantage for the Karaunavas!

This is the background of the Karaunavas in having good financial power like the Pandavas (within family) and having their money presence everywhere in the kingdom like the kauravas.


Kauravas :

“Without war, will concede not a needle-prick of earth.” - Duryodhna

Duryodhana was completely focused on the War. It was his moment of truth. He had usurped a kingdom, and he meant to keep it. He had resorted to any means, foul or fair to get the kingdom, which he believed to be rightfully his, and he was in no mood to give it up.

Pandavas :

“We fight over a Kingdom, as dogs over a piece of meat.”-Yudhisthira

The Pandavas had been humiliated, their wife insulted, their kingdom taken. But…still they wanted to avoid the War. The three elder Pandavas were against the War. They even went as far as making an offer that they will stop the War in exchange of 5 villages.

Karaunavas :-

They have the determination of the Kauravas (wont concede a needle prick of earth)
and the wisdom of Pandavas in avoidance of direct war.
They actually hate waging wars.
They successfully eliminated wars in the Corporation elections when most of them had an easy sail-through,
thanks to just show of might!
These days in Bharatham, it is enough to show your might, then no one will challenge you in a war.
Just by seeing your muscle power, no one will dare you.

But the same wisdom will not work at MP battle grounds.
You have face the enemy.
Here the Karaunavas use another type of wisdom,
that there is no use attacking the visible enemy.
Attack the invisible enemy.
The invisible enemies are the opponents who go to the polling booth to press their displeasure against them.
Tackle them – is the mantra of the Karaunavas.

So how did the karaunavas win?

Team spirit

Kauravas :

No team spirit. They all fought their individual wars.

• Bhishma : For his Vow to protect the throne Hastinapur.

• Drona and Kripa : They owed allegiance to the throne.

• Shalya : Simply cheated by Duryodhana to be there. Was originally a Pandava ally.

• Karna : To prove his mantle against Arjuna. Friendship for Duryodhana.

They didn’t gel well with each other.
Bhishma and Karna. Bhisma and Shakuni. Karna nd Shakuni. Karna and Shalya. Shalya and Bhishma.

It was like a bees, hornets and mosquitoes put together in a jar.

Pandavas :

One team. One Goal.
As men, they all had huge respect for Krishna and Yudhisthira.
While as warriors they were in complete awe of Bhima and Arjuna.

Most of them were close relatives – cousins, brother-in-laws, father-in-laws.
More than that they all were part of the decision-making process.
It was their “common” war.

Teamwork succeeds where Individual effort fails.


Despite being a la kauravas, the Karaunavas worked in unison like the Pandavas.

Azhagiri : Has to prove that he has people’s support after the Dinakaran survey

Dayanidhi : Has to make sure that he is close to the Patriarch

Kanimozhi : Has to be the first pet of darling dad.

Stalin : Has to convince his dad that he can fit in his chair.

Though they all had individual goals, they did not lose sight of
the common goal of ‘winning’ the people’s votes.
That can happen only by projecting a unified look.
Karunanidhi was respected as Krishna and
everything was done in the name of Karunanidhi, for Karunanidhi.
That unity paid well.

Individual Motives

Kauravas :

Except for Duryodhana nobody wanted the War.
All the 4 main generals had strong ties with the Pandavas.

• Bhishma(grandchildern) – Wont kill the panadavas. Will kill a thousand soldiers each day.

• Drona (students) – Wont kill the Pandavas. Will capture them only.

• Shalya (Nakula-Shadeva’s maternal uncle) : Loved the Pandavas and covertly helped them by humiliating Karna

• Karna (brother to the Pandavas) : Promised not to kill any of the other Pandavas save Arjuna.
A Team of Traitors.

Pandavas :

Common goal. But the individuals had their individual targets.
Their own agenda, which just became one with the teams’ agenda.

• Dhratsadyumna : Drona.
• Shikhandi : Bhisma.
• Satayaki – Bhurisravas.
• Arjuna – Karna.
• Bhima – Duryodhana and his brothers.
• Sahadeva – Shakuni and his sons.
• Nakula –Karna’s sons.

The Right team is made by selecting the Right Individuals. Get the right man for the right job.


All the kin working in unison keeping their individual goals subordinate to group goals.

In the process, Azhagiri buried his hated for Marans (temporarily or not? – who knows? But they didn’t show any animosity to each other in public)

Maran buried his discomfiture.

Kanimozhi did not hesitate to show herself as dotting sister.

Diverse individuals with personal goals – but working in unison burying their hatchet.

Though they kept their personal goals in hiding,
they didn’t hesitate to work on diverse tasks of the common goal.

While one was concentrating on the South, en block,
the other was working on finishing ‘traitors’ such as PMK.
Other works such as finishing MDMK and ‘correcting’ DMDK to contest alone
while keeping the tabs on local congressmen
were also done in full swing.

All these were done by the Karaunavas taking orders from Karunanidhi
who took charge of the role of Krishna of Mahabharatha war!


Kauravas :

Already said the Big 4 had big emotional attachment with the 5 Pandavas.

Looking further on their commitment.

• Bhisma himself gave away the secret of killing him to the Pandavas. He prolonged the War by killing only inconsequential soldiers. He did not fight a warrior like Shikhandi because of his personal bias.

• Drona too indirectly gave away his secret, by saying he was invulnerable as long as he held a weapon. Moreover he abandoned weapons as soon as he knew his son had died.

• Karna did not kill Yudhisthira and BHima when he got the chance. He gave away his Kavac and Kundala prior to his War. Karna fled innumerous times from the War when he was hurt. He didn’t save Duhsasana when Bhima was killing him.

• Shalya kept on insulting Karna while in Battle.

Pandavas :

• Abhimanyu , a 16 year old kid. Ventured beyond enemy lines alone. This was suicide mission but he still went in and took a great part of the army down with him. It took the combined effort of 7 Maharathis to take him down.

• Ghatotkach even in death, took with him almost half the army.

• Yudhisthira, he knew he couldn’t face Karna in War, but still went in to set an example. Yudhitshira didn't hesitate to tell a lie or a twisted truth when faced with the decision of whether to stick to his personal integrity or welfare of the team.

• Krishna took up arms twice and almost entered the War, inspite of his promise, only to be stopped by Arjuna.

The interests of the Individual should never exceed the Team interest. The best man for a Job is not the one with the best capabilities but one with the greatest commitment.


Commitment – this is something where the Karaunavas have none to equal them.
They made sure that their individual interests do not jeopardize their common goal even by a shred.

Azhagiri does not like Maran hogging the lime light.
But he will put up with that because that can be handled once he gets into the saddle.
So getting into the saddle is more important than working to cut down the attention this guy is getting.
This guy can be handled later.
This strategy / patience paid him well.
When the Grand Sire was camping in the Capital,
Azagiri had all the time and tricks in his disposal to cut this guy to size.

Again the Karaunavas did not have the disadvantage of the oldies spoiling the chances.
They had all the people in Tamilnadu work for them.
For instance, even the workers engaged in construction work were not spared.
Construction work came to a standstill in the city for some days before elections,
because the workers could earn 500 rupees a day for the poll work they did.
They saw big money for some days.
Other saw on some other days
so that Karaunavas could see on all days!

Karaunavas know how to buy committed workers for the battle work.

Right Managers

Krishna :

The Greatest Crisis Manager the world has seen.

Yudhisthira :

Low-key strategist.

• On the first day of the War, he played a Master game. Went over to the Enemy side to seek blessings from Elders. In reality he made a covert deal with them, wherein all of them agreed to help him and unfolded the secrets of defeating them.

• While coming back, he took a calculated risk. He made an offer to all the assembled people to change sides if they wanted to. He knew well of the lack of cohesiveness among the Kauravas. Yuyutsu, son of Dhrtarashtra crossed over to the Pandavas. This exposed the weakness of the Kauravas for all to see.

Know your enemies weaknesses and exploit them. Take Calculated risks. Inspire, invigorate, counsel your own team in moments of need.


They have the advantage of two-in-one in Karunanidhi.
The Crisis manager and the low-key strategists in one mould.

Like Krishna, Karunanidhi did not use any war machinery.
He made just three appearances.
Rarer the appearances, the bigger is the aura of Greatness.
The down-the-line soldiers have to really work hard to make up
for the absence of participation of the Grand sire in the war field.

Like Yidhsihtra, Karunanidhi takes calculated risks.
He did not hesitate to express his love for Prabhakaran
at an unpredictable moment of election worthiness of that guy.
But when confronted for that by the English media,
he did not hesitate to pass the buck on the media.
A case of the key -strategist revealing the no-strategist face of himself.

But that does not deter him in his onward march.
He will be still praised as a crisis manager by Tamil media for whatever he does –
be it on the volte face in his comment on Prabhakaran
or on the fast till breakfast with his wives!

The Roots

Kauravas :

Princes brought up in the comfort of the Royal Palace, matured on romanticized ideals of Power, Fame, Courage and Valor. No experience of ground reality.

Pandavas :

• Spent the greater part of their lives in Poverty. Childhood in the Himalayan foothills among Rishis. One year exile among the poor people of Kuru-Panchala. 12 years of Vanvas and 1 year of Agyatvas.

• Experinced with the ground reality. Contact with people from various strata of the society. Sannyasis (celibate monks), Acharyas(Householders, teachers), poor Brahmanas, lower-class Potter.

• Different races of people. Rakshasas, Gandharavas, Apsaras, Nagas. People from different regions Uttarkuru, Bengal etc.

• A Sense of Sharing. A sense of Brotherhood.

Know ground realities. Know different ideologies. Share.


The princes are brought up well with good exposure to ground reality.
They are ‘fearless’ (anjaa nenjan) and are Commanders (Thalapathy)-
all the time in war-preparedness, unlike the Kauravas.

At times they don’t hesitate to emulate the Pandavas in shaking hands with diverse persons.
They go to Puttaparthy or to Narasimaha (if you are reminded of Vijaykanth, I am not responsible) in Madurai at the time of election battles.

They also know the ground realities very well.
They keep the Christians and Muslims in good cheers,
but irritate Hindus.
But they know the art of appeasing Hindus too
It is here the deft handling of different ideologies come to their rescue.

They don’t consider Hindus as Hindus.
Because Hindus are Dravidians.
The Hindus who question the Karaunavas are Aryans and the others are Dravidians.

They know this distinction well and use the Dravidian tag at right times
They irritate Hindus very well
but divert their irritation by shedding tears for their subjugation as Dravidas at the hands of the Aryans(?1)
This will make the Hindus forget that they are Hindus
but remember only their ‘Dravidian origins’
that had been invented by this Grand Sire.

Women Empowerment

Kauravas :

Patriarchal structure.
Bhishma, Drona, Kripa, Dhratarashtra, Vidur, Shakuni, Duryodhana, Karna, Duhsasana. No women in the decision making process.
Gandhari retreated to the Inner Chambers. Nobody listened to her.

Pandavas :

Matriarchal Structure.

• Kunti was the authority supreme for the Pandavas.
“Whatever my mother says is Dharma to me” : Yudhisthira.
• Draupadi was a companion in whatever the Pandavas did. She had a big role in all the decision making. Without her the Pandavas would have most probably reclined to the forests.
• Even the younger Pandavas : Ghatotkach, Abhimnanyu and Iravan were brought up by their mothers. So the female influence was huge.

Women = Better Half. Any team which doesn't have women is unbalanced, for the Masculine traits of Aggression and Dominance should be balanced by the Feminine traits of Harmony and Sustenance.


Theirs is something of a wonderful mix.
Patriarchal structure with Matriarchal influence!

Wives, daughters, grand daughters and even nephew’s female relatives are all given a role in maintaining family unity.
That helps in unity in politics despite pulls and pressures.

At no time, the voice of the females is left unheeded.
This helps in remarkable harmony at any house to which the Grand Sire shifts like Vikramadhithya (kaadaaru maadham and naadaaru maadham) – every week.

The female dominance enhances the ‘motherly affection’ of the Grand old man to all his off springs without any discrimination.
The same extends to the very poor too at the time of elections
with liberal promises to win their votes.


• Turn your weaknesses into strengths.

• Turn enemies into allies.

• Share your responsibilities.

• Teamwork scores over Individual Effort.

• Right Team = Right set of Individuals. The right man for the right job.

• Commitment scores over Competence.

• Team interests over Individual interests..

• Know your enemy/challenges. Exploit its weaknesses. Take calculated risks.

• The Right Managers : To inspire, invigorate, counsel in crisis .

• Know Ground realities. Accept different ideologies. Cooperate.

• Empower Women. The Gender Balance is required for stability and administration.


The victory of Karaunavas is of twin proportions.
Karunanidhi won and karaunavas also won!
This is in contrast to what happened to Dhritharashtra of Mahabharatha.
The Kauravas lost and yet Dhritharashtra retained the crown.
But the crown was a thorn to him for, his sons lost (he lost his sons).

But in the war of Bharatham of today,
Karunanidhi won.
He continues to be the Saamrat while his sons also have been anointed as kings.
Karunanidhi won the battle of interests of his sons too.
It is note-worthy that Stalin was given the crown,
only after crowing the other son in Delhi -
a skillful rope-walking done by the father, keeping the balance!

The victory of the Karaunavas was indeed a victory of Ithihasic proportions
that no seer of yore ever predicted a landslide victory
for persons like them with active connivance of common man (read electorate).
Seers have said that people would suffer at the hands of rulers in this age of Kali.
But we saw people happily going to polling booths in record numbers
to make the rulers happy so that they can rule happily thereafter.

There are no kauravas nowadays.
We have only likes of Karaunavas who are elevated to where they are
by people who see them as Pandavas.

The Karaunavas are fastly becoming Pandavas – at least in number!
It is 3 + 1 for now. Additions are likely to be there, for, they have numbers like Kauravas.
Whatever be their numbers, the fact is that they have mastered the technique
of winning Bharatha wars at the hustings.

The seers have definitely not foreseen this –
with people themselves helping in their victory.

But then we must not forget,
यथा राजाताथा प्रजा !

மன்னன் எவ்வழிமக்கள் அவ்வழி !


Anonymous said...

excellent analysis. well written. very true.


விஜய் said...

Excellent Analogy. Even I had compared Karunanidhi to Dhrutharashtra. He might have won this election too. But after his period, there is going to be a bloody war between the 2 factions of Stalin and Azhagiri. Can't wait for the day, when these two rowdies of Tamil Nadu Politics, fight against each other.

jayasree said...

No, I dont foresee any infighting between them.

Common knowledge is that rowdies will fight only when their territories are trespassed. Here their territories are clearly earmarked. Their areas of operation are different. It is a master stroke of Karunanidhi to have shifted Azhagiri out of Tamilnadu. As long as he was around he could not crown Stalin. Now Azhagiri has been given a new territory - using it cleverly is in Azhgiri's hand. இனி மகனே உன் சாமர்த்தியம் . This magan is clever too. These people have been trained well to see opportunities where there is none, seen or known by common people like you and me. Chemicals அவ்வளவு dry ஏரியாவா என்ன ??

If Azhagiri's turf continues to be in Tamilnadu, then as you say, there will be clash of interests in them. Now he will do what Murasoli Maran did. In the process Dayanaidhi will be cut to size. The brothers will tolerate him only as long as Karunanidhi is around. They have not tolerated even Kanimozhi. Kanomozhi will be suitably 'rewarded' and 'rehabilitated' by Karunanidhi soon. She can be pampered only as long as Karunanidhi is around. She knows that and that is why does not ruffle feathers with step brothers. But she will get more than what brothers get. You must be aware of her share in the previous bounties. It is all that - father will take care. It is a typical Tamil way of gifting 'dowries' to daughter as though to compensate for what is given to sons.

But the brothers know the wisdom of not rubbing each other. They will accommodate each other somehow. Perhaps Kayalvizhi or dayanidhi Azhagiri will be suitably placed in Tamilnadu politics by Stalin in return for the benefits of organisational hold Azhagiri has in the South.
Their common goal is money and power. Together they will get them. They are not in some other yuga where dharma will rebound. They are in Kali yuga where forces like them gel very well where dharma takes a back seat.

As long as they can keep a section of the people poor and illiterate and nurture minorities well, they can not be usurped.

But one thing. If azhagiri grows restless in Delhi, feels uncomfortable or not at home and wants to come back to Tamilnadu politics, then trouble will brew up among brothers. Stalin will pamper Maran then and war will break out. But will it happen? Are they mad enough to jeopardize their empire?

Only time will tell - if as we believe 'தர்மத்தின் வாழ்வு தன்னை சூது கவ்வும் . ஆனால் முடிவில் தர்மமே வெல்லும் .'

Shaan said...

I accept Karunanidhi is Dhirudhrashtra. But where are the Pandavas? They don't exist in TN. So your analogy doesn't work.

jayasree said...

Let me qualify your sentence. Karunanidhi is not just some Dhritharashtra, he is the Dhritharashtra of 'Karaunavas'. The epic Dhritharashtra was a loser, because Dharma trumphed then. By siding with Dharma, the Pandavas won.

Today there are no Pandavas. But karunanidhi succeeded in "pandavising" his clan. That is what I have brought out in the post.