Thursday, June 28, 2007

The story of King Kusha

Love is wonderful. No, I am not moonstruck, but pondering as usual. The thing is, I was cleaning up some stuff, and happened to see the Amar Chitra Katha comic version of the story of King Kusha. The story triggered some thoughts, and here I am.

For people not in the know, here is the story. It is taken from the Jataka tales. King Okkaka was heirless. Indra granted him two sons as a boon, one wise but ugly and the other handsome but foolish. Sheelavati, the queen asked for the wise one to be born first, and so King Kusha was born. Later, Jayampati, the beautiful child, was born.

Kusha finished his learning quite soon. When his parents asked him to get married, he thought that no princess would agree to get married to a ugly youth like him, and hit upon a ruse to ward off the impending proposals and refusals. He carved a beautiful image of a woman, and asked his parents to find somebody who looked exactly like her. He was confident that they would not be able to find a woman as beautiful as his carving. But he was mistaken. Padmavati, the daughter of Sagala was found and married to Kusha on one condition - the new couple were not to see each other for some time. Padmavati loved to hear him play the veena, and imagined that he had an artist's handsome face.

Kusha could not hide his face long from Padmavati. As soon as she found out that her husband was not the handsome prince she had hoped for, she left for her parents' house. Thither followed Kusha. He became a potter's apprentice, made a beautiful pot with Padmavati's picture on it, and sent it to her. She recognized his work and threw the pot away. He then became the royal wicker-worker's apprentice and sent his work to her, but she rejected that too. He then became a cook at the palace, with the hope that he could at least see her often. She was unrelenting, but Kusha toiled in the royal kitchen, waiting for her to accept him.

Finally, Indra decided to help him. He sent a message to seven different kings in Sagala's name, saying that since his daughter (hey, Indra was a great forger!) had left Kusha, he would marry her off to them. Seven kings with seven armies came to Madda (that was the kingdom of Padmavati). Padmavati's father was now alarmed. Giving Padmavati to any one king would mean war with the other six, and he was just not prepared for it. Padmavati now saw the situation she was in, and appealed to Kusha to help her. Kusha settled matters by offering his seven sisters-in-law to the seven kings. Kusha and Padmavati lived happily ever after.

Now, that was the story. I have a question. I am sure some women, in their vanity, do not consider not-so-good-looking men as worthy of companionship, in spite of their other virtues. But would any man do so much for a woman who has scorned him repeatedly? I have read of men and women who do anything and everything to get to their loved ones back. Rama fought the entire army of Ravana to win Seeta back. In Kalidasa's drama, vikramorvasheeyam, Pururava performed penance for winning Urvashi. One can find umpteen instances like that in other cultures also. In Greek mythology, we have the search for Cupid by Psyche and the pining of Penelope for Ulysses. But in all such stories there is this one common thing - of mutual love that is nourished by longing and even by separation.

Well, I do not want to dissect the story any further and play spoilsport. Do let me know if you liked it :)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Of Poverty, Perseverance and Dharavi

It is not uncommon to see people seeking alms in Bangalore. Today, while coming to work, I saw a woman with a child in her arms, begging at a traffic signal. It was not a pretty sight. The baby, probably about six months old, was blissfully asleep in its mother's arms. I usually do not give money as alms, but this time I gave what small change I had, knowing well that what I gave was not sufficient even for one meal of the baby.

Did the Mother have a choice? I tried to give her the benefit of doubt. Hers was probably a genuine case. She was probably not skilled in anything, and had the burden of the child to bear. But I have this feeling that there are always jobs available for the industrious and those who really want to work to make ends meet. Why, then, do people resort to begging? I am inclined to think that it is the "man-with-the-twisted-lip -syndrome", as harsh and insensitive as it may sound.

There was a time when 'ಕರತಲಭಿಕ್ಷಾ ತರುತಲವಾಸ:' was regarded highly, when poverty in terms of food, clothes and money was almost synonymous with the richness of the mind and intellect. But this is not that kind of a time. If one is reasonably intelligent and industrious, he/she can find a job (much better than begging), that might fetch enough to ward away hunger. In the olden days, one-sixth of honestly-earned money was supposed to be given off as charity. True, giving money away as charity is good for the giver, but does it not make one section of the society totally dependent on the favors of another? Won't that breed class distinction and class-wars?

I contrasted my experience with this article on Sepia Mutiny, about the Dharavi slum. I had read about the Dharavi slum a couple of years ago in the Kannada magazine, Taranga. And the picture I got from that was that of a dirty slum filled with frustrated people, as one sees in some movies. But this article was a real eye-opener for me. The slum is dirty alright, but the people are industrious, and becoming prosperous. The reason for this is their enthusiasm and spirit, that enable them to fight against all odds.

Apparently there are more than five-thousand one-room factories and many cottage industries in the two sq. km. area of Dharavi, whose collective annual turnover is a whopping 1 billion dollars! If that is not amazing, I don't know what is! Apparently they still do not pay taxes properly, but let us not think about it for now. 85% of the households have a television and 56% have a gas stove... A funny thing, as an aside - do 29% of the slum-dwellers think that the TV is more necessary than a gas stove? Oh, and 21% of the people own telephones. A really good number for a shantytown!

I can give other examples too. A lady used to work as a domestic help in my Grandmother's house. She worked in a few houses everyday for a few years and got her children (two boys), educated. Both of them did their B.E. The younger one lived in Canada for some time and made a lot of money. Now they all live in their own, big house with cars and other luxuries. One can say that Lady Luck was on their side, that the sons were intelligent and all that, but would they have become so successful if they did not have that strong desire to succeed, and if they had not worked so hard? To reiterate a point I feel very strongly about - if one really wants something (and perseveres), the whole universe will conspire in helping him achieve it.

The work-hard-and-sell-hard concept worked for the residents of Dharavi. Will it work for this woman and her child I met? And so many other men, women and children who have to beg for their living? Or rather, will they let it work for them? I fervently hope so, in spite of having a man like this at the helm.

Friday, June 15, 2007

'The Alchemist' By Paulo Coelho

Just today, I finished reading 'The Alchemist' by Paulo Coelho. The book has garnered a lot of praise from all over the world as life-changing and illuminating. I partly bought the book because I wanted some illumination, and partly to see if it really deserved so much praise. After reading it, I must say that I did find that the praise was well-deserved, and that it was really a book that I could learn from.

'The Alchemist' is the story of Santiago, a shepherd and his quest for a treasure he dreamt about. The book is about following one's dreams, both literally and figuratively. The alchemist guides the boy towards the realization of his dream, and teaches him quite a few things on the way, the most important lessons being perseverance and faith (reminds me of shraddha and saburi).

When I started reading through the book, I was unimpressed. There were, of course, precious nuggets thrown about liberally even from the beginning, the most memorable one for me being "When you really want something, the whole universe conspires in helping you achieve it". But the story itself seemed a bit weird. It felt like of those stories which seem to happen in another dimension altogether, much like Voltaire's "Princess of Babylon". And at times, I felt that I was reading a cross of Stephen Covey and Kahlil Gibran. But gradually, as I read on, I was appreciating the book more and more. I could see myself looking at the sand in the vast expanse of the desert, feeling the wind whisper to me about my dreams.

The boy's name is mentioned only once in the entire novel. Except for that one time, he is always referred to as "the boy". I think that that was because Coelho wanted to make it everybody's book. We are all like the boy; we dream of treasures. But we are not as daring, in that we are content with just dreaming and doing nothing about it. And though Santiago was more a youth than a boy, he is referred to as the boy because he was willing to be guided, without any hesitation. Though he had the help of the decision-making stones, he made his own decisions. This combination of two qualities - the eagerness to be taught and the ability to make decisions, was the reason for the boy's success.

As I do often, I could not help comparing the world-view of Coelho with that of Vedanta. More than once, it struck me that the "Soul of the World" was parabrahma, from where everything originates and to which everything goes in the end. Though Coelho is a practising Catholic, his thoughts about the "Soul of the World" appear distinctly advaitic in nature, when he says "he realized that his Soul was the Soul of the world". Most of his insights seem to stem from his own experiences. In his twenties, Coelho encountered a stranger who first appeared to him in a vision, and then in real life. This had a powerful effect on him, and he then wrote 'The Alchemist', which has a profound effect on us.

There is one very insightful story in the book that I really liked. A boy once went to a wise man to learn the secret of happiness. The wise man gave him a spoon with two drops of oil, and asked him to look around his beautiful castle. When the boy returned, he asked him whether he saw how beautiful his castle was. The boy replied that he could not, because he did not want to spill the oil in the spoon. The wise man asked him to go again and admire the castle and its grounds. The boy did what he was told, and came back, full of admiration for the beauty of the castle. But now, he was so engrossed in looking outside, that the oil was gone! The wise man then told him "The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world, and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon". I liked this concept very much. It is the middle-path that is always the best. I am reminded of DVG's poem, one of my favorites.

ಎದೆ ಮಾರುವೋಗದೊಡೆ ಕಣ್ ಸೊಬಗನುಂಡರೇಂ
ಹೃದಯ ಮುಯ್ ಕೇಳದೊಡೆ ನಲಿವ ಸೂಸಿದರೇಂ |
ಕದಡದಿರ್ದೊಡೆ ಮನವ, ತನು ಸೊಗವ ಸವಿದರೇಂ
ಮುದ ತಾನೆ ತಪ್ಪಲ್ಲ ಮಂಕುತಿಮ್ಮ ||

For people who care to learn something from the book, it gives one that much-needed gentle nudge towards one's goals. And the hope that even if we make mistakes searching for our guide like the boy did initially, we will find our alchemist waiting for us somewhere...

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

ಋಜುವಾದ ಮಾತು

ಈಚೆಗೆ ಸುದ್ದಿ ಮಾಡುತ್ತಿರುವ ವಿಷಯ 'ಆವರಣ'ದ ಮತ್ತು ಭೈರಪ್ಪನವರ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಯು. ಆರ್. ಅನಂತಮೂರ್ತಿಯವರು ಮಾಡಿದ ಟೀಕೆ. ಯು.ಆರ್‍.ಏ ಅವರು ಮೊದಲು ಮಾಡಿದ ಟೀಕೆಗೆ ಸ್ಪಂದಿಸಿದ ಅನೇಕಜನ ವಿವಿಧಾಭಿಪ್ರಾಯಗಳನ್ನು ವ್ಯಕ್ತಪಡಿಸಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ವಿಜಯಕರ್ಣಾಟಕವನ್ನೂ, ಕೆಲವು ಸುಹೃದರ ಬ್ಲಾಗ್ ಗಳನ್ನೂ ಓದುವ ನನಗೆ ಭೈರಪ್ಪನವರ ಪರವಾಗಿಯೇ ಇಲ್ಲಿನ ಸ್ಪಂದನಗಳು ಇದ್ದದ್ದು ಅಚ್ಚರಿ ತರಿಸಲಿಲ್ಲ. ನನ್ನ ನಿಲುವೂ ಕೂಡ ಸುಮಾರು ಹಾಗೇ ಇದೆ.

ಅನಂತಮೂರ್ತಿಯವರ ಭಾಷೆಯ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ನನಗೆ ಮೊದಲಿನಿಂದಲೂ ಮೆಚ್ಚುಗೆ-ಗೌರವಗಳಿವೆ. ಬಹಳ ಚೆನ್ನಾಗಿ ಬರೆಯುತ್ತಾರೆ. ಆದರೆ ಒಳಹೊಕ್ಕು ನೋಡಿದರೆ ಅವರದು ಸತ್ತ್ವವೇ ಇಲ್ಲದ ಬರವಣಿಗೆ. ಇದಕ್ಕೆ ಕಾರಣ ಅವರ ಪೂರ್ವಗ್ರಹಗಳು. ಅವರ ಪುಸ್ತಕಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ನೈಜತೆ ಕಾಣಸಿಗದು. ಒಂದು ಕಥೆಯನ್ನು ಹೇಳುವಾಗ, ಅದು ಪಾತ್ರಗಳ ಕಥೆಯಾಗಿರಬೇಕು. ಪಾತ್ರಗಳು ಲೇಖಕನ ಸೃಷ್ಟಿಯಾಗಿದ್ದರೂ ಅವರ ಕ್ರಿಯೆ-ಭಾವ-ಅಭಿಪ್ರಾಯಗಳು ಲೇಖಕನವಲ್ಲದೆ ಅವುಗಳದೇ ಆದರೆ ಅಂಥ ಕಥೆ ನೈಜ ಎನಿಸುತ್ತದೆ. ಅನಂತಮೂರ್ತಿಯವರ ಬರೆಹಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಈ ಗುಣ ನನಗೆ ಕಾಣಲಿಲ್ಲ. ತಮಾಷೆಯೆಂದರೆ ಅನಂತಮೂರ್ತಿಯವರು ಭೈರಪ್ಪನವರನ್ನು ಈ ವಿಷಯವಾಗಿ ಟೀಕಿಸಿರುವುದು!

ಭೈರಪ್ಪನವರ ಪುಸ್ತಕಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಕವಿತ್ವದ ಆರ್ದ್ರತೆ ಇಲ್ಲ ಎಂದು ಅನಂತಮೂರ್ತಿಯವರು ಹೇಳುವುದನ್ನು ಒಪ್ಪುತ್ತೇನೆ. ಅವರ ಭಾಷೆ ಸ್ವಲ್ಪ ಗ್ರಾಮ್ಯ. ಆದರೆ ಭೈರಪ್ಪನವರ ಬರೆಹಗಳು (ಅನಂತಮೂರ್ತಿಯವರೂ ಒಪ್ಪುವಂತೆ) ಅದು ಹೇಗೆ ಅಷ್ಟು ಜನಪ್ರಿಯವಾದವು? ಒಂದಂತೂ ನಿಜ. ಸತ್ತ್ವಹೀನಕೃತಿಗಳು ಒಮ್ಮೊಮ್ಮೆ ಪ್ರಸಿದ್ಧವಾಗಬಹುದಾದರೂ ಸರ್ವಕಾಲದಲ್ಲಿಯೂ ಒಂದು ಕೃತಿ ಪ್ರಸಿದ್ಧವಾಗಬೇಕಾದರೆ ಅದರಲ್ಲಿ ಅಂತಃಸತ್ತ್ವ, ವಿಚಾರಶೀಲತೆ ಮತ್ತು ಪ್ರಾಮಾಣಿಕತೆಗಳು ಇರಬೇಕು. ಭೈರಪ್ಪನವರ ಕೃತಿಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಈ ಗುಣಗಳಿರುವುದರಿಂದ ಅವರ ಕೃತಿಗಳು ಅಷ್ಟು ಜನಪ್ರೀತಿಯನ್ನು ಗಳಿಸಿವೆ. ಕೆಲವರು ಆರೋಪಿಸಿರುವಂತೆ ಭೈರಪ್ಪನವರು ಬ್ರಾಹ್ಮಣಶ್ರೇಷ್ಠತೆಯನ್ನು ಪ್ರತಿಪಾದಿಸುವುದಿಲ್ಲ. ಹಾಗೆ ನೋಡಲು ಹೋದರೆ ಅವರು ಯಾವ ವಿಷಯವನ್ನೂ ಪ್ರತಿಪಾದಿಸುವುದಿಲ್ಲ. ಪ್ರಶ್ನೆಗಳನ್ನು ಮಾತ್ರ ನಮ್ಮ ಮುಂದಿಟ್ಟು ಉತ್ತರದ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ನಾವೇ ಯೋಚನೆ ಮಾಡುವಂತೆ ಮಾಡುತ್ತಾರೆ. ಇದು ಉತ್ತಮಲೇಖಕನ ಗುರುತು. ಉದಾಹರಣೆಗೆ, 'ದಾಟು' ವಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಅಂತರ್ಜಾತೀಯ ವಿವಾಹಗಳ ಬೇರೆಬೇರೆ ವಿಧಗಳನ್ನು, ಬೇರೆಬೇರೆ ಜಾತಿಯವರಿಗೆ ತಮ್ಮ ಜಾತಿಯ ಮತ್ತು ಅನ್ಯಜಾತಿಗಳ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಇರುವ ಭಾವನೆಗಳನ್ನು ಕಥೆಯ ಹಂದರದಲ್ಲಿ ಹೆಣೆದು, ಈ ವಿಷಯಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ನಮ್ಮ ಪ್ರಶ್ನೆಗಳನ್ನು ಪ್ರಚೋದಿಸುತ್ತಾರೆ. ಉತ್ತರಗಳನ್ನು ಕಂಡುಹಿಡಿಯುವುದು ಅವರವರಿಗೆ ಬಿಟ್ಟಿದ್ದು!

ಹಾಗೆ ನೋಡಿದರೆ ಭೈರಪ್ಪನವರ ನಿಲುವು ಹೀಗೆಯೇ ಎಂದು ನಿಖರವಾಗಿ ಹೇಳಬಲ್ಲ ಪುಸ್ತಕ 'ಆವರಣ'. ಸಾಹಿತ್ಯದೃಷ್ಟ್ಯಾ ಇದು ಭೈರಪ್ಪನವರ ಉತ್ತಮಕೃತಿಯೆಂದು ಖಂಡಿತ ಹೇಳಲಾಗದು. ಆದರೆ ಇಲ್ಲಿ ವಿವರಿಸಿರುವ ವಿಚಾರಗಳು ನಮ್ಮ ಇಂದಿನ "ಸೆಕ್ಯುಲರ್" ಜನತೆಗೆ ಅಗತ್ಯವಾಗಿ ತಿಳಿಹೇಳಬೇಕಾದವು. ಸತ್ಯದ ಸಮಾಧಿಯ ಮೇಲೆ ಸುಳ್ಳಿನ ಗೋಪುರವನ್ನು ಕಟ್ಟಲು ಹೊರಟಿರುವವರು ನಮ್ಮ ಇಂದಿನ ವಾಮಪಂಥೀಯರು. ಆಗಿರುವ ದುರಂತಗಳನ್ನು, ಹತ್ಯಾಕಾಂಡಗಳನ್ನು "ಆಗಲಿಲ್ಲ" ಎಂದೂ, ಆಗದ ಆಕ್ರಮಣಗಳನ್ನು "ಆಗಿದೆ" ಎಂದೂ ಸಾರುತ್ತಿರುವ, ಅದನ್ನೇ ನಂಬಿರುವ ವ್ಯಕ್ತಿಗಳು. ಒಂದು ಕೋಮಿನವರ ಮನಸ್ಸಂತೋಷಕ್ಕಾಗಿ ಮತ್ತೊಂದು ಕೋಮಿನವರನ್ನು ತುಳಿಯುವ ಮನಸ್ಸುಳ್ಳವರು. ಹಿಂದೂ-ಮುಸ್ಲಿಮರ ಸ್ನೇಹ ಭಾರತೀಯರಾದ ಎಲ್ಲರಿಗೂ ಬೇಕಾದುದು. ಈ ಸ್ನೇಹ ಸತ್ಯದ ಬುನಾದಿಯ ಮೇಲೆ ನಿಲ್ಲಬೇಕೆಂಬುದು ಭೈರಪ್ಪನವರ ಮತ. ಹೌದು, ಇಸ್ಲಾಂ ಭಾರತದಲ್ಲಿರುವಷ್ಟು ಬೇರೆಲ್ಲೂ ವರ್ಣರಂಜಿತವಾಗಿಲ್ಲ. ಆದರೆ ಇನ್ನೂ ಮುಸ್ಲಿಮರಲ್ಲಿ ಬಹುಪತ್ನೀತ್ವ, ಮೂರು ಬಾರಿ ಹೇಳುವ ತಲಾಕ್ ಜಾರಿಯಲ್ಲಿದೆ. Uniform Civil Code ನ ಕನಸು ಕನಸಾಗಿಯೇ ಉಳಿದಿದೆ. ನಮ್ಮ ವಾಮಪಂಥೀಯರಿಗೋ ಇದು ಹೀಗೆಯೇ ಉಳಿಯಲಿ ಎಂದು. ಕಾಲಕ್ಕನುಗುಣವಾಗಿ ಮುಸ್ಲಿಮರೂ ಬದಲಾಗುವುದು ಬೇಡವೇ? ಹೌದು, ಕಬೀರ್, ಶಿರ್ಡಿಯ ಸಾಯಿಬಾಬಾ ಮುಂತಾದ ಕಾರಣಜನ್ಮರ ಜನ್ಮ ಮತ್ತು ವೃದ್ಧಿ ಇಂತಹುದೇ ಪರಿಸ್ಥಿತಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಆಯಿತು. ಆದರೆ ಇದನ್ನೇ ಮುಂದಿಟ್ಟುಕೊಂಡು "ಮೊಗಲರ ಆಳ್ವಿಕೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಹಿಂದೂಗಳು ಎಂದಿಗಿಂತ ಸಂತೋಷವಾಗಿದ್ದರು" ಎಂದು ಹೇಳಿದರೆ ಅದನ್ನು ಒಪ್ಪಲಾಗುತ್ತದೆಯೇ? ಔರಂಗಜೇಬ ಜೆಸಿಯಾ ವಿಧಿಸಿದ್ದು ಸುಳ್ಳಾಗುತ್ತದೆಯೇ?

ಮೂರ್ತಿಯವರು ತಮ್ಮೂರಿನ ದೇವಸ್ಥಾನಗಳನ್ನೆಲ್ಲವನ್ನೂ ಜೀರ್ಣೋದ್ಧಾರ ಮಾಡಿಸಿದ್ದು ಮಿರ್ಜಾ ಇಸ್ಮಾಯಿಲ್ ಸಾಹೇಬರು ಎಂದು ಮಾತಿನ ಮಧ್ಯೆ ಹೇಳಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ನಾನು ಇನ್ನೂ ಬಹಳಷ್ಟು ಉದಾಹರಣೆಗಳನ್ನು ಕೊಡಬಲ್ಲೆ. ಬಿ ಆರ್ ಚೋಪ್ರಾ ರವರ "ಮಹಾಭಾರತ್" ಧಾರಾವಾಹಿಯ ಸ್ಕ್ರಿಪ್ಟ್ ಬರೆದದ್ದು ರಾಹಿ ಮಾಸೂಮ್ ರಾಜಾ. ಹಿಂದಿಯ "ಬೈಜು ಬಾವ್ರಾ" ಚಿತ್ರದ 'ಮನ್ ತರ್‌ಪತ್ ಹರಿ ದರ್‌ಶನ್ ಕೋ ಆಜ್' ಗೀತೆಯನ್ನು ಬರೆದಿದ್ದು ಶಕೀಲ್ ಬದಾಯುನಿ, ಸಂಗೀತ ನಿರ್ದೇಶಕ ನೌಷಾದ್ ಮತ್ತು ಹಾಡಿದ್ದು ಮೊಹಮ್ಮದ್ ರಫಿ. ಆದರೆ ಇವರೆಲ್ಲರನ್ನೂ ಔರಂಗಜೇಬನನ್ನೂ ಹೋಲಿಸುವುದು ridiculous. ಭಾರತೀಯಮುಸಲ್ಮಾನರನೇಕರನ್ನು ನಾವು ನಮ್ಮವರೆಂದು ಕಂಡುಕೊಂಡಿರುವಂತೆಯೇ, ಹಾಗಿಲ್ಲದವರ ವರ್ತನೆಯನ್ನು (ವ್ಯಕ್ತಿಗಳನ್ನಲ್ಲ) ಖಂಡಿಸಬೇಕು. ಈ ದುಷ್ಕೃತ್ಯಗಳು ಹಿಂದೆ ಆಗಿವೆ ಎಂಬುದನ್ನು ಒಪ್ಪಿಕೊಳ್ಳಬೇಕು. ಆಗಲೇ ಸುಭದ್ರಸಮಾಜದ ನಿರ್ಮಾಣ ಸಾಧ್ಯ. ಹೀಗೆ ಆಗಬಾರದು ಎಂದು ಹೇಳುವವರಿಗೆ ಸಾಮಾಜಿಕ ಜವಾಬ್ದಾರಿ ಇಲ್ಲವೆಂದೇ ಹೇಳಬೇಕಾಗುತ್ತದೆ.

ಅನಂತಮೂರ್ತಿಯವರು ಮ್ಯಾಕ್‌ಬೆತ್ ಅನ್ನು ಷೇಕ್ಸ್‌ಪಿಯರ್ ನೋಡಿರುವ ರೀತಿಯನ್ನು ಉದಾಹರಿಸಿದ್ದಾರೆ. (ತನ್ಮೂಲಕ ಔರಂಗಜೇಬನನ್ನೂ ಮನುಷ್ಯನನ್ನಾಗಿ ನೋಡುವ ತಮ್ಮನ್ನು ಆ ಮಹಾಕವಿಯ ಜೊತೆ ಹೋಲಿಸಿಕೊಂಡಿದ್ದಾರೆ!) ಷೇಕ್ಸ್‌ಪಿಯರ್ ಮ್ಯಾಕ್‌ಬೆತ್ ನನ್ನು ಮನುಷ್ಯನನ್ನಾಗಿ ನೋಡಿದರೂ ಅವನು ಮಾಡಿದ ಕೊಲೆಯನ್ನು ಮರೆಮಾಚಲಿಲ್ಲ. ಆದರೆ ಆವರಣದ ಬಹುತೇಕ ಟೀಕಾಕಾರರು ಔರಂಗಜೇಬ ದೇವಸ್ಥಾನಗಳನ್ನು ನಾಶ ಪಡಿಸಲಿಲ್ಲವೆಂಬುದನ್ನೇ ಒರಲುತ್ತಾರೆ. ಅಥವಾ ನಾಶಪಡಿಸಿದುದನ್ನು ಈಗೇಕೆ ಹೇಳಬೇಕು ಎಂದು ಹೇಳುತ್ತಾರೆ. ತದ್ವಿರುದ್ಧವಾಗಿರುವ ಜರ್ಮನರ ವರ್ತನೆಯನ್ನು ನೋಡಿ. ನಾಜಿಗಳು ಯಹೂದ್ಯರ ಮೇಲೆ ನಡೆಸಿದ ಹತ್ಯಾಕಾಂಡವನ್ನು ಜರ್ಮನರುಎಂದೂ ಮರೆಮಾಚಲಿಲ್ಲ. ಹಾಗಾಗಿ ಅವರವರಲ್ಲಿ ಇಂದು ಶಾಂತಿಯಿದೆ. ಆದರೆ ಭಾರತದಲ್ಲಿ ಹಾಗೆ ಆಗಲಿಲ್ಲವಾದ್ದರಿಂದ ಹಿಂದೂ-ಮುಸ್ಲಿಮರ ನಡುವೆ ಇರಬೇಕಾದಷ್ಟು ಸೌಹಾರ್ದ ಇಲ್ಲವಾಗಿದೆ. ಇದಕ್ಕೆ ಕಾರಣ ಯಾರು?

ಗುಪ್ತರಾಗಲಿ ರಾಷ್ಟ್ರಕೂಟರಾಗಲಿ ರಜಪೂತರಾಗಲಿ ಮೊಗಲರಾಗಲಿ ಮರಾಠರಾಗಲಿ, ಎಲ್ಲರೂ ಸಾಮ್ರಾಜ್ಯಗಳನ್ನು ಕಟ್ಟಿ ಬೆಳೆಸಿದವರು. ಅವರೆಲ್ಲರಲ್ಲಿ ಗುಣಗಳಿದ್ದಂತೆ ಅವಗುಣಗಳೂ ಇದ್ದವು. ನಾವು ಗುಣಗಳನ್ನು ಒಪ್ಪಿಕೊಂಡಂತೆಯೇ ಅವಗುಣಗಳನ್ನೂ ಒಪ್ಪಿಕೊಳ್ಳಬೇಕು. ಇಲ್ಲದಿದ್ದರೆ ಚರಿತ್ರೆಯ ಮೂಲ ಉದ್ದೇಶಕ್ಕೇ ಕೊಡಲಿಯೇಟು ಬೀಳುತ್ತದೆ. ಹೊಸ ಚಿಗುರು ಹಳೆಯ ಬೇರಿನಿಂದಲೇ ಬರುವುದು. ಬೇರು ಸುಳ್ಳಿನದಾದರೆ ಗಿಡವೂ ಸುಳ್ಳೇ ಅಲ್ಲವೆ?