The son stroke that didn’t strike Dhrutharashtra

E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: Ajji went on an impromptu fast on shravana shanivara.

Ajji! What’s the matter? Why, this lightning fast?”

“Every year I go on a fast on this day. This is a vratha invoking Ganesha to remove all the obstacles and grant us a trouble-free life ahead.”

Ajji! If I have a problem with my boss or in my office can I expect you will go on a fast to save me?”

“Why should I go on a fast to save you from punishment if you have done something for which you deserve punishment? I will go on a fast to make sure you pay for your sins!”

Ajji! Looks like I can’t depend on you. It seems Dasharatha would do anything for the sake of Sri Rama. Motilal Nehru did the same when his son Jawahar Lal had to sleep on the floor in jail during the freedom movement.”

“All examples of puthra vyamoha! The DhrutharashtraDuryodhana example would be more apt. At least Dhrutharashtra was blind and couldn’t see his son’s follies. But what of the others who can see their childrens’ paapa and yet are blinded by their puthra vyamoha?’

“Some people feel they are following Gandhiji by fasting.”

“Gandhiji did not use the powerful tool of upavasa or satyagraha for personal causes like promotions or preventing  law from taking its course. That is why the biggest empire in the world at that time, Britain, bowed to his dream of swarajya for India, no matter what S.L. Bhyrappa says now 60 years after enjoying freedom! Had Gandhiji fasted for silly personal reasons, he would have been a laughing stock and Britain would have humiliated him.

“When would fasting be a powerful tool Ajji?”

“When it is not used for personal gains. Prof De Ja Gow is a very learned and respected man, a writer and a past vice-chancellor.  Had he fasted for cleanliness in public life he would have done a singular service against corruption. People would have applauded him had he fasted against his son’s  actions or against the University.”

“That’s true.”

“I would have joined him in fasting even if it was not shivarathri! Had his son Dr J. Shashidhar Prasad been proved innocent, both father-son duo would have been revered in academic circles for different reasons. Prasad because he was innocent and DeJaGow for challenging the son to prove his innocence under the law of the land keeping his relation aside.”

“Unfortunately it didn’t happen that way.”

“Not many can do that. I sympathize with Prof DeJaGow. But the least he could have done was to allow law to go to its logical end and not trivialize this into a drama which lowered his own image. His one-day fast would have been apt had it been held at Bhoomi Geetha in Rangayana!”

“What about H.R. Bharadwaj, the governor?”

“His behavior with the vice-chancellor Prof V.G. Talwar was stupid, insensitive and deserves the highest condemnation by one and all. And one more thing….”

“What’s it, Ajji?”

“For heaven’s sake, this phoot-lawyri cum governor should change his name. It is an insult on two counts. One for the great rishi Bharadwaja and secondly for the Bharadwaja Gothra!”

“Ha, Ajji.”

“He behaved like a creep while ill-treating a learned VC of a University which had titans like Dr S. Radhkrishnan, Prof. K.N. Pannikkar and Dr K.M. Shrimali occupying his chair once.”

“True Ajji.”

“But tell me what will a Governor of such calibre understand the significance of either his own name or how to treat learned academicians when all he knows is how to please his political bosses and there lies his role in l’affaire Ottavio Quattrocchi!”