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Duryodhan- A Misunderstood Character Or Not?

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Posted: 31 March 2011 at 5:59am | IP Logged

Hi Everyone,
This is my first topic here and something mee and my younger brother Arjun are always debating so I thought why not create a topic and read everyone else's views too.

Its on the character of Duryodhan, whom funnily my brother actually feel sympathetic for and feel was always brought out in a bad light? Not only because he had the influence of Gandhar Naresh Shakuni but because fate was generally cruel towards him and SOME of his actions are explainable?

I always argue that there is no reason/explaination for him to do what he did with Draupadi. That was a sin and though I agree the Pandavas were also to blame there also I feel that Duryodhan's actions were unforgivable and correctly punished.

However, my brother feels that Durydhon never saw Draupadi in terms of his sister-in-law as he wished to marry her himself and though his actions were disgusting Bhim shouldn't have taken such an oath against him. (That's another topic though).

Also his arguments in favour of Duryodhan are:

A) Dritharastra was the legal, rightful first heir to the throne so rightfully the throne SHOULD have been passed on to Duryodhan regardless of his father's shortcomings? How far do you all agree?

B)Duryodhan was treated unfairly for very long by the Pandavas and had a close enemity with Bhim when they could have been each others strength so is Duryodhan alone to blame?

C)Gandhari knew her brother's bad influence would cause destruction to her family. So why did she not intervene? Is it not fair to say that Duryodhan was failed as a child by his parents for correct upbringing?

D)Why were Pandavas as children always favoured especially with Pitaamah Bhishma? Did that occur to anyone that the difference would cause hatred between the two?

And finally E) Draupadi's taunts were distasteful, evil and malicious. Was it fair that he was treated in such a manner? Is there not a line to be drawn were such mockery should not be allowed? Is Duryodhan's anger not justified?

Phew! Lol. So that's all his arguments and I mostly disregard all the above listed because his actions were never righteous, he always cheated and as an individual should have known better than to act so badly but I would like to know you feel about this? And whether you agree with my brother, disagree or other?

(This is not meant to offend anyone whatsoever. I would be very happy for everyone to participate)

-Sanju-

 

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Intrepida

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Posted: 31 March 2011 at 7:43am | IP Logged
I am not a big fan of Duryodhan, but yes I do agree that Draupadi should not have said what she said to him, and I believe even Yuddhister also said that same and was telling her that she will have to do something about that.

Parents are responsible for the bad upbringing of their children but only to a certain extent.
yes it is true that Dhritarashtra and Gandhari did not stop their son, but there were countless others who told him not do things that go against Dharma, even his dear friend Karna said that at various occasions, Bhisma Pitmah also told him to not do actions against dharma,

In the end everyone has something called free will, no one can force someone to do something, that person ultimately has to decide whether to do something or not!

Duryodhan may not have looked at Draupadi as a sister-in-law but does that justify her disrobing?  You just dont go that low in getting revenge, you just have to know right from wrong in that case

And I think Bhim was right in taking his oath, everyone must pay for their misdeeds so why not Duryodhan. The Pandavas paid for playing dice as they did by going into exile, they lost all their sons....

God works in mysterious and righteous ways...
nature keeps everything in check

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lakshmi42

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Posted: 31 March 2011 at 8:42am | IP Logged

Whenever I think of Duryodhan; I remember Draupati with an open hair. So I can think of him only in that terms.

A) Dritharastra was the legal, rightful first heir to the throne so rightfully the throne SHOULD have been passed on to Duryodhan regardless of his father's shortcomings? How far do you all agree?

The kingdom of Hastinapur was ruled by King Pandu and then it was given to Dritharastra because Pandu went to the forest because of the curse. Agreed he was the legal heir to the throne of Hasthinapur. Now when the Pandavas created Indraprasth; the whole kingdom of Hasthinapur belonged to him. But he was not satisfied and wanted to hatch anything and everything with Pandavas. He was burning with jealousy when he saw the luxury of Indraprastha. Actually Dhrithrashtra was very partial and gave a good for nothing area to the Pandavas and it was their ability to build up a huge kingdom in that dense forest. Duryodhana was never satisfied with what he had. If he hadn't called Pandavas for the dice game; then the Mahabharat battle wouldn't have taken place.

B)Duryodhan was treated unfairly for very long by the Pandavas and had a close enemity with Bhim when they could have been each others strength so is Duryodhan alone to blame?

The Kauravas were always afraid of Bhim alone. Even when he was a child; poisoned Bhim and tried to kill him. So I think if Pandavas has treated him badly; he would have also done the same to them.

C)Gandhari knew her brother's bad influence would cause destruction to her family. So why did she not intervene? Is it not fair to say that Duryodhan was failed as a child by his parents for correct upbringing?

I think Gandahri tried to correct the deeds of Duryodhana. But Dhritharashtr was very partial and has always supported his son; what ever the case may be. So the development of character in a child is the responsibility of  both father and mother. Here even though the mother tried to correct; father always supported the wrong.

D)Why were Pandavas as children always favoured especially with Pitaamah Bhishma? Did that occur to anyone that the difference would cause hatred between the two?
The Pandavas were fatherless and I think he was giving the love and affection of a father. I don't think he is partial to anyone. Not only Bhishm; but also all the teachers supported Pandavas. So all cannot be that partial. May be as kids Pandavas might be more lovable than Kauravas. Even at a tender age the Kauravas tried to kill Bhim. May be they have done something else also. Who knows 

And finally E) Draupadi's taunts were distasteful, evil and malicious. Was it fair that he was treated in such a manner? Is there not a line to be drawn were such mockery should not be allowed? Is Duryodhan's anger not justified?

Draupati did taunt him. But he have no right to tell his younger brother to take off her clothes; that too in front of all the kings and elders. He have no right to insult a women like that. Even if he regarded her as his sister-in-law or not; she is his sister-in-law. He cannot deny that fact. The good qualities in him; if at all he has any; are over-shadowed by this single act

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Posted: 31 March 2011 at 9:03pm | IP Logged

I have no pity whatsoever for the character of Duryodhan and feel he deserved all the insults he got. Yes, parents are responsible for the upbringing of their children but like Lakshmi said, there were other elders who advised Duryodhan no to go on the wrong path, so majority of his sins are his fault only.

 
Also, regardless of whose right the Kingdom of Hastinapur was, it makes no difference. Because as partial as Dhritarastra was, he still gave the Pandavas a Kingdom. Even if it was good-for-nothing, the Pandavas made it into a beautiful nagar by their hard work and Krishna's grace, and Duryodhan had Hastinapur to himself. He should have been satisfied, but he coveted the Pandavas' Kingdom.
 
The war of Kurukshetra happened not because the Pandavas were the rightful heirs of Hastinapur, but because Duryodhan went against his promise by not giving the Pandavas Indraprastha back at the end of their exile. Indraprastha was the Pandavas, and after they suffered for the results of the dice game, Duryodhan should have given Indraprastha back because that was the major stipulation of the game. Duryodhan broke his word, so he had to be punished.
 
Even for Draupadi laughing at him when he fell in the water, I feel he deserved it. Sorry, but he attempted to kill her husbands in the Varanavat fire and felt no remorse for his actions. She knew he was an evil little cockroach and I doubt she would have laughed at anyone else...like if Vidur had fallen for example, she probably would have helped him up and had the maids give him dry clothes.
 
Sorry if I offended anyone, but if I feel pity for any character on the Kauravas' side, it is Karna (and also Bhishma). He is truly gray-shaded and I feel sorry for him in a lot of instances, but I just despise Duryodhan. Someone needed to slap some sense into him.LOL

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Posted: 31 March 2011 at 9:04pm | IP Logged
@Sanjana,
 
I will address the questions you posted tomorrow, too sleepy now.Embarrassed But nice topic, it will elicit a lot of discussion!Thumbs Up

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Posted: 01 April 2011 at 6:28pm | IP Logged
Welcome back Sanju Hug Hope you enjoyed your vacay. Banner contest is up btw ;)

And what a comeback, this is a great thread! It perfectly reflects the trend most Mahabharat discussions follow nowadays... defense of the anti-hero. I pretty much agree entirely with all the views posted thus far, particularly the phrase "evil little cockroach" ROFL Janu, you should copyright that, it would totally make a great t-shirt slogan LOL But yes it's a perfect fit for Duryodhan's mentality and his behavior. To have so much and still want what belongs to others, to be so filled with jealousy and hatred... there's no excuse for it. The "he didn't consider her his sister-in-law" is, I think, the weakest defense. Ummm, wasn't that the problem, his little delusion of "everything is mine, mine, MINE" Ermm But I wll concede that given his pre-exising character flaws, Bhishma and Dron's obvious favoritism towards the Pandavs did make things worse. If on one side his dad and Shakuni were chaabi-ghumaaoing in the wrong direction but doing it sweetly and affectionately, and on the other side the right path is being shown but condescendingly and tactlessly, who's the kid going to listen to? It's like the old saying about catching more flies with honey than with vinegar... these elders could've had a great positive influence on him if they would gone about it more cleverly rather than indirectly inciting enmity between him and the Pandavs because of the constant comparisons... granted it started with whiny Dhritrashtra, but they could've at least mitigated the damage he was doing by sweet talking him into becoming a somewhat ok if not a good boy. But... those constant comparisons would make for, at most, a mean and constantly annoyed person... not a murderous and disgusting person that he soon became with the poisoning of Bhim incident... so obviously the evil was within him anyway and only he can be helf accountable for the worst of his actions... the basic attitude, a different upbringing might have changed to some extent, but it wasn't so bad that he should become what he became.

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Posted: 01 April 2011 at 7:28pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by lola610

particularly the phrase "evil little cockroach" ROFL Janu, you should copyright that, it would totally make a great t-shirt slogan LOL
 
Aaah, but I can't copyright that, Lola, I stole it from Hermione in the 3rd Harry Potter movie, where she calls Draco Malfoy and evil little cockroach and punches him in the face.ROFLLOL But yes, when I was writing about Duryodhan, her phrase just struck. And I agree word for word with what you said. The elders did not make it easy for Duryodhan with their constant comparisons (I can totally relate how annoying it could be), but an average person would not become a murderer because of that. Only if they are inherently evil could someone become what Duryodhan became.

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Posted: 03 April 2011 at 8:10am | IP Logged
Well, I've just read this topic and all of your comments. Lol, "evil little cockroach!" hehehe. Well anyways, I loved Lakshmi's come back here. There is not a single reason at all to feel bad for Duryodhan. Nothing seems justifiable here.
Dhritrastra's lineage doesn't even matter here as the Pandavas were ruling INDRAPRASTHA, which he himself had given to them. And as Janaki di said, with their hard work and Krishna's grace, did they make it into a great kingdom. Now, that whiny little boy wanted that as well and his spine less dad had to fulfill his stupid wishes. Isn't that what it seems like? Duryodhan wants everything and its his dad who's partial and gives it to him!! If Bhishma seems to be partial to the Pandavas, then its because Pandu isn't there to watch over them and they are inherently good.
And that's what the Mahabharat was essentially: a battle of good against evil. And Duryodhan represented the root of that evil. Sorry, but I seriously do hate him.

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