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"Progressive" Thinking Regarding Heroes and Villains (was Re: Another question re: Siitaa-Maata)

From: Krishna Susarla (
Date: Fri Nov 13 1998 - 07:43:46 PST

>Each has given a twist here or a twist there, as it suited their
>and pet predilections. In fact, there was an actor-producer--in Tamilnadu,
>name Mr.R.S.Manohar who specialized and enacted dramas depicting even
>villainous characters in our epics in glorious light based on one or the
>of these Ramayanas.

This sort of attitude seems to be more widespread in India than any of us
are comfortable in accepting. For example, my father used to tell me that
his English professor in college always glorified characters like Karna,
Duryodhana, etc and said that they were better followers of dharma than the
Paandavas. Of course, he would always refer to incidents like how the
Paandavas misled Drona, how Arjuna slew Karna when the latter was off of his
chariot, etc.

I really find these kinds of misconceptions to be completely distasteful and
offensive, and I think it is our duty to refute them whenever and wherever
they show up. It may very well be that this sort of "alternative" thinking
has its locus primarily in scholarly circles, but in my opinion that
shouldn't stop us from trying to speak up and represent the correct


-- Krishna Susarla