Quote 13: People’s right to revolt

Moments come when it becomes duty to change the apparatus of power through a revolution. The Srimad Bhagavad Mahapurana tells us the story of the destruction of King Vena as he had ignored his people’s welfare because of his inordinate greed. Krishna killed several demonic kings including Kamsa, Jarasandha and Bhomasura. Such stories are in the Mahapurana and also in the Mahabharata. In this epic the great Bhishma bewails why he did not revolt against Duryodhana which might have compelled him to desist from the ahabharata War. It is a crime to see wrong being done, yet to keep silence. The poet ‘Dinkar’ describes Bhishma’s agony in these words:

(If I would have raised even the seditious flag and given a clarion call, if I, in the cause of Justice, could have challenged Duryodhana then itself, perhaps, our land, Bharat, might not have faced this saddest day.)

Most of us suffer from similar agony. Whittier said:

For all sad of tongues or pen
The saddest are these: ‘It might have been’.

But this struggle against a tyranny can be done in several ways: Krishna adopted one, Jesus another, and Gandhi still another: the category of inventiveness is never closed.

Shiva Kant Jha’s ON THE LOOM OF TIME The Portrait of My Life and Times Chapt. 20 at pp. 281-282


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