by a Thinker, Sailor, Blogger, Irreverent Guy from Madras

Dribbly Dose of Thirukkural # 2

Today’s Daily Dose of Thirukkural deals with
chapter 39 'The Greatness of a King’,
section 02 ‘Wealth’,
and couplet serial number is 381.

Explanation in English:
The King who possesses the Six - Military, Population, Wealth, Ministers, Friendship and Castle - is the Lion among Kings.

Original couplet:
படைகுடி கூழ்அமைச்சு நட்பரண் ஆறும்
உடையான் அரசருள் ஏறு.

Explanation in Tamil:
படை (ராணுவம்), குடி (குடிமக்கள்), பொருள் (செல்வம்), அமைச்சர்கள், நட்பு, கோட்டை - என்ற ஆறும் உடையவன் (அரசன்), அரசர்களில் சிங்கம் போன்றவன்.

In today’s world this Kural should be understood as-
  • nation-state for a King,
  • happy citizens (rather than restive residents) for Population
  • economic wellbeing for Wealth,
  • good governance for Ministers,
  • allies, treaties for Friendship
  • defence & disaster preparedness for Castle.
When we understand the true context (as adapted to today), we see that:
The Nation blessed with the Six - Offensive capability, content citizens, economic wellbeing, good governance, good relationship & beneficial treaties, and homeland protection & disaster management - is as supreme as the Lion is among beasts.
Many politicians world over today, have grasped the the literary meaning and not the essence of the couplet.  Thus:
  • dictators like the Soviet Union, Pol Pot, Ceausescu, Saddam, Gaddafi, Kim Jong Il, Pakistan Army in erstwhile East Pakistan (Bangladesh), Saleh, Bashar Al Assad, Castro, Chavez, the current Army regime in Egypt, the Myanmar junta, and many African and Arabian Gulf countries believing that their Military-offensive capability and its use, on their population would ensure their survival.
  • what a restive population can and will do has been seen very recently in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and was seen earlier with the collapse of the Soviet Union and its satellites, of which Honecker’s East Germany was a startling and classic example.
  • economic well being of the citizens - does it need any explanation at all?  however, world over politicians have misunderstood it to mean the original term ‘Wealth’ and have gone mad, feathering their own nest.  Examples are the former Jharkhand CM Madhu Khoda, former Union Telecom Minister Raja to name a few in India.
  • good governance is what everyone of them claim to be engaged in.  Including the former Karnataka CM Yeddiyurappa who has been indicted by the Corruption Ombudsman to Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and Hu Jintao of China.
  • as for the other characteristics like friendship, treaties, disaster management,, I rest my case with the bickering that went on in -
    • the US-China Yuan spat with threats of trade war
    • the Euro crisis meeting at Brussels and
    • the Climate Change Conference at Durban.

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