On Saturday, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar emphasized the significance of the Mahabharata and Ramayana in relation to diplomacy.
At an event in Pune, S Jaishankar spoke about his book “The India Way: Strategies for an Uncertain World” which has been translated into Marathi as “Bharat Marg”. He argued that Lord Krishna and Hanuman were the greatest diplomats in the world, citing Hanuman’s actions as an example of going beyond diplomacy by exceeding his mission, contacting Sita, and even setting Lanka on fire.
While discussing the concept of strategic patience, S Jaishankar used the example of Lord Krishna’s forgiveness towards Shishupal. He explained that Krishna had made a pledge to forgive Shishupal for 100 mistakes, but would kill him after the 100th mistake.
S Jaishankar emphasized that there are rules and boundaries that nations should follow, similar to those in the epic Mahabharata. He noted that the Pandavas and Kauravas had a 7:11 proportion but had different strategies and intelligence. He also highlighted the importance of reputation and the need for tactical adjustments and strategic deceptions for the larger good. He stated that while modern terms like “trojan horse” and “Achilles heel” are commonly used, to truly understand Indian strategic culture, one should look to its own stories and tales.
When asked about whether a “rogue nation” could be a liability or an asset, S Jaishankar said that just like the Pandavas could not choose their relatives, India cannot choose its neighbors. He acknowledged that it is a reality that they have to deal with and expressed hope that good sense would prevail.
In reference to rules-based order, S Jaishankar said that “Karan and Duryodhan” were violating it.
The friendship of Karan and Duryodhan ultimately brought harm to both them and their families. It failed to bring any positive benefits to society, instead leading to devastating consequences, causing irreparable damage and immense suffering to their loved ones.
S Jaishankar also demonstrated the concept of “tactical adjustment” by citing the example of Yudhisthira’s deception regarding Ashwathama’s death.
Dronacharya, the commander-in-chief of the Kauravas, fought fiercely for five days, causing the Pandavas difficulty in stopping them. To outsmart Dronacharya, the Pandavas devised a plan where they would have Yudhisthira make a false statement, as Dronacharya only trusted Yudhisthira.
In this situation, Krishna recognizes Drona’s vulnerability to be his son Ashwathama. Therefore, he instructs Yudhisthira to announce that Ashwathama has died, resulting in Drona’s demise.
Mr. Jaishankar expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for appointing him as the External Affairs Minister.