Arjun makes a passionate plea for “purity of the race” in the beginning of the SM Gita. He makes out that the mixed race children would surely be the end of the universe and civilisation as we know it !
Yet, he himself is an off-spring of mixed race and yet he is an upholder of civilization ! Most characters in the Mahabhart are mixed race or of dubious background.
Arjun has sired many children of various mixed marriages by marrying women from Dwarika to Manipur. He had several relationships with women from all the various races and species of life-forms – human, naga kanya and apasaras too. His own brother was married to a rakshashi !
Arjun was right to worry about the social upheaval that follows war – any war. Women and children are the unfortunate victims of all wars. Sanjay had emphasised this during his peace process and had painted a very colourful picture of a devastated society. Sanjay, on behalf of Dhritarastra, had urged Pandavas to forego all their rights and claims on the ancestral lands for sake of the “widows and orphans”. It was such a phony plea for peace. Had the Kauravas been that concerned, they could have given the Pandavas five towns and spared the slaughter. But the Kauravas wanted the whole kingdom and not share any of it. Krushna realised the ploy and exposed its hypocrisy, but, the words left a mark on Arjun’s mind and were expressed as part of his anguish just before the war.
Shri Krushna address the questions about death, soul, relationship etc, but completely ignores the matter of widows and orphans.
Why ignore such a fundamental question about society and its structure ?
Maybe this is for two crucial reason –
1) Because “not fighting” would perpetuate the evil that was already there in the form of Kauravas and would be more detrimental to the society in the long run.
Krushna’s long term concern over rides the short term costs.
2) Women are not as frail and weak as Arjun makes them out to be. His assessment of how the society will be weakened due to subjugation of women is flawed.
* Women in Mahabharta are great examples of how gutsy they were and how independent they were. Drupadi fights her battles like a fierce lioness in the Kuru court, against Jayadrath and Kichak. She doesn’t let powerful men brow-beat her or demoralise her into submission.
* Indeed, if religion and culture are upheld in
* Even now, as men eagerly adopt western dress and use “English” in their regular conversation, it is women who maintain the culture by still wearing traditional dress, food and language.
Besides, Pandavas were not planning on subjugating the people of Kuru-jangle and would not have made the widows destitute. They were after all their own citizens. Dilemma Sanjay / Arjun puts forward is for a conquered nation where the subject are humiliated and punished for loosing the war. This was not going to happen here and so it wasn’t even a question. Krushna does chide Arjun for raising silly objections and this is one of them.