Selected Letters of Gandhi : Part-1


Chapter-42: School Theatricals

Shri. Indu Parekh, an Ashram boy, asked, ‘Shri Krishna got Bhishma killed by placing Shikhandi in front of him and prevented Jayandrath from seeing the sun by covering it up with the sudarshan chakra. Was his conduct on this occasions justified? And if it was not, can we enact such senses as a part of our school theatricals?’ Gandhiji replied to him on a slip of paper of the usual size for children, 4 inches board.

It is an excellent question. The Mahabharata is poetry, not history. The poet tries to show that if man resorts to violence, untruth too is too sure to come in, and even people like Krishna cannot escape it. A wrong is a wrong, no matter who the wrongdoer is. Krishna was in fault in both the cases, and if my memory serves me right, Vyasa too take an unfavourable view of these incidents. There may be no harm in enacting these scenes if such conduct is clearly shown as unworthy of imitation

Translated from Gujarati