Wednesday, December 7, 2022
HomeOpinionPoVJyotiraditya Scindia not first. Brutus, Vibhishan, Mir Jafar known for political betrayal

Jyotiraditya Scindia not first. Brutus, Vibhishan, Mir Jafar known for political betrayal

Betrayal has been intrinsic part of politics and when it comes to power, a lot of things go out the window, the first invariably being the ideology.

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Mir Jafar, Jaichand, and now Jyotiraditya Scindia. Then there is Brutus, Macbeth, and Vibhishan. Betrayal is the oldest trope in history and literature.

When it comes to betrayals the one phrase that has to be mentioned is ‘Et tu Brute?’. Now, it is not known whether this was just part of Shakespeare’s (or whoever wrote his plays) finesse as a playwright in Julius Caesar or something that Caesar actually said, when his ex-best friend stabbed him in the back, quite literally. Whatever the source of this iconic phrase maybe, one has to lament the fact that no one from the Congress or the media used this expression after Jyotiraditya Scinidia’s departure to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). But then, one has to also contend that “Brutus was an honorable man” and when it comes to politics, ladies and gentlemen, honour left the room long back.

Betrayal, ‘dhokha’‘fareb’ — whichever dramatic way you qualify it in — has been an intrinsic part of politics. When it comes to power, which is the fundamental reason why anyone joins politics, a lot of things go out the window — and the first to meet its demise is invariably ideology. If there is anything that Scindia has proven, it’s that everything is transient in this world, especially one’s beliefs. How else can someone join the very party he was criticising just two days ago? Opportunism does not know time frames, clearly.

Also read: BJP gives Scindia ‘Trump-like’ welcome in Bhopal, coronavirus does not deter huge crowd

It’s a tale as old as time

It’s a tale as old as time, the cliched line is important here, that betrayal is a very fundamental part of this civilization. From Brutus stabbing Caesar to Judas Iscariot betraying Jesus Christ for a couple of silver pieces. If a deity was not spared from the good ol’ stab in the back, what are mere mortals? The significant difference here is that thankfully, people don’t lose their lives anymore. At least, in most cases.

And it continued in history as well. The Mughal Empire’s quest for power is immortalised in history textbooks and is quite a case study in power politics. Son betraying his father who in turn betrayed his brother to assume the throne is not unfamiliar. The most well-known is the tale of Aurangzeb and Dara Shikoh, who was the heir apparent to Shah Jahan, but was defeated by his younger brother who came to be known as Emperor Aurangzeb.

“Remember, remember the 5th of November” — the gunpowder plot to assassinate King James I by Guy Fawkes is considered ‘the’ face of treason, with an immortalised mask and all. While his plan failed and he had to face the gallows, his murderous plot to practically blow Protestantism out of England (what a fail!) was one of those unforgettable points of history.

Donna Marina, also popularly known as the woman who betrayed the Aztecs (not very subtle), and is reviled in Mexico helped the Spanish conqueror Hernan Cortes topple the Aztec Empire by acting as his interpreter in the sixteenth century.

Also read: Rivals Digvijaya, Kamal Nath joined hands to edge Scindia out, now striving to save MP govt

When fiction is still stranger 

They say truth is stranger than fiction, but in this case, literature has not been far behind in terms of political betrayals. Spoiler alert, for those who have not yet read these books.

The three major themes of the epic Mahabharat, effectively, are politics, power, and betrayal. The magnum opus of two warring families is filled with cunning characters who keep plotting treason against each other. The most interesting part though about the epic is that the plotting and the betrayal were practiced by both the ‘good’ and the ‘evil’ side, by both the evil uncle Shakuni and Krishna, who was considered god incarnate.

Girish Karnad’s play ‘Tughlaq’ is also a masterful portrayal of the transient nature of rulers and how betrayals most often turn the wheel of empires. The play is rife with scenes of betrayal, beginning with Tughlaq killing his father and brother to assume the throne and ending with him killing those who attempted to assassinate him, those he once considered friends with the poignant exclamation — “Why must this happen, Barani? Are all those I trust condemned to go down in history as traitors?”

And one person who took inane pleasure out of the fact that to assume power you just have to be opportunistic and cruel — Niccolò Machiavelli. In The Prince, he very categorically stated, “If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared”. The guy clearly had issues.

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  1. The author has written a sharp insightful and incisive piece in what drove Scindia to the BJP was only political ambition and now he will be relegated to the ranks of an also ran, he is most welcome to taste the murky waters of the BJP where he will get no respect for his black deeds and history will not be kind to him either. Because of him the migrant labour coming back to M P are facing a rough time under a BJP ruled M.P , they would have been treated much kinder had it been a Congress lead govt at M.P. The good that we do gets buried in our bones but the evil remains forever will be said of Scindia.


    • Like most on the print. These online portals have no standards. Mr Gupta thinks that any anglicised name would attract more clicks. The author ignores the fact that before Scindia,it was Cong high command which betrayed him.

  2. Where is the betrayal?
    Does the author think that Scindia should be the slave of the Gandhi family for ever?
    Absolutely rediculous article!

  3. A rough article. Ridiculous, biased and mischievous comment from the author. Where were the author when Schindia’s repeated requests for giving him appropriate importance was thwarted by the MP congress. Why wasn’t the RS ticket given to him ? He is a youth icon. And Congress has its inherent stupidity of sidelining all competent leaders just to ensure that Gandhi family never gets challenged from within. If this is the nature of the party how can you expect it’s members to stick to the party for ever. People of India have understood the treacherous mentality of Congress high command already now it’s the time for its youth leaders. Nobody will stay in that sinking ship.

  4. The quitting Congress party by Jyotiraditya Scindia can not be called the treachery with Congress party. At the same time he was not supposed to carry on any burden of history what his fore-fathers have done a century and half ago. His leaving Congress party is to be s like the persons of young generation student migrating from one collage to another college or at the most change of job by a high profile top ranking manager from one company to another company. If today, he is being labeled scion of the clan an who sided with the Britishers during 1857, Did not Congress party or those who are raising this bogey — were they not aware of this part of history of his family earlier when his father Sh MadhavRao and he himself was projected as big leader of the Congress party. ? If it was not known to party earlier , it cast as shadow on the intellectual level of the members of Congress party. Were they so naive or uneducated ? O.K. It is not first ,as well as, not last migration to and from Congress or any other political party . Two persons from Nehru Family were/ are already in BJP. This type of decisions are taken by Individuals keeping in view the current and future political scenario and his possible role in that scenario. So nothing more should be read in the decision by Jyotiraditya Scindia . The congress party , if it thinks, is it has lost in a valuable player to its rival team, it should think of ways to keep others players in its batting eleven. Many others may be having the grievances which are genuine , not imaginary.

  5. Too harsh an assessment. The Gandhi family is leaving those who have an option with no other choice. See the bent frame of Motilal Vora to understand what it takes to survive and prosper in this cloying ecosystem.

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