HR Management and Mahabharata

The other day I was watching (on TV) an old Telugu film based on a certain story from Mahabharata(“Nartanasala”). The film was all about how the Pandavas spent the last year of their forced stay in jungles. They were supposed to spend the last year incognito and they chose to stay in the court of Virata King.
What caught my attention and fancy was not the main story of the film but the manner in which the stalwarts from Duryodhana camp conducted themselves during their battle with the Virata king. The stalwarts I am referring to are Bhishma,Drona,Kripa etc. These were well acknowledged great warriors. As it turned out they were literally forced to choose Duryodhana’s camp over Pandava’s because of certain compulsions which I will not get into now.
Throughout the movie,and especially at the time of the battle with the Virata king,they made no bones about where their loyalty lies. They were making blatant and open statements in support of Pandavas at every opportunity and context presented to them. Worse still,it was quite awkward to see them admire Arjuna’s superior power,ability,skills and humility in the battle field even as Duryodhana was helplessly protesting against their statements.
Throughout Mahabharata ,one will find several instances of these great warriors exhibiting brazen support for the Pandavas. Notwithstanding the truth behind their statements and observations,isn’t it unethical and immoral to glorify the enemy camp at every given opportunity which can seriously demoralize the forces of Kauravas?
These instances bring to sharp focus the questions of morality in warfare on the one hand and the HR management skills of Duryodhana on the other.(I am deliberately using a modern day jargon to emphasize the relevance of our great epics even to the modern day!). HRM is all about team building and retaining the core team members. The question is how did Duryodhana tolerate such people in his core team? How could any leader trust such people, even after repeated show of bias in favour of enemy?
Any modern day HR manager would have fired such employees with no loyalty to the company, however brilliant or talented the guy may be.

There is yet another example of poor judgment by Duryodhana when he was extremely happy to have the entire army of Krishna whereas Arjuna chose the Lord over His army(That is another story,though).

Strangely,the same Duryodhana showed exemplary HR skills when he inducted the great Karna in his core team by offering him attractive incentives and privileges in the form of a separate throne and kingdom at a crunch time during the latter’s life. And Karna proved to be a firm and powerful ally and friend till he died in the war. One could easily rate Karna’s induction and the manner in which his loyalty was bought over as a masterstroke and a brilliant move on the part of Duryodhana.
I guess this is the only instance of Duryodhana’s good HR skills in the entire epic.


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