theme ‘Is it my fault I am sightless?:
Unfair treatment’ explored the unfair treatment meted out to Dhritarashtra
because of his disability. He was always considered to be less worthy than his
brother simply because he was disabled. Such was the prejudice against a
disable king that they chose to make an impotent man the king instead of a
second theme that emerged was ‘Making of
a figure of pity and a dependent fool’, which very slightly conveys a grim
subtext in mythological accounts of disability: that a disabled person has to
be extraordinary to earn basic respect.
third theme that emerged was ‘Masquerading:
Use of cleverness and cunning to secure his position’. Dhritarashtra’s case
follows the narrative wherein ‘the masquerade may inflect private and public
space, allowing expression of a public view of disability for political ends’
(Seibers, 2004). Dhritarashtra had to masquerade because the idea of having a
disabled king was quite difficult for most people to follow, and if he didn’t
let others believe that they were the ones actually running the kingdom by
influencing his decisions, he would have been easily replaced by some other
Gabel’s (1998) aesthetic theory of disability, the development of one’s
’embodied self through the process of experiencing life is significantly
influenced by personal interpretations which are unique to each disabled
person. The disabled body interacts within a social environment but ‘identity
itself starts with the body: what the body does, how the body looks, what the
body says, how the body feels, and how others experience that body’. When
Gandhari first sees Dhritarashtra, “she had been shocked to see the man who
was to marry her” and “the horror of seeing Dhritarashtra for the first
time and shuddering at his sightless eyes” was something she remembered.
fourth theme that emerged was ‘Familial
love for son’. Every time a parent
chooses to blindly praise their child without acknowledging their flaws, they
are said to be “very much like the blind
Dhritarashtra and the blindfolded Gandhari who regard Duryodhana very highly”.
His blindness is an allegory to his carelessness as a father. He turned a
“blind eye” to the faults of his sons which led to his family’s epic downfall.