Bheeshma Pitamah’s advice to maintain unity among the people

Debate Opinion
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Bheeshma Pitamah’s advice to maintain unity among the people

By Justice Markandey Katju

In today’s charged atmosphere of religious and caste polarisation in India, Bheeshma Pitamah’s warning and advice to Yudhishthir are very apt and relevant.

In chapter 108, shlok 14 of the Shantiparva of Mahabharat Bheeshma Pitamah tells Yudhishthir :

“bhedādgaṇā vinaśyanti bhinnāḥ sūpajapāḥ paraiḥ

tasmātsaṃghātayogeṣu prayaterangaṇāḥ sadā “


“Republics have been destroyed only because of internal divisions among the people

Therefore a republic should always strive to achieve unity and good relations among the people“.

In shlok 26 of the same chapter, Bheeshma Pitamah says :

”teṣāmanyonyabhinnānāṃ svaśaktimanutiṣṭhatām |

nigrahaḥ paṇḍitaiḥ kāryaḥ kṣiprameva pradhānataḥ |


“The intelligent authorities of a republic should suppress the leaders of factions who try to divide the people“.

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About the Author

Justice Markandey Katju
Markandey Katju is an Indian jurist and former Supreme Court judge of India who served as chairman of the Press Council of India. He is the founder and patron of the Indian Reunification Association (IRA), an organisation that advocates for the peaceful reunification of what is now Pakistan and Bangladesh with India under a secular government.