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Thirukkural-On Wise Friendship-Kural-448

Idippaarai illaadha aemaraa mannan

Keduppaar ilaanum kedum.


Without courageous counselors to point out his fault and so protect him,

A king will ruin himself, even without foes.

Machiavelli says in the 'Prince", which is a pragmatic European treatise on State-craft, which is similar to 'Arthasasthra' but appeared centuries later: “A prince, therefore, ought always to take counsel, indeed if he finds any one has scruples in telling him the truth, he should be angry".

A king, who does not have around him, committed and courageous advisers, who will tell him even bitter home-truths when necessary, does not need any external enemy to destroy him.

This advice is conveniently and regrettably forgotten by most political executives of our country today, some times with disastrous results. Only decisions, which are either personally or politically expedient are taken, ignoring earlier promises and accords as well as field realities, brought to their notice, or should have been brought to their notice, by competent advisers.


Biblical parallels are as below:

“Where no counsel is, the people fall"

(proverbs: 11, 14)

“He that hateth reproof is brutish"

(Proverb: 12,1)

K.V. Jaganathan has quoted a directly relevant passage from 'Kambaramayanam' :

“Kadikkum vaalaravum kaetkum mandiram kalikinroyai

Adukkum eedhadaatheethen raanra yaedhuvo darivu kaati

Idikkunar illai neeye yeniya theni unnai

mudikindrapoadhu munnin mudivanri mudivathundo?"

Story first published: Wednesday, August 18, 2010, 12:35 [IST]
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