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Thirukkural-On Wise Friendship-Kural-449

Mudhalilaarkku uoodhiyam illai madhalaiyaam

Saarpilaarkku illai nilai

Without capital there is no return, and no stability

Without the support of the wise and virtuous.

Just as without investment of capital, there will be no profit or interest by way of return, there will be no stability in the governance of a country without the abiding advice and support of a galaxy of wise and righteous men around a king.

In the political arena today, there is much talk of stability, particularly in the context of our recent experience of a hung Parliament at the center. Every political party is only thinking now in terms of making promises of stability, and, for that purpose, trying to get a sizeable strength in Parliament.

No political leader, however, seems to think in terms of getting together a group of wise and righteous men around him, in order to facilitate stable and efficient Government of the country, even if they do get a majority.

With an overwhelming majority too, of over 400 in a Parliament of 534, that last concerned Government was not really stable in the sense, that they did not perform well enough during their tenure to ensure that they came back with a stable majority at the next elections.

If, as Valluvar envisages, the chief political executive had wise and virtuous counselors to advise him as regards his vital decisions affecting the public he could have ensured stability when the test came.

Parimel Azhagar would interpret 'Madhalai' generally as pillars of support, provided in this case by wise counselors. But Parithi alone differs. He would interpret 'Madhalai' as children or progeny, which is a commonly accepted meaning, and links up stability in the family with children, and ultimately with general stability.

Story first published: Thursday, August 19, 2010, 14:34 [IST]
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