A lot is said about how Eklavya – a tribal warrior – was deprived off of his archery ability by a Brahmin, Dronacharya. It is showcased as an example of Caste system. However, the details from Mahabharat suggest something totally different. Balaji V. sums it up very well, when he talks of how Dronacharya probably foresaw his role in the future and his loyalties. It is no secret that one of Krishna’s secret work prior to Mahabharat was to create a “balance of power” between Kauravas and Pandavas – so the war doesn’t occur. As long as both the sides are equal, they wouldn’t fight. And, the second alternative was, that if the war does break out, Duryodhana – who was evil and regressive in his outlook of the world, shouldn’t get to win. For, whoever won that war, would be the unquestioned ruler over the land for a LONG time, since the entire opposition would have been wiped off in that terrible war.
Now, one should read this answer, which discusses how, in the end, Eklavya’s role played out and how he could have thwarted Krishna’s “Balance of Power” strategy to stop the war in the first place, and in the end-case, would have installed Duryodhana as the king after the war. In the end, it is not even about who Eklavya was. But where his sensibilities took him. Ironically, both Drona and Eklavya, finally fell on the same side, although Drona’s heart was for Arjun to win the war. But the role of Drona and Bhishma is a story for another day.
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