Right from childhood we heard that - Pandavas were good and Kauravas were bad. The main reason for battle was the kingdom and disrespect of Draupadi.
When I was in 12th, there was a chapter called "Mahabharat Ki Ek Saanjh". This chapter was extracted from a book on Mahabharat...I forgot the book and author name. This book has a complete different perspective and explains Mahabharat from the perspective of Kauravas.
I will tell you some of the things the book brings to light...
It is agreed upon that the kingdom belonged to Pandu and Pandavas deserved to become the King when they grow up. BUT!! Shakuni played his trick.. He wanted kids of his sister to be the kings, so he played the trick. Now some may call this as Adharma/Greed, but this isn't wrong if you consider it from a different angle. He didn't cheat anyone (before the actual battle), he played the game faithfully, he didnt break anyone's promise, neither he deceived anyone nor he wanted a huge battle! He wanted everything to go peacefully.
So he challenges Yudhishtira. Now Yudhishtira does some idiotic things that finally lead to war..
1. He keeps his kingdom at stake! Foolish isnt it? What was the need!! Why can't he accept defeat from Shakuni after loosing a lot of gold the Pandavas had?? (Yudhishtira wasn't the best player anyway.) So it was just because of his EGO that he kept his kingdom at stake for a hope to win it back.
2. After loosing Kingdom he kept his wife at stake! Now those who say that draupadi was insulted and blame Karna and Durryodhan for Vastra haran and all the act, tell me one thing, Agar itna he pyar hai apni patni se..toh use GAME ke liye use kyun kiya?? Is wife some item to trade in the game??
When Durryodhan did vastraharan Draupadi wasn't a princess, she was just a dasi who was won in the Game..Jab Draupadi ke patiyon ne usko Trading Item ka darja diya..why you expect Duryodhan to respect her?? Duryodhan did what everyone used to do with the dasis who were won in the Games!! She was just a dasi and not the princess Draupadi!! What Duryodhan did was bad indeed but using our wife as a trading item is worse than that!
There are some things which even I pondered upon, was surprised and appreaciated the authors point of view....
When Duryodhan was lying at the lake..waiting for his moment of death Krishna visits him. He tells him the following few things to let him know that even if they have lost the battle, who was right and who was wrong.
1.If Kauravas were doing Adharma.. why all the great people, Rushi Muni, our teachers,people like Bheeshma and Dronacharya - the people we all worshipped and have grown up seeing their glory... were on my side and not yours??
2.You have cheated every time in the battle field.. you took away Karnas Kavach Kundal, you played with the clouds hiding the sun and made your filthy move!
3.You cheated even when I came to you for your help. (Guys..this is true.. according to the common rule it was followed that who came first to Krishna..he has right to ask first, Duryodhan came first and Arjun came just moments after that, both went to Krishna but he was sleeping. Arjun sat next to Krishnas feet and Duryodhan sat next to his head..waiting for his sleep to complete. When Krishna woke up..he first saw Arjun and declared that Arjun was the first one he saw and hence he should be given first chance to ask him what he wants.. Arjun asked Krishna and only thing left for Duryodhan was his army. Krishna the cheater..changed his rule as he sensed it should be Arjun to ask first.)
4. And now Krishna you have again cheated when you made me wear a small cloth before visiting my mother Gandhari. (Okay here is another small incident if you guys dont know. At the end of the battle Duryodhan and Bhima were to fight... before going to fight Gandhari asked Duryodhan to meet her and that he should be completely naked. She had a powerful vision with heavently powers and he wanted to shield his complete body with her powers. But Duryodhan didnt know why his mother has called him.He was going naked to her and on his way Krishna stopped him and said I understand that she is your mother but atleast cover your xxx parts with a small clothing or something.What will the world say?? just think! On this Duryodhan wrapped a small piece of cloth around his waist..and then went to his mom, She was with closed eyes ready for him to come.. as soon as she sensed his son has come..she opened her eyes.. and a powerful ray of light scanned Duryodhan completely from tip of his hair to the tip of his toes! Every inch of his body! When this 'Vidhi' was over, Gandhari saw the piece of cloth around his waist and scolded him that she already advised him to come completely naked and warned him that this particular part of his body has remained weak and to protect it during his one-to-one battle with Bheema. Then the cunning Krishna goes to Bheema and advises him to hit Duryodhan on his thighs which are weak compared to other parts.. Bheema was great..but Duryodhan was also very strong for him.. If you read in any book of Mahabharat..it is clearly written that Bheema injured Duryodhan by wounding his thighs. Hence Duryodhan says that you cheated even in the battle of Bheema and me.)
5. Krishna, why are you people so furious about the Vastraharan case? When I did Vastra haran..she was just a simple dasi which I won in the game. If they loved their wife so much...why did they traded her?
6. You even cheated in case of Karna by intelligently taking away his Kavach Kundal, also in case of Ashwatthama and many other cases in battle field like the example of Clouds covering the Sun. You blame us that we all killed Abhimanyu but he sholudnt have entered the "Chakraview" if he didnt know how to break it! He entered and got killed, this is a WAR! Whts our fault?
And then besides the lake Durryodhan tells one great thing to Krishna which is really worth to think upon...
He says.. Krishna my greatest sorrow will be that the world will never come to know what our thinking was, because always it is the survivors who write the History. The history which will be read by future generations, you all Victors will write it your way, as you have killed every one who supported us. So History will never remember me as "Suyodhan" (Guys guys guys.. Duryodhan was a great king..was really loved by his people for his admnistration.) History will glorify you and will curse us, because you winners will write the history with your perspective, but your side started the battle with EGO, there was no need for this battle, we already had won all the Kingdom in the Game and they shouldnt have traded Draupadi. Also if you would havn't cheated in the battle there was NO WAY your side would have won. The brave Karna was alone enough for all of you, he also didnt use some of his best weapons and his great bow - "Vijaya".
My sorrow is because of this war many great warriors have lost their lives and the world will never come to know what our thinking was and every evil thing your side has committed you will cover it under the guide of "Dharma"..saying it was wrong but you needed to do it for protection of Dharma.
....saying the above lines duryodhan dies at the lake side.
Truly mind boggling perspective which left me impressed for many years after my 12th std.. many many years to come.