“Draupadi is remembered as a woman who was disrobed in the hall, not as a woman who fought for her justice”.
Draupadi is an unsung heroine of the epics, a character from Mahabharata is not just a female character portraying herself as a “woman” but a derived thought of entire womanhood. The question is basically about Draupadi being an epitome of feminity or just another infatuation that Kauravas resulted in a drunken state. We know Draupadi as a heroic princess of Mahabharata but deep inside we all know that she was just a woman of “substance”.
A wife or just a trophy?
Well, Draupadi married 5 men but none of them treated her as a wife. She was a more treated trophy. Cruel, but true. She never received kind of love or respect a wife should get. In today’s world, we cannot expect women to keep quiet, we always urge them to speak when it’s wrong, to speak when it’s needed, speak when it’s important but what about that arena where Draupadi adored Arjuna but because of her father she had to marry all the 5 men ( Pandavas). Her beauty is something which is she praised for, which became the abrupt reason for her cheer haran, her unparalleled beauty and charm basically becomes the cause of her misery. Being beautiful is a blessing, isn’t it?
The silence was not her choice
When we talk about cheer haran, we talk about Kauravas, we talk about Draupadi, we talk about lord Krishna but we never talk about the outbreak of her patience. We never talk about her power and courage, we never talk about the silence that Pandavas shared when their wife was being disrobed! Draupadi ridiculed Dusshasana to show his prowess against her husband’s. She also boldly reprimanded the elders present in the court and appealed to them to do justice. She cried out to her silent husbands. But nobody came for help. The Law of dharma lost its essence. Finding no response, with the quicksilver presence of mind she seizes upon a social ritual to wrest some moments of respite from pillaging hands.
Her hair, her power
Draupadi didn’t tie her hair for 13 years after Dusshasana disrobed her. After the sinful incident, Draupadi took the vow that she will never oil or tie her hair until she bathed her hair with the blood of Dusshasana. Her vow shook the souls of everyone present in the assembly. Soon after that king, Dhritarashtra requested Draupadi to calm down and freed the Pandavas from the bondage. She used her feminine body, her hair as her strength. She was disrobed even after knowing that was in her menses that raised the fire in her eyes and she thought of using that feminity only to challenge the Kauravas.
Draupadi within the patriarchal context
We still complain about being in a patriarchal society right? The world talks about equality, feminism, we are there but in the borders! Like today, men consider women as their possession, she was also considered as a commodity as a possession, she becomes the possession of her 5 husbands. Then moreover, she was there was also the paradigm of being pavitra ( ideal bahu), no matter how many husbands she had, she was expected to fulfill each person’s demand without any fail.
That’s all? Justice or just shame!
Draupadi was the ideal bahu, ideal wife but never given respect, justice even after her humiliation. So basically, women are nothing but just a commodity for men, that is why she was dragged and humiliated in the dice game. Silence dispowers women and because men know that women can suffer in silence they continue their nasty deeds. Draupadi found strength in herself to fight every injustice that happened to her, she ultimately became a sign of power, feminity who stood on all grounds to challenge the male dominating society and transforms into a paragon of gender and freedom.
In the Ramayana, Sita also suffers, being abducted by a demon and then rejected by her husband on the grounds that she has lived in another man’s house. She has to undergo a trial by fire to prove her purity and is nonetheless later exiled and has to give birth to her twin sons in a forest hermitage.
Written By: Nupur Sharma
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