Draupadi, Paanchali, the one born out of fire, the one born to restore dharma in the society and mark the beginning of a new era, a new Yug. Draupadi was the strong female voice in Mahabharata, she was the queen of Indraprastha and the wife of 5 husbands, but one of the lesser known things about Draupadi is that after the epic battle of Kurukshetra, she worked for the war widows in her empire and stood against all injustice done to them. She was truly one of a kind, yet when we talk about role models, Draupadi’s name is never mentioned.
In the last 5 years or so crime against women in India have risen exponentially, the newspaper is filled with cases of molestation, rape and sometimes the nature of the crime is something you couldn’t imagine happening in a million years. In times as daunting as these, we look up to people who provide us strength. Draupadi was one such woman. She was a dutiful wife, but she was bold enough to take a stand. While the women of today, be it Chanda Kocchar, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw and many others tell us that it okay to dream big. Draupadi in ancient times told us that is okay for women to be bold and have a firm stand.
In spite of being fiery, Draupadi also had a compassionate side to her. She encouraged everyone to face life with the inner strength that she did. After the death of Abhimanyu, she consoled his young widow, Uttara, reminding her of the actual cause for which Abhimanyu had given up his life. She took care of Gandhari, even though it was Gandhari’s sons who wronged her. Draupadi was the Goddess Shree herself, born in this world to endure her Karma, to spread joy among everybody she came in contact with and, most importantly, to educate women about their own strength lying within; to demand and attain justice as and when necessary. She was one of the few queens of the ancient times whose identity was not limited to her husbands and the sons she gave birth to.
Draupadi was a beautiful queen and her beauty was a cause of distress for many women, However her beauty was not limited to her face she was beautiful within and in today’s times when it is so easy to lose oneself, Draupadi reminds us how easy it is to leave a mark in history. Just be yourself and believe your inner strength.