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Are Modern Women Reliving Draupadi’s Suffering? Shilpa Shetty’s New Radio Show Makes Us Think

Shilpa Shetty presents a new radio show on the Mahabharat, speaking in the voice of Draupadi. Here's a look at how the modern woman still has the same woes.

Shilpa Shetty presents a new radio show on the Mahabharat, speaking in the voice of Draupadi. Here’s a look at how the modern woman still has the same woes.

Mahabharat is an epic saga of greed, passion, love and sin which have been a part of Indian culture since time immemorial. Over the years, many authors, thinkers and philosophers have added their own perspective to the story, giving it a new dimension. This tale continues to fascinate generations of people and has remained relevant since it was written a few centuries ago.

The most mesmerizing character of this mythology is Draupadi, the queen who was supposedly the epicenter of the war that wiped out families. Daughter of fire, she was born a princess and went on to become a queen. However, her life was filled with hardships and constant struggles.

Her story is now told on a new radio show, narrated by Shilpa Shetty. The actress retells the story of the Mahabharat from Draupadi’s point of view and lends her voice to the character. This show is very relevant for women, because like Draupadi we all face challenges in our life. In fact, we have similar trials and tribulations, only in different forms. Listed below are some similarities that we share with this ancient queen.

Unrealistic expectation from in-laws

Draupadi was expected to marry five brothers so that her mother-in-law’s command was obeyed, even if it was an unreasonable demand. Don’t we all meet such expectations in our daily life?

A regular example – a woman is supposed to play the multiple roles of a dutiful daughter-in-law, a loving wife, a caring mother, and a reliable employee without taking a day off. If she slips in any of these roles, then she is not devoted enough or responsible enough and is found lacking.


This tale proves that women have been objectified, and treated as a possession from the beginning of time.

Draupadi was gambled away like a prize, and her feelings were not taken into consideration. She was not given the respect that every human being deserves. We battle this misogynistic practice on a daily basis.

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Public disrobing

Though a queen, Draupadi was dragged into a court filled with men and an attempt was made to disrobe her. Not one man, including her husbands came to her rescue.

Today, ‘eve-teasing’ is a regular occurrence. Women or girls are often subject to harassment by local goons and rarely someone intervenes or helps.

Follow your husband

When the Pandavas were sent to exile, Draupadi went with them, as an ‘obedient wife’ should.

In the modern world, if a woman’s husband is transferred or gets a better job, she is expected to leave her career, family, friends and go with him. After all, his job and career are more important, and her ‘main identity’ is that she is his wife.

‘Good’ behaviour

Draupadi was known for her aggressive nature and sharp tongue. Apparently she laughed when Duryodhana fell into a pool of water at Indarprastha, and he was got his revenge by ensuring that the Pandavas lost everything. Hence, it was her behavior that started the chain of events that led to the epic war. (!!)

A woman should remain docile and quiet and not give her views on anything. If she speaks her mind or is rude then she is ‘asking for trouble’.

Sadly, we have a lot in common with Panchali, another name she was known by. Did she feel the same frustration that we feel? How did she handle the various pressures, the judgmental looks, the condescending attitude of men? I guess by using the same technique that we do, taking one day at a time.

Image source: Flickr

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