The Mahabharata is splattered with spectacles of male bravado, it is all about war and honour and how men are always the heroes. This point has been established repeatedly throughout the epic text while their flaws are skilfully hidden. Even in a shameful incident when Draupadi is being disrobed publically, the five husbands of the woman are not portrayed in a bad light. No one questions why none of the five brave men tried to stop the heinous act. Instead the focus was shifted to how honourable the men were they did not go back on their word. The fact that they bet their wife in a gamble too does not raise many eyebrows; what are women if not objects?
Women on the other hand are always expected to compromise, to mutely suffer all tortures. It is their feminine duty. Draupadi in Mahabharata is also shown to be the mute recipient of this humiliation. This ability to endure suffering is still looked upon as a vital quality in Indian women today. We find many marriages are failing in today’s world. Here too women are being blamed that they are not that tolerant anymore. ‘Feminist women’ are breaking homes.
This all enduring quality of women has been always a synonym for Indian women. Even so, in Mahabharata, Bhishma is shown to be lying on a bed of arrows symbolising his suffering. Is Draupadi’s suffering of no importance. Throughout her life she suffers the physical as well as the mental exhaustion of being the wife of five men. But since women are supposed to suffer, Draupadi’s suffering is not noticed at all and Bhisma’s suffering is glorified.
Have you noticed how women have a higher tolerance of pain? Women go through the unimaginable pain of giving birth and are still tagged as the weaker sex. If a man is sick, it is the feminine duty of the wife to take care of the husband. However, if a woman falls sick, she has to endure and continue to work. Why Draupadi, every woman is constantly suffering and yet their suffering goes unnoticed. Their pains and sorrows are rarely addressed. Even if a good man tries to soothe the pain of his wife, the society tags him as a wife’s pet. Mahabharata has told us, women need to suffer not pampered.
But I cannot agree with this age old portrayal of women. Why should they be always bound to suffer and if they do, why would it not be recognised. I see the world with the eyes of a painter and try my own little ways to bring a revolution in the way women are perceived. I revolt against the injustice done to them and try to paint different aspects of women through my colourful paintings.
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I am CamelliaSuman, an Indian Contemporary Artist by profession. I have great respect, fascination and love for women. To know more about my creations, you can check out my Colourful Paintings on feminism and relationships.
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