Gandhari: The model of female propriety or a victim of society
The females of ancient India, from Lopamudra and Maitreyi in Rig-Veda to Sita in Ramayana, and Draupadi, Kunti, and Gandhari in Mahabharata made an everlasting impression on the Indian subconscious. Among all these, Gandhari, the wife of Dhritarashtra and the mother of the Kauravas, is one of the unsung heroes of the Mahabharata. She was a very brave woman rooted in her own convictions. She tried hard but in vain to change the course of the events that eventually catapulted her family into the abyss calamity. Despite of this, she was a virtuous woman; a completely devoted and faithful wife who voluntarily endured sufferings; and her internal purity brought in her a sort of divine and accumulated power. The present paper aims at analysing whether Gandhari serves as a female stereotype of ‘a pativrata’ and a victim of society or acts as a model of female propriety.