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In the Mahabharata, the most popular male and female characters are Krishna and Draupadi respectively. While Krishna has been elevated to the status of God in Hinduism, Draupadi continues to be the perennial talking point when it comes to modernity and independence in women today.
It is not surprising, therefore, to see speculations – among historians and story-tellers – on whether there may have been romantic love between these two people. After all, we expect the strongest man and the strongest woman of a story to end up being together. Add to that, we also know that they shared a deep emotional bond: from beginning to end, Draupadi relies on Krishna for advice and support, and Krishna never falters in giving them to her.
Some modern fiction that retells the Mahabharata story contains this love angle, though suppressed and under the current. Though the idea is not far-fetched, the fact that Krishna was not a king seemed to have weighed in against their match. Also, if one were to accept the traditional storyline that he knew and saw everything that has happened and would happen, he had a good reason to marry her into the Kuru household. One could argue that the war of Kurukshetra would not have happened if the Panchalas and the Kurus had not become allies in this way.
Some other opponents to this theory proclaim that the bond between Krishna and Draupadi was purely platonic, and akin to that of a brother and a sister. No matter what the true reason is (because Vyasa, the author of the epic, doesn’t tell us), there doesn’t seem to be any love between them; at least not the romantic kind.

Raksha Khan

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