The re-runs of epic show Mahabharat and Ramayan was a massive hit among the masses as well as for National Broadcaster Doordarshan. Such has been the craze for the shows, both of which ended recently, that besides massive TRPs, social media is flooded with hilarious memes, the actors' transformation over the years and behind-the-scene pictures of the shows.
Mahabharat actor Roopa Ganguly, who played the prominent character of Draupadi, has gained immense popularity owing to the famous 'cheer haran' scene. But did you know, Roopa had faced humiliation and assault in real life as well?
Yes, back in 2016 the activist and parliamentarian were attacked by a large group of goons, her head banged against her car and her saree was torn off at a public place in West Bengal.
The horrifying incident:
Citing similarities between her on-screen role and the real-life incident, Roopa said that her famous scene in Mahabharat was just a rehearsal for what happened to her when she was attacked by goons in real life.
Narrating the horrifying incident to Subhash K Jha, Roopa said: "On 2 October 1988 began the telecast of Mahabharat where I played Draupadi. How was I to know that was just a rehearsal for what happened on 22 May 2016 when I was attacked at Diamond Harbour (near Kolkata). I was beaten to the ground by a large bunch of goons, my saree was torn off (a la Draupadi). My head was repeatedly banged against my car. Did they mean to kill me? Maybe not. That would've created stink for Mamta Banerjee's government. But they meant to leave me seriously injured," IWMBuzz reported.
The incident took place while she was returning after meeting victims of political violence. It was alleged that the BJP member was attacked by Trinamool workers. "Later when I was left for half-dead I drove myself to the hospital while my female companions gave me direction. I couldn't see through my eyes. I'm still partially blind in one eye," she added.
Although the bruises have healed, the former actress said that the wounds inside are much deeper. "When a woman is subjected to physical violence she is scarred forever. I had welters and black and blue bruises all over me. Those healed. But the pain and humiliation within remains. I remember feeling doubly concerned about the rape victim for whom I was fighting for justice. She was one of the reasons why I was attacked. If I was not safe, how could she be safe?", Roopa questioned.
The shooting of the 'cheer haran' sequence:
Talking about shooting for the vastraharan sequence, Roopa said that it was not easy. "I actually fell to the ground and I was dragged across the floor. Vinod Kapoor who played Dushasan was petrified of hurting me. But I was determined to keep it as authentic as possible. After the sequence was shot I couldn't stop crying."