That’s what has been told over the ages to keep the women happy in the thought that they were greater than the greatest king or emperor !For that matter any successful man .It was because of the role she had successfully implemented as a mother ,the man in question had achieved heights . The woman happy in this thought of hers, felt that she has achieved a heavenly dream.
There is a long list of men social reformers who felt for them and had this urge to get them out of this unsung state of martydom .They saw in them as human beings equal to men . These social reformers helped to unshackle woman of her self induced bondage that the mother seeded in the mind of her daughter or daughters –in-law. Guru Nanak Devji,Swami Vivekanad ,Raja RamMohan Roy, Mahatma Gandhi in their in immtable way paved the way for the woman to be one with man .
And Yes today’s Indian women have emerged out of her shell and what a Woman She is …Remarkable!
She has effortlessly slid into the the role of a professional along with her housewife.s role in tact. Most of the woman I am going to talk about are Homemakers and are neck to neck with the males or even better.
I took the priviledge to select a few names who I look upon as role models in what they have achieved and have become names to reckon with.Mother Terresa, Kiran Bedi, Anu Aga, Arundati Roy, Medha Patekar .Indira Nooyi, Srinivasan, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Shehnaz Hussain, Meera Sanyal ,Shobha de
Nafisa Ali, Dr.Swati Piramal .
They have a fire in their eyes ,liberated souls whose talks shakes one of one’s stupor of staus quo . There is a Magnetism a charm in their demeanor which is so infectious .
1.Smt. Pratibha Patil: The first Indian women to be the president of the Indian Union Her Excellency Pratibha Patil !
She started her professional career as a practicing Lawyer at the Jalgoan District court .She workrd on Social activities especially the upliftment of poor women. At the young age of 27 years she successfully contested her first election to the Maharashtra State Legislature..She served as the woman Governor of Rajasthan for the term 2004 to 2007 . .She took office as India’s first woman President on 25 th July.2007
2.Mother Terresa: come on let us visualise a scene where you are in the grip of a mortal disease ,and your loved ones are mortally afraid of catching the infectious diseade,you are infirm and old ,all your children have abandoned you and gone their ways…you are writhing in pain on the streets of India …painn of the disease ,pain of being a destitute ,pain of being left on your own no where to go!...and there steps in a mother who’d hug you without caring to know your background.Would look into your being with smilimg caring eyes,a NIRMAL HIRDAY and give you that heavenly sense of being wanted….who but the godess of unconditional love …Mother Terresa…Yes the Albanian Nun .who chose to be an Indian by staying on in India and dedicating her life to light a smile on the hapless faces.A revered face all over the world,gave honour to the Noble Peace prize when they chose her as a recepient ,swelled every Indian’s heart with pride!She showcased Calcutta ‘s Bengali Saari to the world .as missionaries of charity.
3.KIRAN BEDI: The woman who redefined policing in India….The super cop!leave alone the gender , a cop like her is difficult to come across !She joined the Indian PoliceService armed with the philosophy to have power to correct ,Power to detect wrong and Power to prevent!She was the first and perhaps the last police officer to issue a parking ticket to the Prime Minister and inturn was awarded the Prison assignment .Faced with the prospect of facing a 10,000 odd criminals she rose to the occasion corageously and transformed the jail into an ashram with education ,prayers ,meditation, yoga for the inmates .All this she did on the premise that crime comes out of a distorted mind ,she set out to change that distorted mind.The admiration that she garnered is unparalleled!Grit and determination another name for her Steadfast and fearless in her truthfulness!Has been recognised for her qualities by the Magsaysay Award and Asian Nobel peace Prize !Hounded by critics who have dismissed her as a publicity seeker .
See for yourself her work her childlike curiosity and wonder she takes up any assignment and she gves it her all! Be it being a social activist ,a t.v. anchor ,or even doing ads!
She humbly attributes all this to her parents,who had 4 daughters .Despite stiff opposition from elders they chose to give the gift of education to all way back in the 50’s and 60’s India. See what did they have! The proud Parents!
4.MEDHA PATEKAR:In 1955 Prime Minister JawaharLal Nehru had been quoted of calling the dams “the temples of modern India later decades later Medha in 1988 described the Dams as “a disease of Gigantism “that we must withdarw from. She is .M.A. from the Tata Institute of Social Science .narmada Bachao andolan has been her babay. Early 1990||’s saw her gaining national and international notoriety for her efforts in the movement .She has been termed as environmental extremist who use pseudoscientific agitation prop to scuttle the development of the region and that the dam will provide benefits to millions of people .
5.INDIRA NOOYI…Born in Chennai Tamil Nadu, presently a U.S citizen .is the next on my list… She is the head of Pepesi Co. Indira Nooyi had been named by FORBES among the world’s most inspiring women . She is a woman of wisdom,woman of acievements ,dedicated to her family. M.B.A. from Yale ,she is both articulate and outspoken . Hers has been a personal struggle with balancing work and family . e.g.she loves reading a book after putting her kids to sleep.
For her there is no personal life …work is life and life is work She believes that every point of time one has to make choices ,prioritise TRADE OFF ‘ is the name of the game ..Trade offs have to be worked out then and there In one of her interviews she humourously elucidated the point as to how one has to work out one’s survival effectively and successfully .One of her school going daughters called up to say that it was her turn to take Chocolate Chip Cookies to school .The busy executive had missed to read the slip of paper that morning …quickly worked out a strategy asked the chef in her cafetaria to prepare the requisite number and added an important thng to note was that the look should be absolute home made. !
So there she was the hero ….that she says is learning to cope!
2007 she was chosen as a receipient of Padma Bhushan Award by the Indian Government She has been ranked 3rd on the 2008-2009 list of world’s most powerful woman by Forbes Magazine
FORTUNE Magazine has named Nooyi number 1 on it’s annual ranking of most powerful women in Business for 2006,2007, 2008 2009 . Named 2009 C.E.O. of the year by Global Supply Chain Leaders Group.The list of awards is a long one and are a testimoney of her brilliance!
Not for her is resting on her oars…her adage is to move on because the minute you develop a new business model …it is extinct because somebody is going to copy it!!
6.ELA BHATT:Born on september 1933 in the city of Ahmedabad in India ,is the founder of Self Employed Women’s Association Of India(S.E.W.A) is the largest single Trade Union in the country with a membership of 1000,000 women….members sre vegetable vendors ,in home seamstresses,head loaders ,bidi rollers ,papr pickers ,consruction workers ,incense stick makers and agriculture workers .They come from India’s unorganised sectors and organise for their just dues and rights .96%of all women are in this sector .Among their achievement is the S.E.W.A Bank whose capital is made up entirely of their own contributions. SEWA Bank was founded in 1974 by 4000 women each contributing Rs 10. In 1995 Hillary Clinton visited SEWA Ahemedabad to gain insight into its functioning.
Mrs Ella Bhatt is a lawyer by training She was awarded the civilian honour by the govt. of India ….The Padam Sri in 1985 and The Padam Bhushan in 1986.
In one of her interviews she strongly stressed that Poverty will never be removed without the participation of women coming from the poor strata .A large number about more than 50% of the poor families it is the women who are the sole supporters of the family.The work of the Woman must be recognised ,recorded and enhanced if poverty is ever to be tackled effectively.
She was a Member of the Indian Parliament from 1986 to 1989. Also she was a member of the India Planning Commission. She has also received honorary doctorates from Haward,Yale and other acdemic institutions!
She features in the list of 100 people who shaped India!
7.MahaShweta Devi …A Bengali novelist .She is a champion of tribal communities . A recepient of Magsaysay Award for journalism literature and creative communication .She has tirelessly worked with the Khieria Sabar tribe branded a criminal tribe in W. Bengal’s Purulia dist. She has taken upon herself a crusade through art and and activism to claim for tribal peoples a just and honourable place in India’s national life
She also made Bollywood news when a poignant movie Hazzar Chaurassia Ki Ma ‘ was based on her novel!
8.LATA MANGESHKAR:…..Born on September 28 1929 is one of the best known and respected singers in India.Her career started in 1942 and has spanned over ^ and a half decades. She was awarded the BHARAT RATNA the highest civilian award by the govt. of India in 2001.
In 1963 in the back drop of Indo china war she sang Ae mere watan ke logo …zara aankh mei bhar lo pani jo shahid hue hai unki zara yaad karo kurbani”in he presence of the then P.M.Shri Jawahar lal Nehru .Her melifluous redention of of the song moved him to tears!
May she give us more songs in the years to come!
9.P.T.USHA:….The sprint queen of India.Queen of Indian track and field
She was born in Kerela .She showed the spark of her atheletic talent from early school by winning every talent from early school by winning every track event .
In the 10th Asian Games held at seoul in 1986 she won 4 gold and 1 silver medal in the track and Field events.
She won 5 golds at the 6th Asian Track and Field Championship at Jakarta in 1985 .She left the whole world amazed at her speed ! She secured 5 gold medals in 100metres,200m,400m, 400m hurdles and 4*100 m relay …and 1 bronze in 6*100m relay races .This record has not been matched by any other man or woman in the world till this date . Usha has won 101international medals so far .Through most of her successful career her maestero coach of atheletics O.M.Nambiar was a pillar of strenght to her!
Presently she is employed as an officer in the Southeren Railways .In 1985 she was conferred the Padam sri and the Arujana Award!
She retired in the year 2000 with a promise to groom bright young talents in her sports school in Kerela Which is managed by her husband V.Srinivasan. She is a proud mother of son Ujjwal!
10.Aruna Roy :Grew up in an unconventional and liberal family where dinner time was always punctuated by lively discussions .Her mother used to jest that there should be a sign outside the house saying .”if you cannot argue please don’t enter .In 1967 the 21 year old took the Indian Administrative Services and was one of the only 10 women .She married Sanjit Roy the founder of SWRC Social Work and Research Centre at Tilona Rajasthan .In 1974 she resigned from the I.A.S.AND joined her husband and in that it was like her Alma Mater in Social study .In 1983 .she dissociated herself from it .
She then set out start M.K.S.S.Mazdoor Kissan Shakti Sanghathan in 1987 with Shankar Singh an activist and other associates .The M.K.K.S in the mid 1990’s began a campaign that advocated the publics right to srutinise official records as a check against arbitrary governance .
In 2004 Aruna was inducted into National Advisory committee N.A.C. an extremely powerful quasi governmental body headed by Sonia Gandhi.
One salutes these women leaders and hope that their inspiring stories bring a positive change that compell the ordinary Indian women to broaden their horizon ,perhaps help break their glass ceiling and make them think differently.The exemplery work done by these great women ,through unconventional routes lead to their achieving success in that they made the world look up to them !Her saga of talent grit and determination cannot be ignored!
As someone intelligent once said “a women is a women’s worst enemy”Until the wheel of corruption catches up with the vanity and bitichiness of the females which seems to be inherent in them .It will be a debate of pros and cons …till then the females are sublime !Until then Today we find The hand that rocks the cradle actually rules the Roost!!