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India's Women Achievers: A Tribute to the woman of India

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    India's Women Achievers: A Tribute to the woman of India

    Rani Lakshmi Bai

    rani lakshmi bai
    200px Rani of jhansi
    200px Ranilaxmibai 1




    Rani Lakshmi Bai was the queen of the princely state of Jhansi, which is located on the northern side of India. She was one of the most leading personalities of the first war of India's independence that started in 1857. In this article, we will present you with the biography of Rani Lakshmibai, who was an epitome of bravery and courage.

    Early Life
    She was born to a Maharashtrian family at Kashi (now Varanasi) in the year 1828. During her childhood, she was called by the name Manikarnika. Affectionately, her family members called her Manu. At a tender age of four, she lost her mother. As a result, the responsibility of raising her fell upon her father. While pursuing studies, she also took formal training in martial arts, which included horse riding, shooting and fencing. To know the complete life history of Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi, read on.

    In the year 1842, she got married to the Maharaja of Jhansi, Raja Gangadhar Rao Niwalkar. On getting married, she was given the name Lakshmi Bai. Her wedding ceremony was held at the Ganesh temple, located in the old city of Jhansi. In the year 1851, she gave birth to a son. Unfortunately, the child did not survive more than four months.

    In the year 1853, Gangadhar Rao fell sick and became very weak. So, the couple decided to adopt a child. To ensure that the British do not raise an issue over the adoption, Lakshmibai got this adoption witnessed by the local British representatives. On 21st November 1853, Maharaja Gangadhar Rao died.

    Invasion
    During that period, Lord Dalhousie was the Governor General of British India. The adopted child was named Damodar Rao. As per the Hindu tradition, he was their legal heir. However, the British rulers refused to accept him as the legal heir. As per the Doctrine of Lapse, Lord Dalhousie decided to seize the state of Jhansi. Rani Lakshmibai went to a British lawyer and consulted him. Thereafter, she filed an appeal for the hearing of her case in London. But, her plea was rejected. The British authorities confiscated the state jewels. Also, an order was passed asking the Rani to leave Jhansi fort and move to the Rani Mahal in Jhansi. Laxmibai was firm about protecting the state of Jhansi.

    The war
    Jhansi became the focal point of uprising. Rani of Jhansi began to strengthen her position. By seeking the support of others, she formed a volunteer army. The army not just consisted of the men folk, but the women were also actively involved. Women were also given military training to fight a battle. In the revolt, Rani Lakshmibai was accompanied by her generals.

    From the period between Sep-Oct 1857, Rani defended Jhansi from being invaded by the armies of the neighboring rajas of Orchha and Datia. In January 1858, the British army headed it's away towards Jhansi. The conflict went on for two weeks. Finally, the Britishers succeeded in the annexation of the city. However, Rani Laksmi Bai managed to escape along with her son, in the guise of a man.

    She took refuge in Kalpi, where she met Tatya Tope, a great warrior. She died on 17thJune, during the battle for Gwalior. It is believed that, when she was lying unconscious in the battle field, a Brahmin found her and brought her to an ashram, where she died. For her immense effort, she is referred to as the 'Icon of the Indian Nationalist Movement'. Throughout the uprising, the aim of Rani was to secure the throne for her adopted son Damodar. Her story became a beacon for the upcoming generations of freedom fighters.

    Lot of literature has been written on the life history of Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi. Heroic poems have been composed in her honor.


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    Chand Bibi Sultana

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    In Brief

    Lack of material does not enable us to give a detailed account of the Ismaili influence after the death of Shah Tahir Hussain Dakkani on 956/1549 in Ahmadnagar, India. We do not have explicit details, whether his descendants continued the Ismaili mission in the cloak of Shiism or not.

    There are however certain indications that a lady ruler, named Chand Bibi was secretly an Ismaili, but her faith is shrouded in her political activities. She was born in 957/1550 and died in 1006/1599, which implies that she was the contemporary of both Hyder bin Shah Tahir (d. 994/1586) and Sadruddin Muhammad bin Hyder (d. 1032/1622). Her father was Hussain Nizam Shah of Ahmadnagar, and mother was Khonza Humayun. Chand Bibi got married to Ali Adil Shah (1558-1580) of Bijapur at the age of 14 years in 1562.



    Ali Adil Shah was killed in 1580 when she was about 28 years old. She had no child, therefore, the nephew of her late husband aged 10 years, Ibrahim Adil Shah I was crowned in Bijapur, and herself ruled as a regent with great prudence and intelligence till the young king came of age. When order was restored in Bijapur kingdom, Chand Bibi went back to her motherland Ahmadnagar when she was about 35 years old. When Murtada Shah, the ruler of Ahmadnagar died at a moment when the foreign relations of the state were strained to breaking-point and was imminent, she returned to Bijapur, and mustered some reliable troops in consideration of the defence of Ahmadnagar fort against the mighty army of the Mughals led by their able general.

    It was a question of saving the whole Deccan from Mughals, so Bijapur and Golconda kingdoms sent contingents. The Mughal force commanded by Prince Murad (d. 1007/1599) took field against Ahmadnagar. The three tunnels were dug in the fort, two of them were discovered and the third one was repaired in a night. At length, the Mughals were severely repulsed. Murad was compelled to negotiate truce, and recognized the rule of Ahmadnagar. It was the first time that Ahmadnagar was recognized by the Mughals out of the five states of Deccan. Accordingly, the Birar was to be retained with the Mughals and Ahmadnagar would rule independently. After this great defence, Chand Bibi came to be known as Chand Sultana. After some times, once again the opponents of Chand Bibi made approach to Prince Daniel (d. 1013/1604), the third son of emperor Akbar, who attacked Ahmadnagar with 30,000 men, and a terrible fight took place in the plain of Sonipat near the bank of Godawari river. The Mughals succeeded to turn the troops of Chand Bibi and had a siege over Ahmadnagar in 1008/1599. This time, emperor Akbar himself rushed to Deccan and pitched his tents outside the city. Chand Bibi became desperate and resisted the Mughal attacks with such courage that the invaders were repelled at many places. At length, Hamid Khan, the traitor allowed the Mughal force to enter Ahmadnagar, and entered the palace of Chand Bibi to kill her. At that moment of disaster, Chand Bibi came out of her apartments and fought bravely and was killed, and thus, Ahmadnagar was captured by the Mughals in 1600.

    Ibrahim II & the Role of ChandBibi – Politics of Regents

    Adapted from RC Majumdar's "The Mughul Empire", which is Volume 7 in his monumental study "The History an Culture of the Indian People", pages 445-463. Bhartiya Vidhya Bhavan, Bombay. 1974.

    Ibrahim II was 9 years of age when he ascended the throne of Bijapur. His uncle, Ali Adil Shahi I, ruled Bijapur before. Lacking any sons, Ali I designated Ibrahim, the son of his brother Tahmasp as his heir, and Chand Bibi, Ali I's wife, was entrusted with Ibrahim's education.
    Chand Bibi's formal name was Chand Sultana the daughter of Husain Nizam Shahi I, another of the Bahmani Sultans who should have been just a governor responsible to the Bahmani Sultan at Bidar, but who broke away like all the other three governors.

    Ibrahim was a musician, poet, and philosopher, and it is likely that is the way he would have wanted to be remembered.

    Because of this, perhaps we should not be including him as one of the warrior kings of India. Many of our kings were also inclined to art/music, literature/architecture/religion; nonetheless, they were warriors first.

    Be that as it may, Ibrahim II was one of the more important South Indian rulers of the years between the fall of the Tughlak empire - possibly the shortest-lived of empires encompassing all of India - and the absorption of the south into the Mughul Empire.And if nothing else, his reign is worth covering because of his remarkable aunt, surely among the most powerful women in Indian history.

    Chand Bibi and Ibrahim II's Regents

    The military story of Ibrahim II's early years is really the story of Chand Bibi.
    The first of Ibrahim II's regents was Kamal Khan Deccani [Kamal Khan of the Deccan]. But he showed disrespect to Chand Bibi, so she plotted to have Deccani killed and replaced by Haji Kishvar Khan, who became second regent.
    Like his predecessor, Haji Kishvar Khan assumed unbridled power in Bijapur. At first he did well, defeating at Dharaseo an invasion mounted by the Ahmadnagar Shahi sultan. The Ahmadnagar Shahis were another of the independent Bahmani rulers during the period of the Bahmani Sultanate's decline. The regent's victory was an overwhelming one, with all the artillery and elephants of the invading army falling to the Bijapur forces.

    But then trouble began. The second regent, Haji Kishvar Khan, issued orders to the Bijapur generals to surrender, to him, all captured elephants. These animals were highly valued, and understandably, the generals, many of them princes in their own right, took great offense, retaliating by working to replace him with Mustafa Khan. Though Majumdar does not specifically say, presumably for lack of space, Chand Bibi must have been at the heart of this move.

    Unfortunately, Haji Kishvar Khan learned of the conspiracy and had Mustafa Khan assassinated.*
    This so enraged Chand Bibi that she challenged Haji Kishvar Khan, and he responded by imprisoning her at Fort Satara

    The Regents of Ibrahim II
    The position of regent for Ibrahim II does not seem to have been a secure job. This was because of the personal ambitions of the regents, unlike - for example - the regents who served Akbar long and faithfully.
    ·1 Kamal Khan Deccani [from 1574]
    ·2 Haji Kishvar Khan
    ·3 [Mustafa Khan]*
    ·4 Ikhlas Khan
    ·5 Dilavar Khan [to ~ 1590]

    The already unpopular Haji Kishvar Khan had, however, made a fatal error by jailing a person who was morally ad legally regent for Ibrahim II, even if she looked to others to take the job. Haji Kishvar Khan was forced to flee in the face of a joint move to replace him. He was killed in exile by a relative of Mustafa Khan.

    War Again With Ahmadnagar

    Naturally, the divisions at the court of the Adil Shahis provided opportunities for their enemies. Ahmadnagar's Nizam Shahi sultan returned to the offensive against Bijapur, this time allied with the Qutab Shahis of Golconda - yet another Bahmani Sultanate province that was being ruled independently.

    The joint invaders invested Fort Naldurg, to no effect. The defenders fought off every attempt to capture it, and finally the invaders lifted their siege, intending instead to strike directly at Bijapur, the Adil Shahi capital.

    Only 2-3,000 troops were available at Bijapur, an insignificant number given the huge mass armies of the day. Though reinforcements flowed into Bijapur, the dissensions took their toll, with many disagreements and desertions. But the attackers themselves had problems presenting a unified front, and were delayed in their assault on the capital.

    An able general named Abu-'l-Hassan now proved to be Bijapur's savior. Appointed by Chand Bibi, he called for the Maratha forces in Carnatic. These troops used the harassing guerilla tactics for which Shivaji was soon to become famous: the Marathas attacked the invaders' supply lines and succeeded to the extent the invaders were forced to retreat, facing starvation. The Marathas ignored the Ahmandnagar armies and instead pushed the Golcunda forces, to the gates of Golcunda itself.

    Again, the reason for this move is not explained. Most likely, however, the Marathas made a cost-benefit judgment, and decided their chances for the most loot with the least risk lay at Golcunda.

    Comprehesive Artilce on The Brave Adil Shahi Queen Chand Sultana

    Chand Bibi (1550-1599)
    also known as Chand Khatun or Chand Sultana, was an Indian woman warrior. She acted as the Regent of Bijapur (1580-90) and Regent of Ahmednagar (1596-99)[1]. Chand Bibi is best known for defending Ahmednagar against the Mughal forces of Emperor Akbar
    Chand Bibi was the daughter of Hussain Nizam Shah I of Ahmednagar[2], and the sister of Burhan-ul-Mulk, the Sultan of Ahmednagar. She knew many languages including Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Marathi and Kannada. She played sitar, and painting flowers was her

    Bijapur Sultanate
    Following an alliance policy, Chand Bibi was married to Ali Adil Shah I of the Bijapur Sultanate[4]. Her husband had a stepwell (bawdi) constructed near the eastern boundary of Bijapur and named it Chand Bawdi after her.

    Ali Adil Shah's father, Ibrahim Adil Shah I had divided power between the Sunni nobles, the Habshis and the Deccanis. However, Ali Adil Shah favored Shi'as[6]. After his death in 1580, the Shi'a nobles proclaimed his nine-year old nephew Ibrahim Adil Shah II as the ruler.

    A Deccani general called Kamal Khan sieged the power and became the regent. Kamal Khan showed disrespect to Chand Bibi, who felt that he had ambitions to usurp the throne. Chand Bibi plotted an attack against Kamal Khan, with help from another general, Haji Kishvar Khan[7]. Kamal Khan was captured while fleeing and was beheaded in the fort.

    Kishvar Khan became the second regent of Ibrhaim. He defeated the Ahmednagar Sultan at Dharaseo, capturing all the artillery and elephants of the enemy army. He then ordered other Bijapur generals to surrender all captured elephants to him. The elephants were highly valued and the generals took great offense. The generals, along with Chand Bibi, hatched a plan to eliminate Kishvar Khan with help from General Mustafa Khan of Bankapur. Kishvar Khan's spies informed him of the conspiracy. Kishvar Khan sent troops against Mustafa Khan, who was captured and killed in the battle.

    Chand Bibi challenged Kishvar Khan, who got her imprisoned at the Satara fort and tried to declare himself the king. However, Kishvar Khan was already unpopular among rest of the generals. He was forced to flee, when a joint army led by a Habshi general called Ikhlas Khan marched to Bijapur. The army consisted of forces of three Habshi nobles: Ikhlas Khan, Hamid Khan and Dilavar Khan[6]. Kishvar Khan tried his luck at Ahmednagar unsuccessfully, and then fled to Golconda. He was killed in exile by a relative of Mustafa Khan. Chand Bibi was then declared the regent.

    Ikhlas Khan then became the regent, but he was dismissed by Chand Bibi shortly afterwards. Later, he resumed his dictatorship, which was soon challenged by the other Habshi generals[6]. Taking advantage of the situation in Bijapur, Ahmednagar's Nizam Shahi sultan allied with the Qutb Shahi of Golconda to attack Bijapur. The troops available at Bijapur were not sufficient to repulse the joint attack[7]. The Habshi generals realized that they could not defend the city alone, and tended their resignation to Chand Bibi[6]. Abu-ul-Hassan, a Shi'a general appointed by Chand Bibi, called for the Maratha forces in Carnatic. The Marathas attacked the invaders' supply lines. Finally, the Ahmednagar-Golconda allied army had to retreat,

    Ikhlas Khan then attacked Dilavar Khan to seize the control of Bijapur. However, he was defeated and Dilavar Khan became the regent from 1582 to 1591[6]. When order was restored in Bijapur kingdom, Chand Bibi returned to Ahmednagar.

    Ahmednagar Sultanate
    In 1591, the Mughal emperor Akbar had asked all the four Deccan sultanates to acknowledge his supremacy. All the sultanates evaded compliance, and Akbar's ambassadors returned in 1593. In 1595, Ibrahim Shah, the ruler of Bijapur was killed in a severe general action about 40 miles from Ahmednagar[8]. After his death, most nobles felt that his infant son Bahadur Shah should be proclaimed the King under the regency of Chand Bibi (his father's aunt.

    However, the Deccani minister Mian Manju proclaimed the twelve-year old son of Shah Tahir, Ahmad Shah II, as the ruler on August 6, 1594. The Habshi nobles of Ahmednagar, led by Yekhlas Khan, were opposed to this plan. The rising dissent among the nobles prompted Mian Manju to invite Akbar's son Shah Murad (who was in Gujarat) to march his army to Ahmednagar. Murad came to Malwa, where he joined Mughal forces led by Khan Khannan Mirza Khan. Raja Ali Khan joined them at Mandu, and the united army advanced on Ahmednagar.

    However, while Murad was on march to Ahmednagar, many noblemen left Yekhlas Khan and joined Mian Manju. Mian Manju defeated Yekhlas Khan and other opponents. Now, he regretted having invited the Mughals, but it was too late. He requested Chand Bibi to accept the regency, and marched out of Ahmednagar, with Ahmed Shah II. Yekhlas Khan also escaped to Paithan, where he was attacked and defeated by the Moghals.

    Chand Bibi accpeted the regency and proclaimed Bahadur Shah king of Ahmednagar.

    Defence of Ahmednagar
    Ahmednagar was invaded by the Mughals in November 1595[8]. Chand Bibi took the leadership in Ahmednagar and defended the Ahmednagar fort successfully[3]. Later, Shah Murad sent an envoy to Chand Bibi, offering to raise the siege in return for the cession of Berar. Chand Bibi's troops were suffering from famine. In 1596, she decided to make peace by ceding Berar to Murad, who retreated[3]. Ibrahim Adil Shah II sent a contingent of 25,000 men under Sohil Khan, which was joined by the remainder of Yekhlas Khan's force at Naldurg. Later, it was joined by a contingent of 6,000 men from Golconda.

    Chand Bibi had appointed Muhammad Khan as the minister, but he proved treacherous. He made overtures to the Khan Khanan, offering to surrender the whole Sultanate to the Mughals. Meanwhile, Khan Khanan started taking possession of districts that were not included in the cession of Berar[8]. Sohil Khan, who was returning to Bijapur, was ordered to come back and attack Khan Khannan's Mughal forces. The Mughal forces under Khan Khanan and Mirza Shah Rukh left Murad's camp at Sahpur in Berar and encountered the combined forces of Bijapur, Ahmadnagar, and Golconda under Sohil Khan, near Sonpet (or Supa) on the banks of Godavari River. In a fierce battle on February 8-9, 1597, Mughals won.

    In spite of their victory, the Mughal forces were too weak to pursue their attack and returned to Sahpur. One of their commanders, Raja Ali Khan was killed in the battle and there were frequent disputes between other commanders. Due to these disputes, Khan Khanan was recalled by Akbar in 1597. Prince Murad died shortly thereafter[8]. Akbar then sent his son Daniyal and Khan Khanan with fresh troops. Akbar himself followed and encamped at Barhanpur.

    In Ahmednagar, Chand Bibi's authority was being resisted by the newly-appointed minister Nehang Khan. Nehang Khan had recaptured the town of Bid, taking advantage of Khan Khanan's absence and of the rainy season. In 1599, Akbar dispatched Daniyal, Mirza Yusuf Khan and Khan Khanan to relieve the governor of Bid. Nehang Khan also marched to seize the Jaipur Kotli pass, expecting the Mughals to meet him there. However, Daniyal avoided the pass and reached Ahmednagar fort. His forces laid siege to the fort.


    Chand Bibi again defended the fort bravely. However, she could not bring about an effective resistance, and decided to negotiate terms with Daniyal[9]. Hamid Khan, a nobleman, exaggerated and spread the news that Chand Bibi was in treaty with the Mughals[9]. According to another version, Jita Khan, an eunuch valet of Chand Bibi thought that her decision to negotiate with Mughals was treacherous and spread the news that Chand Bibi was a quisling.[10]. Chand Bibi was then killed by an enraged mob of her own troops.
    After her death, and a siege of four months and four days, Ahmednagar was captured by the Mughal forces of Daniyal and Mirza Yusuf Khan

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    Noor Inayat Khan - a descendant of Tipu Sultan,Princess, Spy, Martyr, Heroine

    inayat khan noor





    This is a fascinating story so behold.

    Sultan Fateh Ali Tipu, also known as the Tiger of Mysore, was the ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore in India. His full name was Sultan Fateh Ali Khan Shahab or Tipu Saheb Tipu Sultan. He was not just a ruler but also a scholar, a soldier, and a poet. He was a devout Muslim but the majority of his subjects were Hindus. At the request of the French, he built a church, the first in Mysore. The French also trained his army. He helped his father Haider Ali defeat the British in the Second Mysore War. However, he was defeated in the Third and the Fourth Anglo-Mysore Wars by the combined forces of the British East India Company and the Nizam of Hyderabad, another Muslim ruler. Tipu Sultan died fighting in the defense of his capital Srirangapattana, on 4 May 1799.

    In Tipu Sultan's lineage, a child by the name of Inayat Khan was born in the year 1882 in a noble Indian family. Inayat Khan's mother was a descendent from the immediate family of Tipu Sultan. He was introduced to the Suhrawardiyya, Qadiriyya and Naqshbandi orders of Sufism but his primary initiation was into the Nizamiyya sub-branch of the Chishti Order. He was also indebted to the philosophical Vedanta/Shankara spirituality of Hinduism.

    With his mentor's encouragement Inayat Khan, later to be known as Hazrat Inayat Khan, left India in 1910 to come to the West, travelling first as a touring musician and then as a teacher of Sufism, visiting three continents. Eventually he married Ora Ray Baker from Albuquerque, New Mexico. She was later known as Pirani Ameena Begum. Ora Baker was the half-sister of American yogi and scholar, Pierre Bernard, her guardian at the time she met Hazrat Inayat Khan.

    Inayat Khan had four children with Pirani Ameena Begum-two sons and two daughters-with the eldest being Noor-un-Nisa. Noor-un-Nisa, later known as Noor-un-Nisa Inayat Khan, was born in the Kremlin in 1913 where her father was received as guest of the Czar Nicholas II. The Czar, his country troubled by internal unrest and looming war, was seeking spiritual solutions to the problems facing his regime. Therefore, the influential Gregory Rasputin invited Inayat Khan to visit Russia in order to share with the Emperor's family and court his Sufistic doctrines of peace and love.

    In 1914, shortly before the outbreak of the First World War, the Khan family left Russia for London and lived in Bloomsbury, while Noor attended kindergarten at Notting Hill. In 1920, they settled in France, moving into a house in Suresnes near Paris, a gift from a supporter of the Sufi movement. After the death of her father in 1927, Noor had to take additional responsibility for her grief-stricken mother and her younger siblings. The young girl, variously described as calm, timid, astute, and pensive, studied child psychology at the Sorbonne and music at Paris conservatory under the famous Nadia Boulanger, composing for harp and piano. She started a career of writing poetry and children's stories and became a regular contributor to children's magazines and French radio. In 1939 her book, Twenty Jataka Tales, inspired by the Jātaka tales of Buddhist tradition, was published in London.

    After the outbreak of World War II, when France was overrun by the Wehrmacht in 1940, the family fled from Paris to Bordeaux and from there by sea to London, landing in Falmouth, Cornwall in June 1940. Although Noor Inayat Khan was deeply influenced by the pacifist teachings of her father, she and her brother Vilayat Inayat Khan decided to help defeat Nazi tyranny. (Vilayat Inayat Khan later became head of the Sufi Order International.) So on November 19, 1940 she joined the Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF), and as an Aircraftwoman 2nd Class, she was sent to be trained as a wireless operator. Later she was recruited to join F (France) Section of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) and in early February 1943 she was posted to the Air Ministry, Directorate of Air Intelligence. During her training she adopted the name Nora Baker.

    Her fluency in French and her competency in wireless operation--coupled with a shortage of experienced agents--made her a desirable candidate for service in Nazi-occupied France. On the night between 16/17 June 1943, cryptonymed 'Madeleine' and under the cover identity of Jeanne-Marie Regnier, Noor Inayat Khan was dropped behind enemy lines in occupied France.

    Together with two other women SOE agents, Noor joined the Physician network led by Francis Suttill, code named Prosper. Over the next month and a half, all the other Physician network radio operators were arrested by the Sicherheitsdienst (SD). In spite of the danger, Noor rejected an offer to return to Britain and continued transmitting as the last essential link between London and Paris. Moving from place to place, she managed to escape capture while maintaining wireless communications with London. Finally, Noor Inayat Khan was betrayed to the Germans allegedly by a French Air Force pilot who worked as a double agent for the Nazis.

    On or around 13 October 1943 Inayat Khan was arrested and interrogated at the SD Headquarters in Paris. Though SOE trainers had expressed doubts about Inayat Khan's gentle and innocent character, on her arrest she fought like a tigress. Thereafter, the SD officers were afraid of her and she was treated as an extremely dangerous prisoner. Hans Kieffer, the former head of Gestapo in Paris, testified after the war that she didn't give the Gestapo a single piece of information despite continuous grilling.

    On 25 November 1943, Inayat Khan escaped from the SD Headquarters, along with two other SOE Agents but was captured in the immediate vicinity. There was an air raid alert as they escaped across the roof and regulations required a count of prisoners at such times. Their escape was discovered before they could get away. Consequently, Inayat Khan was taken to Germany on 27 November 1943 "for safe custody" and imprisoned at Pforzheim in solitary confinement, without any contact with the outside world and in complete secrecy.

    She was classified as "highly dangerous" and shackled in chains most of the time. As the prison director testified after the war, Noor Inayat Khan remained uncooperative and continued to refuse to give any information on her work or her fellow operatives. On 11 September 1944 Noor Inayat Khan and three other SOE agents from Karlsruhe prison, Yolande Beekman, Eliane Plewman and Madeleine Damerment, were moved to the Dachau Concentration Camp.

    It was a crisp Munich morning on September 13, 1944 when the four shackled women were led to the execution grounds. All were made to kneel. Friedrich Wilhelm Ruppert, the SS trooper in charge of executions, gave the orders to shoot. By eyewitness account, one by one the troopers shot Madeleine Damerment, Eliane Plewman, and Yolande Beekman.

    Come the turn of the fourth prisoner, Wilhelm stopped the executioners. He stepped forward and hit the fourth prisoner with his gun butt. When she fell to the ground, he kicked her till she was reduced to a bloody mess. She was raised to her knees forcibly. Wilhelm then shot her in the back of her head thus bringing to an abrupt end the short life of Princess, spy, heroine, martyr Noor-un-Nisa Inayat Khan, a great great granddaughter of Tipu Sultan, the last Muslim sovereign of South India. One died fighting British imperialism. The other died for Britain fighting Nazi imperialism. Her last word was "Liberté". She was 30 years old.

    Noor Inayat Khan was posthumously awarded a British Mention in Dispatches and a French Croix de Guerre with Gold Star. Noor Inayat Khan was the third of three World War II FANY members to be awarded the George Cross, Britain's highest award for gallantry not on the battle field.

    So what do we do dear readers? Be happy that she lived or sad because she died? Or salute her cherished memory and move on with a mournful heart?

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    Sarojini Naidu
    Sarojini Naidu(at right) with Gandhiji (at left)


    sarojini naidu at0:01 sec
    Born: 13 February, 1879
    Passed Away: 2 March, 1949

    Contributions
    Sarojini Naidu was truly one of the gems of the 20th century India. She was known by the sobriquet "The Nightingale of India". Her contribution was not confined to the fields of politics only but she was also a renowned poet. The play "Maher Muneer", written by Naidu at an early age, fetched a scholarship to study abroad. She briefed the struggles of freedom for independence to the political stalwarts of European nations, she had visited. She married Dr. Muthyala Govindarajulu Naidu, a South India. The marriage took place at a time when inter-caste marriage was not acceptable in the society. Her acts helped in raising many eyebrows. In 1905, a collection of poems, she had composed, was published under the title of "Golden Threshold".

    Life
    Sarojini Naidu was born on February 13, 1879 in Hyderabad. Her father, Dr. Aghornath Chattopadhyaya was a scientist, philosopher, and educator. He founded the Nizam College of Hyderabad. Her mother, Varada Sundari Devi was a Bengali poetess. Dr. Aghornath Chattopadhyaya was the first member of the Indian National Congress in Hyderabad. For his socio-political activities, Aghornath was dismissed from his position as Principal.

    Since childhood, Sarojini was a very bright and intelligent child. Though Aghornath wanted his daughter to become a mathematician or scientist, young Sarojini was fond of poetry. At an early age, she wrote a "thirteen-hundred-lines" long poem "The Lady of the Lake". Impressed with her skills of expressing things with appropriate words, Aghornath Chattopadhyaya encouraged her works. Few months later, Sarojini, with assistance from her father, wrote the play "Maher Muneer" in the Persian language.

    Sarojini's father Dr. Aghornath Chattopadhyaya distributed some copies of the play among his friends and relatives. He also sent a copy to the Nizam of Hyderabad. Impressed with the works of the little child, the Nizam granted her a scholarship to study overseas. At the age of 16, she got admission in the King's College of England. There, she had the opportunity to meet prominent English authors like Arthur Simon and Edmond Gausse. It was Gausse who asked Sarojini Naidu to write on the Indian themes like great mountains, rivers, temples, social milieu etc.

    After returning to India, at the age of 19, Sarojini Naidu married Muthyala Govindarajulu Naidu. He was a noted doctor from South India. They were married by the Brahmo Marriage Act (1872), in Madras in 1898. The marriage took place at a time when inter-caste marriages were not allowed and tolerated in the Indian society. Her marriage was a very happy one. They had four children.

    National Movement
    Sarojini Naidu was moved by the partition of Bengal in 1905 and decided to join the Indian freedom struggle. She met regularly with Gopal Krishna Gokhale, who later introduced her to the stalwarts of the Indian freedom movement. She met Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, C. P. Ramaswami Iyer and Muhammad Ali Jinnah. With such an encouraging environment, Sarojini later moved on to become leader of the Indian National Congress Party. She traveled extensively to the United States of America and many European countries as the flag-bearer of the Indian Nationalist struggle.

    During 1915, Sarojini Naidu traveled all over India and delivered speeches on welfare of youth, dignity of labor, women's emancipation and nationalism. In 1916, she took up the cause of the indigo workers of Champaran in the western district of Bihar.

    In March 1919, the British government passed the Rowlatt Act by which the possession of seditious documents was deemed illegal. Mahatma Gandhi organized the Non-Cooperation Movement to protest and Naidu was the first to join the movement. Besides, Sarojini Naidu also actively campaigned for the Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms, the Khilafat issue, the Sabarmati Pact, the Satyagraha Pledge and the Civil Disobedience Movement.

    In 1919, she went to England as a member of the all-India Home Rule Deputation. In January 1924, she was one of the two delegates of the Indian National Congress Party to attend the East African Indian Congress. In 1925, she was elected as the President of the Indian National Congress Party.

    Poet
    Besides her role and sacrifices in the Indian Nationalist Movement, Sarojini Naidu is also commended for her contribution in the field of poetry. Her works were so beautiful that many were transformed into songs. In 1905, her collection of poems was published under the title "Golden Threshold". Later, she also published two other collections called "The Bird of Time", and "The Broken Wings".

    Death
    Sarojini Naidu was the first woman Governor of Uttar Pradesh. Her chairmanship of the Asian Relations Conference in 1947 was highly-appraised. Two years later, on 02 March 1949, Sarojini Naidu died at Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.

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    Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit



    VijayaLakshmi 1010

    The sister of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, she was the first woman to become the President of the United Nations General Assembly. Well, we are talking about the well known diplomat Vijaya Lakshmi Nehru Pandit. She was an Indian envoy, who was born in the year 1900. In this article, we will present you with the biography of Vijayalakshmi Pandit, who was instrumental in the politics of the country.

    In the year 1921, Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit married Ranjit Sitaram Pandit. She was the first woman to hold a prestigious position in the cabinet. In the year 1937, she was elected to the provincial legislature of the United Provinces and she became the minister of the local self governing body. She held this position for two consecutive years. Later, in the year 1946, she was reelected for this position. Read on to know the complete life history of Vijayalaxmi Nehru Pandit.

    In the post independence period, she made an entry into the diplomatic services and served as the ambassador of India to various countries like Soviet Union, Ireland, United States and Mexico. From 1962 to 1964, she served as the governor of Maharashtra. Thereafter, she was elected to the Lok Sabha from Phulpur, which was the former constituency of her brother. She held the post for four years till 1968. Vijayalakshmi Pandit was critical about her niece, Indira Gandhi. Infact, their relations were not very good.

    When Indira Gandhi became the Prime Minister in the year 1966, Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit took retirement from active politics. After taking voluntary retirement, she went to the peaceful Dehradun city. In the year 1979, she was chosen as the representative of India to the UN Human Rights Commission. Thereafter, she went far away from public life. She had an interest in writing. Her writings consist of The Evolution of India (1958) and The Scope of Happiness: A Personal Memoir (1979). Infact, her daughter named Nayantara Sahgal, is a wonderful novelist. Vijaylakshmi Pandit died in the year 1990.

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    Neerja Bhanot:A real Heroine of India

    225px Neerja Bhanot 281963 E28093 198629

    20 years back on September 6,1986 when five terrorists hijacked the US bound Pan Am Flight-73 flight at Karachi airport, and took control of the aircraft. One of the worst hijacks in aviation history it claimed 20 lives; this was the largest toll in a hijack until 9/11. The remaining 375 passengers and crewmembers would not have survived, if the airhostess Neerja Bhanot, was not there.

    Neerja Bhanot identified herself as one of the airhostess, who was held at gunpoint and announced that the place had been hijacked. Unfortunately, the three-member cockpit crew of pilot, co-pilot and the flight engineer abandoned the aircraft, leaving 400 passengers and a 13-member cabin crew in the hands of brutal, thoughtless terrorists. Since Neerja was the cabin crew leader, she took over command. Neerja requested the passengers to be calm and obey the hijackers. She served coffee and sandwiches and her charming smile eased the tide of fear that had swept across their faces.

    The leaders of the hijack identified himself as Mustaga. He ordered Neerja to collect the passports of all the passengers. Later she realized that the Americans were the main target of the terrorists and in a brilliant move she discreetly collected all the American passports and hid them. There couldn’t have been a better way to confuse the terrorists. By 9.pm when the auxiliary power unit failed entirely and the aircraft was plunged into darkness. Fearing an imminent raid by commandos, the hijackers shouted now is the holy war!! They fired their AK47, till they exhausted the bullets. By then Neerja had opened an emergency exit and a pan Am mechanic opened another. She used all her strength to guide and push people down the chute and while shielding three children; she absorbed the onslaught of bullets into her own body.

    She would have escaped by the emergency exit first, but the angelic women gave up her life to save the innocents like a mother. After spent the bullets, and try to escape, the Mustafa and others captured by commandos and sentenced to life by a UA court. Neerja was brave in life, brave in death. The only stewardess, to have commanded an aircraft and held the hijackers at bay, was an Indian.

    Neerja Bhanot was born on September 7, 1963, in Chandigarh. She did her early schooling at the local Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School. When the family moved to Bombay, she continued her studies at Bombay Scottish and then graduated from St. Xavier’s College. Neerja made a wonderful model as well as an airhostess. For her brave act India awarded her the Ashoka Chakra (Neerja is the first and only woman recipient of the this India’s highest civilian award for bravery). She was also awarded the "Tagme-e-Insaniyat" (Pakistan), the flight Safety Foundation Award and the Medal of Heroism of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (U.S.A.). Neerja's family put her insurance money in a trust, 'Neerja Bhanot Pan Am Trust’, to which Pan Am also contributed an equal amount. Every year, this trust honors airline crew that act beyond the call of duty and Indian women who show exemplary courage as well as compassion for their fellow humans. Neerja died at the age of 22 just 2 days shy of her 23rd birthday.



    24 yrs after Pan Am hijack, Neerja Bhanot killer falls to drone

    WASHINGTON: Half of India's population today wasn't born when she died in 1986 in a hail of gunfire on a hijacked plane after courageously saving scores of passengers, a feat for which she was posthumously awarded the Ashoka Chakra in India, Tamgha-e-Insaniyat in Pakistan and the Justice for Crimes Award in the US. Earlier this week, some 24 years after her heroism, one of her killers died a dog's death in the badlands of Pakistan, reportedly shot to pieces in a US drone attack.

    The saga of Neerja Bhanot transfixed India at a time where there was no 24-hour news television and it had little to do with the fact that her father was a New Delhi journalist. She was a flight attendant on Pan Am Flight 73 as it headed out of Mumbai to Karachi en route to Frankfurt and onward to New York City. Four armed men dressed as airport security guards stormed the plane in Karachi. The cabin crew managed to alert the pilots, who decamped, effectively grounding the flight.

    In the hours-long ordeal that followed, Neerja showed exemplary courage, attested by some 350 passengers who survived the nightmare, although some 20 died and 120 were wounded after hijackers opened fire on them when Pakistani commandos prepared to storm the plane. Among her acts of courage was her refusal to collect US passports and hiding some of them as the hijackers sought to isolate Americans and Indians. She knew they meant business when one of the hijackers pulled Rajesh Kumar, a 29-year-old Indian American California resident to the front of the aircraft, asked him to kneel at the door, and shot him in the head when their demand for a new flight crew was not met.

    Neerja died shielding three children from gunfire as a bloody massacre erupted on the plane. The hijackers, who were said to be from the Abu Nidal Organisation, were eventually captured, tried, convicted, and sentenced to death in 1988. But in a Pakistan that became increasingly permissive about terrorism, the sentences were later commuted to life in prison.

    In 2001, Zayd Hassan Abd Al-Latif Masud Al Safarini, the hijacker who shot Rajesh Kumar among others, was captured by the FBI in Bangkok after he was released in Pakistan and was on his way back to Jordan. He was taken to the US where he was sentenced to a 160-year prison term he is now serving in Colorado. Four others who were in Pakistan's Adiala jail were freed in January 2008 even as the US fumed about Islamabad's action. The FBI announced a $5 million bounty on their head, pretty much ensuring their days are numbered.

    Earlier this week, Pakistani intelligence officials announced that a January 9 missile strike in the North Waziristan tribal region killed Jamal Saeed Abdul Rahim, one of the hijackers. His affiliation is disputed. The FBI's web site lists him as a Palestinian with possible Lebanese citizenship. The Pakistani officials called him an al-Qaida member, but the FBI site says he was a member of the Abu Nidal Palestinian terrorist group.

    There are no doubts about Neerja's affiliation though. She belongs to India's Hall of Courage.

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    LATA Mangeshkar
    Lata20mangeshkar1


    Lata Mangeshkar (Marathi: लता मंगेशकर; born September 28, 1929) is a singer from India. She is one of the best-known playback singers in the Hindi film industry.[1][2] Mangeshkar's career started in 1942 and has spanned over six and a half decades. She sang in over a thousand Bollywood movies and has sung songs in over twenty regional Indian languages, but primarily in Hindi. She is the elder sister of the equally accomplished singer Asha Bhosle and lesser-known singers, brother Hridayanath Mangeshkar and sisters Usha Mangeshkar and Meena Mangeshkar. Lata is the second vocalist ever to have received the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour.[3]
    Mangeshkar was featured in the Guinness Book of World Records from 1974 to 1991 for having made the most recordings in the world. The claim was that she had recorded no less than 25,000 solo, duet, and chorus-backed songs in 20 Indian languages between 1948 to 1974 (30,000 songs between 1948 and 1987, according to the 1987 edition). Over the years, while several sources have supported this claim, others have raised concerns over its veracity, claiming that this number was highly exaggerated and that Mangeshkar's sister, Asha Bhosle, had more song recordings than she had.

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    M. S. Subbulakshmi

    220px Ms subbulakshmi



    Madurai Shanmukhavadivu Subbulakshmi (Tamil: மதுரை சண்முகவடிவு சுப்புலட்சுமி, Mathurai Caṇmukavaṭivu Cuppulaṭcumi [?] 16 September, 1916 – 11 December, 2004), also known as M.S., was a renowned Carnatic vocalist. She was the first musician ever to be awarded the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honor.[1] She is the first Indian musician to receive Asia's highest civilian award, the Ramon Magsaysay award in 1974 with citation 'Exacting purists acknowledge Srimati M. S. Subbulakshmi as the leading exponent of classical and semi-classical songs in the Carnatic tradition of South India.

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    Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi

    BBC interview of indira gandhi in 1971?(real iron lady).she seems to be angry with resolve.



    indira gandhi in 1966
    Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi (Hindi: इंदिरा प्रियदर्शिनी गांधी Indirā Priyadarśinī Gāndhī; née: Nehru; (19 November 1917 – 31 October 1984) was the prime minister of the Republic of India for three consecutive terms from 1966 to 1977 and for a fourth term from 1980 until her assassination in 1984, a total of fifteen years. She was India's first, and to date only, female prime minister.
    Last edited by ajtr; 29-03-10 at 03:49 AM.

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    Asha Bhosle

    220px Asha Bhosle




    Asha Bhosle[1] (Marathi: आशा भोसले) (born September 8, 1933) is an Indian singer. She is best known as a Bollywood playback singer, although she has a much wider repertoire. Her career started in 1943 and has spanned over six decades. She has done playback singing for over 1000 Bollywood movies[2] and sold many records.[3] She is the sister of playback singer Lata Mangeshkar.
    Bhosle is considered one of the most versatile South Asian singers — her range of songs includes film music, pop, ghazals, bhajans, traditional Indian Classical music, folk songs, qawwalis, Rabindra Sangeets and Nazrul Geetis. She has sung in over 14 languages including Assamese, Hindi, Urdu, Telugu, Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, Punjabi, Tamil, English, Russian, Czech, Nepali, Malay and Malayalam.
    Bhosle is believed to have sung over 12,000 songs. Though her sister, Lata Mangeshkar was featured in the Guinness Book of World Records during 1974-1991, for having sung the most songs in the world, reputed sources have introduced concerns to its veracity, claiming that the Guinness counts were exaggerated and Bhosle had recorded more songs than Mangeshkar. Bhosle herself pointed out that she had made the most recordings by any singer - 12,000.[4]

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    Kiran Bedi

    KiranBedi seminar



    Kiran Bedi (Hindi: किरण बेदी) (9 June 1949) is an Indian social activist and a retired Indian Police Service (IPS) officer. She became the first woman to join the IPS in 1972, and was last posted as Director General, BPR&D (Bureau of Police Research and Development), Ministry of Home Affairs. She retired from IPS in December, 2007, after taking voluntary retirement. She is the Host/Presiding TV judge of the popular TV series "Aap Ki Kachehri" (Hindi, literally meaning "Your Court"). This TV program is broadcast on the Indian TV channel, Star Plus. In this program Indian families approach her TV court and explain their problems to her. She then offers legal advice and sometimes monetary help to solve the problem. This program is classified as an EDUtainment program because it attempts to simplify and explain legal procedures and Indian law to the viewers.
    Subsequently, she also founded two NGOs in India: Navjyoti for welfare and preventive policing in 1987[1] and India Vision Foundation for prison reforms, drug abuse prevention and child welfare in 1994.[2]
    In 2007, she applied for seeking voluntary retirement from service, and the application was accepted by the government

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    Lt Gen Punita Arora

    general in a sari uniform

    She is the first woman to have held a lieutenant general's rank with three stars in the world. She may have retired from the services in May, 2006 but she is still busy looking after patients. She is a bundle of energy and inspiration. When the TSI team met her at her residence, it was late in the evening. But as soon as we entered, she infused in us the same positive energy. She was gleaming with happiness as she had been able to help her patient deliver a normal baby which was otherwise a complicated case and chances of survival of the two were grim. She said proudly, “It is the Army which has given me this much of stamina and endurance that I can work continuously.” Lieutenant General Arora joined the Army way back in 1963 and since then has been a fully devoted soldier. Even a mere mention of word “service” charges her up and she considers country first before anything else. “We should educate our children not just for a mere degree. Values are important in life too. Also, we should learn the example of working like a cohesive unit from the armed forces as this will help every citizen to contribute to the growth of the nation,” said Lt Gen. Arora. According to her, everyone should be given a chance with no prejudice or pre-conceived notion because only then a person, whether a man or a woman, will be able to give the best. “Every man and woman should get the same social, emotional and professional atmosphere. God has given us the same brain and thinking power.” She said. “As for the forces, there is a system of Annual Confidential Report and annual assessment. Give chance to every man or woman, the choice of stream and then those who don’t perform can easily be weeded out irrespective of their gender. But, to decide that one is not fit or cannot do justice to a role at the outset is wrong. The first Indian woman to become a part of the Army was in 1942 and we are still busy over the discussion of man vs woman. This is regressive,” were her strong words. She has designed a bracelet herself with a map of India and the religious symbols of Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and Sikhism joined together with the help of a chain. For her, work has been the biggest motivation that made nothing difficult or stressful.

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    Missile Woman of India:TESSY THOMAS

    Tessy Thomas Agni V Missile Woman



    Tessy Thomas is going great guns at unravelling all its complexities. Though women and nuclear-capable ballistic missiles usually don't go together, Thomas is systematically breaking all glass ceilings in the avowedly male bastion of `strategic weapons'.

    Tessy Thomas is the first woman to become the project director of a crucial missile system from the 950 women scientists in the DRDO. Nearly 20 women scientists are currently involved in the Agni project.
    `Here, I am considered as a scientist and not a woman. But it has to be taken into account that the job with DRDO comes with a responsibility; it is for one who can understand the criticality of the work, the woman from Alleppey in Kerala said.

    `It was the determination of my mother that kept me going. My M.Tech degree in Guided Missiles gave me an upper hand. Also I joined under Dr. A.P.J. Kalam and have worked under seniors who always encouraged me.

    `When I joined DRDO, there were only four-five women. Now there are about 20-30 women in a lab of 250 scientists. It is a good improvement, ` Tessy told

    Tessy Thomas, 46, been associated with the Agni project for the last 20 years and have been Associate Project Director for Agni I, II and III. She is an expert on `solid system propellants' which fuel the Agni missiles. she played a crucial role in the successful firing of the 3,500-km range Agni-III missile as an associate project direct. She has been dubbed India's 'missile woman', one in the team of India's elite scientists behind the Agni III

    Thomas was schooled at Alappuzha in Kerala and took B.Tech from Thrissur Engineering College, Calicut, and M.Tech from Pune-based Defence Institute of Advanced Technologies before moving to Advanced Systems Laboratory in Hyderabad.

    The Agni V which has a strike range of 5,000-km, will be test fired for the first time. Tessy Thomas, project director (mission) of Agni-V Missile is regarded as the Missile Woman of India.

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    Khushboo Mirza, member of Chandrayaan-1 team

    2978744464 fa86735755
    Khushboo Mirza, member of Chandrayaan-1 team
    Khushboo Mirza was a member of the team of engineers of the Check-Out Division of Chandrayaan-I, which carried out the thermal, vacuum and assembling checks on each component of the satellite.

    This 23-years-old girl has been a top ranker throughout her career right from 10th to B.Tech from Aligarh Muslim University, pointed out her brother Khushtar Mirza who himself is a B.Tech from Jamia Millia Islamia.

    Being a district level player of volley ball Khushboo Mirza got admission in B. Tech at AMU through the sports quota.

    TwoCircles.net called her and congratulated her on the successful launch of Chandrayaan-1.

    Sharing her experience of the prestigious mission with TCN, she said she wanted to contribute to the scientific progress of India. It was since last one and half years that she had been working on this project.

    “It was very exciting to be a part of ISRO's prestigious mission Chandrayaan-1. Like any other Indian I too wanted to contribute in the Indian space science,” said Khushboo.

    She pointed out that the work was distributed among the team members of the Check-Out Division of Chandrayaan-I, which carried out the thermal, vacuum and assembling checks on each component of the satellite. And being a member of that team she too checked some parts of the satellite.

    She said that it was very thrilling to see the actual launching of Chandrayaan-1. After giving the command for its launch the whole team went on the roof top to actually witness the launch, she added.

    So far so good. But did her being a Muslim girl ever pose any obstacle in the progress of her career?

    A categorical NO was her reply.

    “I am just like any other Muslim girl who follows Islam and its traditions, fasts in the month of Ramzan and celebrate Eid. My religion never came in the way of my profession. I am very proud that I am an Indian Muslim,” said she.

    She also spoke on Islam and modernity. She said that Islam is completely compatible with modernity. For instance “I am an engineer working with ISRO and also a practicing Muslim. There is no conflict between the two,” she argued.

    She gave an example of Aligarh to highlight the balanced relationship between Islam and modernity. At AMU there are doctors, engineers, professors but they are also Muslim with a flexible and broadminded approach towards religion, she said

    She spoke at length on the fact that the city and the university (AMU) which has been her alma mater has emerged as a fine example of communal harmony. People belonging to different religion and sect are studying here. There is no clash or conflict between them.

    TCN asked her about her views on the situation of Muslim women in India particularly on then index of education.
    She said that it is increasingly improving. Whenever they are spoken about it is only in terms of certain stereotypes. For instance they are not educated or education among them is very less and they are completely confined to the domestic spheres.

    People better avoid these stereotypes while describing Muslim women in India precisely because they are defying these categories and coming up more and more on the fore front in different walks of life she argued.

    There are many opportunities in space sciences. You just need to come and grab, was the message of the young space scientist to the Muslim youths across the country.

    On the Indian space programmes she said: “I hope India continues with this progress in space sciences.”

    And with India you too, Khushboo Mirza. Best of luck!

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    P.T. Usha - Queen Of Indian Track And Field

    PTUsha
    usha



    At the time when track suited women was a rarity in India; she sprang into new heights to explore the unexplored. With heels on fire she swayed like a swift tiger on the track, inspiring every Indian girl to achieve what they dream. In the company of her credited achievements, the queen of Indian track and field Pilavullakandi Thekkeparambil Usha (P T Usha) had to bid farewell to her desired goal with a sad note. Read the life of a woman who inspired millions to achieve new grounds in the field of sports.

    A journey through her childhood to a credited name " sprint queen"
    P.T. Usha was born in Kerala at a village of Koothali near Perambra in Kozhikode district to E.P.M.Paithal and T.V. Lakshmi on June 27 1964. She showed the spark of her athletic talent from her early school days by winning every track event. At the age of 12, she represented her district for the Kerala State Governments Sports School for women. Just after three years she participated in the National School Games and won the individual championship. The limelight of that day also won her maestro coach of athletics O.M Nambiar who coached her through most of her career. She made her International debut at the age of 16 in the 1980 Moscow Olympics. Although it was a lackluster beginning the Asian sprint queen gathered her strength to do something that none had ever done. She emerged a winner by becoming the first Indian sports women to enter the Olympics final at the age of twenty.

    Her major achievement
    P.T Usha paved her path to glory from the start, collecting medals wherever she went, be it in national meet or International Meet. However the burden that she still bears is the loss that she had to pay for missing India's first track-and-field bronze medal in the 400m finals by 1/100 sec. The golden girl returned with great vigor the next year. In Asian Track& Field Meet at Jakarta she left the whole world amused at her speed. She secured 5 gold medals in 100meters, 200,400,400m.hurdles, 4x400 m. Relay and 1 bronze medal in 4x100 M.Relay races. This record has not been matched or surpassed by any other man or woman in the world till this date. After this victorious momnet she was hailed as one of the India's most illustrious woman.

    "I feel something is missing in my life if I am not running" - P.T Usha
    P.T Usha's marital life did not become a hurdle for her interest in athletics. She was blessed with a fine and understanding husband who accompanied her in every walk of life. She married V. Srinivasan in 1991, and their son Ujjwal was born the following year. At the age of 34, she astonished the country by winning bronze medals in the 200 m and 400 m at the Asian Track Federation meet at Fukkowakka in Japan.

    'I am retiring as a sad athlete'
    P.T Usha retired in the year 2000, with a promise to groom bright young talents in her sports school in Kerala called 'Usha School of Athletics'. Although her sports school has found its fame in these years her retiring statement had a very painful note that was submerged by the mighty power.

    P.T Usha took a temporary retirement in 1990 and plunged back to the field in 1993 to win an Olympic medal after the birth of her son Ujjwal. Her return on the field made her realize that her muscles were won over by the fat in her body. She was frequently criticized and teased on the field for her return at the age of 28 although in European countries athletes run at the at the age of 40. The only support at the moment was her husband and family membersWith the wonderful support from the family P.T Usha's dream felt diminishing, as she did not find a single coach to train her from the national camps. Finally a coach from Bangalore stepped forward only to worsen the situation. He tried to change her running techniques. She failed to accept his advices, as it would be apt if it were done in her early ages. The coach continued his compulsive training and asked her to jump with weight in the sand by crossing the legs in the air. She did what was told and underwent a bad knee injury. She recovered after a treatment in Mumbai. A new coach called J.S Bhatia started training her. He molded her back to the same personality. The final art was not yet done when she was compelled to undergo training under a Russian coach, where she was injured again. Her injuries and compulsive training made her to quit the most desired achievement. The sad saga that she could not win an Olympic medal still stirs her heart, but till date she dreams of having hundreds and thousands of Olympic athlete champions through her school.

    Her Awards
    Arjuna Award and Padma Sree in1984.
    Greatest women athlete, in 1985 Jakarta Asian Athletic Meet.
    Best Athlete in Asia Award in 1984,1985,1986,1987,and 1989.
    Marshal Tito award for the best railway sportsperson in 1984,1985,1989 and 1990
    Thirty International Awards, for her excellence in Athletics.
    Kerala Sports Journalists Award for the year 1999.
    World Trophy for best Athlete 1985, 1986
    Last edited by ajtr; 29-03-10 at 04:41 AM.

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