Minister of State for Culture Meenakashi Lekhi has released the pictorial comic book, India’s Women Unsung Heroes. The book has been prepared by the union culture ministry in partnership with Amar Chitra Katha.
The book portrays the tales of valour of India’s forgotten women freedom fighters. The MoS said that it contains stories of queens who battled imperialism and dedicated their lives for the motherland. Narrating few tales from the book, Meenakashi Lekhi said that women were equally vocal in expressing dissent against imperial powers. “Legends like Rani Abbakka repulsed the Portuguese attacks for several decades, but history has hardly been written with this perspective, and now as part of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, as is the Prime Minister’s vision, the sacrifices of these unsung heroes will be brought to light,” she said.
Meenakashi Lekhi said that celebration of freedom has a meaning only when the youth of India understand the history of freedom struggle through an Indian perspective rather than the colonial one, which the new book seeks to do, the minister explained.
Velu Nachiyar, the queen of Sivaganga, was the first Indian queen to wage war against the British East India Company. Jhalkari Bai was a woman soldier who grew to become one of the key advisors to the Rani of Jhansi and a prominent figure in the First War of Indian Independence, 1857. Chakali Ilamma was a revolutionary woman who fought against the injustice of zamindars during the Telangana rebellion in the mid-1940s. Durgawati Devi was the brave woman who provided safe passage to Bhagat Singh after the killing of John Saunders. Rani Gaidinliu, the Naga spiritual and political leader, led an armed uprising against the British in Manipur, Nagaland and Assam. Tileshwari Baruah, one of India’s youngest martyrs, was shot at the age of 12 by the British, during the Quit India Movement, when she and some freedom fighters tried to unfurl the tricolour atop a police station.
The book, a tribute to women power, highlights the difference educated, empowered women bring to society.