Let us start to talk about some of the most important and famous female leaders in Indian history. Indian history is full of female leaders who made India proud.
Most Famous Female Leaders in Indian History.
- Birth- 1205.
- Death- 14 October, 1240.
Razia Sultana was the daughter of Mamluk Sultan Shamsuddin Iltutmish and grand-daughter of the first Sultan of Delhi, Qutubuddin Aibak.
She emerged as the new ruler of Delhi after the assassination of her half-brother Rukn-ud-din Firoj, who was considered unfit to rule the empire.
Raziya was too brave and was well equipped and trained in military skills and warfare like her brothers.
She was got opposition from the very beginning of her rule and faced huge opposition from the Turkish nobles. But she was able to acquire the throne with the support of the general public of Delhi.
During her reign, she tried her best to prove her efficiency. She wore the attires that previous male leaders wore, showed her warrior skills by riding elephants, and led her forces in the battleground as the chief of the Army.
She was the only female who ruled Delhi as the Sultan.
Raziya was killed on 15th of October, 1240.
We will always remember her reign in India’s history as one of the most influential leaderships of any woman in Indian history.
A biopic on her name, ‘Razia Sultana,’ is also in Indian cinema, actress Hema Malini had performed the lead role.
- Birth- 5 October, 1524.
- Death- 24 June, 1564.
Maharani Durgavati was one of the most famous female leaders in Indian history. She was born to the royal family of king Keerat Rai of Chandel Kingdom. Durgavati got married to Dalpat Shah, the eldest son of king Sangram Shah of the Gondwana Kingdom, in 1542.
After her husband’s death, Dalpat Shah, in 1550, she took the reign of the Gond Kingdom because, at that time, her son was very young.
She decided to fight the battle against Mughal Emperor Akbar in the battle of Narrai. Her mentality was like- “It is better to die respectfully than to live a disgraceful life.”
She fought bravely, but she was equipped with old weapons, and few untrained soldiers. On the contrast, Mughals were equipped with modern weapons and trained soldiers in their Army. Lastly, when it was clear that she had lost, she decided to sacrifice her life instead of getting captured by the Mughal Army.
People of India will always remember her as one of the bravest famous female leaders in Indian history.
3.Rani Lakshmi Bai.
- Birth- 19 November, 1828.
- Death- 18 June, 1858.
Rani Lakshmibai is one of the most famous female leaders in Indian history, whom we proudly remember as the Rani of Jhansi.
Rani Lakshmibai was born to a Brahmin family in the town of Varanasi. Manu was her pet name, a shorter form of Manikarnika- her original name.
Manikarnika lost her mother at the tender age of 4. When she was just 14 years old, her knot was tied with the Maharaja of Jhansi, Gangadhar Rao Newalkar. After her marriage, she was popular with the name of Lakshmibai in the name of Hindu Goddess Lakshmi.
She became a widow after less than 11 years of her marriage because of the death of Maharaj Gangadhar Rao. Now she was a loving mother of an adopted son Damodar Rao.
Rani proudly and bravely handled both her duties, of a caring mother and an extraordinary queen.
The stories of her bravery are present in the syllabus of schools’ in India. She ruled Jhansi in the time when the condition of women in India was unfavorable and miserable. She also practiced wrestling and weightlifting.
In 1857, when Jhansi’s pride was at stake, this tough lady fought against Britishers. And the story of her death is even more glorifying. It is often heard in stories that when she was severely wounded but was not wishing to get her body captured by Britishers, she told a hermit to burn it. Following her instructions, local people cremated her body.
We salute these fearless, confident, and patriotic famous female leaders of Indian history.
The biopic on her titled, “Manikarnika: The queen of Jhansi” is made in Bollywood cinema, with the lead role being played by actress Kangana Ranaut.
- Birth- 13 February, 1879.
- Death- 2 March, 1949.
Sarojini Naidu was given the title, “The Nightingale of India “( the title which she got because of her poetry works by Mahatma Gandhi). Sarojini Naidu was born in a Bengali family in Hyderabad.
She was an extraordinary student from her childhood and was proficient in several languages. Sarojini began writing at the age of 12 only. She had written a lot of poems on children, patriotism, Romance, etc.
Because of her marvellous work in poetry, Rabindranath Tagore called her Bharat Kokila.
Some of her notable works are- The golden threshold, The bird of time, etc.
Breaking the rules of the society of that time, she decided to marry a physician who was not of her caste. At that time, inter-caste marriages were not as common as they are today, but both the families got ready as their thoughts were ahead of their time.
She was an active female leader of the Indian freedom struggle. Sarojini Naidu was the first Indian woman to preside over the Indian National Congress’s annual session at Cawnpore in 1925( present-day Kanpur).
She was an active participant in the Satyagraha; because of this she was arrested along with other Congress leaders, including Gandhiji.
Sarojini Naidu was also one of the top activists in the civil disobedience movement and Quit India Movement led by Gandhiji.
She became India’s first woman governor, was appointed as the governor of the United province( present-day Uttar Pradesh) after India got Independence in 1947.
She is one of the most influential female leaders in the history of India.
- Birth- 25 June, 1904.
- Death- 1 December, 1974.
She was born in a Bengali family when the struggle of freedom was gaining its peak. She was a timid child at the starting years of her life, and she was quite self-conscious about her appearance.
But as she grew older, she came across many incidents that changed her personality into a female Warrior from a shy child. The Jallianwala Bagh Massacre greatly influenced her.
She married J.B. Kripalani in 1936, who was the top leader of the Indian National Congress at that time and 20 years senior to her. Her marriage got opposition from both families, together with Gandhiji.
Sucheta Kripalani joined Gandhiji in the Quit India Movement along with Aruna Asaf Ali and other contemporaries. She was one of the handful women who were elected to the constituent assembly of India.
Sucheta Kripalani became the first woman CM of Uttar Pradesh. She was the woman who sang the national song Vande Mataram in the Independence session of the constituent assembly on the 15th of August 1947.
Sucheta retired from Indian politics in 1971 and died in 1974.
We will always remember Sucheta Kripalani as one of the most famous female leaders in Indian history.
6.Aruna Asaf Ali.
- Birth- 16 July, 1909.
- Death- 29 July, 1996.
Aruna was a woman with a multi-talented personality. She was an educator, political activist, and many things more. Aruna was also one of the most famous female activists in Indian Independence and also a freedom fighter. Indians will always best remember her for the Indian National Congress flag’s hoisting at the Gowalia Tank Maidan in Mumbai during the Quit India Movement in 1942.
Aruna was also an active member of salt Satyagraha; she also went to prison for this. She protested against the indifferent treatment of political prisoners in Tihar Jail, by launching a hunger strike in 1932.
Aruna got the title of the “The Grand old lady of the Independence movement” and the “Heroine of the 1942 movement” for her participation in the Quit India Movement.
We will always remember her as a pearl on the Crown of Mother India. She was one of the most famous female freedom fighters of India.
- Birth- 19 November, 1917.
- Death- 31 October, 1984
In India, when we think of women’s politics and leadership, the name of Mrs. Indira Gandhi is first to appear in our minds. She was born as the daughter of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.
Nehru Ji was the first Prime Minister of independent India, so Indira Gandhi was very close to politics and leadership qualities from the beginning of her life.
In 1964, after the death of Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri became the new Prime Minister of India. Indira Gandhi got the office of Minister of Information and Broadcasting.
But after the sudden demise of Lal Bahadur Shastri in 1966, Indira Gandhi became the new Prime Minister of India. She was the first and only female Prime Minister in Indian history.
Indira gained enormous popularity within a few years of her leadership. This popularity happened because of the introduction of successful programs that transformed India into a self-sufficient country for food grains, popularly known as the Green Revolution.
Her death was a painful incident in the history of India. She was assassinated by her Bodyguards, Satwant Singh and Beant Singh, in Revenge of Operation Blue Star.
Indians will always remember Indira Gandhi as an influential female Prime Minister in the history of India.
8.Pratibha Devisingh Patil.
- Birth- 19 December, 1934.
Pratibha Patil was born on the 19th of December 1934 in Maharashtra.
She served as the first and only woman president of India from the 25th of July 2007 to 25th of July 2012.
Before serving as the President of India, she held the office of the Governor of Rajasthan( from November 2004- June 2007).
She is an example of women empowerment, a true example for contradicting the mentality of those who think women can’t reach heights.
- Birth- 31 March, 1945.
Meira Kumar is a political gem from Arrah district of Bihar. She is the daughter of Jagjivan Ram and Indrani Devi, who was a freedom struggle’s top activist.
She entered the Indian Foreign Services in 1973, where she served for more than a decade.
Meira Kumar served as the first-ever woman speaker of Lok Sabha( June 2009- May 2014).
During the reign of Dr. Manmohan Singh( as prime minister of India), she served as the minister of Social justice and empowerment( May 2004- May 2009).
She is a famous female leader in Indian history who symbolizes the empowerment of every woman.
- Birth- 14 February, 1952.
- Death- 6 August, 2019.
Sushma Swaraj was a compelling and well-versed leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party, who also worked as a Supreme Court lawyer. She was a lady having magnetic attractions because of her personality.
Sushma Swaraj was born in 1952 at Haryana to the family of a prominent Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) member.
Swaraj began her career as an advocate in the Supreme Court of India. Later she worked as an active woman leader of BJP.
She served as the external affairs minister of India during 2014- 2019. She was the second woman to hold this office after Indira Gandhi.
Sushma Swaraj was a very powerful lady with a prominent political career. She served at many top positions in the Indian political system, some of them are – the chief minister of Delhi, minister of Information and Broadcasting, minister of Health and Family Welfare, minister of overseas Indian affairs, leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha, etc.
She became the youngest cabinet minister in the Government of Haryana, just at the age of 25.
Sushma Swaraj was the first female spokesperson of any political party in India. She was also the only female MP, the only Indian female parliaments’ member to receive the honor of the outstanding parliamentarian award.
Indians will always remember her as one of the most shining gems in the Indian political system.
11.Smriti Zubin Irani.
- Birth- 23 March, 1976.
Smriti Irani is one of the present prominent female figures in Indian politics. With time, Smriti has evolved into a powerful and one of the most dominating woman leader of India’s political system.
She was born in 1976 in New Delhi, India.
Before joining politics, She was one of the leading actresses of Indian television. Her role as ‘Tulsi’ in Ekta Kapoor’s “Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi” won the hearts of Indian and Overseas audiences.
Presently Smriti Irani is holding the office of the ministry of textiles and also having additional charge as minister of women and child development.
She is an example of beauty, with a brain having top leadership qualities.
That was all about famous female leaders in Indian history, hope you all liked it😎😎. See you all in my next post, till then bye, take care and stay blessed.😊
I am a blogger at JustWomenWorld, who loves to explore new ideas and help women to define their personalities in a more powerful and beautiful way. Mostly I write articles related to women empowerment and life of a woman. I believe that every woman is unique and is full of all capabilities to handle herself gracefully.