Recently I saw a play titled ‘Mehernama’, it was a depiction of the Mughal period. While talking about Mughal rule, we always think of names like Babar, Akbar, Aurangzeb etc. But do you know it was one woman named Noorjehan ( wife of Jehangir ) who was the strongest influence during the Mughal period? She was so strong and indomitable as a ruler, that though her husband Jehangir was the crowed king, she was actually the one taking major decisions; be it finance, war, expansion or administration. Under her leadership, that period saw the Mughal regime soar unimaginable heights. This was the crux of the play ‘Mehernama’ which replayed the life of Noorjehan. A muslim woman, that too reigning over the Afghans, Turks, Persians and Hindustanis – unthinkable, right? But ‘fact’ it was. That play made me ponder more. Indeed, there have been women throughout history who played a significant role in leadership. Who can forget a Rani Laxmibai? Who can forget Jijabai, Shivaji’s mother, who played an important part in Shivaji’s impressive success during the grand Maratha rule. We always under-estimate women, but it is women who proved to be far more powerful, if not physically – then mentally and their sheer will power.


    In modern times, we had Indira Gandhi, a very strong example in our own nation post-independence, a leader who was known as iron-lady. Under her, we gave a crushing defeat to our hostile neighbours in the war of ’71. We have another iron woman in Irom Sharmila, who till this date haven’t given up on her fight, influencing so many others. We have an amputee like Arunima Sinha, who dared to climb Mt.Everest and wants to conquer every peak in the world. There are many such examples that inspires us so much, with their ‘leadership’ qualities. Leaving politics & sports aside, I feel every woman is a leader. She gives birth. That alone sets her instantly on a pedestal of a leader. Bringing a child into this world is no mean feat. She inculcates the various life’s initial teachings into her child, thus, contributing majorly in forming the personality and development of the next generation. It all starts with her – the woman. It is one reason, I feel, a child should be given best of values by a mother. Because, those values stays on for life and helps in taking various decisions in life later on, making the world it is.


    My family ( mother’s ) is filled with an army of women, that I’ve grown respecting and looking upto. My mom had 8 sisters, and coming from a modest background, each one of them have been self-educated and successful in their respective careers. So, from a very young age I was taught to be self-independent unlike in other parts of India where unfortunately women still are not given that freedom to choose to live life on their own terms. That way, I was quite lucky because born with all my aunties all leaders no less, I felt truly encouraged never to cow down as a woman or be a door-mate to someone. My mother, having studied in vernacular-medium used to earlier feel bit uneasy about not knowing English well, however, both me and my sister used to say, her bringing us up alone, single-handedly and motivating us to stand on our own feet was enough and a testimony of the fact too that she is undoubtedly our ultimate idol and leader!


    Leadership does not mean only corporate success either. If one is doing right, with full conviction, without fear ( empower ), setting an example of high standards ( elevate ) and motivates others ( engage ) – then, that person is surely a leader; be it doing their normal grocery shopping routine or taking big corporate decisions.


    This post my entry for SheThePeopleTV #EveryWomenisaLeader contest. Take part to win an all-expenses paid trip to an exciting destination!


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