The era before independence saw strong female leaders and warriors like Rani Laxmibai, Razia Sultan, Begum Hazrat Mahal, Jhalkari Bai and other brave women. It is also a fact that after independence, our country has been led by strong female characters like Late Shrimati Indira Gandhi Ji as our honourable ex-Prime Minister and Shrimati Pratibha Patil Ji as our honourable ex-President. However, like two sides of the same coin, India has witnessed two types of treatment that its women have been subjected to, first, being considered equal to men and second, inferior to them. The major cause of this is that unlike the first section of the women, the second section of women are born and brought-up in families with relatively backward and orthodox ideologies. However, today, India has improved its image to being the birthplace of strong female characters like Kalpana Chawla, Sudha Murthy, Medha Patkar, Indira Nooyi, Sunita Williams, PV Sindhu and Priyanka Chopra. Indian women are proudly standing equal to, if not ahead of, Indian men and many people who previously had patriarchal mindsets are now transforming into open-minded and progressive individuals.
Many years ago, the orthodox society expected an Indian woman to be a silent presence, bow before dominating men, get married at a young age without even receiving proper education, cook, clean and give birth to children- but preferably only male children. But today, the role of women has transitioned into role-models and inspirations for their families and the society at large. Indian women have conquered all professional spheres which were first considered inappropriate for them, be it politics, astronomy, artificial intelligence, sports, acting, social activism, business and so many more.
It is a proud pedestal that Indian women are standing on, but still a lot needs to be done to encourage women and erase the feeling of inferiority in them so that they can achieve even more than what they have achieved today. Proper education, awareness and respect for women will bring about a difference and I am sure that when this is achieved, all Indian women will be listed as inspirations and will proudly say that their social and professional status is at par with men.