An Ode to Three Amazing Indian Women

There have been many trailblazers throughout history that have achieved great things throughout their lives. They inspire us, and in a way, we continue their legacy by remembering them and furthering their causes. This article will highlight three Indian women who wrote their path and continue to influence many other young women. These are, by no means, the only women in history. There are many others as well, not just in India but throughout the world. All you have to do is search.

Firstly, I would like to talk about a woman who stepped into a male-dominated world and outshined all of them. In the 20th century, the majority of the people in the STEM field were men. Furthermore, most overlooked the women who did enter the STEM field. T.S Kanaka, also known as Thanjavur Santhana Krishna Kanaka, was Asia’s first female neurosurgeon and a prime example of how women can rise and step up to the challenge.

 Born on March 31, 1932, in Madras, T.S Kanaka was born in poverty. Her younger brother died at the age of nine due to an illness. T.S Kanaka later made a vow to remain unmarried for the rest of her life and pursue higher education. At first, she wanted to pursue spiritual studies, but she later went to medical school and went into neurosurgery. She completed her Bachelor of Medicine (MBBS), Master of Surgery (MS), Master of Surgery in Neuroscience (MCh), and a Ph.D. in the Evaluation of Stereotactic surgery. T.S Kanaka later completed her Diploma in Higher Education (DHEd) 20 years after completing surgeries. She was also the first neurosurgeon in India to implant an electronic device into a brain. T.S Kanaka served in the Indian Army as a commissioned officer during the Sino- Indian War, as well. She is also a renowned philanthropist who donated her blood 137 times and has also cooperated with multiple organizations to improve the standard of life for economically backward people. T.S Kanaka established her hospital, Sri Santhana Krishna Padmavathi Health Care and Research Foundation, which offers free healthcare. T.S Kanaka is a trailblazer that has lit the way for many young women.

Secondly, I would like to talk about a woman who was the prime minister of young India in its most turbulent times. Her strength and solidarity earned her the nickname “Iron Lady.” Indira Priyadarshini Nehru (nee Gandhi) was India’s 3rd prime minister and India’s first female prime minister. 

Born on November 19, 1917, in Allahabad, Indira Gandhi grew up in a political family. Her father, Jawaharlal Nehru, was the first prime minister of India, and he also helped win independence for India. Indira Gandhi studied in Switzerland and later went to Somerville College in Oxford. She later married Feroze Gandhi and had two children: Rajiv Gandhi, who later entered into politics, and Sanjay Gandhi. Her daughter-in-law and her grandchildren stepped into politics, as well. Indira Gandhi later worked with her father on many diplomatic issues and later became a crucial part of the Congress Party. Jawaharlal Nehru was starting to serve his 5th term in office when he passed away. Lal Bahadur Shastri, who also passed away while in office, succeeded him. The Congress Party then elected Indira to serve as prime minister. Indira Gandhi gained a lot of popularity while in office due to her policies. Indira Gandhi oversaw the Third Agricultural Revolution, more commonly known as the Green Revolution, and she helped Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) gain independence from Pakistan (then West Pakistan). Indira Gandhi allowed many Pakistanis to take refuge in India and later helped Bangladesh by providing military aid. During her fourth term in office, a Sikh movement asking for a separate state (Khalistan) emerged. Many tensions between the Sikh community and Indira Gandhi arose, and on October 31, 1984, her two Sikh bodyguards assassinated Indira Gandhi. Indira Gandhi is an example of how women can achieve whatever they want when they put their minds to achieve it. 

Lastly, I would like to talk about a renowned classical singer in India. She and her legendary voice are known to this day. 

Madurai Shanmukhavadivu Subbulakshmi (M.S Subbulakshmi) was born on September 16, 1916 in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. She grew up in a household where music is very prevalent. Her first public performance was at the age of 11 in a temple in Tiruchirapalli. She later moved into the field of acting and had done a couple of movies in Tamil. M.S Subbalakshmi performed in the United Nations General Assembly, being the first Indian to do so. Also dubbed as the “Nightingale of India,” M.S Subbulakshmi once sang a 20-minute devotional song called “Venkatesa Suprabhatam” without any breaks. She also did many charity concerts, which raked up to 10 crore rupees in total. M.S Subbulakshmi has received many awards in her lifetime. Her awards include the “Padma Bushan,” “Ramon Magsaysay” (considered to be the Asian equivalent of the Nobel’s Prize), “Padma Vibushan,” and the “Bharat Ratna” (the highest honorary award in India). She also has a hue of blue, “M.S Blue,” named after her. M.S Subbulakshmi’s notable achievements in the classical Indian arts have inspired many young ladies to pursue their dreams.

These three amazing women are iconic in India and global history. They not only achieved many things in their lives, but they also paved that path for others. They showed that we have the power to do anything in our lives. They have also reminded us that women can do anything and are as powerful as men. By taking them as an inspiration, we can further their legacies and continue to empower others. Remember, you can do anything. Peace!