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The Women Who Ruled India

The Women Who Ruled India

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The history of India, more often than not, is a history of its men. But the women have never been far behind (and, often, been ahead), although their role in shaping the nation is largely forgotten. In The Women Who Ruled India, writer and researcher Archana Garodia revives twenty-five such powerful women from the annals of history and gives us a glimpse into their fascinating, colourful lives. Among them are Begum Samru, a courtesan who went on to become the head of a mercenary army and the ruler of Sardhana, Meerut; Didda of Kashmir, known for her impeccable political instinct and a ruthlessness that spared no one, not even her lovers; Rani Abakka of Ullal, in modern Karnataka, who single-handedly fought off Portuguese colonizers; Karnavati of Garhwal the Nak-kati Rani who ordered the noses of Shah Jahan's troops to be chopped off after defeating them in battle; and Rani Mangammal of Madurai, a famed administrator who built political alliances at a time when going to war was the order of the day. Here are stories of valour and daring, leadership and diplomacy, courage and cunning, that continue to inspire centuries later. Interspersed with little-known anecdotes that showcase the human side of these heroic rulers, this book celebrates women who quarrelsome as they might have been were iconoclasts: unafraid to pave the way for thousands to come.

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Archana Garodia Gupta / feminism / history / indian / nonfiction /