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Indian Women Have Come A Long Way

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Post-Independence, progress has been seen in all spheres of the Indian society but the most commendable evolution has been in the overall reformation of the Indian women in these 70 years of freedom. There was a time till 1950s when girls and women were not allowed to study. But soon established women in India like Sarojini Naidu, Mahadevi Verma, Vijayalakshmi Pandit, Bikaji Cama and others became inspirational to others. Barriers were broken and the girls started getting enrolled in schools and later in colleges and universities that set them on the path of mental development that was to pay dividends in decades to come.

 

By 1970 the scenario of girl education and their active role and participation in nation building saw a major shift. A big reason for this was Mrs Indira Gandhi who took the charge as the first woman Prime Minister. It became an inspiration to the womenfolk in the country. And after this, Indian women never looked back. They are progressing and contributing in every field from teaching, banking, civil services to the foreign service. And many have even joined the police and security forces and the Indian Armed Forces.

The induction of women in the Armed Forces was a big challenge for the entire Indian society but it was accepted and today, there is a large number of women being inducted in all the three defence services. The initiative taken by the paramilitary Border Security Force to deploy women personnel at the international borders was highly appreciated. But unfortunately, women in the actual combat role were not accepted by the Army, Navy and Air Force. The initial resistance was on various psychological and physiological reasons but with women demonstrating equal capacity with men, the resistance has been abated. Finally, very recently, the Indian Air Force inducted three girls to be trained to become fighter pilots and it is expected that the year 2017 will see this first lot receiving Permanent Commissions and the opportunity to ‘paint the skies with glory’ which is the IAF’s motto.

India does not need examples of foreign militaries in deploying women in combat roles. We have the soul-stirring example of Rani of Jhansi, Lakshmibai, who fought the British on her horseback, the favoured mode of combat in ancient times.

So with a wish of seeing our women in the active combat zone in all the three services, I offer this edition of DSA dedicated to each woman in India.

This edition has very informative inputs from our experts on the role and challenges for women in combat role in the defence forces. I am sure every one concerned with women empowerment would love to flip each page, paragraph and even each line of this edition.

Jai Hind!

 


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