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-Abhay Saxena

As the row over Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s unreleased and unseen yet “Padmavati” continues without any clue of a peaceful conclusion, Nation witnesses a fresh surge in woman power in form of glorious feats acclaimed by young Indian women. While in context of Bhansali’s Padmavati, there is still not a consensus, whether the film devalues the pride and valour of Rani Padmini of Chittorgarh – some even doubting the existence of the royal lady in the history – there is a distinct unanimity since ages, about what she has always symbolised – the matchless beauty, power of character and courage abound.

Fortunately, the Indian women have been carrying the legacy of Padmini’s embodiment of beauty, power and courage through ages of social hypocrisy and utterly hollow sense of pride that has always subdued their talent and persona under the garb of protectionism. Today, we see the modern Indian women astonishing the world with their endowments, spirits and outstanding performances. Recently, as the nation indulged in roaring fights over the celluloid Padmavati, a few real ones emerged quietly and spellbound the world with their accomplishments.

Miss World 2017 Manushi Chhillar

After Priyanka Chopra was crowned with Miss World title in 2000, we Indians had almost forgotten the pageant due to a deafening lull for seventeen years. Suddenly, a young medical college student from Haryana – a state most unpopular for the worst male-to-female ratio, arrives and glitters the universe of beauty. Manushi Chhillar was crowned with the most coveted title of Miss World 2017 at a start-studded event held in China this month. A student of Bhagat Phool Singh Medical College for Women in Sonepat, Manushi, just 20, is a daughter of Dr Mitra Basu Chhillar, a scientist at DRDO and Dr Neelam Chhillar, the HOD of Neuro-chemistry at the Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences.

A trained Kuchipudi dancer, Manushi went to St. Thomas School in New Delhi. While she was pursuing her MBBS degree, she got herself enrolled for the pageant. Having a keen interest in poetry, painting and swimming, Manushi has also been to the National School of Drama. She is just not a beautiful face, she is also a bundle of talent. Having a flair for English language, she stood topper in All-India CBSE in English in class 12th.

First ever woman pilot for Indian Navy, three others inducted in armament division      

Shubhangi Swaroop, the resident of Uttar Pradesh, shall soon be flying Indian Navy’s maritime reconnaissance aircraft as India’s first naval woman pilot. So far, the aviation branch of Indian Navy has had women officers only managing the air traffic and as ‘observers’. Three other women cadets – Astha Segal (New Delhi), Roopa A (Puducherry) and Sakthi Maya S (Kerala) have also been inducted in Navy’s armament division that was so far considered to be men-only territory.

Shubhangi, the daughter of naval commander Gyan Swaroop, will now be trained at INS Garuda in Kochi initially, after which she will get her training at Air Force Academy at Hyderabad that trains pilots of Air Force, Army and Navy. On completion of her training, Shubhangi will be the first woman pilot in Indian Navy’s maritime reconnaissance unit. As an equally glorious feat, Astha Segal, Roopa A and Sakthi Maya S became India’s first women officers at Naval Armament Inspectorate (NAI). The NAI is responsible for the auditing and assessment of weaponry and ammunition status of Indian Navy. These four magnificent ladies in their twenties were among the 328 midshipmen and cadets who graduated from Ezhimala Naval Academy recently. All four women officers shall undergo a thorough training before being posted on their respective duties.

Five power punches by Indian women boxers at World Youth Boxing Championship

Beauty and courage are not the only attributes, India’s daughters have showcased this year. They have also startled the world with their grit and fist power. The stage was World Youth Boxing Championship held recently at Guwahati’s N. C. Bordoloi Indoor Stadium and the feat was a perfect-five for young Indian women boxers, with five wins @ five finals.

In what could be called India’s most successful campaign in the World Youth Women Boxing Championship, four Haryana super girls – Nitu (48kg), Jyoti Gulia (51kg), Sakshi Chaudhary (54kg), Shashi Chopra (57kg), and an equally vigorous one from Assam – Ankushita Boro (64kg) emerged champions in their respective categories. This superlative exhibition of power punches by India’s sledgehammer women took the country to the top slot with five gold and two bronze. Before this, India’s best performance was at the inaugural edition of the championship at Antalya, Turkey in 2011.

Indeed, these accomplishments by Indian women at diverse arenas must be seen as an inspiration to the whole nation that many-a-time indulges in not-so-important issues, and fails to cherish the real prideful moments.

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