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Stories of Our Sheroes. Book Review

The book “Stories of Our Sheroes” is a compelling anthology that celebrates the lives and legacies of remarkable women from India’s rich history. These women, referred to as ‘sheroes,’ have made significant contributions to their respective fields, often against formidable odds. The book serves as a beacon of inspiration, showcasing the strength, courage, and resilience of women who have fought for freedom, justice, and equality.

The Warrior Queens and Freedom Fighters The narrative begins with the tale of Abbakka Chowta, the first of the warrior queens of Tulu Nadu, who fiercely defended her kingdom against Portuguese colonial forces. Her legacy is honored by India Post with a commemorative stamp and by the Indian Coast Guard with a patrol vessel named after her.

Following Abbakka’s story is that of Velu Nachiyar, the first queen to challenge British

conquest. A trained warrior proficient in multiple languages, she orchestrated a strategic attack to reclaim her kingdom, demonstrating her military acumen and leadership.

Kitturu Chennamma’s revolt against the Doctrine of Lapse, a policy used by the British to annex Indian states, is another tale of valor. Despite her eventual capture, Chennamma’s resistance laid the groundwork for future uprisings against colonial rule.

The book also chronicles the saga of Rani Laxmi Bai, the principal warrior of the Indian

Mutiny of 1857. Her fierce battle against the British, even in the face of overwhelming odds, has cemented her status as an icon of the Indian rebellion.

The Champions of Home Rule and Nationalism Annie Besant’s role in advocating for Indian self-governance and her presidency over the Indian National Congress highlight the contributions of non-Indian allies to the freedom movement.

Bhikaiji Cama’s act of raising the first Indian flag abroad marks a pivotal moment in the

history of Indian nationalism. Her actions earned her the title of the Mother of the Indian Revolution.

The Pioneers in Arts and Science The book delves into the lives of trailblazers like Lata

Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle, who dominated the Indian music scene, and Rukmini Devi Arundale, who revived classical Indian dance.

In the realm of science, figures like Asima Chatterjee and Kamala Sohonie broke gender barriers in organic chemistry and biochemistry, respectively, paving the way for future generations of women scientists.

The Adventurers and Athletes The narratives of Bachendri Pal, the first Indian woman to conquer Mount Everest, and Malathi Krishnamurthy Holla and Deepa Malik, para-athletes who overcame physical challenges to excel in sports, are testaments to the indomitable spirit of Indian women.

The book includes amazing illustrations of each of the sheroes, which adds a visual

dimension to the inspiring stories. These artistic representations not only enhance the reading experience but also celebrate the legacy of these remarkable women by bringing their tales to life visually.

The book includes controversial figures such as Arundati Roy, who has been photographed with known terrorist Yasin Malik, and Mother Teresa, who is known for her ‘selective’ philanthrophy. Other than that I have had no issues with the book and loved it!

“Stories of Our Sheroes” is not just a book; it is a celebration of the spirit of womanhood. It is a reminder of the struggles and triumphs of women who have shaped the course of Indian history. Their stories are a source of motivation and a call to action for current and future generations to continue the fight for a more equitable and just society.

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