Explain two woman rulers of medivial India (Rani lakshmibai and Indira Gandhi). Compare their position with that of any two woman leaders of today.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that in order to effectively answer this question, you might have to examine some traits that Rani LakshmiBai and Indira Gandhi shared and contrast this to modern leaders of today.  I think you might be better set to expand the scope of "modern leaders of today" to include the last twenty to thirty years.  For example, LakshmiBai and Indira Gandhi possessed a strong sense of nationalism and national identity.  Lakshmi Bai's historical contribution was leading one of the first uprisings against British rule in the 19th century, while Gandhi was instrumental in helping to establish Indian autonomy against encroaching threats from Pakistan and within the nation.  They both held the notion of nation in very high regard and sought to unify and lead under that principle.  We can compare this with Benazir Bhutto, who sought to unify Pakistan as both a leader and emerging political candidate two years ago against internally extremist regimes.  If we extrapolated this, Margaret Thatcher and Golda Meir were women who led their nations under the principle of nationalism, and invoked this idea quite often in their rule and conflicts with other members of the international community.  If we were to probe deeper, we can suggest that these women leaders were very skilled at mobilizing their citizenry's support for their causes.  Lakshmibai pointed out British desecration of Hindu culture and customs as a type of rallying cry to those who would follow her.  Indira Gandhi often used the mantra of "progress" to stamp out dissension and lead others.  Margaret Thatcher invoked the idea of Britain holding a unique role in the international community and appealing to her body politic's sense of identity as "Great" Britain as a way to galvanize support.  Golda Meir did the same in regards to Israel's position with its neighbors in the occupied territories.  Bhutto was very skilled at identifying the internal threats within Pakistan which would destabilize the nation, and, towards the end of her life, found the dialogue that would allow Pakistan to be embraced by the West without being viewed internally as "selling out" fundamental Pakistani principles.  I think that you could also engage in a study of how these women were removed from power and similarities between them.  The chord of violence can be struck in the cases of Lakshmibai, Gandhi, and Bhutto.  You would have to broaden it a bit to include Thatcher and Meir.  The critical aspect would be able to identify the characteristics, traits, or policies that were embodied in Lakshmibai and Gandhi and then seek to broaden that to include the modern women leaders upon whom you will focus.

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