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Indira Gandhi, Sarojini Naidu, Amrita Pritam among 100 most influential women in history

A recent global poll ranked the 100 most influential women in history recently.

, ET Bureau|
Aug 15, 2018, 08.00 AM IST
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From the left, Indira Gandhi, Sarojini Naidu and Amrita Pritam.
A recent global poll ranked the 100 most influential women in history recently. And while the top rung of the list was dominated by women of science like Marie Curie and DNA double helix co-founder Rosalind Franklin, three powerful Indian women also found a mention — Indira Gandhi, Sarojini Naidu and Amrita Pritam.

While Gandhi (rank 49) made it to the list for being India’s only female prime minister, she garnered widespread public support for agricultural improvements as well as for her success in the Pakistan war of 1971. There is, of course, the ghost of the emergency, the Sikh riots and her assassination.

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The second Indian mention on the list comes at rank 77. Sarojini Naidu has been chosen for her role in the Indian independence struggle and for her poetry.

However, she was much more than just those things. She was also the first woman governor of an Indian state after independence and a pioneer in breaking the shackles of caste.

At number 100 features another poet — Amrita Pritam — a voice to reckon with in Punjabi literature. In 1956, she became the first woman to win the Sahitya Akademi Award for her magnum opus, a long poem, Sunehade (Messages).

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