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Behold The New Age Bold & Beautiful
All the more reason for us to applaud and admire them. Bold and beautiful is no longer a sexist pejorative. If you followed how Kangana Ranaut has proclaimed her public disdain for misogyny and patriarchy, you too will applaud and admire
Photo Credit : Shutterstock
Have you heard of Lieutenant Swathi Patharlapali? She is an officer of the Indian Navy who will sail around the world in INS Tarini. But there are more compelling reasons why Lieutenant Patharlapali and her story are more inspirational than the myriad fables of corporate super achievers. Her mother used to wash utensils and cook for families of naval officers in Vishakhapatnam. In politically correct language, she is the daughter of a domestic help.
Lieutenant Patharlapali is a symbol of millions of aspirational Indian women who want to break free and chase their dreams. They are testimony to how India is thankfully nurturing an ecosystem where gender barriers are being washed away by waves of opportunity. Of course, they are also testimony to how India still discriminates against women. Just one example will show how both co- exist in India. Successful women like Naina Lal Kidwai and Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw occupy slots in the advisory body of Teri. Testimony that women are on top. Yet, in the same Teri, a young research scholar was allegedly stalked, propositioned and sexually harassed by R. K. Pachauri. The woman lost her job and waits justice, while Pachauri seems to have so far escaped with just mild censure.
Change is never painless and revolutions come with attendant costs and collateral damage. But in this case, there is much more to cheer and applaud than feel bad about. There was a time when it was considered sacrilege for daughters to inherit and run business empires of their fathers. But all that has changed in the last generation or so. As you read the profiles in subsequent pages, you will realise how daughters are goose stepping their way to corner offices once occupied by their now proud fathers.
Then there are intrepid professionals who have used guts, talent, hard work and commitment to rise to the top. Their success is even more impressive as they didn’t have powerful corporate families to kick start their careers. Who hasn’t heard of the likes of Chanda Kochhar and Arundhati Bhattacharya? But 21st century India is throwing up a whole new class of successful women. They don’t chase jobs. They are ambitious entrepreneurs using the Internet and digital revolutions to chase multi-billion dollar dreams. Without a doubt, a number of them will be household names five or ten years from now.
All the more reason for us to applaud and admire them. Bold and beautiful is no longer a sexist pejorative. If you followed how Kangana Ranaut has proclaimed her public disdain for misogyny and patriarchy, you too will applaud and admire.