Iron Lady – who’s that?

Iron Lady – who’s that?

[This appeared in TFW on April 16]

Margaret Thatcher’s funeral today has become a contentious issue, challenging the government. No woman in the recent past has triggered such hate posts in her demise.

She was a woman who stood for what she believed was right even in the face of opposition. The fact that she was a woman of substance, irrespective of whether her beliefs were right, wrong or fatal, is what intrigues me the most when I see the reactions to her death.

Indeed, a tough lady. For only a strong-willed woman can evoke such interest. Isn’t our very own Iron Lady – Indira Gandhi – still passionately debated and discussed almost three decades after her assassination.

Interestingly, even Irom Chanu Sharmila has been referred to by the same title by a section of the populace. Good to learn the crusader has been conferred some recognition. Otherwise, her fast and cause are hardly covered by the mainstream media.

She turned 40 this week. Did anyone care? Well, if a Bollywood director makes a biopic and, only, if only, it crosses the Rs100 crore mark [given that the figure is the latest blockbuster benchmark], then the national media would play up her cause. Oops! would mention her cause and play up the actress who essayed her character.

The woman has devoted more than 12 prime years of her life to have the Armed Forces Special Powers Act repealed. Anyone listening! And all she got is a title Iron Lady.
Graphic Courtesy: The Financial World
Though the term was first used by the Soviet Union to mock Margaret Thatcher, it has been conveniently used by all to address their own women who speak their mind throwing caution to the wind, who squash their opponents like flies on the wall and who is despised…may I say even in death?

Aung San Suu Kyi is also termed an Iron Lady of her country, commanding world respect. Hatred she does breed in some quarters, but has not ‘ironed out’ her opposers yet. Can we draw parallels with Irom , who is tossed between hospital cells and court rooms, letting her restraints communicate louder.

But unlike Irom, Suu Kyi got a platform. Hope the authorities pay heed to the Manipuri’s cause before it is too late…And we re-define the title Iron Lady. Resurrect the name and cloak it in democratic colours.

Meanwhile, may Lady Thatcher’s soul rest in peace. She is sure to go down history books as the longest serving woman prime minister. That, indeed, is no soft task.
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