Iron Lady – who’s that?

Iron Lady – who’s that?

April 15, 2013
[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The woman has devoted more than 12 prime years of her life to have the Armed Forces Special Powers Act repealed.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.
Nisha Sanjeev


  • Nisha Sanjeev
    April 17, 2013

    Comment option should henceforth function. Thank you to all those who called to give me your feedback.

  • Anonymous
    April 20, 2013

    Irom Sharmlia Chanu got a fair few titles and awards over the years. For now she has declined any future ones instead asks those who wish to support her to stand beside her. The next occasion when she is taken out of solitary confinement in Imphal will be in Delhi Patiala District & Sessions Court 22 May. Always refreshing to bump into someone more cynical than self. You may me look idealistic. She'd prefer that.
    I don't disagree about how democracy has always functioned just need Indians to repeal a law that makes rape legal for visiting soldiers in Manipur if they really want to insist that peaceful non-violent protest be treated as a criminal offence once they repeal AFSPA she will end the protest and so no need to press for that. So 22 May Delhi Patiala see link for any Indians interested I'll be there.

  • Nisha Sanjeev
    April 20, 2013

    Lets hope the musical event brings together more supporters. The FB page looks promising as well. Best wishes