Movies, Politics, Fashion, Sports, Business and just everyday Life – we look at 10 Indian women who made headlines in 2010.
By Anne John
A name which has been doing the rounds on every TV channel and newspaper, for quite some time now. The 2G spectrum scam has become synonymous with this professional lobbyist. The leaked ‘Radia tapes’ of her phone conversations stirred up a hornet’s nest and greatly embarrassed many prominent politicians and businessmen including the former Telecom and IT Minister A.Raja, Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi, Chairman of the Tata group Ratan Tata and even prompted the Supreme Court to term them “mind-boggling”.
2010 has been a fantastic one for India’s star badminton player. She was awarded the highest national sporting award given to players, the Khel Ratna and the Padma Shri this year and has gone on to be ranked world number 2 by the Badminton World Federation. Saina has a string of high-profile successes to her credit, winning in the Singapore Open followed by the Indonesian Open, the Commonwealth Games and most recently the Hong Kong Super Series. At this rate, we sure can look forward to an action-packed 2011!
One might not remember the name so much as the issue here. Monica, due to some bizarre coincidence, happens to be the names of 2 individuals, one in rural Haryana and the other in the Nation’s capital Delhi, who were murdered brutally earlier this year, in separate cases of ‘honour killings’. Though the Supreme Court issued notices to the Centre, Haryana government and six other states to take action against the killing of young couples, similar killings are being reported continually in the media, leading to widespread outrage and condemnation.
While her nationality is still contested by some, the one good thing that has happened for women in this UPA coalition government led by the Indian National Congress, is that the 33 per cent reservation for women bill was finally passed in the Rajya Sabha, after more than 10 years of its initial introduction. And for this we thank the President of the INC, who has also been ranked as the 9th most powerful person in the world by Forbes magazine.
How can we not mention this controversial talk show host (among other things) in our most-talked about women list! Reality shows have become a rage in India, with people doing every conceivable thing that can possibly be done on national TV- and then some more. Following closely on the heels of Rakhi Ka Swayamwar came Rakhi Ka Insaaf where she tries to solve the problems of the common man. But Rakhi found herself neck-deep in problems when a participant committed suicide allegedly due to being humiliated on the show. This resulted in Rakhi ka Insaaf being banned from prime time. Bold and brash Rakhi is hard to ignore!
Her new abode, Antilla has been the cynosure of all eyes. It is said to be the world’s most expensive house and is on its way to becoming an eye-catching (and controversial) landmark in Mumbai. Nita Ambani wears many hats with aplomb, being the chairperson of the Dhirubhai Ambani International School as well as leading the Dhirubhai Ambani Foundation. Being the co-owner of the Mumbai Indians, she acquired many top players for her team and was often spotted cheering them on during the IPL matches this year.
When she almost got herself arrested on charges of sedition because of her speech on Kashmir, the incident sparked off questions on the extent to which freedom of speech exists in India. “Pity the nation that has to silence its writers for speaking their minds”, has been her famous response. Thankfully the hoopla died down before getting converted into a full-blown controversy.
A former journalist, this debutant director’s movie, Peepli Live is India’s official entry for the Oscars under the Best Foreign Film category. The satirical movie has got rave reviews and is based on the topic of farmer suicides in rural India. It has already been screened at several prestigious film festivals like the Sundance Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival and the Durban International Film Festival. All the best, Peepli Live at the 83rd Academy Awards!
Earlier in the year, this Indian diplomat was accused of misusing her position to act as a spy passing on sensitive information to Pakistan’s intelligence agencies. She is currently in prison with all her bail applications being rejected, and is awaiting trial.
With 4 high profile releases this year, this lady has managed to stay ahead of most of her contemporaries. Mani Rathnam’s bilingual Raavan got her mixed reviews while Vipul Shah’s Action Replayy with Akshay Kumar showcased her in retro-chic; Though Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Guzaarish with Hrithik Roshan bombed at the box-office, she came across as an elegant and classic beauty while Shankar’s Endhiran with Rajinikanth turned out to be a blockbuster. She also graced international festivals such as the Cannes Film Festival with her regal presence and still looks every bit as ravishing at 37!
That’s my list; which Indian woman is a must-have on your list and who would you drop from this one?