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She's One in a Thousand Years

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    She's One in a Thousand Years

    She's One in a Thousand Years Visitors Have Named Indira Gandhi the 'Woman of the Millennium'

    SAN MATEO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 30, 1999--In a pivotal age when women from all walks of life strive to be leaders and visionaries of their time, it's fitting that Indira Gandhi, India's first female Prime Minister, has been voted Woman of the Millennium. During her stay in office, Gandhi organized a conference of nonaligned third-world nations in 1983, which was attended by diplomats from 101 countries. In the decidedly subjective poll developed by Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: WOMN;, the premier Internet destination for women on the Web, women chose the late prime minister of India as the individual who best represents women's accomplishments over the past thousand years.

    To commemorate the ``M'' occasion with a suitably seismic celebration, combed history books and Web sites to create a list of one hundred outstanding female role models of the last ten centuries. The poll included role models who are household names --including Mother Teresa, Joan of Arc, Helen Keller and Catherine the Great -- and women whom even this recognition is unlikely to turn into household names: Trotula of Salerno, Queen Amina of Zazzua and Aphra Benn.

    ``We cast our net wide. We recognized warrior queens and poets in Africa, rebels and rulers in Asia and Muslim lands. We honored aristocrats and peasants, the famous and the obscure,'' said Ellen Pack, founder and senior vice president, ``and we found the women who participated in our poll to be as entertained and inspired by these women's achievements as we were.'' segmented one hundred foremothers and contemporary female role models into nine categories: activists, leaders, artists, athletes, healers, spiritual leaders, trailblazers, warriors and writers. After reading a personal profile on each of the candidates, women voted on each century's selections, generating a Millennium Top Ten. Of this pantheon, Indira Gandhi emerged the favorite, with 39 percent of the more than 4,500 votes cast by visitors. A very close second to Gandhi was another icon from India, Mother Teresa -- a woman revered for her vow to serve ``the poorest of the poor'' in Calcutta, India. TV talk show host and businesswoman Oprah Winfrey came in third in the voting, and civil rights notable Rosa Parks was fourth. Queen Elizabeth I took the fifth spot.

    ``It's not surprising that Indira Gandhi, who is so highly regarded for her leadership and courage, received so many votes. She lived for her beliefs, which is what I think we all aspire to, but often find difficult to do on a day-to-day basis,'' Pack reflected. ``When counting the final votes, we found that four of the top five women were women of ethnicity, which truly mirrors the diversity of women who visit our network.''

    The poll ``recognizes women whose lights will continue to burn brightly for millennia to come, and keeps the spirit of their contributions alive by sharing their extraordinary stories with the world,'' said Pack.

    The Top Ten Through Time

    11th century: Godiva of Mercia.

    She rode naked through the marketplace, cloaked in her flowing tresses, so her husband would lower taxes. Her name lives on in fine chocolates.

    12th century: Eleanor of Aquitaine.

    Sixty-five years a Queen, (15 for France, 50 for England), she mothered ten, survived fifteen years of castle arrest and donned armor in her 70s to crush a rebellion.

    13th century: Raziya Iltutmish.

    She ruled Northern India when many of her countrywomen were still confined to harems, built schools and libraries, pursued foreign trade and minted her own coins.

    14th century: Catherine of Siena.

    This mystic and illiterate Dominican nun became a political powerhouse who brought peace to warring city-states. She was later canonized.

    15th century: Joan of Arc.

    At 17, she led 4,000 French troops to a miraculous victory at Orleans. Tried for heresy and burned at the stake before her 20th birthday, she was eventually elevated to sainthood.

    16th century: Queen Elizabeth I.

    She defeated the Spanish Armada, supported Shakespeare, sent Francis Drake to circumnavigate the globe and Sir Walter Raleigh to start a colony. All without a husband.

    17th century: Elena Piscopia.

    She excelled in seven languages, mathematics, music and theology, becoming the world's first woman Ph.D., over church objections. She later served the poor as a Benedictine nun.

    18th century: Sojourner Truth.

    Born a slave in New York, Sojourner became a traveling evangelist for the emancipation of women. After the Civil War, President Lincoln invited her to the White House.

    19th century: Marie Curie.

    She earned two Nobel Prizes, for the discovery of radioactivity and for isolating pure radium. She refused to patent her finds, hoping they would have widespread medical applications.

    20th century: Indira Gandhi

    As the first woman Prime Minister of India, Gandhi held her office during the tumultuous `60's and `70's, and was re-elected to the position in 1980. In 1983, Gandhi organized a conference of nonaligned third-world nations, which was attended by diplomats from 101 countries.

    Durango : "13th century: Raziya Iltutmish.
    She ruled Northern India when many of her countrywomen were still confined to harems, built schools and libraries, pursued foreign trade and minted her own coins."

    I've never heard anything about her before...interesting.


      there is a movie on her, most of it revolves around love affair between her and african slave, i think. i did not see movie. there have been queens like rani laxmibai, one of heroines of 1857 saga, ahilyabai holkar, known for being philonthropist. there was a dispute of mosque and temple, i don't remember kashi or mathura where mosque was built on destroying temple, she built temple near mosque without destroying it.

      other candidates would be madam curie, margaret thacher, florence nightingale.


        Thanks ZZ, whats the name of the movie? Do you know if its old or new? English or Hindi?

        Margarat Thatcher is an idiot. Now she is supporting Pinochet (because he is her friend), regardless of the fact that the dictator sent thousands to their deaths and conveniently had much of his opposition dissapear. She also indirectly supported apartheid in South Africa by speaking against sanctions. She has no morals.

        I don't know why the first 10 centuries are missing from the list...Didn't they think to include them in their survey - which is more of a popularity contest by the way. Its interesting to see that no women were chosen from Africa, East Asia or Latin America.

        Maybe all women should be honored for their achievements - at least they should head the list.



          Hindi movie, hema-dharmendra, dir. kamal amarohi. has a good song 'aayi zanzeer ki zankaar..'


            The movie is called "Razia Sultan".


              Thanks Muzna



                Indira Gandhi was one of the three main character in genocide of Bengalis in former East Pakistan. She was involved in breakup of Pakistan in 1971 to take revenge of 1965 war. In a way she is one of the evil lady of millenium who exploited Bengalis against Muslim brothers in West Pakistan and became the instrument in killing of 3 millions of Bengalis and rapping of innocent children. Her madness did not stop here, when she attacked ‘Golden Temple’ and massacre many of the Sikh separatists in the temple. This action ultimately became a death warrant for her when her own personal Sikh bodyguard killed her in one beautiful morning. Yes she is the woman in 1000 years but she was evil.

                With due respect, there is a “Hadith” on woman leadership which says “People who entrust their affairs to a woman would never see prosperity”. (Ref: Abu Huraira)



                  Indira Gandhi messed up as far as many things inside India is concerned. Agreed.

                  But why is she responsible for killing of three million bengalis and rape of Bengali women. It was carried out solely by Pakistani army. What was revenge of 65 war here. 65 war ended in stalemate and if you read western accounts of this war or even Pakistani accounts in recent time, in 'Nation', it was a mass hallucination to make Pakistan end of 65 war as 'Victory day'. There was no victory. In fact, Ayub regreted the war till the end.

                  India may have falicitated the break up of Pakistan, but there was never any goodwill between us and both countries played in other's internal affairs. India benefitted. Imagine how bad Kargil war would be if Pakistan fuelled trouble in northeast the same time. Now at least there is only one border to defend. Bengalis don't regret independence nor love Pakistanis. Pakistanis always considered Bengalis an inferior race. So what difference it has made?


                    I don't think Bengalis are an "inferior race" and I am Pakistani. Actually I don't know any Pakistanis who think that Bengalis are an "inferior race".




                      I was a little kid when war broke out between Pakistan and India in 1965. Indian bombers attacked Karachi one early morning of 18th September 1965 and after that we didn't see any Indian Airplane dared flying over Karachi till end of War. I will not go in to details at this time, but the fact is that when Ayub Khan, then President of Pakistan, gave all the lands won in war to Lal Bahadur Shastri, then Indian PM, he collapsed and died of happiness. He never dreamed that Pakistani President could be so idiot that he would return everything without bargaining for Kashmir.

                      Indra Gandhi was definitely a main character in genocide of Bengalis, when she trained "Mukti Bahini" in India returned them to former East Pakistan to form Bengla Desh. She successfully exploited the hatred theory between East and West and took revenge of the humiliation of defeat in 1965 war. Please correct your history.



                        do you think that such polls are unbiased?

                        Probably, last year one website in US conducted such poll. In the list was included the name of the last prophet Mohammed (saw). I received at least a dozen e-mail messages from friends in different parts of the world providing me the website link so that I can visit that site and vote for the prophet Mohammed (saw).

                        You drw up your own conclusion.

                        You conduct you own little poll. All those in US, Canada, UK, tomorrow, at your work place, asks ten of your colleagues if they know Indra Gandhi? Please report back here, what was the response like?