Remembered for her heroics against the British, the Indian Joan of Arc Rani Lakshmibai remains an icon of the 1857 Indian Rebellion. The wife of Maharaja Gangadhar Rao, she is known for leading the fight against the British after her husband’s death. She also inspired the legendary lines Khoob Ladi Mardani.
The third Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi served as PM from 1966 till 1977 and then again from 1980 till her assassination in October 1984. She is considered one of India’s strongest PM and is hailed for leading India to victory over Pakistan in 1971, which resulted in the creation of Bangladesh. However, she is also categorised as authoritarian and is criticised for imposing Emergency in 1975.
Supreme Court lawyer and BJP leader Sushma Swaraj had held several ministries, such as external affairs and information and broadcasting. Named India’s “best loved politician” by Wall Street Journal, Swaraj was known for her prompt assistance to Indians in emergency situations abroad and was awarded the Padma Vibhushan posthumously.
Sarojini Naidu was an Indian poet and political activist. An important figure in the Indian Independence Movement, she was a proponent of anti-imperialistic ideas, women's rights, and civil rights. Her illustrious career as a poet earned her the nickname Nightingale of India. After India became independent, she became the first woman to hold the office of Governor in the Dominion of India.
Sonia Gandhi is an Indian politician and president of one of the most prominent Indian political parties, The Indian National Congress. As the president of Indian National Congress, which has been one of India's most successful political parties in the country's post-independence history, Sonia Gandhi remains one of the most powerful women in India.
7 Mary Kom
Shabana Azmi is an Indian actress best known for playing eccentric and unconventional characters. One of the most acclaimed and celebrated actresses, Azmi has won several prestigious awards, including a record five National Film Awards under the Best Actress category. In 2012, Shabana Azmi was honored with India's third-highest civilian honor, the Padma Bhushan.
10 Kiran Bedi
Kiran Bedi is an Indian police officer and social activist. In 1972, she became the first Indian woman to serve as an officer in the Indian Police Service. From 2016 to 2021, she served as the Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry, playing an important role in the development of the Indian Union Territory. Her life has inspired many films, including Karthavyam.
Pratibha Patil served as the president of India from 2007 to 2012 and was the first and only woman to have held the position. The INC member had also been the governor of the Indian state of Rajasthan earlier. She had started her political career as an MLA from Jalgaon.
Maneka Gandhi is an Indian politician, environmentalist, and animal rights activist. She is credited with inspiring several individuals towards social entrepreneurship. Maneka Gandhi is best known as an animal rights leader for which she has received several international awards. She is also credited with establishing an animal welfare organization named People for Animals.
18 Rakhi Sawant
22 Nusrat Jahan
25 Kirron Kher
Poonam Dhillon is an Indian actress who was one of the leading ladies in Hindi films in late 1970s and 1980s. A former Femina Miss India, Dhillon achieved national recognition in 1979 when she played Noorie Nabi in the romance film Noorie. Poonam Dhillon’s popularity was revived in 2009 when she appeared in the popular television reality show Bigg Boss.
Debashree Roy is an Indian dancer, choreographer, actress, animal rights activist, and politician. Best known for her work in the Bengali film industry, Debashree Roy has won several awards like the National Film Award. She is credited with establishing the Debasree Roy Foundation, which aims at helping stray animals.
Also known as Begum of Awadh, Begum Hazrat Mahal was the second wife of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah. She is remembered for rebelling against the British East India Company during the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Following her husband’s exile, she took over affairs in the state of Awadh. However, she was forced by the British to abandon Awadh.
Pramila Jayapal is a politician who has been serving as the U.S. House of Representatives from Washington's 7th district since 2017. She is the first woman of Indian origin to serve as the U.S. Representative. She is also the current Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. From 2015 to 2016, Jayapal served in the Washington Senate from the 37th district.
Vyjayanthimala is an Indian actress and dancer who played a major role in the Hindi film industry during the 1950s and 1960s. One of the most popular actresses of all time, Vyjayanthimala is also known for her contribution to South Indian movies. She is the recipient of several awards, including Filmfare Awards and Lifetime Achievement Awards at International film festivals.
43 Phoolan Devi
Phoolan Devi was an Indian bandit who later on became a politician. She was a victim of child marriage and later on gang raped by a group of upper caste men. To avenge her humiliation she went on to become the leader of gang of bandits Later on she became a politician and served as Member of Parliament. She was assassinated by an upper caste man.
47 Ameeta Singh
Padma Shri- and Arjuna Award-winning discus thrower Krishna Poonia created history when she became the first Indian discus thrower to qualify for the Olympic finals. Apart from a Commonwealth gold, she also has two Asian Games bronze medals in her kitty. She is now a Congress Party MLA.