Indian women rulers


Mangamma, Queen of Madurai: 18th century


Lakshmi Bhai – Queen of Jhansi, Freedom fighter:  19th century

—India attained independence from British rule in 1947 and has since elected its rulers—-

The president is the namesake (De-jure) head of the country, and the governor is the de-jure head of the states.

The prime minister is the active head (De-facto) of the country and chief ministers are the de-facto heads of states.

President and governor are appointed.

Prime minister and chief ministers are elected by the people.


Sarojini Nadu: First Governor of an Indian state 1947

Sarojini Naidu was followed by 26 female governors in various states of India since then until now.  See the list here.

Of course, the governor is the ‘de-jure’ and not ‘de-facto’ head and are selected and not elected by the people.

We have had women de-facto heads (Chief ministers) to states and the country as well., who have been elected by the people.


Indira Gandhi: First woman Prime minister of India: 1966


Sucheta Kriplani.  First female chief minister to an Indian state. 1962.



Nandini Satpathy: Chief minister of an Indian state: 1972


Shashikala Kakodhkar: Chief minister of an Indian state: 1973


Syeda Anwara Taimur: Chief minister of an Indian state: 1980


J. Jayalalitha:  Chiefminister of an Indian state – THRICE.  Current.


Mayawati:  Chief minister of an Indian state – THRICE


Rajinder Kaul Bhattal:  Chief Minister of an Indian state: 1996





Rabri Devi: Chief minister of an Indian state. THRICE


Sushma Swaraj: Chief minister of an Indian state: 1998


Sheila Dixit: Chief minister of an Indian state: 1998


Uma Bharti:  Chief minister of an Indian state: 2003


Vasundhara Raje:  Chief minister of an Indian state: Twice. Current.


Anandiben Patel: Chief minister of an Indian state: Current.

Our first woman president was


Pratiba Patil:  First woman president of India – 2007



6 thoughts on “Indian women rulers

  1. Bikramjit

    I am sorry but I would not put the Queens in the same category as the Politicians ,… Rani Laxmibai gave her life fighting or the country.. and Look at the politicians what have they done filled their own coffers putting the nation at risk..

    Look what Indira gandhi did .. forever put a divide between Sikhs and the rest of the indians .. why .. because the person she put in charge of helping her win elections went against her..

    It is a INSULT to the Queens putting them in the same bracket as these dirty politicians

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LG

      Relax, my friend.

      This post is not to assess and justify their calibre as leaders. None of the politicians has been any better or any worse than their male counterparts at various times. (This is also in reference to the recently declared results – HC may not have made any better a president than DT (or perhaps worse), but perhaps if it had been another male candidate instead of her, the scales may have tipped in the opposite side).

      This post is merely to say that in “third world” India, we have had women at the helm of things more often than not.

      So relax. I am not claiming IG or anyone else up there as being equivalent in valour and quality to the queens before. Just that our tradition has not excluded women from the top, from the 18th century. Or perhaps even earlier.

      Maybe I should have explained it in the post. I thought it was self-explanatory.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Bikramjit

        I am relaxed .. just giving my point of view. Thats all.

        and again sorry to say but why the reference to india as “THIRD WORLD” 🙂 .. when we were far more advanced then the so called First world and second world 🙂 ..

        its not the question of explanatory , your blog you do what you want to do, no one shud be telling you what to do or not to do..
        I said I WOULD NOT put them together .. thats all ..

        if you feel offended by the comment then let me know..


      2. LG

        Not at all. I was just wondering if the point did not come through clearly.
        “Third world” is a tongue and cheek reference to how the world sees us.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s