A Woman of Valor... Indira Gandhi
by Maria Isabel Cecilia Pascual
Yes, she was and still is in my eyes a woman of valor...I grew up seeing her many faces, pictures and her stories in every morning newspapers delivered to us by this faithful newspaper seller. Even at a tender age, mother would always encourage us to read this kind of reading material including English books, that's so alien to us at that time. I should have listened to her then perhaps my English and grammar would have improved!!! I could still remember how she would get angry and would give us long sermons whenever she sees us reading or holding Komiks and Liwayway in particular. But at a young age who cares for those political news or current events that's happening in the world. We only have but childish dreams and whims at that time, like who will be the fastest runner, who will get the most guava fruits or who gets the most awesome toys and frilly dresses...
Perhaps I was not aware of my increasing curiosity and admiration for her as I was growing up. I maybe unconsciously skimming and reading news mostly about her, besides the cartoons, leisure and culture section and of course those ethereal pictures of Imelda Marcos just to check whether what dress or jewelry she has worn at every local or international engagements. At that time her numerous shoes were not the focus of controversies, it was mostly about the Martial Law and their political rival Mr. Benigno Aquino Sr...The late father of Noynoy C. Aquino Jr. who's now the current president of the Republic of the Philippines...
Many may have asked why Indira Gandhi? I have but few simple answers...She was the true and ultimate embodiment of a true female courage and strength, during the time when female were considered lesser and inferior counterpart of the male species. She was a ray of hope of every wife, mother, and daughter whom for a long time had been hiding in the shadow, voiceless, intimidated and disrespected...For us, she was the answer to all the prayers that were whispered in secrecy from the lips of our great, great grand female ancestors. She had showed her unwaivering quest for justice, freedom, equality and her dauntlessness in upholding her ideals even unto her untimely death.
Others may have different and contradicting opinion about her...Of her political views and practices. Mrs. Indira Gandhi's political rivals may have painted her as a corrupt leader who resorted to illegal proceedings just to maintain her power and position. I'd say every political figures who have reached and tasted the zenith of power were not immuned to greediness and self-indulgence . What made her stand out more was when she admitted to her mistakes and faced all her demons...For courage comes in many forms and shapes, it does not follow a common rule or pattern. A person may show his/ her will and true valor in several ways and in varying degrees. It is the courage to speak up and stand-up to defend one's name or honor, the courage to remain calm and silent when peace and diplomacy are at stake...The courage to admit defeat when you know that not all battles can be championed. Most of all the courage to show the real side of you, as human being without any tinge of pretense...The courage to love and lost and marvel with the reality that ''Yes! we are human with a heart, a conscience and a soul!"