This 17-Year-Old's Illustrated Series On Badass Indian Queens Is Glorious

Mighty women of substance.

26/08/2016 1:16 PM IST | Updated 26/08/2016 3:01 PM IST
Taranandart/ Instagram

It the film, Lord of the Rings, when Eowyn engages in battle with the Witch King of Angmar, Chief Nazgûl, he tells her to give up because he cannot be beaten by any man. Eowyn replies, "I am no man" and goes on to defeat him. When Tara Anand watched the scene, she realised that that's what her illustrations sought to portray.

"I felt that this unabashed display of bravery and pride in being a woman was reflected in the women I chose to illustrate, so the title was pretty fitting," Anand, who is now 17 years old, told HuffPost India.

Anand often illustrates strong female characters from pop culture, and she decided to dedicate a series to Indian queens and warriors. "Because there's a generally prevalent belief that feminine strength is an idea brought to us by more 'progressive' western feminists. The purpose of this project was to dispute this belief and reiterate that strong and powerful women have always existed in India," she said in a self-assured tone.

"Initially, I started off with more well-known ones like Rani Lakshmibai but quickly realised that she wasn't an aberration. There were hundreds of women like her in Indian history, so I had to start choosing them [for the series]," Anand added.

Anand wants to expand the scope of feminism to include the underprivileged and marginalised sections of society and make it more grounded in an Indian context. "I think the feminist movement has been making incredible progress in the last decade," she said. "But I feel it's very prevalent among more privileged members of society who, very often, have a Western outlook on feminism. I think we need to find our own brand of feminism that includes and involves women from all castes, classes and faiths."

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