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Heroines with Guns

October 5, 2009
At the start of September came the News (and impressive images of) an all women battalion of BSF guarding the Indo-Pak Border [News link]. Soon enough a sorry Propaganda war erupted after a Pakistani newspaper reported an investigation alleging that 178 female members of its Border Security Force had been deployed to "meet the natural needs" of its male soldiers on the Line of Control.
[...] deputy inspector general of the Border Security Force said the claims were an "insult to Indian women".
"These women are aged 19-25 and most of them are from small towns and villages of Punjab. You can imagine the demoralising effect it can have on them," he said.

Then at the end of the month came an incredible News ( images and video, which I thought were unnecessary) from my home state.

21 year old Rukhsana Kausar from a remote village in Rajouri district in Jammu&Kashmir, axed a dreaded terrorist, snatched his AK-47 and then shot him dead.The women of that region, some select villages from Poonch-Rajouri, have been fighting (mostly using 303 rifles) since early 2000 as members of VDCs, Village Defense Committees. The idea took root in women when "In April 2004, eight Lashkar-e-Tayyaba fighters, avenging the death of their comrades, attacked the village of Dufali , when the men were out. Khatoom Begum, a villager who had learnt to use a rifle from her son, a VDC member, to protect their cattle, fired her weapon at the attackers and saved the lives of many before being killed herself." [News Link] Khatoom Begum inspired many other women of the region

A similar thing happened in case of Rukhsana Kausar, media carried stories (without any worry about her future security) how her heroic deed has inspired other women of the state. Soon enough, the girl and her family had to move out of town and live under state security in another town. Reason:
[...]reports suggest that terrorists "have spread the word of taking revenge on the family, not only because the 18-year-old killed their commander Abu Osama, but because the act has sent a message of resistance". "These words have been intercepted by the state police and intelligence agencies as well," the officer added.
Rukhsana's mother Rashida Begum said: "What has irked the Lashkar the most is the way media has showcased Rukhsana's courage and her bravery in recalling before the media the episode of killing the terrorist. It's for this reason the militants have become angry and desperate."'
Inspiration: In one of her first interview, she had this to say on her previous weapons training experience:
"I had never touched a rifle before this, let alone fired one - but I had seen heroes firing in films  "

Though she wasn't thinking of Indian Heroines with Guns, thoughts fail me at this -

For people looking to do a PHD on the subject of Women with Guns in the films from Indian Subcontinent head out to read a masterpiece by Pete Y.


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