Great Women of Punjabi Origin

Punjab diyaN ManniaN PerwanniaN ZnaniaN

10. Nigar Ahmad
9. Asma Jahangir
8. Sushila Chayn
7. MukhtaraN Bibi
6. Sophia Duleep Singh
5. Kishwar Naheed
4. Tahira Mazhar Ali Khan
3. Vimla Dang
2. Gulab Kaur
1. Kewal Kaur

10. Nigar Ahmad
Nigar Ahmad, an educationist and a woman’s rights activist, was one of the founding members of Women Action Forum (WAF) established in the 1980s to fight General Ziaul Haq’s Islamicization policies that attacked women’s status in Pakistan. Later, Nigar founded Aurat Foundation and served as its Executive Director for many years.

Her contributions to the enhancement of the status of women include mobilizing women candidates to run for local government during the 1993 and 1997 general elections, organizing networks of citizens’ action committees in 70 districts to provide support to women; organizing national conferences and radio programs to inform peasant women on health and agricultural issues. ‘She was a consultant to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 1991 on the gender impact of a watershed management project in Azad Kashmir. She presented a case study to the Asian Development Bank on a pilot on credit for rural women, and, as a consultant to the United Nations Development Fund For Women, has been involved in a rural credit and gender sensitization training program of UNDP staff. Nigar has also been involved with the National Commission on the Status of Women, and the South Asian Partnership. She was a coauthor for the report on Women’s Development Programs for Pakistan’s Eighth Five-Year Plan.’ (

Nigar was awarded the Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah Life Time Achievement Award in 2010 for her work for the empowerment of women. She was one of the 1000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005, and a nominee from Pakistan of the Global Sisterhood Network.

Nigar was suffering from Parkinson’s disease. She was admitted to a hospital in Lahore for chest pain where she passed away on February 24, 2017. She was the daughter of Mian Riaz Uddin Ahmad, a prominent civil servant in the Punjab.

View complete post

9. Asma Jahangir
I had to face imprisonment and house arrests, but it made me tougher. As a lawyer, many a time I took up difficult and sensitive cases dealing with minorities’ and women’s rights. Yes, I constantly receive threats, and to be very honest, at times it is very scary. But I have to continue my work.’

Asma Jahangir is a lawyer (to say the least) defending the rights of women, children and men in Pakistan’s harsh climate of religious extremism, misogyny and child abuse. She does it in the courtroom, on the street, in the media, and on the international scene.

Since 1972, when she launched a case against the Government of the Punjab for the release of her father Malik Ghulam Jilani who was arrested for resigning from the National Assembly to protest the Pakistan Government’s military action in Bangladesh, Asma has been an honorable and courageous leader of Pakistan’s political, legal and social movements. She was part of the long-drawn campaign waged by women activists against the Hadood Ordinances and the draft law on evidence; She fought for brick kiln workers, and was able to force the parliament to pass a legislation in favor of bonded workers. She is a founding/serving member of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), Women Action Forum (WAF), Punjab Women Lawyers Association (PWLA), and of the AGHS Legal Aid Cell that offers free legal services to vulnerable population groups.

She was elected as the first woman President of the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan in 2010; she is a former chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, and a UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Arbitrary or Summary Executions from 1998 to 2004, and UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief from 2004 to 2010.

She is the author of Divine Sanction? The Hadood Ordinance (1988) and Children of a Lesser God: Child Prisoners of Pakistan (1992). She has received numerous international and national awards including honorary Doctor of Law degrees from universities in Switzerland, Canada, and the USA; the Right Livelihood Award or the ‘alternative Nobel prize’ in 2014; American Bar Association’s International Human Rights Award in 1992; the Martin Ennals Award, the Ramon Magsaysay Award, and Sitara-I-Imtiaz in 1995.

Asma was placed under house arrest and later imprisoned for participating in the movement for the restoration of democracy against the military regime of General Zia-ul-Haq in 1983. She, and her family, has often been a target of vandalism, violent attacks, hate campaigns and character assassinations by militant groups, political interests and their media representatives. Un-deterred, she continues to be a force to reckon with for each successive government and legal injunctions that violate the rights of Pakistan’s under-privileged people.

More on Asma is here

Contact Asma Jahangir

View complete post here
Asma Jahangir: A Great (Punjabi) Woman

8. Sushila Chayn

Sushila Chayn née Sharda, who passed away in October 2011 at age 88, was a Punjabi communist activist and leader of the [East] Punjab Istri Sabha. She devoted her entire life to the cause of national freedom, workers movement and the emancipation of women.

Born to Hindu reformist Arya Samaji parents of Pathankot she came into contact with Bibi Raghbir Kaur who was a Kirti-Ghadar Party member of Punjab State Legislative assembly, and became a political activist moving to the communist party headquarter in Lahore in 1941. At the time, she also worked amongst women in the district of Montgomery.

She displayed her organising skills in the kisãn peasants conference held in Fatehgarh Korotana in Ferozepur (now in Pakistan). Then she was deputed to work in Kangra district. This was the time when she got married to a party activist Chayn Singh Chayn. Along with Tahira Mazhar Ali, Vimla Dang and other Punjabi socialist women she worked day night collecting funds and other support for the victims of Bengal Famine.

A few yeas later in 1947 when the united Punjab was dismembered, Punjabi communists began to organise peace committees thus saving hundreds of Muslim, Hindu Sikh men, women and children from sectarian violence. Sushila was an important part of it, and later worked tirelessly in rehabilitating women victims of partition.

After 1947, the Chayn couple moved to Jalandhar and they both participated in the 1959 peasants’ anti-betterment levy agitation – Khush-hasiyati tax morcha.

She was the first ever woman panch of her village panchayat council in Daduwal. Till the end Sushila tackled the social problems at the grassroots level – dowry, domestic violence, casteism and inter-caste marriage.

Sushila is survived by her husband and their daughter Savita.

Sushila Chayn’s picture taken by Amarjit Chandan in Jalandhar, 1986.

MukhtaraN Bibi: A (the) Great Punjabi Woman!

Yes, its hard for me to just say ‘A Great…’ for the likes of MukhtaraN Bibi aka MukhtaraN Mai, and its not just because she makes me unashamedly proud of being a woman, a Punjabi, a Pakistani, a South Asian, a human.

Her story is known to us but it is not certain if it has been told. We know that a woman was punished by a jirga for the actions of her younger brother, June 2002 in Meerwala. On the orders of the jirga, MukhtaraN Bibi was gang-raped by the men of the aggrieved (influential) family to avenge the sexual liasons of her (lower status) brother with one of ‘their’ women.

MukhtaraN Bibi would have taken the rap of justice however hard but not that forced play on the ugly set of a live porn show. As is usual in such cases, the set that was erected to mount that gang-rape was conceived, staged and protected by local male elders, politicians, and law enforcers. It was an ‘honour’ kill without the dead body.

In the pit of physical pain, shame and humiliation, MukhtaraN Bibi may have come to know the meaning of many words but we are certain of one: ‘Ignorance’. (‘My slogan is to end oppression through education‘).

It is not unusual for women to receive punishment for the actions of their male family members in a country where ‘honour’ means ‘male revenge’, and killing for it is an acceptable social practice. Even in that environment, the punishment given to MukhtaraN Bibi by that local court of ‘justice’ was unacceptable for the larger society. Yet this was not the most unusual thing about this case. The most unusual thing was what MukhtaraN Bibi did after the porn show was over. Instead of going insane with shame, despairing to the point of committing suicide or accepting the status of a whore in the area, MukhtaraN Bibi stood up, gathered support, fought the system-backed aggressors, and won!

Oh victimized she was and survive she did as she changed the meaning of both ‘Victim’ and ‘Survivor’!

Even when the real criminals have still not been punished, MukhtaraN Bibi is victorious at many different levels. She has reclaimed her honour in her area and beyond, opened schools in her community to fight ignorance with the money she had received for her strengths and leadership, has become a continual source of inspiration and strength for women, and is one of the major reasons for creating an atmosphere for the jirgas to be declared illegal in Pakistan.

Though jirgas still thrive and continue to generate an ‘official’ form of community violence against women and men of lower social groups, a strong blow to this entrenched system of religio-feudal oppression has been dealt by MukharaN Mai; and, here comes a Punjabi poem for her in roman:

Sohn MukhtaraN!
By Fauzia Rafiq

Terae pairaN haiThhaN jutti
jutti thallae nissaldi mitti
soohae rang vich ghol
mathae tae lawaN
Ek mitti Punjabi
utae tera parchhawaN
Inj laggae Bibo
ajjo dil. dlairee pawaN

Update: April 22/11
Pakistan Shariat Court Delivers Sham Justice in MukharaN Mai Gang Rape Case

Sources and Links to more information:
Chronology of Events
Mai’s Profile on Wikipedia
‘Whose Justice? MUKHTARAN MAI: Punishment of the innocent’: Amnesty International
Mai’s Blog: Poland Travelogue
Interview with Mukhtaran Mai
A film ‘Mukhtiar Mai: The Struggle for Justice’ by Journalist Beena Sarwar

Continued here


Sophia Duleep Singh
A Great Punjabi Woman


If I am not a person for the purposes of representation, why should I be a fit person for taxation?”

Sophia Duleep Singh was a Punjabi born and brought up in the UK where she fought for gender equality in the suffragette movement. Her interventions on behalf of Women’s Tax Resistance League (WTRL) where she would refuse to pay taxes and be penalized to bring home the point that the prevailing disenfranchisement of women was an unfair practice that needed to be changed by giving women the right to vote.

Between 1909 to 1914, Sophia also became an active leading member of Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) at the local and national level. She was one of the leaders of the WSPU delegation to the British House of Commons on 18 November 1910, the day known as Black Friday. Two women died due to police violence, and two hundred were arrested out of the 300 women who had marched that day to stop the Parliament from shelving a Conciliation Bill that would have allowed some women to vote in the General Election. Police aggression against unarmed protesters brought the public opinion in favor of suffrage.

As well, Sophia supported Punjabi communities in Britain in different ways. She was the only ‘Indian’ member of the WTRL, and created support in the Indian community for women’s right to vote by bringing ‘Indian Suffregettes’ into the British women’s movement. She also organized supporting events for British Indian troops, and helped establish a Lascar Club in London to alleviate the economic conditions of Indian sea workers on British ships.

The Fifth daughter of the last Sikh Sovereign of the Punjab, Princess Sophia Alexandrowna Duleep Singh was born 1876 in Suffolk to Maharani Bamba and Maharaja Duleep Singh.

The woman who became her ‘God Mother’ was the same person who 27 years back had usurped the land, the kingdom, the crown, and the Kohinoor jewel from Sophia’s father; and, had rendered him bereft of his childhood, youth and pride by plucking him away in his teens from his people, his religion and his legacy. To Sophia’s people in the Punjab, Queen Victoria had caused widespread persecution before, during and after the two Anglo-Sikh wars.

Sophia Duleep Singh is a Great woman not just because of her substantial role as an activist in womens rights movement but for the serene and determined face of resistance and resolution she brought forward out of all the humiliation, violence and abuse of her colonial history. Out of all the privileges, favors and possessions awarded by the British Crown; and, out of the utter powerlessness, estrangement and dispossession of her own family, the voice that emerges is calm and aware:
I am unable conscientiously to pay money to the state, as I am not allowed to exercise any control over its expenditure; neither am I allowed any voice in the choosing of Members of Parliament, whose salaries I help to pay. This is very unjust. When the women of England are enfranchised and the state acknowledges me as a citizen I shall, of course, pay my share willingly towards its upkeep. If I am not a fit person for the purpose of representation, why should I be a fit person for taxation?”
(Politicians and Suffragettes)

Sohpia’s colonial history with all its humiliation, grandeur and dispossession is our colonial history but for one important difference. The level of her dispossession was so complete that she along with the rest of her seven brothers and sisters from the two wives of Maharaja Duleep Singh, did not dare to concieve a child.

View some of Sophia’s photos at Uddari Photo Album page.

‘Giano’ an essay by Amarjit Chandan

Sources and additional information:
Lives and Times
Sophia’s Photo at the Museum of London
Sophia Duleep Singh: Wikipedia
Black Friday
Official Website of Maharaja Duleep Singh
The Duleep Singhs: Photograph album of Queen Victoria’s Maharajah by Peter Bance
‘H.H. Maharajadhiraja Duleep Singh Bahadur’ by Dr. Naqvi
Bamba Muller 1848 to 1886
‘The Kohinoor, Duleep Singh and his descendants’ by Gurmukh S. Sandhu
Maharajah Duleep Singh, From Lahore to Elveden. (1838-1893)
A review of ‘The Maharajah’s Box by Christy Campbell’
Books on:
Suffragette Movement


Kishwar Naheed

A Great Woman from the Punjab

Poet Kishwar Naheed, Urdu, Punjab

Kishwar Naheed

Kishwar Naheed is one of those few women who command a kind of respect for their work that continues on to transform into love at some point in one’s life. I have always felt indebted to Kishwar for the face of courage she continued to show as a poet and as a person amidst political turmoils, personal sorrows and social discriminations. From 1970’s in Lahore to 2007 in Islamabad, Kishwar has become stronger, more together, prettier, and even more of a direct person; and, like many Pakistan women, i can say that i have grown to love Kishwar Naheed.

Kishwar was born in Uttar Pardesh in India in 1940, and came to Lahore in the Punjab after the Partition of 1947. From that time on, Kishwar lived and worked in Lahore with some digressions into other cities, and after retirement settled in Islamabad in her cozy two bedroom apartment. Urdu is her mother tongue, and that is the language she basically worked in but her administration role/s at National Centre, National Council of the Arts, Urdu Board and other positions allowed her to develop literary communities that involved both Urdu, Punjabi and other language writers. Kishwar was married to Poet Yousuf Kamran, raised two sons with him as a working woman, and then continued to support her family after his death in the Eighties.

I can not tell you when i first saw Kishwar but i bet it was in the heat of the Seventies in Lahore where Kishwar had already emerged as a poet with two collections of Urdu poetry, ‘Lab-I goya’ in 1968 and ‘Benam musafat’ in 1971; and was the recipient of Adamjee Award for Literature in 1969. From the start, i admired the strength of her voice, poetic and otherwise, in dealing with a sexist social milieu that was geared to strike dissenting women hard.

By 1991, she had published six collections of Urdu poetry, many anthologies, biographies, translations, travelogues and textbooks for children. Later, she won Unesco prize for ‘Dais Dais Ki Kahanian’, a book of short stories for children, and the prestigious Sitara-e-Imtiaz for lifetime achievements.

Here are two of her poems ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ in English:

Kishwar Naheed

A delicate awareness of life
Dawned in the desolation of my body.
The deception of the shore’s indifference
And the futility of surging waves.
Every limb is asking:
Now tell us
If you know why a flower blossoms.
I laugh
And create a riot in the garden.

Kishwar Naheed

Selling mirrors
In the lap of hope’s mountain,
I was alone reaping losses.
I was tall like the Pleiades,
Was concerned with only me;
Lost in myself

Marching apart,
I hated the glow of yes.
Then, I killed myself,
Drank my blood,
People had never heard
Such frightening laughter.
(Poems translated by Baidar Bakht and Derek M. Cohen for ‘The Scream of an Illegitimate Voice’, Lahore 1991)

Resources on Kishwar:
Kishwar reads her poem ‘Hum gunahgar aurtaiN’ We Sinful Women
Her profile at the Library of Congress
Collection of Kishwar’s Urdu poems
Poems translated by Rukhsana Ahmed
Entry at the Foundation of SAARC Writers and Literature
‘Kishwar Naheed Looks Back’ by Khalid Hasan

Kishwar-e-naheed Shaad Baad!
More on Kishwar Naheed


Tahira Mazhar Ali Khan

A Great Punjabi Woman

60 Years of Beauty

Sixty Years of Unflinching Beauty, 1948-2008

Tahira Mazhar Ali is one of the brightest stars in my life, and I know, in the lives of many Punjabi and Pakistani women. A founding member of Democratic Women’s Association (DWA), she began leading in 1948, the first political organization of women in the newly formed country. At that time, there were may be three national level organizations of women; All Pakistan Women’s Association (APWA), Christian Women’s Associations, and Women’s Guards. From that time on, Tahira was active in creating social change for equality in the Punjab.

I saw her in early Seventies in Lahore during protests and rallies; she was strong, unafraid, and confident about voicing her views and, through the devastating Eighties, consistent in acting upon them. Then, I saw her in 2007 presiding over a rally of women workers to celebrate the International Women’s Day. As beautiful as ever, now 80-plus, she appeared invincible having lived a life of rights activism in a country where the Army does not know how to stay inside the barracks, democracy is a scared rat that we sometimes see racing across our backyard, and men and Muslims are given the divine right to dominate women and the minorities in the name of the religion of the state.

We are lucky to behold Tahira Mazhar Ali From 1948 to 2008, a 60-year long legacy of a glorious ongoing fight for democratic rights of people, especially women and organized workers, in the Punjab. During this time, she has nourished a society and a family with amazing results. As she stands alone in her own right in the movement for democracy in Pakistan, she has nurtured her lifelong partnership with Editor/Activist Mazhar Ali Khan of Weekly Viewpoint Lahore who was almost always in opposition to the policies of the existing military or civilian governments increasing hardship in their daily lives; has brought up Tariq Ali who is evolving his own amazing legacy in England; and Maher Ali who is working as a journalist in Australia.

I was hoping somehow that Tahira would be finishing up her memoirs right about now.

More information:

Tales of resistance by By Ammar Ali Jan in Daily Jang

An activist to the core by Shehar Bano Khan in Daily Dawn

56 years of women’s rights activism by Ali Waqar in Daily Times

Photo by Amarjit Chandan

Pakistani Women


Vimla Dang

A Great Woman of Punjabi Origin

Vimla Dang, a great Punjabi woman
Vimla Dang née Bakaaya (December 26, 1926 Allahabad) a Punjabi of Kashmiri descent has been a role model of East Punjabi feminists. She along with all her siblings joined the progressive movement at an early age, becoming activists of the Lahore Students Union and the Friends of the Soviet Union. While she was a college student in Lahore in early 1940s, she went to Chittagong in Bengal and raised money for famine relief. In 1952, she married Communist leader Satya Pal Dang – a Government College Lahore alumni – and has lived since in Chheharta, Amritsar. Vimla worked among women primarily and was the General Secretary of the Punjab lstri Sabha (Women’s Organisation) for many years.

In 1991 she was felicitated with the Padma Shri by the President of India for her social work. She was a correspondent for Blitz and New Age for a few years. She was elected to the Punjab Assembly in 1992.

Sat Pal Dang was the first President of erstwhile Municipal Committee Chheharta (1953–67) while Vimla was its President from 1968 till Chheharta was merged into Amritsar. Known for their hard work, honesty and simple living the Dangs set another example by voluntarily withdrawing from elective posts in the Communist Party of India and outside in 1997.

Inspite of her age Vimla is still active in the Punjab Istri Sabha Relief Trust and the Aruna Asaf Ali Trust to help disadvantaged sections of Punjabi society.

Vimla Dang rests in peace. May 10, 2009.


Gulab Kaur

A Great Punjabi Woman
Gulab Kaur, Member Ghadr Party. Photo by Amarjit Chandan

Gulab Kaur, a revolutionary of early 1900s, is the first Great Punjabi Woman featured here though we know little about her.

Yet there is this amazing possibility that this post may find someone who can tell us more.

Gulab Kaur (circa 1890 Bakhshiwala District Sangrur – 1931)
According to Amarjit Chandan, Gulab joined Ghadr Party (established California, June 1913) in the Philippines where Hafiz Abdullah of Jagraon was the President of the local branch. She also worked with other Ghadr Party leaders such as Banta Singh Sanghwal and Harnam Singh Tundilat. Gulab Kaur kept vigil on party printing press in guise, and helped in the distribution of arms and literature.

Gulab Kaur suffered two years imprisonment in Lahore.

Freedom Fighters


Kewal Kaur

A Great Punjabi Woman
Kewal Kaur, a Naxalite activist. Photo by A. Chandan

From the information provided by Amarjit Chandan, this is all we know about Kewal Kaur:

Kewal Kaur (c1940. Samrai BhodaN. Jalandhar – 1982)

An activist of the Maoist-Naxalite CPI (ML) in East Punjab, Kewal Kaur was jailed during Moga agitation in 1972.

She was the Editor of a Punjabi magazine Ma (The Mother).

Kewal Kaur was forced to commit suicide in Jalandhar in 1982.

Photo by Amarjit Chandan, Jallandhar 1974

Great Punjabi Women, Great Women of Punjabi Origin and Great Women from the Punjab is spurred by Author Amarjit Chandan who sent the photos of Gulab Kaur (from his collection) and Kewal Kaur (taken by him in 1974) after having already provided an unpublished photo of Punjabi Actress Ragini (taken in 1943 by her fan Partap Singh Ahdan).

At this stage, there are disparities in the levels of available information about each person that, among other things, also point to the kind of discrimination faced by women at an earlier time in our herstory.

The exciting part is that now there is a greater chance that we can fill these gaps in information.

We want to collect information about great Punjabi women, great women of Punjabi origin and the great women of the Punjab in all walks of life and from everywhere in the world.

We will attempt to provide basic facts about each woman, with links leading to detailed information, where available. Our ‘basic fact’ threshold is low; name, a digital photo, profession, time period, places of birth and residence, list of major works/contributions, link/s to detailed information, comments by the writer (optional), and source/credit of photo.

Your help is desired and needed; so, please add to it by posting a comment or by sending an email


48 comments on “Great Women of Punjabi Origin

  1. […] has men like Farīd (1173-1266), Nānak (1469-1530), and Bulleh Shah (1680-1757). It has women like Sophia Dulīp Singh (1876-1948), Gulab Kaur (c. 1890-1931) and Tahira Mazhar Alī Khān (1948-2008). I like to remember […]


  2. Balraj Sidhu says:

    Great post and overall effort to document Punjabi Literature and Authors.
    Keep up the good work!


  3. […] great-women-of-punjabi-origin/#ASMA […]


  4. […] View the above on its page Great Women of Punjabi Origin […]


  5. […] by Sanjh Publications in Lahore in 2007, I was indeed curious to know what some people, including Kishwar Naheed, would think of it. For the Islamabad launch, I offered her a copy. She looked at the cover, and an […]


  6. i want to read about great woman of Punjab of 70s


  7. Anonymous says:



  8. […] . Beauty MukhtaraN For Bibi MukhtaraN Mai […]


  9. Ronuq Shah says:

    It is a good collection but please remove Mukhtaran Mai
    As sheim is a vicish Agentstim of tragedy not a revolutionary .
    As for GULAB KAUR we must salute and not forget that
    Independence of IndoPak was a fruitful result of the
    Sacrifices done by martyrs of Ghadar Party of Canada and
    USA who really started the revolution on the west coast of
    North America. As for my opinion Jinnah, Nehru, Gandhi and
    Sardar Patil were all British agents and indian national TRAITORS
    responsible for murder of millions of muslims.sikhs and Hindus
    In 1947


  10. […] Great Punjabi Women (link) Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. Filed under Uncategorized and tagged Punjabi | Leave a comment […]


  11. Researching Punjabi Architecture


  12. Uddari says:

    Saqib Jee, buhut mehrbani Uddari te phera paan de.

    Pehlay te Facebook te Pancham Sulaikh Sung te Fareed Rung banan de mubarak. Saathi aithay vekh sakday nain:
    Pancham Sulaikh SaNg (Punjabi Literary Group):
    FAREED RANG (Punjabi Creative Writings and Thoughts):

    Main te jee barri depress aan, Great Women te Punjabi Writers aalay pages toon. Donwan vich be-shumar loki nain. Eh kam vadda ae te hyati nikki. Please help karo te eh sohna banay, nahin te aiwain adh-pchada reh jana ae.

    Ek te open list banani ae likhariyan te zananiyan de, dooja basic intro te photo.

    Keiwain kereye?


  13. maqsood saqib says:

    Gulab Kaur, Sushila Chayn, Kewal Kaur, Vimla Dang, Sophia Duleep Singh te Tahira Mazhar Ali Khan baare parrh k changa lagga —- hor v kinniyaan beebiyaan san jehnaan Punjab di revoutionary struggle vich seer paya —- sabh da pata hona chahida a —- tussan changge kamm da muddh bannhya a —- aihnoon agge vdhaana v hun tssan e a —- jeende rhvo


  14. Anon says:

    Can you remove Kishwar Naheed from the list?

    She is not Punjabi, and never will be. Even living in Lahore for so long, she promoted Urdu. Her bio on this site explains about her work in urdu. this site is for Punjab and Punjabi.


  15. Reading comments on your Great Panjabi Women page, there are many positive points about the effort:

    1. It is a good start;
    2. Panjabi women who has contributed should not be forgotton, Amarjit Chandan’s research is commendable.
    3. One can always disagree with an entry, it’s a personal choice, it doesn’t mean that effort should not be made.
    4. Women who were victims of the male dominance and still they taken the fight should be recognised and celebrated.

    We have set up Five Rivers Trust, and started, we would like to include these women in our site, and more please send all entries to

    Avtarjeet Dhanjal


  16. Blood-Ink-Diary says:

    Wonderful post! I think Amrita Pritam would also be on eof the great Punjabi women, as she had penned numerous poems and books.
    Kee it up!


  17. […] district. This was the time when she got married to a party activist Chayn Singh Chayn. Along with Tahira Mazhar Ali, Vimla Dang and other Punjabi socialist women she worked day night collecting funds and other […]


  18. sahar bano says:

    your efforts about the publishing of material to introduce the crimes of a society are very appreciatable and valuable for the civil Society.
    We are also with you in this ragards.


  19. Attockonians says:

    Hello I saw on some news channel that Mukhara Mai has become a social worker, is it really true?


  20. Your site was extremely interesting, especially since I was searching for thoughts on this subject last Thursday.

    Robert Shumake Paul Nicoletti


  21. Hey very nice blog!!….I’m an instant fan, I have bookmarked you and I’ll be checking back on a regular….See ya

    Robert Shumake Paul Nicoletti


  22. Just wanted to say that I read your blog quite frequently and I’m always amazed at some of the stuff people post here. But keep up the good work, it’s always interesting.
    See ya,


  23. raj kumar says:

    i am very thankful for these womem who works for human


  24. your efforts are really appreciable to remember the details of all those great ladies who devoted their whole life not only for a country, community or religion but for the betterment of whole society..whole world…
    I saw the photo of great lady kewal kaur after a long time and recollected the all those issues of Maa…which i read….; I also felt relief & satisfaction to see the photo of another great lady Vimla Daang…who taught me many lessons to live a struggling life even during my childhood at Ludhiana & Amritsar….

    Rector Kathuria (


  25. […] On May 10, 2009, after experiencing a brief illness, Vimla passed away. View her profile: A Great Woman from the Punjab. […]


  26. bhushan says:

    Vimla Dang passed away yesterday


  27. fauzia rafiq says:

    Hi Chitra,
    Delighted to have you, please add to the information on Vimla Dang. And photos.
    Thank you,


  28. Chitra says:

    Vimla Dang is Kashmiri, married to a Punjabi :) I’m proud to say she’s my grand aunt.


  29. fauzia rafiq says:

    Thank you, Mrs. Sanghera, for visiting Uddari.

    Please feel free to download and use materials as you like with credit to ‘Uddari Weblog at‘.

    Also view the following page to find poems by and about Punjabi women:
    And Punjabi women artists:



  30. nishatro says:

    Panjabi Womens Subcommittee of ilford, uk-thank you for your interesting info re women..we want to do an exhibition about women at the panjabi centre & started gathering useful & comprehensive materials-is it ok to download & use your info ? any other help would be appreciated
    mrs n p sanghera [secretary of PaWS]


  31. […] by sending original photos of over a dozen great inspiring women, he hurried the creation of ‘Great women of Punjabi origin‘ in the very first month of Uddari. Photos included activists Gulab Kaur, Kewal Kaur, Tahira […]


  32. […] Great Women of Punjabi Origin: Punjab deyaN ManniaN PerwanniaN ZnaniaN 1,931 views […]


  33. […] Uddari Page: Great Women of Punjabi Origin, Punjab deyaN ManniaN PerwanniaN ZnaniaN Published on: 2008/04/20 First Great Woman: Kewal Kaur: A Great Punjabi Woman Photo and information […]


  34. punjabi says:

    This whole Mukhtraan being a punjabi hero is bakwas…I surly feel for her but dont understand her being a hero


  35. sat shri akaal. hi these womens were really great. they did very good work for their country. and thank you very much. i n ever hear about these brave womens. i live in australia, now i knw wats my coulture.


  36. gurmangat singh says:

    it is a great collection of about life history of great punjabi women. you may also include the life history some other punjabi women like Kiran bedi,Amrita pritam,etc.


  37. Shalley K. Gupta says:

    Two more names should be added to this roster:
    Amrita Pritam
    Sheila Didi


  38. Sukhjinder Bajwa says:

    Thanks for introducing to the ones hardly ever talked about, the Hidden Punjabi Gems, The Great Punjabi Women of the 19th and 20th centuries. Is it possible to publish the site contents in Shahmukhi and Gurmukhi Lipis of our Maa-Boli Punjabi? Just a thought.



  39. Jasdeep says:

    Wonderful compilation, great to have a high voltage online Punjabi journal



  40. […] Thekaanay View Profile: Kewal Kaur: A Great Punjabi Woman Amarjit Chandan Uddari Weblog ‹ […]


  41. Prem Singh says:

    Informative & thoughtful feature


  42. sabyesachi says:

    Dear frinds,

    You are invited to the Film Festival 08 : East Speaks, Here – Asia & Middle East ‘s first online film festival, now live at

    the hearts & minds of storytellers, from various countries, unveiled
    at this open film festival presented by Culture Unplugged Studios in partnership
    with you and all the film-makers participating.

    the festival, wishing to focus on not just films, nor just film-makers,
    but the consciousness transplanted thru cinema.
    Be the jury and Enjoy! Film Festival 08 : East Speaks, Here.
    watch, vote and spread the buzz in your community, on your social networks, in your blogs.

    promote films. promote consciousness.

    Sabyesachi Bharti
    Culture Unplugged Film Festival Team


  43. Prem Singh says:

    it is really a great effort to list the Punjabi women on this site we should have to save the history for the efforts done by these personalities.Would u pls check the name “Japji Khaira” on internet.Growned up in Australia, though won the title of Miss World Punjaban (World wide pagent for punjabi culture ,heritage and its values to maintain in our coming generations.Around 3500 girls participated all over the world.Amazing , she was only 19yrs old in 2006 when she won the title.In 2007 she played the main female lead role in punjabi film Miti Wajan Mardi against world known Punjabi singer and renowned actor Harbhajan Mann.The film was directed by Hon director S Manmohan Singh who gave directions to films: Asa Nu Mann Wattan Da,Dil Apna Punjabiand many more.


  44. Chaman lal says:

    It is very inspiring to read about these great women. I also met Tahira Mazhar Ali in Lahore in April 2007 and share the author’s observations.


  45. […] Years of Beauty: Tahira Mazhar Ali Khan A Great Punjabi Woman at Great Women of Punjabi Origin. Founding member of Democratic Women’s Association (DWA) in 1948, she is active in leading […]


  46. Manpreet says:

    It is a great endeavor. I m sure I would also be able to contribute at some point of time. I will keep coming back,

    Keep up the good work


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