Battling Injustice by Supriya Vani is the biographical compilations of the life of 16 women Nobel Peace Laureates. The Nobel Peace Award is the most prestigious award granted for the promotion of peace. This book highlights the sacrifices and battles these women waged against injustice and to make this world a better place to live.
A Heavy Read
It is by far the most disturbing and distressing book I have ever read. I read one story at a time and always dreaded to continue reading more stories. The kind of struggle and troubles these women had endured, haunted me for days.
I have been born and brought up in peace time and still lives a comfortable life. For me it was unthinkable and unfathomable the kind of situations they and thousands of women had faced, many perished fighting and few survived till they achieved their goals. Battling Injustice is the stories of such courageous and inspiring women.
Following are the women awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize
Bertha Von Suttner (1905)
First woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for the foundation of the Austrian Peace Society.
Emily Greene Balch (1946)
Emily was the champion of peace at the time when all that men wanted was war.
Jane Addams (1931)
Janes Addams worked tirelessly to spread peace when the whole world was at war.
Mairead Maguire & Betty Williams (1976)
Both were soft hearted and compassionate women with iron steel will, to bring peace in Ireland.
Mother Teresa (1979)
Mother Teresa is a pious soul. I am a proud Loretian and grew up hearing tales of her kindness. But recently I have heard contradictory things about her through the book The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice by Christopher Hitchens. I am confused whom to believe.
Alva Myrdal (1982)
Alva Mydral is such an inspiring intellectual. Her suggestions that, ‘women could happily devote their lives to their families, yet enjoy a fruitful and satisfying career if they choose to consider their lives in stages. Simultaneously assuming the role of mother, wife and career woman would be debilitating experience’, is a progressive thought and more valid in today’s time than before.
Aung San Suu Kyi (1991)
Aung San Suu Kyi was recently in the news due to her approach towards Rohingya. I wished to read more about her and this book has a long and detailed chapter on her political journey. She was so strong, both emotionally and mentally, that Myanmar’s autocratic government failed to break her.
Rigoberta Menchu Tum’s (1992)
Rigoberta Menchu Tum’s (1992) story was shockingly painful. What kind of human beings are born on Earth who inflicts inhuman treatment to their fellow beings. Rigoberta, her family and many others were subject to such torture that it sends chills to my spine.
Jody Williams (1997)
I really salute Jodi Williams willpower. She didn’t allow to break herself even when she suffered the attack which every woman dreads. It was the rightful reply to her attacker.
Shirin Ebadi (2003)
I would like to remember Shirin Ebadi, the rest of my life, as a champion of human rights.
Wangari Maathai (2004)
Founder of Green Belt Movement, Wangari Maathai strived hard to save the environment in her country Kenya and then rest of the Africa as well.
Tawakkol Karman (2011)
Tawakkol Karman is a perfect blend of modernism and
traditionalism. I think from now onwards I will not be judgmental about Muslim women for their attire.
Leymah Gbowee & Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (2011)
I thought there was just one Hitler in this world. But Liberian history had witnessed many Hitler like tyrannical rulers who had crossed all the limits of evilness. If this was not enough, both Leymah and Ellen had personal Hitlers in their life in form of a Husband who did everything to make their life a living hell. But nothing could stop them as both were destined to become great women.
Malala Yousafzai (2014)
Lastly Malala the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Only the most ignorant wouldn’t know about her. Just a few weeks before taking up this book, I was reading her autobiography, I Am Malala. She is such an inspiring figure.
The book give details about their background, insights into their psyche, challenges and dangers they faced, their setbacks and fightback, about their valiant deeds and achievement and words of wisdom.
They were given choices. Either accept the fate and run away or stand up against the injustice. They all stood for the latter. They choose a rocky path and struggled up till the verge of getting perished.
But ultimately hope wins over despair, light wins over darkness and above all justice prevails, though it always came at a heavy price.
Malala was shot in the head, Jody was raped, Suu Kyi was under house arrest for 15 years, barring Mother Teresa and Alva Myrdal, others always faced the threat of getting murdered.
Women are nurturers. They have to come forward and play a crucial role in making this world a better place to live.
Women’s education is a must. Almost all of them continued with their studies whatever situation might had been.
Their stories gives courage and inspiration not to bow down to injustice without giving a fight. Not all women can fight injustice at a larger scale but at least we all can fight at a smaller scale, making small contributions to make this world a better and peaceful adobe for all the living beings.
This book has enhanced my knowledge about international politics and global affairs and issues.
It was an interesting theme to chose and the author Supriya Vani has done a commendable job in bringing out their stories. I never have a ounce idea that behind every Nobel Peace Prize winner there is such a dark history of mankind atrocity and barbarism.
Her writing was superb.
A must read.