As far as political power is concerned, it would be interesting to compare Men rulers against Women rulers.
First of all, let us examine a wrong conviction that women are not as cruel as men.
Science has proved that due to the basic difference in thickness of some Amygdala in brains, women are more sentimental and less rational than men. Resultantly, they mix up personal and political issues together and take revenge. However, most of the men rulers foresee the consequences and take decisions.
(To give an example, when Aurangzeb ordered his general Zulfikar khan to capture the fort Ginjee, Zulfikar khan privately allowed Chhatrapati Rajaram to escape. This was a reciprocal action because in the near past during a battle near Ginjee, Maratha warriors had captured Zulfikar Khan’s Zanana. Rajaram, however, immediately sent his enemy’s Zanana back to him with due care and respect. This proved to be a great diplomatic move in future.)
Now let us see examples of women rulers who happened to be cruel.
Queen Mary was King Henry (the 8th)’s daughter and successor. She put all her opponents in prison and burnt most of them alive. During the regime of Elizabeth 1st, so many people lost their lives in the cold war between Elizabeth and Mary Queen of Scotland. At last Queen Mary was captured, imprisoned and ultimately killed by Elizabeth. Catherine of Russia killed her husband and Tzu Hsi of China killed all the claimants to the throne and grabbed the power. Sophia, the step sister of Peter the Great was also a ruthless killer.
Counter parts of all the above in India were Bayjabai Shinde, Tulsabai Holkar, the younger wife of the first Nizam of Hyderabad.
History has also proved that men can voluntarily give up the political power in their hands but women never. Bharat, Chanakya, Swami Vidyaranya, Mahatma Gandhi, Jayprakash Narayan etc. are the examples of those men who did not accept power although it was easily possible. Similarly, Bhagwan Buddha, Sir Thomas More, Chhatrapati Rajaram, Nelson Mandela etc. are the examples of those men who gave it up voluntarily. However, I can’t a recall a single name of such a woman. The only exception is of Sonia Gandhi who did not become Prime Minister even though it was just a question of her sweet will.
To the contrary, history has proved that the women power holders rule for longer time than men.
See for instance the duration of Queen Elizabeth First (45 years) & Second (55 ) and Victoria (65) of U.K., Tzu Hsi of China (47) and Catherine the Great of Russia(34). Also in England, Margaret Thatcher ruled continuously for 11 years and established a record in their history.
In India, Indira Gandhi would have easily surpassed Pandit Nehru if she was not killed. During the Maratha empire’s times, not a single Chhatrapati or Peshwa or Administrator like Nana Phadanvis was as fortunate as Ahilyabai Holkar to be alive to rule for 41 years. Presuming that men die early due to hardships and bad habits, it would still be interesting to study the reasons behind it.
One more difference between men and women rulers is that women rulers (at least in India) have hardly died on the battlefield. Rani Durgawati and Rani Laxmibai are the only exceptions.
(Extracted from ‘Mantarlela Itihas’ (Marathi) by Harshad Sarpotdar. Published by Deshmukh & Co, Pune.)