When the movie Suffragette came out in October, critics noticed something off: The film’s struggling women were all white. In fact, one of the most important women in the suffragette movement was an Indian princess, Sophia Duleep Singh. But she didn’t make an appearance in the movie.
“Suddenly there was this sort of tidal wave of outrage from people who were saying, why wasn’t she in the movie?” says Anita Anand, author of the book Sophia: Princess, Suffragette, Revolutionary. “So my first response was, why are you so angry? You hadn’t heard about her until fairly recently.”
Anand herself knew nothing about Sophia until she saw an interesting face in an old magazine photo. “It was black and white, but something about it just told me that this woman was as brown as I was,” she says. “She had the same sort of features as one of my aunties, and I just thought, you know, I’ve been a political journalist for 20 years; how is it that I don’t know about an Indian suffragette?”
Here’s how the suffragette princess disappeared from history.
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