How Journalist Gulshan Ewing Contributed to India's Feminist Movement

Gulshan Ewing was born in a Parsi family in India in 1928. She went on to become one of the first women journalists in Independent India.

Rudrani Gupta
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Gulshan Ewing

Gulshan Ewing, a famous Indian journalist and a celebrated editor succumbed to the deadly coronavirus at the age of 92. She breathed her last on April 18, at a home for the elderly in London.Gulshan Ewing was a journalist who interviewed many famous personalities in India and abroad. She is known for conducting the longest interview that the only female prime minister of India, Indira Gandhi, gave to any journalist. She was the editor of India’s most popular magazines, Eve’s Weekly, a women’s magazine and the film magazine Star & Style, from 1966 to 1989. The news of her demise was revealed by her daughter Anjali Erwin who told BBC, "I was right by her side when she stopped breathing.", confirming that Ewing had no former illness apart from the COVID-19 infection.


Her Early Life

Gulshan Ewing was born in a Parsi family in India in 1928. She went on to become one of the first women journalists in Independent India when very few women pursued journalism. After working with various publications, Ewing was appointed as the editor of Eve’s weekly and Star & Style. Ewing married a British journalist Guy Ewing in 1955 and gave birth two a son and a daughter- Roy Ewing and Anjali Ewing.

As the editor of the film magazine Star & Style, Gulshan Ewing befriended and interviewed many Bollywood and Hollywood personalities. In the photographs that have surfaced in the past few weeks, Gulshan Ewing is seen interviewing and spending quality time with Hollywood legends like Gregory Peck, Cary Grant and Roger Moor. She is also seen partying with Bollywood legends like Rajesh Khanna, Dilip Kumar, Shammi Kapoor, Dev Anand, Sunil Dutt and more. Her friendships with celebrities eventually gave her the status of a celebrity too.

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Ewing's Contribution To The Feminist Movements In India

Apart from this, Ewing is known for her feminist fervour that made a remarkable contribution to the feminist movement in India in the 1970s and 80s. The time when India had begun to see the surge of the feminist movements, campaigns against dowry deaths flared, Eve’s Weekly, a traditional women’s magazine of that time, published about recipes, fashion, beauty tips, the glamour of the models and actresses. Therefore, Ewing led the magazine in the feminist movement by making it more contemporary and feminist. She mentored the young journalists who started writing about domestic violence, child abuse, rape, marital and custodial rape and other disturbing issues. Subsequently, the magazine became famous for its revolutionary stand by questioning these stigmatized ideas in Indian society. It even published an article questioning the misogyny of the Hindu religion.


However, Ewing herself never wrote an article on gender equality, rape and other contemporary issues. She was down to earth, liked to socialize with people and never boasted about her fame. Ewing was hard-working and committed towards her work. She managed and commissioned two magazines for over 20 years.

Ewing Bids Goodbye To Writing and Later To The World

Later in 1990, she moved to London with her husband Guy Ewing and retired from writing and journalism. She devoted herself to her family. Anjali Ewing, her daughter and a journalist, told BBC, “For others, she was a famous mother, but for me she was mum; she was devoted to her family and paid a lot of attention to her husband and children".

Gulshan Ewing was ill for a week and died on April 18. A day after her death, Ewing's COVID-19 test revealed that she was infected. "I think mum was a very lucky woman, she had an amazing career, and she was loved and adored by her husband. It sounds funny to say it, but she had it all," said Anjali Ewing in the interview.

Also Read: How Coronavirus Changed My Life: A Freelance Journalist Shares

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