Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay – A Feminist with a remarkable contribution to the Independence Movement

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  1. Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay – Introduction
  2. Early Life
  3. Education
  4. Works


1. Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay – Introduction

Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay

Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay is epitomized as the modern Indian Women who was a freedom fighter, a reformer, a feminist and an entrepreneur. She is remembered for her contribution to the Independence Movement in India and had a big hand behind the renaissance of handicrafts, handlooms, and theatre in independent India while uplifting the socio-economic standard of Indian women.


2. Early Life

Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay

Kamaladevi Chattopadhyaya was born in Mangalore in 1903. Her parents were well-educated which facilitated her education. Her father was a senior civil servant while her mother was a staunch supporter of Pandita Ramabai and Sri Aurobindo. Her life had a lot of tragedies involved like the death of her sister and the death of her first husband soon after her marriage. She got married at the age of 11 to Krishna Rao, who died after a year of tieing the knot. At the age of 7, she lost her father and was sent to live with her maternal uncle, a notable social reformer. Through him, she came to know about a lot of eminent personalities like Tej Bahadur Sapura, Annie Besant, Mahadev Govind, and Pandita Ramabai. This interaction sowed a seed of political awareness while she was still a young girl.


3. Education

Later she met Harindranath Chattopadhyay and married him in 1919 through a civil registry ceremony. A few months later her husband traveled to Cambridge to study and she was left behind. But Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay too wished to study in the UK and it was upon her family to finance her education. She was enrolled in Bedford College, London to study Social Work in the form of a Diploma course. This enabled her to visit the slums which made a huge difference in her life.

Both Husband and Wife returned to India and Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay became actively involved with AIWC (All India Women’s Conference) and developed good bonds with recognized personalities like Margaret Cousins. She was also a part of Gandhi’s Salt Satyagraha.

Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay has also authored a few books like Japan-its weakness and Strength, Uncle Sam’s Empire and In war-torn China which dealt with International Relations. She became the first-ever Indian woman to run for the political office.


4. Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay – Works

1. After marrying the poet-playwright brother Harindranath Chattopadhyay, Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay acted in two silent movies.

2. Kamaladevi also joined the Seva Dal which was established to work for social upliftment for the poor and downtrodden.

3. She contested for a seat in Madras Provincial Legislative Assembly in 1926 but lost by 200 votes. Soon she was appointed as the President of the Congress Socialist Party in 1936 when she got a chance to work along with Jayaprakash Narayan, Minoo Masani and Ram Manohar Lohia.

4. Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay was a great source to spread a word about India’s situation during World War II which gathered a huge amount of support for India’s Independence.

There have been many unsung warriors and many like these are still not much known among the masses. Their struggle has made a huge impact on the image of her country and gender equality alongside unmatchable spirits which craved to work for their nation for the lifetime.

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Pranjali is currently pursuing Literature with Psychology for my graduation from the University of Delhi, She has an admiration for writing and therefore wishes to bring it to the professional use. Writing of any type interests her thereby, adding sensitivity to the words in her life.


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