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  • Tashvi Shukla

Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay: An Unknown Freedom Fighter

When problems arise, then so do true leaders with brilliant solutions. We saw many such leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Rani Lakshmi Bai take action during the freedom struggle. A very special and quite unknown person from this very century was Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay. When I read more about her, I realized that she was truly an extraordinary woman- a feminist, social reformer, artisan and freedom fighter.

Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay was born on 3rd April 1903 in Mangaluru. She was born to a family of liberal brahmins. She grew up surrounded by music, dance and art, which provided her with a rich and cultural upbringing. Her father passed away when she was very young.

Kamaladevi was a strong woman and a true feminist. She dedicated her entire life to the betterment and upliftment of women. She also rejected societal expectations multiple times. She pursued higher studies immediately after being widowed and then she remarried. She was also the first person to get a divorce legally. She was the first woman to run in the Madras elections and she only lost by a mere margin of 55 votes. She lived her life to the fullest. She acted in films which at that time were considered undignified. She helped the Indian artisans. She built a whole town and helped everyone in the town. She also built many institutions for “New India”. She loved her culture. She traveled all over the world, talked to fascinating people and saw wonderful sights and sceneries. She wrote many books. She did not possess a traditional mindset and was way ahead of her time. A liberal woman, who had opinions she was not afraid to share and was ready to listen to others. There was no obstacle she did not overcome. She dealt with society, racism and so many other problems. However, she was unperturbed by all this. She deserves to be lauded for all the work she has done for India, just like we laud Gandhiji and Nehru. Truly, she was a woman who had it all! I aspire to be just like her.

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