Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay
GST – Goods & Service Tax
March 26, 2018
Indian Sign Language
April 3, 2018

Today, 3 April 2018, is the 115th birth anniversary of Kamladevi Chattopadhyay, a social reformer who participated in India’s freedom struggle. Her views on women’s rights issues are as relevant in the modern times.

Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay was an Indian social reformer and freedom fighter, who is most remembered for her contribution to the Indian independence movement. She was the driving force behind the renaissance of Indian handicrafts, handlooms, and theatre in independent India. She also worked for the upliftment of the socio-economic standard of Indian women by pioneering the co-operative movement.

She was born on 3 April 1903 in Mangalore, Kamladevi gradually emerged as one of the few feminist freedom fighters. She worked for the refugees and also contributed to the cultural landscape. Kamladevi Chattopadhyay was a driving force behind setting up of key cultural institutions in the country including National School of Drama, World Crafts Council, Central Cottage Industries Emporium and Sangeet Natak Academy.

Kamladevi travelled to London to study. She joined Indian National Congress in 1927 and gradually became the first Indian woman to be arrested by British for entering Bombay Stock Exchange and sell packets of contraband salt in 1930. In fact, Kamladevi also disagreed with Mahatama Gandhi when he opposed inclusion of women in salt satyagraha.

She was also the first Indian women to run for a political office. In 1926, after she met the founder of All India Women’s Congress, Margaret Cousins, Kamladevi contested for a seat in Madras Legislative assembly, however, she lost by just 55 votes.

In 1974, she was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship the highest honour conferred by the Sangeet Natak Akademi, India’s National Academy of Music, Dance & Drama

She died on October 29, 1988.