Thank You Google, For Reminding Us to Celebrate Freedom Fighter Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay
A freedom fighter, actor, social activist, art enthusiast, politician and feminist rolled into one.
Seen here is the Google doodle of freedom fighter Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay ChImage credits: Google
Today, Google is celebrating the 115th birth anniversary of Kamladevi Chattopadhyay with a doodle. Chattopadhyay has donned too many hats-- of a freedom fighter, promoter of art, social activist, actor and a feminist.
Chattopadhyay, a pioneering feminist and socialist who participated in India's freedom struggle, was widely known for persuading Mahatma Gandhi to call upon women to participate in civil disobedience movements.
She worked relentlessly for the upliftment of the socio-economic standard of the Indian women. She was also the driving force behind the renaissance of Indian handicrafts, handlooms, and theatre in independent India.
Born in Mangalore (now Mangaluru) in 1903 and married at the age of 14, Chattopadhyay was widowed at 16. She married Harindranath Chattopadhyay at the age of 20 and later graduated with a diploma in Sociology in London.
After returning to India, Chattopadhyay joined the freedom movement and became the first woman to run for a legislative seat in India (to the Madras Legislative Assembly).
Google writes, “Chattopadhyay had a career of ‘firsts’ - from being the first woman to run for Legislative office to setting up some of the first national institutions to archive, protect, and promote Indian dance, drama, art, puppetry, music, and handicrafts. She was also one of the few women of her time to propose that women’s rights, religious freedoms, environmental justice, political independence, and civil rights are all interrelated movements.”
Designed by Finland-based artist Parvati Pillai, the doodle depicts Chattopadhyay surrounded by many of the cultural objects and practices she fought to elevate and protect, including the bhangra, the sitar, the sarangi, Kathak dance, Chhau dance, embroidery, basket weaving, and Kathaputli.
Dubbed as the "culture queen of India", she founded or was closely associated with several organisations such as All India Women's Congress, National School of Drama, Sangeet Natak Akademi, Central Cottage Industries Emporium, the Crafts Council of India, Indian Cooperative Union.
Recipient of Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship, the highest honour conferred by the Sangeet Natak Akademi, India's National Academy of Music, Dance & Drama, she passed away on October 29, 1988, at the age of 85.
Here are drafts of the Google doodle.
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