Kamla Bhasin, noted activist and author, passes away at 75

Updated on Sep 25, 2021 10:28 AM IST

Bhasin was suffering from cancer. She passed away on Saturday morning.   

Kamla Bhasin said feminism was not a war between men and women but a war of ideologies. (HT Photo)
Kamla Bhasin said feminism was not a war between men and women but a war of ideologies. (HT Photo)
By | Edited by Sohini Goswami, New Delhi

Kamla Bhasin, noted feminist activist and author, passed away on Saturday morning. The author and poet, 75, was battling cancer.

Bhasin, who had emerged as one of the most charismatic and prominent leaders of the women’s movement in India and other south Asian nations in the 1970s, always held that feminism was not a war between men and women but a war of ideologies. “One that elevates men and gives them power, and the other, that advocates for equality!” she said.

Also read | Long live the anthem writer of women’s movement

Her fellow activist Kavita Srivastava said Bhasin “celebrated life whatever the adversity”. “Kamla Bhasin, our dear friend, passed away around 3am today 25th Sept. This is a big setback for the women's movement in India and the South Asian region. She celebrated life whatever the adversity. Kamla you will always live in our hearts. In Sisterhood, which is in deep grief,” Srivastava wrote on Twitter.

Also read | The personal is political

Most noted for work with Sangat: A Feminist Network and her poem ‘Kyunki main ladki hoon, mujhe padhna hai’, Bhasin wore multiple hats and her achievements were many. She was also a social scientist and developmental professional and south Asia coordinator of the One Billion Rising Of Women.

In an article for Hindustan Times, she wrote, “Changing this mindset requires a cultural tsunami. Before we stop violence against women, we need to demolish innumerable religious, cultural, and linguistic practices that are considered normal. For example, words like ‘pati’ and ‘swami’ for husbands must go. These words mean ‘master’ or ‘owner’. In free India, an adult woman cannot — and should not — have an owner. There are many more similar words and expressions that demean and insult women. They, too, need to be purged from our consciousness."

 

 

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