National Movement from the Female Gaze
Amol Saghar
THE ART OF FREEDOM: KAMALADEVI CHATTOPADHYAY AND THE MAKING OF MODERN INDIA by By Nico Slate Fourth Estate (an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers), 2024, pp., INR 799.00
June 2024, volume 48, No 6

Historiography of the Indian National Movement has for long focused on a few selected personalities. While shelves in libraries and homes are stacked with works on Gandhiji, Jawaharlal Nehru, Bhagat Singh and other revolutionaries and Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, to name a few, the role of a substantial number of freedom fighters has more or less been overlooked. Moreover, there has been a tendency among historians to study the national movement from a male gaze. Barring a few women leaders including Aruna Asaf Ali, Durga Bhabhi, Vijaylakshmi Pandit and Sarojini Naidu, the role of women in the freedom struggle has largely been ignored. One such woman who played an exceptionally important role, not just during the freedom struggle, but also in the period immediately after Independence, was Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay.

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