Kamla Bhasin: A Feminist Who Lived By the Slogan ‘Rise, Not Fall, in Love’

Kalpana Viswanath

The Wire | September 29, 2021

Kamla Bhasin: A Feminist Who Lived By the Slogan ‘Rise, Not Fall, in Love’
Kamla Bhasin (1946–September 25, 2021). Photos: Taken from her Facebook page

Born in 1946 in Shahidanwali village in Punjab (now in Pakistan), Kamla Bhasin grew up in Rajasthan. After completing her post-graduation from Rajasthan University, she studied sociology in Germany and on her return in 1972 joined the Udaipur-based voluntary organisation Seva Mandir, which worked with the rural and urban poor – men and women – with the goal of “mobilising them for their own development”. From that point till September 25, 2021, when Kamla Bhasin, suffering from cancer, breathed her last, her life was a seamless journey of, in her own words, “being deeply engaged with issues related to gender, development, peace, identity politics, militarisation, human rights and democracy”; of exploring and articulating “connections between different issues and to promote synergies between different movements.” It was a journey during which the indefatigable feminist touched countless hearts. One of them was Kalpana Viswanath whose tribute to Kamla Bhasin looks back at three decades of association with her.

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