Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay was an Indian social reformer with immense contribution to the Indian independence movement. She was not just a freedom fighter but a theatre artist, social activist, art enthusiast, politician and free-thinking feminist all rolled into one. Naturally, her contributions are many and diverse. She was one of the inspirations behind the revolution in Indian handicrafts and handlooms. She was born on April 3, 1903, in Mangalore and Google doodle today honors her on her 115th birth anniversary.
The doodle shows her multifaceted talent very well, with her surrounded by art forms of music and dance and also small figurines indulging in weaving handlooms. Kamaladevi successfully encouraged women to a part of the Indian Independence Movement very actively. She was a woman who wasn’t just restricted to one field, she tried her hand at different things and aced in them.
Kamaladevi was the first woman to run for Legislative office. Along with that, she was also the first woman who set up institutions at a national level to encourage Indian dance, drama, art, puppetry, music, and handicrafts. She also dared to speak about women’s rights in a time when we were struggling for our own Independence. She tried to make a strong point about how all the movements, be it fighting for religious freedom or environmental justice were all interconnected. From her young age, Kamaladevi was very strongly directed to political consciousness.
Kamaladevi was a great performer and she took the art across India, she experimented with folk theatre and regional drama. She has even acted in silent films. She described theatre as ” a crusade that drew its life-force from its connection with people’s everyday lives.” She was a strong woman with great power and who passed it across to several others during the times of freedom struggle. She trained women to take part or become voluntary workers. The doodle very nicely depicts her love for arts and theatre and also the bright personality that she was. Happy 115th birthday, Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay!