Kamla Bhasin, feminist activist, and author breathed her last on Saturday morning at the age of 75.
Bhasin's work, which dates back to 1970, is concerned with gender, education, human development, and the media. Her poem Kyunki main ladki hoon, mujhe padhna hai is well-known, as is her work with Sangat - A Feminist Network. She recited a feminized version of the popular poem Azadi (Freedom) during a conference in 1995. The author was also the One Billion Rising's South Asia coordinator. She left her job at the United Nations in 2002 to work at Sangat, where she is a founding member and advisor.
As we pay our tribute to the Indian Feminist icon who inspired innumerable lives, here are a few top quotes by Kamla Bhasin:
“I know enough women who are totally patriarchal, who are totally anti-women: who do nasty things to other women, and I have known men who have worked for women’s rights their whole life. Feminism is not biological: feminism is an ideology”.
"When I'm raped, people say that I've lost my honour? My honour is not in my vagina. It is a patriarchal idea that my rape will defile the honour of my community. I'd like to tell everyone, why did you place your community's honour in a woman's vagina? We never did that. It is the rapist who loses his honour, we don't".
"To me, a man who rapes is far more dehumanized than a woman who is raped. A man who beats his partner is not human. Men should recognize that they can be fully free only when women can be fully free".
"Men of quality are not afraid of equality".
"Words like pati and swami for the man a woman marries need to go. They mean master,owner. In free India an adult woman cannot, should not have an owner/master".
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