Google on Tuesday celebrated the 115th birth anniversary of Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay with a doodle. Chattopadhyay was a freedom fighter, social activist, actor, youth leader, art enthusiast, and forward-thinking women’s movement organiser. She is best remembered as the one who persuaded Mahatma Gandhi to call upon women to march with him in the Independence movement.
Chattopadhyay was born on this day in 1903 in Mangalore, Karnataka, and was the first woman to run for Legislative office. She was one of the first to propose that women’s rights, religious freedom, environmental justice, political independence, and civil rights were all interrelated movements.
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Chattopadhyay was committed to protecting India’s handicrafts, handlooms, and theatre. She was instrumental in setting up some of the first national institutions to archive, protect, and promote Indian dance, drama, art, puppetry, music, and handicrafts.
She was felicitated with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship in 1974. This is the highest honour that is conferred by India’s National Academy of Drama, Music and Dance. In addition to her contribution to the independence movement of India, she also helped facilitate many cultural institutions to ocme into existence. She alsways emphasised on the role of cooperative grassroot movements and handicrafts industry that will help in the social upliftment and financial betterment of the Indian citizens.
In today’s doodle, Chattopadhyay is shown surrounded by the bhangra, the sitar, the sarangi, Karthak dance, Chhau dance, embroidery, basket weaving, and Kathaputli — some of India’s traditional objects she sought to protect. The doodle was created by Finland-based Indian artist Parvati Pillai.
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