• Mousumi Gupta

Kamla Bhasin: A Warrior We All Want To Be Like

I was on a call with my team when I received the news of the passing away of Kamla Bhasin, one of the most prominent icons on gender issues and feminism. Coming as a personal loss to me, I shared the sad news with my team -- a mix of passionate young women and men -- and my heart and mind were at little peace after hearing them talk about Kamla Bhasin.

Interestingly, it was not only the female members of my team who had compassionate things to say about Bhasin, even the male members were full of praises for her. For South Asia’s most prominent feminist face (she always preferred to be called a South Asian herself) it would be a real tribute that her fight didn’t include women only but also reached out to men with an equally compelling and compassionate heart. Through her life and work, she not only motivated women to take up their equal place in society, but she also made a strong case among men to let some of their privileges go that discriminate against women in our daily lives. Women are trying their best. Now men must play their fair part.

I had the privilege to work with Kamla Bhasin to advocate for the enhanced political participation of women by passing the Women’s Reservation Bill in parliament, which proposes to amend the constitution of India to reserve 33% of all seats in the lower house of the Indian Parliament (Lok Sabha) and of all state legis