You heard of Sarojini Naidu and how she helped in the fight to India’s freedom. But have you heard about Kanuparti Varalakshma, the author of the first political column by a woman in Telugu? Or Gyan Kumari, one of the few women who brought about a social and political consciousness in the city? Chances are you haven’t, which is why visiting the Madar-e-Vatan ko Salam exhibition at the Maulana Azad National Urdu University will do you good.
In an attempt to empower women, The Centre of Women Studies at the MANUU displayed photos of over 50 female freedom fighters from the country. Dr Ameena Tahseen, who organised the exhibition says, “How many women have you heard of who have fought for India’s freedom? Barely a few. This is why we hosted this exhibition.”
On display are the posters of the female fighters along with write-ups of several Muslim women who contributed to the freedom struggle. “For most Muslim women going out and waging wars was not easy, so they used their pens to fight.
Through their writings they empowered people,” adds Ameena.
From women like Kasturba Gandhi and Kamala Nehru to women like Srirajyam Sinha who worked with Jayaprakash Narayan and Komarraju Acchamamba, they have all contributed in the struggle.
“We often celebrate only male leaders, but for women the struggle was double, they had to fight other stigmas,” adds Ameena. Dr Mohammad Aslam Parvaiz, the vice-chancellor of the university, says that it is through history that we can empower women. “The only difference is that today, we are fighting against other issues and women like these should be our role models.”...