Full Text

Chakravartty, Renu (1917–1994)

Soma Marik


Subject History
Philosophy » Feminist Philosophy
Social Movements » Collective Behaviour

Place Southern Asia » India

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1900-1999

People Shiva, Vandana

Key-Topics bibliography, caste, inequality, revolution

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405184649.2009.00324.x


Extract

Renu Roy, daughter of Sadhanchandra and Brahmakumari Roy, was born on October 21, 1917, in Calcutta. Born to a well-off Brahmo (strict monotheistic Hindu sect) family, she studied in Cambridge, where she did her tripos. Renu was acquainted with Nehru, Sarojini Naidu , and others from the early years through her uncle, the well-known Congress politician Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy. Due to her mother's influence, she was inclined to work actively for women's causes. However, it was her stay in Cambridge in the 1930s that turned her to communism. Returning to India, she was among the first middle-class women to work in the communist milieu. She joined the Communist Party of India (CPI) in 1938 and remained a member until her death. In 1942, she married a fellow communist, Nikhil Chakravartty. In 1942, the CPI came out from its underground conditions, after supporting the British in World War II. A small number of women set up a women's fraction in Bengal, which soon changed to a broader organization, the Mahila Atma Raksha Samity (Women's Self-Defense Association, MARS). It grew in leaps and bounds due to its active role in famine relief work during the Bengal famine of 1943. By 1944, the Second Conference of MARS recorded 43,000 members. Renu Chakravartty was, along with Manikuntala Sen, one of the two key communist women organizers of MARS. In 1943, at the height of the famine, MARS ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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