Tributes pour in for Indian poet, feminist Kamla Bhasin

Updated 25 Sep 2021
Kamla Bhasin was a committed feminist and champion of women's rights. Twitter
Kamla Bhasin was a committed feminist and champion of women's rights. Twitter

The death of the Indian feminist stalwart Kamla Bhasin is rightly being described as the end of an era. The 75-year-old died on Saturday of cancer, reported The Indian Express.

Bhasin was born in Mandi Bahauddin in 1946 and her family shifted at Partition to Rajasthan where she completed her education before moving to Germany to pursue a Master's in Sociology.

She returned to India and began a long career in social development work with a focus on women's empowerment. In 2002 she founded Sangat, a feminist network that worked with underprivileged women in rural and tribal communities.

She was also one of the founders of Jagori, a civil society organisation working for women’s empowerment.

Besides her poetry, she also wrote books on gender inequity like the 1993 "What is Patriarchy?"

Her poem Kyun Ke Mein Larki Hoon, Mujhe Parhna Hai was especially popular and she often recited it in her lifetime. In the poem, a daugther replies to her father who asks why do you need to read?

In another poem which she recites on her YouTube channel she says how women have come to understand their independence and choices.

Tributes poured in from all over the subcontinent for Bhasin.

Famed actor Shabana Azmi paid tribute to Bhasin's "gutsy character."

Historian Irfan Habib expressed his sadness at her untimely demise.

One user shared an image from the time Bhasin went on Aamir Khan's talk show to discuss honor crimes against women.

Others shared their memories of their meeting with the feminist icon.

While others regretted not having had the chance to meet the icon who inspired them most.

Many shared short clips of Bhasin reading her work, a reminder that her legacy will remain in hearts and minds of all those whose lives she touched.