Google celebrated the 115th birth anniversary of the multi-faceted freedom fighter, activist and promoter of the arts, Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay, with a doodle.
Kamaladevi, who bagged the Padma Vibhushan in 1987 (a year before her death), was a woman of many firsts. She was an active participant in the freedom movement, championed women's rights, founded the All-India Womens Conference (AIWC), led the renaissance of Indian handicrafts and handlooms, and worked for the development of the performing arts in India.
Born in Mangalore in 1903, Kamaladevi was widowed at 16. She married Harindranath Chattopadhyay when she was 20 and then headed to London where she graduated with a diploma in Sociology. She joined the freedom movement when she returned to India and she eventually became the first woman to run for a legislative seat in India, when she ran for the Madras Provincial Legislative Assembly.
She then founded the AIWC, which did a lot of work for social reform. She was credited for persuading Mahatma Gandhi to encourage more women to march with him during the freedom struggle. In 1930, Kamaladevi was part of Gandhi's salt satyagraha team and she was later arrested for entering the Bombay Stock Exchange to sell packets of contraband salt.
Post independence, she worked for the rehabilitation of refugees. She then dedicated her life to the promotion of Indian indigenous arts and crafts and theatre. Thanks to her work behind the scenes, several renowned institutions, including the National School of Drama, Central Cottage Industries Emporium, and the Crafts Council of India, came into existence. She later headed the Sangeet Natak Akademi and in 1974 was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship.
The doodle, created by Finland-based artist Parvati Pillai, salutes Kamaladevi's contribution to the creative fields. It depicts the various fields she promoted, including the sitar, sarangi, Karthak dance, embroidery and basket weaving.