Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay : The Art of Freedom – Nico Slate (Hardcover)


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In 1947, Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay made an unexpected visit to a gloomy government building in New Delhi to confront one of the gravest crises facing the newly independent nation—the fate of the millions of refugees pouring in from across the borders with Pakistan. She had no official standing but managed to play a key role in the creation of a model town, built to house 30,000 people. This town is today’s Faridabad.

This is just one of the many efforts—often forgotten—made by an indomitable woman who strove to empower others throughout her life. Born a Saraswat Brahmin in Mangalore, Kamaladevi was a performing artist, a Gandhian, a social reformer, an educationist, an institution builder, a patron of the arts, an author, a visionary. She built bridges across divides decreed by tradition, while establishing her own identity as an Indian woman finding a place for herself in a male-dominated world. Her dream was of an India that was free not just of colonial rule but of the shackles of poverty, caste oppression and gender disparities.

Nico Slate’s new and definitive biography explores the life of Kamaladevi, one of the most inspiring figures of twentieth-century India.


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