ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Importance of Being Lakshmi Sahgal

Captain Lakshmi's death saw glowing tributes paid to her in the media, even as this was denied in the near past to other such towering women involved in the women's movement since Independence. What was it about her that evoked such admiration? 

In a country where politics and politicians are currently the most berated community inviting the ire of the public at large, the response that “captain” Lakshmi Sahgal evoked in her death was truly encouraging. The fact that Lakshmi Sahgal hailed from Kerala, grew up in Chennai and had lived in Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh, away from the seat of politics made it even more so.

At a time when a Bill to increase women’s political participation in elected bodies at the higher level has been hanging fire for over a decade and a half, this raises several questions to which there may not be any one answer. While part of the reason may lie in the very uniqueness of her personality, it may be worthwhile to explore how a communist, a woman and a nonagenarian at that, evoked such a response on her passing away.

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