The women power behind Constitution of India
Bengaluru, Nov 26: The 15 women members of the Constituent Assembly represented true power of feminism in India. As we know history not so kind to remember women's contribution. On 'Constitution Day' we should celebrate the women who helped draft the Indian Constitution.
As a mark of tribute the Upper House of the Parliament of India compiled the speeches of the women members of Constituent Assembly in one volume by compiling their selected speeches. Of the 15, Begum Aizaz Rasul, Smt. Ammu Swaminathan and Rajkumari Amrit Kaur - later became the Members of Rajya Sabha.
Sucheta Kriplani/United Provinces/General
Sucheta Kriplani is especially remembered for her role in the Quit India Movement of 1942. KPost-independence, Kripalani's political stint included serving as an MP from New Delhi and then also as the Minister of Labour, Community Development and Industry in Uttar Pradesh's state government.
Vijalakshami Pandit/United Provinces/General
Vijalakshami Pandit was the sister of India's first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. In 1936, she was elected to the Assembly of the United Provinces, and in 1937 became minister of local self-government and public health-the first Indian woman ever to become a cabinet minister.
Sarojini Naidu/ Bihar/General
1931, Sarojini Naidu participated in the second round-table conference with Gandhiji and Madan Mohan Malaviya. She was jailed, along with Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Madan Mohan Malaviya, and others for participating in the Salt March, when 1st Round Table Conference took place in London. She played a leading role in the Civil Disobedience Movement and was jailed along with Gandhi and other leaders. In 1942, she was arrested during period of the "Quit India Movement".
Ammu Swaminathan Madras/General constituency
In a speech during the discussion on the motion by Dr B R Ambedkar to pass the draft Constitution on November 24, 1949, an optimistic and confident Ammu said, "People outside have been saying that India did not give equal rights to her women. Now we can say that when the Indian people themselves framed their Constitution they have given rights to women equal with every other citizen of the country."
Dakshayani Velayudhan/ Madras/General
Dakshayani Velayudhan ( was a parliamentarian and leader of the Depressed Classes. Belonging to the Pulaya community, she was among the first generation of people to be educated from the community. She with B R Ambedkar on many issues relating to the Scheduled Castes during the Constituent Assembly debates. She agreed with Ambedkar giving up the demand for separate electorates arguing instead for 'moral safeguards' and the immediate removal of their social disabilities.
Hansa Jivraj Mehta/Bombay/General
Hansa Jivraj Mehta wrote many books for children in Gujarati and also translated many English stories including the Gulliver's Travels. She was elected to the Bombay Schools Committee in 1926 and became president of All India Women's Conference in 1945-46.
Kamla Chaudhary/ United Provinces/General
Kamla Chaudhary was born in an affluent family of Lucknow, however, it was still a struggle for her to continue her education. She was vice-president of the All India Congress Committee in its fifty-fourth session and was elected as a member of the Lok Sabha in the late seventies.
Leela Roy/ West Bengal/General
Leela Roy was a radical leftist politician and reformer, and a close associate of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. She took part in the Civil Disobedience Movement and was imprisoned for six years. On her release in 1946, she was elected to the Constituent Assembly of India.
In 1933, Malati Choudhury formed Utkal Congress Samajvadi Karmi Sangh along with her husband which later came to be known as the Orissa Provincial Branch of the All India Congress Socialist Party. In 1934, she joined Gandhiji in his famous "padayatra" in Orissa. She protested against the proclamation of Emergency by Indira Gandhi and was eventually imprisoned.
Purnima Banerjee/ United Provinces/General
She was arrested for her participation in the Satyagraha and Quit India Movement. One of the more striking aspects of Purnima Banerjee's speeches in the Constituent Assembly was her steadfast commitment to a socialist ideology. As secretary for the city committee, she was responsible for engaging and organizing trade unions, kisan meetings and work towards greater rural engagement.
Annie Mascarene/ Travancore and Cochin Union
Annie Mascarene was an Indian freedom fighter and Member of Parliament from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. was born into a Latin Catholic family. She was one of the members of the Constituent Assembly of India and served on its select committee that looked into the Hindu Code Bill.
Rajkumari Amrit Kaur/ Central Provinces and Berar/General
Rajkumari Amrit Kaur was the founder of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and argued for its autonomy. She was a firm believer in women's education, their participation in sports and their healthcare.
Renuka Ray /West Bengal/General
She was the daughter of Satish Chandra Mukherjee, an ICS officer, and Charulata Mukherjee, a social worker and member of the All India Women's Conference (AIWC). In 1934. as legal secretary of the AIWC, she submitted a document titled 'Legal Disabilities of Women in India; A Plea for a Commission of Enquiry'.
Begum Aizaz Rasul/United Provinces/Muslim
Begum Aizaz Rasu was the only Muslim woman member of the Constituent Assembly. In the 1937 elections, she was elected to the U.P. Legislative Assembly.
Durgabai was the Chairwoman of several central organizations like Central Social Welfare Board, National Council for Women's Education and National Committee On Girls' and Women's Education. She was a Member of Parliament and the Planning Commission.