- The participation of women in National Movement legitimised the Indian National Congress. The British understood that the method of Satyagraha had a special appeal for women.
- The participation of women in the freedom movement also influenced the movement for Women’s rights. It legitimised their claim to a place in the governance of India.
- However, there were regional differences in the number of women who joined the national movement and synthesized women’s interest with nationalist issues.
- The best organised, the most independent and fielded the largest demonstrations were Bombay women. They articulated a clearly feminist nationalism.
- Bengal women were known for their militancy. Marching alongside men in the Congress parade and later joining revolutionary activities, they were subjects of folksongs and legends. These women espoused a feminist ideology but put aside in favour of a larger struggle.
- However, in Madras fewer women joined the movement. In North India, Nehru and Zutshi families provided strong women leaders.. They put nationalist agenda first and believed that it was not possible to raise women’s consciousness about both politics and women’s rights at the same time.
- The revolutionary women presented a different aspect in Indian National movement. They described themselves as sacrificing all the things a women wants like marriage, children etc. No one including the revolutionary women considered revolutionaries as representatives of Indian womanhood.
- Rural women unless they were widows protested with their families.
- From Swadeshi movement onwards women’s role in National movement can be seen conspicuously. Under Gandhian leadership their role become more conspicuous in non-cooperation movement, civil disobedience movement and Quit India movement.
- From Non Cooperation movement they got associated with specific programme that as dharna on liquor shop. Sarojini naidu, Urmila devi etc. played an important role during non-cooperation movement.
- From 1920’s onwards, the male leaders in the movement cemented a relationship with peasants, workers and women’s association with the intention of gaining mass support from the people.
- During 1933 all revolutionary women like Urmila devi, Santhi Das and Protibha devi (Nari sayagraha samiti) etc. were all in jail.
- During Quit India movement they got involved in underground movement. Example Aruna asaf ali and Usha Mehta (she started congress radio)
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