Women and Freedom: B Pachi Amma

Translated by J Devika

[ this is an earlier version of the translation that appeared in my book Her-Self, published by Stree/Samya, Kolkata, 2005, For a fuller, annotated version, please refer the book]

[ ‘Streekalum Swatantryavum (Bhagam- 1)’, The Mahila 1 (3), March 1921: 108-13]

[This seems to be a pseudonym, probably used by B Bhageerathy Amma]

Good heavens! Many eyes will redden, many faces will be etched with deep frowns, upon seeing these two words written together! Many may decide to reject the article without reading it or indeed, fling down the magazine in a huff. I would like humbly request such readers to resort to such imprudent acts only after reading the whole article. Continue reading “Women and Freedom: B Pachi Amma”

Women and Literature: B Bhageerathy Amma

Translated by J Devika

[ this is an earlier version of the translation that appeared in my book Her-Self, published by Stree/Samya, Kolkata, 2005, For a fuller, annotated version, please refer the book]

Bhageeraty Amma (1890- 1938) was one of the most vocal advocates of an active, informed and disciplined domestic role for women in early 20th century Kerala. She was well-known as the editor of The Mahila, one of the longest-lived Women’s magazines of the period. She was known to be a powerful public speaker, and was one of the women considered for membership in the Shree Mulam Praja Sabha in 1927 (Malayala Manorama, 23 June 1927). Her major work, Stree (1925) described in detail her vision of ‘active’ domesticity as opposed to the traditional passive wifely devotion and was dedicated to “the womenfolk of Keralam”. Vijnanaprakasham was another work. The following article was a speech she made at the fifth annual meeting of the literary assembly, the Kerala Sahitya Parishat. Her presence at the Parishat meetings did make a difference: in the meeting at Ernakulam, she argued against the practice of holding a separate women’s meeting, pointing out that it was tantamount to segregating women, and that the decision that women should not be made speakers in men’s literary meetings was misguided (The Mahila 12 (4,5) 1932: 58). Her essays on modern Womanhood, which appeared in The Mahila were collected in a book, Sahityaramam. Continue reading “Women and Literature: B Bhageerathy Amma”