Memory: My Radhamol: Devayani Kunhambu

Translated by J Devika

[Accounts of the resistance and suffering of women and children during political struggle in mid-20th century are relatively rare — this is therefore a very valuable account, from a leading woman activist of the Communist Party in the 1930s and 40s who married a male colleague who later became a prominent leader. If party leaders were hidden by the most deprived sections of the people who took the brunt of police violence for them, this account reveals how their wives, too, found refuge in the families of working-class, lower-caste women. Devayani’s story is also unique in another way. While the wives of upper-caste communist leaders were protected by their families, often large joint families — tarawads — Devayani, who hailed from south Kerala, Travancore, married a man from Malabar and migrated there and lived in a labouring community, and for her, the experiencing of marrying a communist involved learning to labour as well.]

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