Activism, Married and Unmarried: K Devayani

Translated by J Devika

K Devayani (1922-1999) was a well-known communist political activist from Travancore, Travancore who lived through the most turbulent times for the communist movement — the 1940s and 50s. She entered public life through the social reformist movement, the Atmavidya Sangham, and the became the secretary of several workers’ unions in the Alappuzha-Ambalappuzha area. She was one of the founders of the communist women’s organization the Mahila Sangham and a member of the Communist Party since 1942. Her remarkable memoir Chorayum Kaneerum Nananjha Vazhikal is one of the most widely read of the writings of the women of her generation.  But it also brings to light the serious limitations that even women who sought to be communist revolutionaries faced — it was as though the norms of female respectability would simply not change no matter what.

Below are excerpts from this memoir. Continue reading “Activism, Married and Unmarried: K Devayani”