Kerala’s feminist history has shaped many things for the people of Kerala. As we all know, feminists have spearheaded many movements that have changed the course in the State, let alone the country. So, in an attempt to educate and spread the knowledge of feminism from the twenties to the fifties of the 20th century in Kerala, J Devika, a renowned author, a feminist historian, and senior faculty member at the Centre for Development Studies launched a website called Swatantryavaadini.in.
Devika recalls a time when she found it extremely difficult to get access to literature around feminism in Kerala because, back in the day, works of people who were part of the feminist movements were sidelined and dismissed. Devika soon realised that the need of the hour was to bring accessibility and help readers recognize the works of our early thinkers. Thus, the website was born.
The name of the website literally translates to ‘Free Thinkers’, which, in a way, portrays the celebration of the work done by feminists. The website is a literary collection of thoughts, analysis, and critiques of feminism that are well-researched, and backed by ground root knowledge of people who are and were part of Kerala’s feminist movements.
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The website was launched on the 10th of August, and within a span of 10 days, around 120 pieces of articles were published. Well-known figures such as KR Meera, Manu S Pillai, Darsana S Mini, Vinil Paul and others have contributed. The website is not restricted to opinion pieces only; there are other categories such as petitions, memoirs, autobiography, history, legislative assembly debates, poetry, speeches, fiction, biography, and so on. What’s beautiful about the website is that it uncovers a lot of literature that can help people articulate feminism better, in addition to, understanding what it was like for the first generation of feminists to participate in movements that were trying to dismantle patriarchy.
Go on now, have a look at Swatantryavaadini.in!