Marxist feminist writer and activist Anuradha Ghandy was born on this day in 1954

Published on March 27, 2024, by Il Grido del Popolo©️

Anuradha Ghandy (1954-2008) was an Indian communist, writer, and revolutionary leader. She was a Central Committee member of the Communist Party of India (Maoist). She was one of the founding members of the Communist Party of India, in Maharashtra.

The young Anuradha, like so many others of her generation, was inspired by the Naxalite uprising in West Bengal. As a student in Elphinstone College, she was deeply affected by the famine that stalked rural Maharashtra in the 1970s. It was working with the victims of desperate hunger that set her thinking and pitch-forked her into her journey into militant politics. She began her working life as a lecturer in Wilson College in Mumbai, but by 1982 she shifted to Nagpur. Over the next few years, she worked in Nagpur, Chandrapur, Amravati, Jabalpur and Yavatmal, organizing the poorest of the poor — construction workers, coal-mine workers — and deepening her understanding of the Dalit movement.

After joining the Progressive Youth Movement (PROYOM) and associating with Naxalbari, she led a number of initiatives which not only influenced various progressive movements, but also imparted a huge contribution towards the growth of rural and tribal women. Inspiring countless women to practice leadership, she pioneered intersectional feminism during her lifetime by fighting for and including women from lower castes and classes.

Among Anuradha Ghandy’s exceptional work is her contribution towards the upliftment of women, particularly belonging to rural and tribal areas. She bridged the gap between women and revolutionary groups, and thus encouraged women to take action and destroy the shackles of patriarchy. She used to hold classes and meetings where rural and tribal women were educated about the movement and how it would improve their condition, making them self-dependent and free from oppression.

She represented the communist woman activist in the feminist milieu, and was highly critical of the bourgeoisie feminism which was gaining momentum.

Anuradha was arrested many times, and spent most of her life underground. She died of virulent strand of malaria on April 12 in 2008.

“By propagating women’s nature as non-violent they are discouraging women from becoming fighters in the struggle for their own liberation and that of society.”

– Aurandha Ghandy