Women's rights activist Kamla Bhasin, known for being a part of 'One Billion Rising' campaign in South Asia among other important movements, died today. She was 75. A noted feminist and author, she had been working on issues related to gender, development, peace and human rights for over three decades in India and other South Asian countries.
A poet and an author, who identified herself as a "social scientist by training", she wrote multiple books - a large number of them on feminism and women's issues - since she started working on developmental issues in the 1970s.
Tributes and condolences poured on social media as the news of her death broke. Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, activist Harsh Mander among others remembered Ms Bhasin in their posts.
"Kamla Bhasin was not only a women's rights activist, but also a philanthropist who set up and helped setting up many fine public Interest institutions like Jagori in HP & School for democracy in Rajasthan. She will be missed by many. May her soul rest in peace (sic)," lawyer-activist Prashant Bhushan tweeted.
Kamla Bhasin was not only a women's rights activist, but also a philanthropist who set up & helped setting up many fine public Interest institutions like Jagori in HP & School for democracy in Rajasthan. She will be missed by many. May her soul rest in peace https://t.co/nst3qjnwYZ— Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) September 25, 2021
I knew Kamla Bhasin from age 8. That someone who created such delights of life, and love is said to be gone- that is a travesty. We will continue to be your fellow travellers of spirit, and through the ashes. Love and inspiration and fire, to you and to us all.— Karuna Nundy (@karunanundy) September 25, 2021
Immense grief at passing of Kamla Bhasin. She has been & will remain a massive influence on many generations, teaching us by word, action, poetry, song & storytelling the equality of genders. She loved life, loved people. As @kavisriv says, she will indeed live on in our hearts https://t.co/TEZPdja5dB— Harsh Mander (@harsh_mander) September 25, 2021
Deeply saddened by the demise of #KamlaBhasin ji. She was a stalwart of the women's movement in India.— Manish Sisodia (@msisodia) September 25, 2021
My deepest condolences to her family and her loved ones. She will always remain an inspiration for many of us. pic.twitter.com/heuDhdaC5S
"Absolutely shocked and grieved to hear of that our dearest Kamla Bhasin is no more with us. How generous she was with sharing hope and song and friendship. What an unparalleled ability she had to express feminist politics in a language even a child could understand, and to change minds. Not an iota of arrogance, always willing to take criticism and reflect," wrote Kavita Krishnan, another activist who had worked with her.
Kamla Bhasin, our dear friend, passed away around 3am today 25th Sept. This is a big setback for the women's movement in India and the South Asian region. She celebrated life whatever the adversity. Kamla you will always live in our hearts. In Sisterhood, which is in deep grief pic.twitter.com/aQA6QidVEl— Kavita Srivastava (@kavisriv) September 25, 2021
#KamalaBhasin Om Shanti! A great loss to the Women's Movement!— sunitha krishnan (@sunita_krishnan) September 25, 2021
Padmashree awardee Sunitha Krishnan wrote: "#KamalaBhasin Om Shanti! A great loss to the Women's Movement!"
"Kamla Bhasin was and will always be a beacon of feminist hope, her ideas and thoughts helped shape me on multiple occasions. And while yes we will always miss her but her words will guide young girls everywhere, forever," tweeted author Richa Singh.
'One Billion Rising', a global campaign she was involved with, was started about a decade ago with an aim to end violence against women.
In 2017, Ms Bhasin was awarded the "Laadli Life Time Achievement Award" for her work.
She had also worked for the United Nations but had quit the job to dedicate herself to her feminist network.