Women’s rights activist Kamla Bhasin passes away at 75

New Delhi: Eminent women’s rights activist, poet and author Kamla Bhasin passed away on Saturday after a battle with cancer. She was 75.

Bhasin, a prominent voice in the women’s movement in India and other South Asian countries, breathed her last at a city hospital.

“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,” Activist Kavita Srivastava said on Twitter.

The chant of ‘Azaadi’ which echoed across protest sites in the country is said to have been popularised by Bhasin as a feminist slogan against patriarchy.

Netizens took to Twitter to condole Bhasin’s demise.

Delhi Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia tweeted, “Deeply saddened by the demise of #KamlaBhasin ji. She was a stalwart of the women’s movement in India.

My deepest condolences to her family and her loved ones. She will always remain an inspiration for many of us.”

Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan said 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 Himachal Pradesh and School for democracy in Rajasthan.

“She will be missed by many. May her soul rest in peace,” he tweeted.

Social activist Harsh Mander also expressed grief at her passing away.

“Immense grief at passing of Kamla Bhasin. She has been and 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,” he tweeted.

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor also took to Twitter to condole her death.

He shared her poem and posted a message, “Farewell to the inspiring Kamla Bhasin, voice of women’s empowerment, heroine of girls’ education, immortal poet.”

Historian S Irfan Habib said, “Very sad to hear about the tragic demise of dear friend and an exceptional human being Kamla Bhasin. We were just discussing her health yesterday but never realised that she will leave us next day. You will be terribly missed.”

Save the Children India, in a tweet, said, “Your legacy will live on in songs of hope and writings of courage. The spirit of movement will continue to ignite change. Rest in glory Kamla Bhasin. Your work will continue inspiring our collective efforts to drive change for every girl towards a vision of equality you espoused”.