Activist Research: How the All India Democratic Women’s Association Builds Knowledge to Change the World
In an interview with R. Chandra, this dossier discusses the strategic role of activist research in the All India Democratic Women’s Association’s fight against caste oppression, patriarchy, and economic exploitation. AIDWA’s survey and the campaigns that they generated deepened members’ understanding of the reality of caste oppression. In research, activists found a powerful tool to substantiate and systematise their own experiences on the ground, gain newer and broader insights, and understand the anatomy of gender oppression among different sections of women.
Four decades ago, thirty-two Telugu people became martyrs in the fight to build a people’s steel plant in the Indian city of Visakhapatnam. Today, faced with an Indian government that wants to privatise the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant, the people and workers have united in the fight to retain their steel plant in the public sector. Our dossier no. 55 tells a heroic tale of spirited survival in the face of state-induced demoralisation.
Despite India’s achievement of a certain level of self-sufficiency in food production over the decades, the chronic agrarian crisis, often manifested in the suicides of farmers, persists. This dossier traces the causes of this crisis, which go back to the days of British colonial rule and to the choices made by the Indian state at various points since independence.