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.
A stalwart of the Left movement in India’s Hindi-speaking regions. He led many movements from students to farmers and agricultural workers and also got elected to the Bihar legislative assembly twice. He challenged the feudal practices within his own household as well as outside in the society. Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi was a true communist who believed that we must struggle hard to bring the class forces on our side to create a better world for everyone. He firmly believed in redistribution of land and voluntarily gave away his land to the agricultural women workers.