Daijiworld Media Network - Bengaluru (SP)
Bengaluru, Jan 18: Karnataka's tableau with multiple artefacts has been chosen for being part of the Republic Day parade this year. This will also depict Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay, a Kannadiga who had played a very important role in the freedom struggle. Her replica will be part of the tableau.
Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay was a freedom fighter, social reformer, force behind the renaissance of Indian handicrafts art and handlooms. Besides being a fine theatre artiste, she was the first to dream of empowering Indian women through the cooperative sector. Just because of her surname, many are unaware that she was purely a Kannadiga.
Kamaladevi basically was from Mangaluru. Born in 1903, she was the daughter of the then district collector, Ananyhayya Dhareshwar and Girijabai. Her childhood was not very enjoyable, and her elder sister whom she adopted as her role model, died within days of her child marriage. Seven years later, her father too passed away. As he had not bequeathed the property in favour of his wife or children, the entire property went to Ananthayya's brother. Kamala's mother faced the need to run the family entirely out of family pension. Kamala, even at such a young age, was very vocal in questioning this injustice.
Kamala's marriage happened in 1917 but her husband died within two years. Still, her mother sent her to Chennai for education where she came in contact with poet and actor, Harindranath Chattopadhyay. They got married and separated with mutual consent after some years. When Kamala sought legal separation, many had raised their eyebrows then as it was unusual.
After learning that Gandhiji had launched the non-cooperation movement, Kamala who had gone to London for higher education, returned to India. She got involved with the freedom struggle, women's empowerment, handicrafts, handlooms etc.
In recognition of her achievements, she was honoured with Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan honours. She also bagged Raman Magsaysay, Sangeeta Nataka Academy and other awards. As a result, National School of Drama, Central Cottage Industries Emporium, Craft's Council of India etc came into being.
The Karnataka tableau this time will be named, 'Karnataka - cradle of heritage handicrafts'. World renowned Channapatna Gombe, Kinnala Gombe, Ilkal saree, Udupi saree, Mysuru Ganjifa art form and 16 handicrafts with GI tags will be on display.