Prof. vibhuti patel's tribute to dr. vina mazumdar 31 5-2013

552 views

Published on

With passing away of Dr. Vina Mazumdar, our Vinadi the Indian Women’s movement has experienced an irreparable loss. Veenadee personified in her a far sighted and strong willed thinker and forceful speaker and convincing debater who had faith in ‘human goodness’. Her intellectual prowess did not make her ivory tower in her approach towards her colleagues and fellow travelers- academicians, policy makers, researchers and feminist activists. She always remained warm at heart, easy to approach, instant building of rapport, kind and accessible to ‘inarticulate’, ‘less known’ and ‘less influential’ people from remote places, civil and decent with her adversaries, magnanimous in sharing her knowledge and institutional resources as Director of Centre for Women’s Development Studies. Her charm lay in her electrifying persona, always smiling face conveying optimism, down to earth approach, ideologically sharpness, story-telling with witty humour and the most important courage of conviction combined with honesty of purpose. This is what explained her commanding of agenda setting power whether she was in the decision making bodies of UGC, ICSSR, Planning Commission of India and several ministries or outside of them. She could galvanize students, teachers, researchers, women’s organizations, trade unionists, bureaucrats, politicians and law makers into action as she was one of the best ‘argumentative Indians’ produced by ‘women’s studies movement’. She was very good at coining catchy terms such as ‘women’s studies movement’ ‘The Indian psyche defined by binary ‘Ma’ versus “Maal’, dichotomy that worships motherhood and dehumanizes/commodifies the rest of women. Her contemporary powerful men in the Universities, research institutions and ministries called her ‘bulldozer’ while women scholars and practitioners found her the most trustworthy friend and mentor. I worked closely with Veenadee during 1981 for the I Women’s Studies Conference hosted by SNDT Women’s University, in 1985 for preparation of ‘End of the Decade’ alternate country report on Status of Women in India, in 1986 for Research Committee 32’s panel discussion on ‘Ante Natal Sex Selective and Abortions of Female Foetus in India’ for World Sociological Conference and in 1988 for a multi-centric research project on ‘Child Care as an Essential Input for women’s Development’.

Published in: Education
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
552
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
4
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
2
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Prof. vibhuti patel's tribute to dr. vina mazumdar 31 5-2013

  1. 1. Tribute toDr. Vina Mazumdarby Prof. Vibhuti Patel, 31-5-20131
  2. 2. “Vinadi: An Argumentative Indian”With passing away of Dr. Vina Mazumdar, ourVinadi the Indian Women’s movement hasexperienced an irreparable loss.Vinadi personified in her a far sighted andstrong willed thinker and forceful speakerand convincing debater who had faith in‘human goodness’.2
  3. 3. Vinadi launched Dr. Neera Desai’sbook: Feminism in Western Indiapublished by SPARROW, Mumbai3
  4. 4. An Electrifying Persona• Vinadi’s intellectual prowess did not make herivory tower in her approach towards hercolleagues and fellow travelers- academicians,policy makers, researchers and feminist activists.She always remained warm at heart, easy toapproach, instant building of rapport, kind andaccessible to ‘inarticulate’, ‘less known’ and ‘lessinfluential’ people from remote places, civil anddecent with her adversaries, magnanimous insharing her knowledge and institutional resourcesas Director of Centre for Women’s DevelopmentStudies. 4
  5. 5. Idealism & Revolutionary Spirit5
  6. 6. Vinadi’s charm lay inher electrifying persona,Always smiling face conveying optimism, down toearth approach, ideologically sharpness, story-telling with witty humour and the most importantcourage of conviction combined with honesty ofpurpose.This is what explained her commanding of agendasetting power whether she was in the decisionmaking bodies of UGC, ICSSR, PlanningCommission of India and several ministries oroutside of them. 6
  7. 7. An Argumentative Indian7Vinadi could galvanizestudents, teachers,researchers, women’sorganizations, tradeunionists, bureaucrats,politicians and lawmakers into action asshe was one of the best‘argumentative Indians’produced by ‘women’sstudies movement’.
  8. 8. Vinadi personified a Force to reckon withShe was very good at coining catchy terms such as‘women’s studies movement’, ‘The Indian psychedefined by binary ‘Ma’ versus “Maal’, dichotomythat worships motherhood and dehumanizes/commodifies the rest of women, ‘intellectualpurdah’ that came women out of public discourse.Her contemporary powerful men in the Universities,research institutions and ministries called her‘bulldozer’ while women scholars andpractitioners found her the most trustworthyfriend and mentor. She was a strategic thinker.8
  9. 9. Vinadi releasing poster of Savitribai &book at IAWS Conference at SNDTWomen’s University, Pune Campus9
  10. 10. Personal ExperienceI worked closely with Vinadi during• 1981 for the I Women’s Studies Conferencehosted by SNDT Women’s University,• in 1985 for preparation of ‘End of the Decade’alternate country report on Status of Women inIndia, in 1986 for Research Committee 32’s paneldiscussion on ‘Ante Natal Sex Selective andAbortions of Female Foetus in India’ for WorldSociological Conference and• in 1988 for a multi-centric research project on‘Child Care as an Essential Input for women’sDevelopment’.10
  11. 11. Academic Career• Vina Mazumdar was born in 1927 and completedher schooling in Calcutta. She did her honourscourse from Benaras Hindu University as well asAshutosh College, Calcutta University andcompleted D.Phil. from Oxford University.• In 1947, she went to Oxford University tocomplete her graduation in 1951. In 1960, Onceagain she enrolled as a research scholar at OxfordUniversity and within 2 years was awarded D.Phil. there in 1962.11
  12. 12. Vina Mazumdar in her college days12
  13. 13. Carving her niche in the maledominated worldVinadi taught Political Science at Patna University andBerhampur University for couple of years. After thatshe joined UGC. As an Officer in the UGC Secretariatshe made a mark as an energetic officer. She was alsoselected as a Fellow of the Indian Institute ofAdvanced Studies, Simla.In 1972, when the Indian government agreed to honourUN mandate to prepare a status report on women,Vinadi was appointed as Member Secretary ofCommittee on the Status of Women in India.Her unique contribution while preparation oflandmark report “Towards Equality” as a researcherand analytical rigour to explain material andideological conditions that determined women’spredicament in India made her most sought after13
  14. 14. National ImpactDuring International Women’s Year (1975), Vinadiwas appointed as Director, Programme ofWomens Studies, Indian Council of Social ScienceResearch for five years (1975-80).She was Founder-Director of the Centre forWomens Development Studies, New Delhi from1980 to 1991, and thereafter was Senior Fellow atCWDS and JP Naik National Fellow, ICSSR, for twoyears. From 1996-2013, Dr. Vina Mazumdar wasthe Chairperson, Centre for WomensDevelopment Studies, New Delhi. She was a heartand soul of Indian Association of Women’s14
  15. 15. Dr. Vina Mazumdar & Prof. LotikaSarkar: Powerful Sisterhood15
  16. 16. Activism & Policy InterventionIn 1974, When All India Institute of Medical Science began conductinga sample survey of amniocentesis to find out about foetal geneticconditions and easily managed to enroll 11000 pregnant women asvolunteers for its research, main interest of these volunteerpregnant women was to know sex of the foetus. Once the resultswere out, those women who were told that they were carryingfemale fetuses, demanded abortion. When the young researcher ofAIIMS shared this observation with Vinadi, she mobilsed women’sdelegation to meet the health minister to stop abuse ofamniocentesis for sex selective abortions.Vinadi was a great champion of participatory action research. Herwritings provided road map for developmental initiatives. Hermemoir, Memories of a Rolling Stone published by Zubaan Books in2010 provides vivid description of her principles, programmes,policy initiatives in collaboration with her team of ‘movers andshakers’.16
  17. 17. Vinadi will remain with us with herinsightful publications:• Education & Social Change: Three Studies on NineteenthCentury India. Indian Institute of Advanced Study, 1972.• Role of Rural Women in Development. University ofSussex. Institute of Development Studies. AlliedPublishers, 1978.• Symbols of Power: Studies on the Political Status ofWomen in India. Allied, 1979.• Emergence of the Womens Question in India and the Roleof Womens Studies. Centre for Womens DevelopmentStudies, 1985.• Peasant Women Organise for Empowerment: TheBankura Experiment. Centre for Womens Development17
  18. 18. We will celebrate your life & work18Mainstays ofWomen’s Studiesmovement(In the front Row,left to right)Dr. Vina Mazumdar,Dr. Leela DubeDr. Neera Desai

×