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Dr. Veena Mazumdar
- Doyen of Women’s Studies Movement in India
|by Vibhuti Patel|
Dr. Veena Mazumdar (1927 – 30th May, 2013)
With passing away of Dr. Veena Mazumdar, our Veenadee 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.
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’.
Veena Mazumdar was born in 1927 and completed her schooling in Calcutta. She did her honours course from Benaras Hindu University as well as Ashutosh College, Calcutta University and completed D.Phil. from Oxford University. In 1947, she went to Oxford University to complete her graduation in 1951. In 1960, Once again she enrolled as a research scholar at Oxford University and within 2 years was awarded D.Phil. there in 1962.
During International Women’s Year (1975), Veenadee was appointed as Director, Programme of Women's Studies, Indian Council of Social Science Research for five years (1975-80). She was Founder-Director of the Centre for Women's Development Studies, New Delhi from 1980 to 1991, and thereafter was Senior Fellow at CWDS and JP Naik National Fellow, ICSSR, for two years. From 1996-2013, Dr. Veena Mazumdar was the Chairperson, Centre for Women's Development Studies, New Delhi. She was a heart and soul of Indian Association of Women’s Studies.
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06/13/2013 23:47 PM
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