Google Doodle celebrates the 155th birth anniversary of Indian poet, feminist and social worker Kamini Roy who is also considered the first woman honours graduate in British India.
Kamini was a celebrated figure when it comes to naming women who contributed towards gender equality and fought for oppressed women. She belonged to the family of scholars and literary people as her father was a judge and a writer, and her brother was a known barrister in the Calcutta High Court. It is believed that she started developing an interest in writing and reading after noticing her father’s books in the house. Kamini used her father’s library extensively. Her sister Jamini was the house physician of the then Nepal Royal family.
All her life, Kamini wrote about women’s rights. She used to talk about feminism and women empowerment at the time when women were not even allowed to read/ get educated let alone participate in the voting process.
In the year 1921, she formed the Bangiya Nari Samaj, an organisation to fight against woman’s suffrage with Kumudini Mitra and Mrinalini Sen. It was in the year 1925 that the Bengal Legislative Council granted limited suffrage to women, allowing Bengali women to exercise their right for the first time in the 1926 Indian general election. Kamini was also a member of the Female Labour Investigation Commission.
On the personal front, she married Kedarnath Roy at the age of 30 which was again a daring move considering women were not married this late in the community. After she had two kids, she took a break from writing and resumed it when her husband passed away in 1909 and her elder son also died.
Kamini Roy was one of the real feminist icons and her work still holds relevance in the time when women all over the world are fighting for equal rights.