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World Book Day – Ramachandra Guha & Indian Lives Authors

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World Book Day special Instagram Live session by Harpercollins India featured historian and writer Ramachandra Guha introducing ‘Indian Lives. The biography series helmed by the publication house and Guha who is the editor and curator of Indian Lives – which is modelled to feature biographies of extraordinary individuals, even when separated in time – continue to shape Indian cultural and political discourse.

The first set of biographies in the series includes the one on Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay which is particularly inspiring.

A Saraswat Brahmin from Mangalore married at a very young age of 11, like most women of her time, she goes on to become a social reformer, an educationist, a Gandhian, patron of arts and a performing artist herself, an author and more.

One of the instances in her life is when she makes a visit to a ‘gloomy’ government building in New Delhi to witness the fate of refugees from Pakistan – not in any official capacity. Evidently, she manages to arrange a piece of land for them for a model town that provides houses to 30000 people – which goes by the name Faridabad today.

She has donned several hats but the one that was constantly the cause that she personally and for greater purpose fought all her life was breaking stereotypes and patriarchy. And that includes freedom movement. She once confronted Gandhiji to convince him to widen the scope of Dandi March to include women.

Her dream was to see a free India minus poverty, caste oppression and gender disparity.

Nico Slate’s biography of Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay published by Harper Collins is the third book in the Indian Lives Series.

Indian Lives series features biographies that expose us to the lives of great people who lived on this land and continue to impact us through their stories – books that are written by history scholars without any political agenda.

The other books in the series include Ashoka by Patrick Olivelle, Sheikh Abdullah: The Caged Lion of Kashmir by Chitralekha Zutshi.

On the occasion of the World Book Day Harpercollins India continues to do live sessions with their authors through out the day as part of their World Book Day Marathon.