10 Fierce Women Who Helped Create The Indian Constitution

By Raza Mehdi

Jan 22, 2023

Ammu was born in the Palakkad district of present-day Kerala in 1894. Throughout her life, she stood for gender equality and advocated for women’s rights by setting up the Women’s India Association. Being a committee member set up to draft the Constitution of India, she strongly supported the universal adult franchise and equal constitutional rights for women.

Ammu Swaminathan

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Velayudhan was the only Dalit woman and the youngest member of the Indian Constituent Assembly. Born in 1912 in the Mulavukad village in Cochin, Dakshayani strongly supported ending caste discrimination and making it illegal. She promoted the idea of a socialist republic and was very vocal in her support for abolition of untouchability.

Dakshayani Velayudhan

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Born into a princely family on 4 April 1908 in Punjab, Rasul stepped into electoral politics in 1937 as a member of the U.P. Legislative Assembly from a non-reserved province in British India. During the discussions about the rights of minorities of the Drafting Committee, Begum contributed by creating a consensus against ‘separate electorates’- reserved seats for religious minorities.

Begum Aizaz Rasul

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Durgabai was born in Rajahmundry on 15 July 1909. A social reformer, she actively participated in Salt Satyagraha activities and was imprisoned three times between 1930-1933 by the Britishj authorities. When the Constituent Assembly was set up, she was the only woman on the panel. She was significantly involved in passing social welfare laws in our constitution.

Durgabai Deshmukh

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Born on July 3, 1897, Mehta was a reformer and social activist, also an educator and writer. She wrote many books for children in Gujarati and translated many English stories, including ‘Gulliver’s Travels’. She became President of the All India Women’s Conference from 1945 to 1946.

Hansa Jivraj Mehta

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Kamla was born into an affluent family in Lucknow. Moving away from her family’s loyalty, she joined the nationalists and participated in the Civil Disobedience Movement in 1930. Kamla worked towards educating girls in villages and also encouraged the Khadi and Village industries. She was elected to the Constituent Assembly from the United Provinces (now Uttar Pradesh) in 1946.

Kamla Chaudhary

Image: IIMA Archives

Leela was born in Goalpara, Assam, in October 1900. In 1923, she founded the Dipali Sangha and established schools which became centres of political discussion. She became a member of the women’s subcommittee formed by Subash Chandra Bose. Before leaving India, Netaji handed over the charge of party activities to Leela and her husband.

Leela Roy

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Malati was born in 1904 to a distinguished family in East Bengal, now Bangladesh. During the Salt Satyagraha, Malati joined and actively participated in the Indian National Congress movement. As a member of the Constituent Assembly, she tried her best to emphasise the role of education, especially adult education in rural areas.

Malati Choudhury

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Sarojini Naidu, also known as the Nightingale of India, was born on February 13, 1879, in Hyderabad, India. She was the first Indian woman to become the president of the Indian National Congress and the first woman to be appointed as an Indian state governor.

Sarojini Naidu

Image: Encyclopædia Britannica

Amrit Kaur was born on 2 February 1889 in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. She was India’s first Health Minister and held that post for ten years. She established the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and argued for its autonomy. She was a firm believer in women’s education, their participation in sports and their healthcare.

Rajkumari Amrit Kaur

Image: Live History India