This study examines Kamaladevi’s life and connotations, focusing on her challenges towards gender consciousness, her involvement in women’s movements, and her ambivalent relationship with Gandhi, in spite of his influence. While Kamaladevi was a child widow, she was able to remarry, although her second marriage also ended in divorce. As soon as it was made legal, she ran for office in local council elections. Her personal life embodies her challenges towards traditional patriarchy, based on human agency and gender equality consciousness. She was also a founding member of AIWC and served as secretary-general, vice chairman and chairman, during which period she emphasized economic independence of women as well as the importance of labour. On the other hand, Kamaladevi’s relationship with Gandhi has been ambivalent throughout history, despite her being deeply sympathetic to his ideas and activities since the 1920s. While she was a staunch supporter of his movements, including his opposition towards the INC’s transition to a political party following Independence, she was also critical of his views such as his standpoint towards Partition.
After independence, Kamaladevi departed the political arena and devoted the rest of her life to the economic independence of craftsmen and revival of traditional Indian culture. In conclusion, Kamaladevi’s contribution to women movements and politics reflect her spirit of challenge in pursuing human rights beyond women and men’s distinctions.