Part One: Prologue
In 2008, I reported the results of research on Kudumbashree women leaders at the village level, from seven districts in Kerala. Those were the days when Kudumbashree was being projected as the ultimate answer to all of women’s woes, and the chorus consisted of politicians, official feminists, researchers, bureaucrats, development experts – in other words, everyone, well, almost. What I had to say was not pleasant to their ears. However, implicit in my reporting was the essential changeability of Kudumbashree, which was after all a government programme. The discussions around the modifications of the Kudumbashree bye-law and its approval were on during our fieldwork, and even though we reported after it was finalised and approved, it was too early for us to assess its impacts.