Sheba Chhachhi, artist, feminist and chronicler of feminist struggles, immortalized Satyaraniji and Shahjahan Apa in this image of an anti-dowry protest in 1981. Satyaraniji is in front, Shahjahan Apa on the right, behind her.
For those of us who came into the women’s movement in the 1980s in Delhi, the memory of Satyaraniji’s determined visage is a perennial source of energy and inspiration. In 1979, her daughter Kanchanbala, twenty years old and six months pregnant, was burnt to death following harassment for more dowry in her marital home. After her death, Satya Rani Chadha began a long battle for justice.
With the support of the parents of more than 25 other dowry death victims, Satyaraniji embarked on 21 years of sustained legal activism and court cases, which led to many landmark judgments and fundamental amendments in the criminal law. In 1987, Shakti Shalini, a Delhi-based organisation that helps and motivates other parents of dowry victims to fight this social menace, was formed jointly by Satyarani Chadha and Shahjehan Aapa.
Satyarani Chadha passed away this week, and Shahjahan Apa in October last year. Continue reading Remembering our feminist heritage – Satyarani Chadha and Shahjahan Apa