Women of prominence in Karnataka.
This book chapter identifies 19 prominent women leaders from Karnataka state, India, and their contributions. Over the past 2 centuries, men provided leadership for the women's movement. Gandhi was the most famous supporter. By the mid-19th century, the advantages of educating women and their involvement outside the home was actively supported. Women participated in the national movement at 3 different levels: those who joined the Satyagrahas, ashram groups that were limited by issues and locale, and women in the national movement. A few women exhibited strong leadership skills: Chand Sultana during 1544-1600, Belawadi Mallamma from the 17th century, Channamma from the late 18th century, and others. Early freedom fighters defended the state from outsiders. Kittur Rani Channamma (1756-1829) was the first significant freedom fighter in the nation to rebel against British imperialism. Gandhi promulgated the education of women during the 1920s. Women in the pre-Gandhi era were important leaders because they became active during an economic, social, and cultural period that had few opportunities for women to get involved. Women from Karnataka have produced outstanding female leaders, from Chand Bibi in the 16th century to Harijan Devi of Siddapur Taluk in the 1930s. The most prominent of the women is Kamaladevi Chattopadhyaya, who was born a rebel in 1903 in Mangalore. She was self-willed and courageous at an early age. Her early marriage ended quickly in widowhood. She was active in Gandhi's freedom struggle, organized, and pressed for labor unions and adult literacy.