Rethinking Gender and Agency in the Satyagraha Movement Of 1913

  • Shyam Sundar Bhatia


Through the biographical accounts of three Indian women, the paper is an evaluation of the women's agency in the Satyagraha movement of 1913 in Natal, South Africa. The fight was fought against oppressive measures that questioned the role of Indian women in South Africa and levied a £ 3 poll tax on ex-indentured workers. Well over 20,000 men and women took part in this war. Via profiling the lives of Mrs. Bai Fatima Sheikh Mehtab, Miss Valliamma Munuswami Mudliar and Mrs. Kasturba Gandhi, my goal here is not only to shed light on the various personal and physical challenges women have faced in the struggle, but also to represent the contribution of some Indian women to decision-making and public participation.