Researcher, author Gail Omvedt passes away

Researcher, author Gail Omvedt   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Researcher, author and one of the intellectual voices of the Bahujan movement Gail Omvedt passed away on Wednesday. She was 81.

Dr. Omvedt was an American-born Indian scholar who authored books on Dalit politics, women’s struggle and anti-caste movement. She also participated in various people’s movements, including the one for the rights of people displaced due to the Koyna Dam.

She co-founded Shramik Mukti Dal along with her husband and activist Bharat Patankar. The couple’s daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter are settled in the U.S.

“Dr. Gail Omvedt not only contributed as a researcher in social movements, saints’ literature, traditions but also actively participated in movements for rights of women, deprived sections. She will remain as a scholar who became an integral part of society,” said Chief MiNister Uddhav Thackeray.

As a college student in the U.S., Ms. Omvedt was part of the anti-war movement there. She visited India during her doctoral research work to study social movements here and studied the work of Mahatma Phule. Her thesis was on “Non-Brahmin Movement in Western India”.

After deciding to live in India, her association with veteran social worker Indutai Patankar led to her studying and participating in women’s struggles.

Omvedt authored over 25 books, including In Colonial Society – Non-Brahmin Movement in Western India, Seeking Begampura, Buddhism in India, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, Mahatma Phule, Dalit and the Democratic Revolution, Understanding Caste, We Will Smash the Prison and New Social Movement in India.

She was the head of Phule-Ambedkar chair in Pune university, department of sociology; professor at the Institute of Asian studies, Copenhegan; Nehru Memorial Museum and Library in New Delhi among others.

The last rites will be conducted on Thursday at Kasegaon in Sangli district.

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Printable version | Oct 16, 2021 11:40:23 PM |

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