In Part I, we looked at the Women’s Indian Association’s (WIA) involvement in constitutional negotiations with the British in the late 1910s. The WIA vociferously demanded equal voting rights for women – but the British did not budge. During this time, Indian leaders were also demanding measures for greater levels of self-government. These too, the British dismissed. Indian legislators across the country were becoming restless.
Unlike the American constitutional founding – spearheaded by men, the Indian Constituent Assembly, that drafted the Indian Constitution, comprised women. Until recently, public memory had discarded the contribution or even the presence of these women. But what about the period before the formal constitution-making process?