Her story, her words

Laxmi Murthy feels that writing is something she cannot live without. It makes her uncomfortable when she is not writing. She is a women’s right activist and has worked for this cause in many parts of the country.

Laxmi Murthy is the daughter of Vimala Murthy, the writer and great grand daughter of Amba Bai, former headmistress of Vani Vilas High school, Laxmi, has been associated with the women’s movements for nearly three decades years now. This 49-year-old, resident of Jayanagar 1st block, has recently co-authored a book – "Our Pictures, Our Words." The book records the history of women’s movement in India through posters.

Pic: Anisha Nair

Citizen Matters chatted with Laxmi Murthy on the women and writing.

What inspired you into making the book "Our Pictures, Our Words"?

I have been associated with the women’s movement since early 80s. Rajashri (co-author) and I were approached by Zubaan (publisher) to write the book with the concept of poster women. The idea was to make these posters more accessible to the newer and younger audience. The idea was to make a book which would attract them visually but also talk about all the movements that have been happening in all its complexity.

How much time went into collecting all the pictures and posters?

Zubaan had been putting together all the pictures and posters for five to six years and when we started writing, a lot of gap needed to be filled up. So it took us a year to fill up those gaps.

You come from a family of women who stood their ground and made a mark. How has it shaped you?

It has shaped me pretty well. I did not really have to fight to do what I wanted. Of course struggle is there, as patriarchy is everywhere. Not that things are so smooth. You do have to struggle. Nothing is handed to you on a platter. It is not only the women were supportive; my father was also supportive in shaping me. He helped me do things that were otherwise reserved for men.

Favourite hangouts in Bangalore

Blossoms bookstore in Church Street is one place where I love to hangout. In fact my daughters too love to go there and read.

What inspires you to write?

For me, writing is something I won’t even think about before doing. I feel uncomfortable if I don’t write. For the past few years, I have been editing more than I am writing. I am a consulting editor with Himal Southasian right now. I love encouraging people to write and shape their articles.

Does the definition of feminism change with region or is it universal?

It definitely changes with region. In the cities, there is a kind of façade of sameness. The notion of feminism depends on how restricted the environment is. I lived in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, etc and the thoughts about feminism were different in terms of how much access women get in terms of public space and age. And then you start changing your demands according to the region you live in.

How do you think Bangalore treats women? Does it stand out in any way?

The city is becoming more and more unsafe for women. And it is bound to happen if you look at the migration that is happening and the number of women coming to Bangalore in search of work. The whole BPO culture and issue of safety of women comes into picture. It will only increase till the time the police is more sensitive about it.


  1. C N Kumar says:

    Interesting. Where can one get a copy of the book?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Similar Story

Bardhaman town’s tourism potential: Why it must be developed

West Bengal's Bardhaman town has immense tourism potential. Its development must prioritise sustainable tourism and civic development.

Bardhaman town, renowned for its Bengali sweets like mihidana and sitabhog, is also famous for its rich tapestry of folk culture and heritage sites. The town has immense potential for tourism. But the question arises, how much of it has been explored?   This article aims to shed light on Bardhaman's historical sites, the initiatives to promote tourism while addressing the civic issues hindering its progress, and highlight the need to balance tourism with sustainable development.  Heritage sites of Bardhaman Sher Afghan’s tomb  Located beside Pir Beharam, close to Rajbati, lies the  tomb of Sher Afghan, the resting place of the last…

Similar Story

Nam Kudiyiruppu Nam Poruppu: Is the scheme doing more harm than good in Chennai?

RWA members within the community, chosen to implement the scheme in resettlement sites in Chennai, feel alienated from other residents.

In December 2021, the Tamil Nadu government introduced the Nam Kudiyiruppu Nam Poruppu scheme for residents living in low-income, government housing and resettlement sites managed by the Tamil Nadu Urban Habitat Development Board (TNUHDB). In this scheme, residents form associations to oversee the maintenance of these sites, with the intention of transferring ownership of their living spaces back to them. This move is significant, especially for the resettlement sites, considering the minimal consultation and abrupt evictions relocated families have faced during the process. What the scheme entails The scheme also aims to improve the quality of living in these sites.…