CPI(ML) dips its flag in homage to the Dalit feminist poet, writer and activist Rajni Tilak, who passed away at the age of 59 on March 30, 2018.

Rajni Tilak was a trenchant critic of Left movements and the Indian feminist movement from an Ambedkarite perspective – at the same time, she was also a trenchant critic of Dalit movements, critiquing their neglect of class and patriarchy. In her life and work, she sought greater dialogue, frank debate and cooperation between Left and Ambedkarite movements. In her youth, she was active in the trade union movement, organising Anganwadi workers in thousands.

Her political activism spanned a wide range of organisations and experiences, ranging from the Dalit Panthers to the feminist collective Saheli, the writers’ collective Dalit Lekhak Sangh, National Confederation of Dalit Organisations (NACDOR), Centre for Alternative Dalit Media (CADAM), National Federation of Dalit Women (NFDW), and Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS).

Rajni Tilak’s frank and bracing skepticism, ruthless criticism that was totally devoid of any bitterness, and her deep commitment and a total lack of cynicism enriched every movement with which she had contact