March 8, 2019
Her long career as a lawyer-activist has seen her up against both governments and corporations.
Lawyer and activist Sudha Bharadwaj is among the women honoured at this year’s Harvard Law International Women’s Day Portrait Exhibit. The 21 honourees also included lawyer Menaka Guruswamy, who had argued for the decriminalisation of homosexuality in India.
This is the sixth iteration of the annual exhibit, which recognises “astounding contributions of women around the world to the areas of law of policy”, based on nomination by students, faculty or staff of Harvard Law School.
In August last year, Bharadwaj was arrested by the Pune police, which was investigating a public meeting – called the ‘Elgar Parishad’ – held prior to the caste-based violence that broke out in Bhima Koregoan, near Pune, on December 31, 2017.
Bharadwaj has spent nearly three decades working with underprivileged communities in Chhattisgarh. She was part of the Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha, a labour organisation founded by the late Shankar Guha Niyogi.
She has been a trade unionist, human rights activist and lawyer, engaging with marginalised workers and adivasis dispossessed of their land. Her long career as a lawyer-activist has seen her up against both governments and powerful corporations.