The history of the All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) has richly tangled beginnings that drew from anti-imperialist and anti-colonial movements, land and tenant rights movements, and anti-casteist formations, as well as from the multivalent demands for women’s free and equal participation in the social reform movement. Organizationally, its roots develop early in the twentieth century, when women’s groups emerged in various regions, states, and localities along diff erent axes of struggle for economic, political, and individual rights and autonomy. Pappa Umanath is one of AIDWA’s many founders who came out of the explosive organizing of twentieth-century India. Because she hailed from the southern state of Tamil Nadu, Pappa’s vision of AIDWA had a regional specifi city, but as an offi ce holder in the organization for many years, she also had a national vision. Her metaphor for the interlocking qualities of the struggles and movements across time and location that developed into AIDWA was the banyan tree. “Like the roots of the banyan tree that spread out as the tree grows, forming many trees that are linked. We formed a national women’s organization to fi ght for the majority of women who face oppression and injustice.” For Pappa, the metaphor of the banyan tree illustrates the regional specifi city of AIDWA’s national parts. As a national organization, AIDWA joins together state-based women’s groups. Some, like the Tamil Nadu Democratic Women’s Association (DWA), preceded the national organization by fi ve years or many more. As with the banyan tree, it is sometimes diffi cult to distinguish AIDWA’s distinct branches and their roots from the trees that emerge from those roots. AIDWA is a national organization not in a singular sense, but through the multiplicity of regional formations and regional struggles linked together by their national scope and their common ideological vision for women’s freedom and emancipation.