Tag Archives: gender-based violence

Remembering Laxmi Orang and the Gender Question in Assam: Mayur Chetia and Bonojit Hussain


The Delhi gangrape case has led to country-wide outrage, with young women and men still pouring out on to the streets to protest against the widespread culture of sexual violence. The outrage has not just stopped at Jantar Mantar, India Gate or university campuses; it has also led to a wave of intellectual reflection on the issue. For most protesters the demand for justice has not stopped with the Delhi gang rape victim, but has led to a demand for justice for all victims of sexual violence. These protesters have forced us to remember a litany of names that get buried by the TRP driven media and a public with a notoriously short attention span of memory. It is time to remember names that we are losing to public amnesia, names like Soni Sori, Manorama, Asiya and Neelofar. It is time we remember another forgotten name – Laxmi Orang.

 In the Interest of Remembering: Who is Laxmi Orang?

On 24th November 2007, Laxmi Orang, a young adivasi woman, was forcibly stripped naked, thrashed and paraded by a violent mob of “mainstream” Assamese [1] men. This took place just 100 meters away from State Legislative assembly, in the very heart of Guwahati, in the full glare of the media and police forces. As with her fellow protesters, it was her first trip to the city, the mythical land where the modern day Swargodeo’s [2] listen to their subjects, where appeals are heard, where miracles happen, where riches and wonders thrive. She had come to the city as participant of a protest organized by the All Adivasi Students’ Association Assam (AASAA) to demand Schedule Tribes status for the Adivasi community of Assam. Continue reading Remembering Laxmi Orang and the Gender Question in Assam: Mayur Chetia and Bonojit Hussain

A woman in Delhi Metro, two women in a bus

Many years ago, I was travelling in a DTC bus – or was it a private-run Blueline? – in which the usual sense of calm-with-commotion was disturbed by a sudden act of strategic, small-scale violence, followed by a moment of stunned silence, then some bickering.

Two women were travelling in a bus full of men, and one of them had slapped a man. The man tried to argue and claim innocence, but to no avail. It was obvious to everyone in the bus that the woman would not slap him without a reason. He must have molested her. Most passengers watched silently, eager to closely observe the tamasha so they could relate it to others, like I’m doing now. But quite a few voiced their support of the women, and the bus conductor asked the man in question to get down at the next stop, returning his entire fare. Continue reading A woman in Delhi Metro, two women in a bus