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South Asia Seminar with Papori Bora

Date: 02/17/2010

Time: 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Location: 710 Social Sciences,West Bank

Cost: Free


Talk title: Gender, Democracy and Citizenship in India's Northeast

This paper is a postcolonial feminist analysis of politics inNortheast India. Ethnic minorities in Northeast India have mounted several armed struggles seeking separation from the Indian state. The Indian state's military response to these armed movements has made the region the most continuously militarized region in postcolonial India. On July 15 2004, women in the Northeast Indian state of Manipur staged a protest to oppose the rape and custodial killing of a young Manipuri woman, Thangjam Manorama, by soldiers of a counter insurgency paramilitary battalion, the Assam Rifles, who suspected her to be a militant. At this protest, several women appeared nude, shouting and holding a banner that read "Indian army rape us." This paper considers how we might read the nudity and the statement "Indian army rape us." This talk will show how analyses of the protest that are couched in universalist terms of human rights and the law do not situate the protest within the larger political struggles in the Northeast, and thus fail to understand the significance of this radical act of opposition that intervenes into the political debate of the region. The statement is read as an insubordinate command and therefore can be argued that its significance lies in the way it challenges the very power relationships that constitutes the Northeast in relationship to the Indian nation state. In so doing, this talk shows the potential of a postcolonial feminist inquiry to disrupt and rethink existing debates that are caught within colonial and nationalist legacies.

About the speaker:

Papori Bora is a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Minnesota.


  • Name: Consortium for the Study of the Asias
  • E-mail: asias@umn.edu
  • Sponsored by: Study of the Asias, Asian Languages & Literatures



Disability Options:

To request disability accommodations, please contact the Consortium for the Study of the Asias at 612-625-6103 or asias@umn.edu.

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