Skip to contentSkip to navigation

The ‘Empowered Women’ of Assam

  • These women needs no men to ferry them home
    These women needs no men to ferry them home

Any mention of India’s Northeast, and the first two things that comes to the mind of people from outside the region which has been a wonderful cauldron of cultures are, a disturbed area battered for long by arms conflict, or else, ‘the other exotic’. However, very few from rest of the country recognizes, that this eastern tip of India, connected to the rest of the country by a mere chicken-neck corridor, which is both physically and metaphorically true, happens to be the western most end of South-east Asia merging and melting into the mainland of what came to be defined as India since 1947. It is true that the long history of this region of various racial identities have passed through troubled times while certain parts of Northeast continue to be still tormented by conflict situations. What is also true are prevailing patriarchal systems within the social folds, giving birth to treachery and cruelties like witch hunting across parts of contemporary Assam which has been historically the gateway to the entire region.

Yet, despite the existing odds and challenges presented by India in accepting the Northeast within its much greater folds, the region stands out as unique and not exotic as many may think. These photographs present vignettes of ‘traditionally empowered’ women of Assam, their self-dependent nature evident while returning from a weekly market in Chandubi, in Southern Assam, around 50 kilometers west of Guwahati. These women from the Rabha community are rarely dependent on their men folk to ferry them across long stretches of water, or support them on land, during visits to the market to sell vegetables and traditional commodities, and return home with goods for the hearth and home from the market.

Author info

Maulee Senapati's picture

Maulee Senapati, an alumnus of FTII Pune, is a filmmaker based in Assam.

Add new comment

Republish

Republish this content

Random Stories

12th molester booked; journo arrest likely

17 Jul 2012 - 4:18pm | editor
Dispur steps up probe into the recent molestastion of a teen ag girl in the heart of Guwahati. Altogether 12 molesters have been book while a team of police has been tracing a suspecious phone call...

Republic Day observed peacefully at Nazira

28 Jan 2013 - 9:25am | SK Hasan
Alongwith the rest of country, the 64th Republic Day was colourfully celebrated at Nazira under the aegis of Nazira Civil Aadministration with a day-long programme. The ceremonial function was...

Four NDFB-S linkmen arrested

29 Jun 2016 - 9:25pm | AT Kokrajhar Bureau
Security forces belogning to police and army from Pakriguri and Padmabil arrested four linkmen of NDFB-S along with arms under Serfanguri PS in Kokrajhar district on Wednesday morning. The linkment...