by Rajiv Sighamony on 03/05/09 at 3:50 am
The trauma of a woman who was stripped in public in broad daylight in front of thousands.
The year 2007 had not been a very good one for the adivasis in Assam.
The oldest tribe of India had been engaged in fighting for their rights in the state of Assam.
On 25th of November, the adivasi men and women had decided to march ahead with their agenda and meet the chief minister of Assam in Guwahati. The oldest tribe of India numbered around 3,000, unarmed began walking from the outskirts of Guwahati to the chief minister’s office.
It was a peaceful walk on the streets of Guwahati.
Image via Wikipedia
They felt deprived of the basic right which was very much theirs.
The sufferings of all those years had boiled their hearts with anger, and suddenly the adivasi crowds went berserk. They began throwing stones on the pavement, and also to the shops that lie on either side of the street. The window panes of few shops crumbled as stones flew everywhere around.
The local residents who kept quiet till then, decided to act. The fight between the adivasis and the locals began, a fierce battle ensued, and there were adivasi women who scampered to find a shelter.
The locals were outnumbered. The fighting turned violent as the local resident took arms and jumped on the crowds. The women were stranded helplessly at the back.
Three men among the locals came forward and caught a beautiful adivasi woman from the group in a broad daylight just before noon, caught her hair, forcibly took her aside and began to tear her cloths from her body. She struggled to get away from the clutches of those men. There were many who watched the girl struggle and shout helplessly, but nobody came forward to help her out.
The men undressed her till she was completely naked. It was a horrible sight to witness an act of immorality and incivility in a civilized city of Guwahati. The dignity of woman was in total ruins. The girl who was 19 years of age fled from the scene, naked, there were people who were busy taking pictures of her with their cell phones, but none helped her out.
The girl was rescued later by a gentleman who gave her a shawl to cover herself.
The girl now lives with her parents in a small town in Assam. The government had tried to compensate her with a large sum but she refused politely. She says” I want my tribe to get the basic rights which we should get. I won’t take the money”.
When she looks back, she regrets what happened to her. After completing her high school exams, she decided to join the fellow tribesmen and women for a cause. Never even in her wildest dream did she imagine to run across a situation which eventually changed her life.
She had a very painful first year after that terrible incident, but she slowly came to terms with the flow her life.
She says that she now wants to work for the people. She joined a social group to look after the needs of her people.
Watching her intensity to work closely with the people, a political group offered her to join the party, as she readily accepted the invitation and now look forward to work for the political party in the grass root levels
Though, the culprits were caught and landed in jail, no action would be enough to compensate what happened to her. It’s the determination of that brave girl which teaches us to face life with our heads held high, to set aside obstacles and catch the world by the scuff of the neck.