Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Seminar on ‘women of NE & Indian freedom movement’ underway

Staff reporter

A two-day seminar on “Women of North-East and Indian freedom movement” organised by Internal Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC) and History department of Pranabananda Women’s College (PWC) in collaboration with Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad Institute of Asian Studies (MAKIAS) commenced Thursday at PWC, Dimapur.
Delivering a keynote address, assistant professor Dr. Mahua Bhattacharjee from the department of history, Assam University Diphu Campus (AUDC) highlighted the need to firmly assert the roles played by women in history.
“Women should be written back firmly in history with statistics and evidence without romanticising, without disturbing the values or without writing off the men,” said Dr. Bhattacharjee.
Lamenting that even in the 21st century the society was struggling to put back the focus on women, she termed it as a “collective failure” as a society, as academics and as a whole that the task has not been completed.
Dr. Bhattacharjee said, “These are the results of male dominations in the social sciences to an extent that women are written off the history.” She then added that floodlights have to be focused and refocused on women through special seminars and conferences.
Pointing out various women freedom fighters from north-east region namely Rani Gaidinliu, Lila Neogoni, Rebati Lahon and others, Dr. Bhattacharjee regretted that though these women fought bravely along with men they were not given equal importance and regarded at par with men.
Stating that though north east Indian take pride over the matriarchal concept, Dr. Bhattacharjee said women of the region were still prohibited in the traditional politics. She then explained the disparity faced by women in public and private life.
“Equality that is applicable in the public is not really applicable in the private spaces. The experiences that the men and women share and the vulnerability of women and men are not the same,” said Dr. Bhattacharjee.
She also spoke on the prevalence of domestic violence against women in the traditional society and highlighted the need to look through the “shadows of patriarchy”.
At the inaugural programme, welcome speech was delivered by assistant professor (department of history) and co-ordinator, seminar committee, I. Imkongakum Ao; PWC joint secretary, Swami Chinamayananda Maharaj delivered the introductory speech; special song was presented by the students from the PWC department of history and vote of thanks was delivered by Dr. Alomi Cynthia Shikhu.
In the technical session-I, assistant professor (department of history) Hansraj College, Delhi, Dr. Santosh Hasnu delivered special lecture.
In the technical session-II, assistant professor (department of history) Dimapur Government College, Vivi Swu presented paper on “Role of women in the Naga struggle for freedom with special reference to the Sumis”; member of MAKAIAS, Amit Barman presented a paper on “INA movement in connection with Joya Thaosen: A lesser known freedom fighter from NE India”; AUDC Assam, Hunmili Teronpi presented paper on “Traditional gender role: narratives of Karbi women in the research scholar self-determination struggle” and research scholar, AUDC, Assam, Anjana Engtipi presented a paper on “The Legendary figure of Karbi Women and their struggle”.

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