Book review: The Mothers Of Manipur—Twelve Women Who Made History

By Namita Bhandare

At 10am on 15 July 2004, 12 angry women—some of them over 60—stood in front of the Kangla Fort in Imphal, stripped off their clothes and, shaking the gates, shouted: “Indian Army Rape Us. Eat our Flesh.” It was a protest unheard of before (or even after) anywhere in India and, certainly, in conservative Manipur. But the Meira Paibis, or women torchbearers of Manipur, had reason to be angry, so angry that they wanted to jolt the system. Another hunger strike or silent march was not good enough. They were responding to a new level of depravity of the army and wanted a new language of resistance.

The mothers of Manipur were using their bodies to protest against the sight of another body, that of 32-year-old Thangjam Manorama, a weaver, who had been found on 11 July, not far from her home where she had been picked up the previous night by troops of the 17th Assam Rifles, then stationed at the Kangla Fort. Read more

Source: Live Mint


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