Negotiating Identity and political participation of Bodo women in conflict affected areas of Bodoland Territorial Region: India’s Northeast.

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Maidang Khungree Basumatary


Bodos are the plain tribes of Assam comprising around 35.06% of the total ST population of Assam (census 2011). The Bodoland Territorial Region comprises of 5 districts namely Kokrajhar, Baksa, Chirang, Udalguri and the newly formed district Tamulpur. The Bodos comprises 30 percent of the total population in BTR and the remaining 70 percent comprises of Muslims, Adibasis, Koch Rajbongshis and people of other non-Bodo communities. In Bodo society while women’s work is valued at home and outside but traditionally women are not given much opportunity at decision making at the community and political level. The individual identity of women remains submerged under the ages of male supervision in every aspect of life. Women have been important part of Bodoland movement that started in search for the identity of the Bodos but despite their enormous contribution very less opportunity has been given to women. It’s been more than 20 years since the onset of Bodoland Territorial Council, until now only 2 women has been elected as members in a 46-member council. Women are confined only as party members and block level leaders while they are used during elections to mobilize large scale women voters. Women have taken roles in peace building and negotiation during various conflicts that the region has constantly faced but their role has been rarely recognized after the conflict. In the post-conflict times women are ideologically and violently pushed back to their original position despite their proven skills and leadership. The paper will seek to understand the conflicting identity and role of Bodo women (mothers and girl child) in Bodoland Territorial Region of India’s northeast and understand whether women has not been given any opportunity or is it women who has not been able to negotiate their positions

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