Role of Women during the Anti-Foreigners’ Agitation in Assam 1979-1985

By Nabanita Sharma

The Anti-foreigners agitation in Assam started against the alleged inclusion of ‘foreigners’ name in the voters’ lists in several electoral constituencies in Assam in the 1970s. This agitation lasted for nearly five years. This event has been researched widely. Women constituted a major chunk among the agitators. Women were most vulnerable to violence that occurred during the agitation and afterward. However, this group of agitators has not been studied separately. In this paper, I have made an attempt to see how they viewed the agitation and what prompted them to join in such a large scale. I have also tried to study the need for looking at women’s participation in the agitation separately. Women in Assam, compare to the rest of India were less educated and had almost zero participation in politics in the 1970s. This paper is an attempt to explore the reasons and repercussions of the joining of women in the agitation.

Keywords: Anti-Foreigners’ Agitation, AASU, AAGSP, Agitation, Assam, Foreigner, Women.

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