People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 29

July 22, 2012




Rally Protests Govt’s, Media’s Insensitivity


Madhuri Devi


THE incident that occurred in the busy Christian Basti area, G S Road, Guwahati, on July 9, 2012, has sent shockwaves around the country. A young girl was severely assaulted by a group of hooligans for around half an hour, on a busy road, with onlookers standing by and watching the crime being perpetrated. The electronic media was busy filming the incident and the scenes of her clothes being torn off were being telecast live. It was a shameful atrocity which has appalled the conscience of the whole nation.


The incident has brought to light the decaying condition of law and order prevailing in the Congress ruled state of Assam for the last 11 years. The status of women in Assam is deteriorating day by day. The policies of neo-liberal globalisation have led to the spread of market ideology, and imbued a section of people with the feeling that a woman is a saleable commodity. Crime against women has been on the rise in Assam, with the latest statistics from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) revealing a high number of abductions and molestations.


The current incident has several dimensions which have to be taken up seriously. The police response to the complaint was tardy, and the senior superintendent of police (SSP) reacted to say that the media was blowing the incident out of proportion. A section of the media has been accused of instigating and abetting the crime. Above all, the insensitivity of the Assam chief minister, Tarun Gogoi, has been totally exposed. He met the assaulted girl only a week after the incident happened, after the public outrage mounted. He then added insult to injury by allowing the name and photo of the victim to be released by his media cell. One of the members of the team sent by the National Commission of Women (NCW) also released the name of the girl to the media.


The Assam state unit of the All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) strongly condemned the barbaric incident through a press statement, demanding stringent action against all the perpetrators. The AIDWA, Students Federation of India (SFI) and Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) jointly took out a protest rally on July 14, led by AIDWA general secretary, Sudha Sundararaman, and submitted a memorandum to the chief minister. It contained the following demands:


1) Punishment to the culprits involved in the molestation case of July 9.

2) Proper security for and rehabilitation of the victim.

3) Stringent action against the irresponsible police officials.

4) Curb on atrocities against women.


The AIDWA gave a call for continued campaign against violence on women, and adopted a resolution to this effect at the Young Women’s Convention held in Guwahati on June 14, 2012.




Held at Guwahati on July 14, the Young Women’s Convention was presided over by Seema Biswas, Satyabati Bhuyan and Meera Tamuli. The AIDWA’s Assam state secretary Madhuri Devi presented the draft report that report highlighted the fact that the socio-economic-cultural system prevailing in the state and the policies of the government are the root cause of the various problems faced by women.


A total of 110 young women from 15 districts of the state attended the convention and discussed a plethora of problems ranging from women’s education, healthcare, unemployment, kidnapping of women, exploitation, deaths due to dowry, women trafficking and witch-hunting, up to the recent molestation case occurring in Guwahati on July 9.


Apart from condemning this assault, the convention passed two resolutions --- one against price rise and the other demanding permanent solution to the flood and erosion problems in the state. The convention ended with a firm pledge of organising the women of the state and fighting unitedly against various problems facing women and bringing them into the organisation in more numbers.