Cultures of Peace festival concludes

Cultures of Peace festival concludes
(L-R) Dr. Lanusangla Tzüdir, Japleen Pasricha, Tongam Rina, Parismita Singh, Kalpana Sharma and Xonzoi Barbora. (NP)
Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, NOV 10 (NPN) | Publish Date: 11/10/2018 11:44:58 AM IST


A stimulating discourse among panellists and participants marked the last day of the two-day festival “Cultures of Peace” organised by Zubaan, Heinrich Böll Foundation in collaboration with The Morung Express.

The day began with a round table on “The Stories We Tell” with women editors – Parismita Singh, Tongam Rina, Japleen Pasricha, Kalpana Sharma and Dr. Lanusangla Tzüdir– who talked about their respective works.

The discussion moderated by dean, School of Social Sciences and Humanities at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Guwahati, Xonzoi Barbora, broadly highlighted the challenges and risks that panellists (women editors) face in their line of work and the measures they have taken to highlight women’s plight in a patriarchal Indian society.

Kalpana Sharma, a veteran journalist, pointed out the hypocrisy of Indian society where goddesses are worshiped but women still do not enjoy equal rights with men.

Associate editor of The Arunachal Times, Tongam Rina, who is also a human rights activist, briefed the participants on the challenges faced by tribal women, emphasising mostly on issues faced by women in Arunachal Pradesh.

Writer and graphic novelist, Parismita Singh, questioned the vast division between the privileges enjoyed by women and men. 

She also admitted that there have been inadequacies in properly representing the less privileged women and that the ethics of representation has often been a subject of discussion. 

She, however, added that with the help of new media the stories of less privileged women can be properly represented.

Publisher and chief editor of Heritage Publishing House, Dr. Lanusangla Tzüdir, suggested that there was a need to develop an idea of “Indigenous Feminism”. 

She said this was needed to highlight plight of women in certain sections of society as women facing certain issues in one part of the country may not be necessarily relevant to women in other sections of that country.

Tzüdir also highlighted the evolution of Naga literature, which she said has evolved beyond writing about the atrocities committed by the Indian Armed Forces. 

She said Naga women writers have taken the lead in creative writings and that they have become good role models for the younger generation.

Feminist activist, Japleen Pasricha, founder and editor-in-chief of Feminism in India, said the blog “Feminism in India” was created after she failed to find Indian feminism in the popular culture on the internet.

She said the blog is run by a young feminist group who practice intersectional feminism and amplify the voices of women and marginalized communities.

The round table can be appropriately summed up in the words of Kalpana Sharma, who said, “We are all equal citizens of the country, we should have equal rights.”

The second day of the festival was also marked by “On Transition--Looking through the lens”, a photo exhibition of the works of Zubeni Lotha; a tête-à-tête on the tropic “working in a man’s world” with women professionals -- Abokali Zhimomi, Sonia Singh and Sophy Lasuh -- moderated by Theyiesenuo Keditsu; and a feedback and way forward session moderated by publisher of The Morung Express, Dr. Aküm Longchari.

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