FROM OUR Special Correspondent
SILCHAR, June 22: It was an interesting and enlightening talk by Banda Purkayastha, Prof. of Sociology and Asian / Asian American Studies, University of Connecticut at Hartford, USA, before a select audience in the conference hall of Sundari Mohan Seva Bhawan, Sriko, 6 km from here, on Tuesday. Prof. Purkayastha in her own inimitable manner touched upon the topic “The Indian Diaspora in US: Women’s Journeys”. It was a lively talk and some relevant questions were thrown at her to which she replied with equal ease.
The academician said even a few years ago the women who after their marriage went to USA were subjected to various sorts of domestic violence. There was no legal remedy for that. They had to suffer in silence. The question of justice to them was also out of thought. None of them even dared to talk of immigration. After long debate and battle, she pointed out legal provision came into effect against violence against women. It is most contrasting and shocking that in India, there have come into force a number of legal protections, but the crime and violence against women continues.
Prof. Purkayastha articulated her views through PowerPoint projection which made the discussion more enlivening. Every country has its own way of dealing with violence against women and also ectment of law. That law has to be modified or rectified or changed from time to time. To give effect to it, people or women’s organizations have to fight. There are many Indian origin American women who are active and continue to take up the cudgels for the protection of their rights and privileges. Quite justifiably, women themselves have to be conscious of their status as well as right to protest where necessary.
To a specific question on the harassment of detainees, including women, in the detention camps of Assam in the me of ‘D’ voters, Prof. Purkayastha pleaded ignorance and said she had not much knowledge or information about it. One would be appalled to know that leave aside male detainees, even female detainees in camps are kept along with convicts and hardcore crimils. She, however, recounted the attack on Pearl Harbor by Japan during the World War II which left many Americans aliens in their own land.
Many of them had no documents and they were sent to concentration camps. Such acts of inhumanity like putting the suspect ‘D’ voters in detention camps are in gross violation of human rights, she observed. At the outset, Dr. Kumar Kanti Das, Director of Sundari Mohan Seva Sadan, introduced Prof. Banda Purkayastha before the august elite gathering. Dr. Das, NRI based at America, also spoke on the subject. The programme was ably conducted by Sithalaxmi Kann, social activist.