‘We Stripped And Shouted, ‘Indian Army, Rape Me!’ It Was The Right Thing To Do’

In a quiet, sleepy village, a beaming, portly woman stands in the doorway with four kids and a small grandson. Looking at her without any background information, it would be hard to imagine this gentle, happy, beatific face as the face of Manipur’s most aggressive anti-State protests. But at the age of 62, Ima Ngambi is a Manipur legend, the woman who shouted the loudest in 2004 before stripping naked to protest the rape of 32-year-old Thangjam Manorama. Her story is important not only because she has stood up to a deeply oppressive and patriarchal politics. She did all of this while living on wages of 40 a day, with which she fed a family of six, singlehandedly brought up four children and managed to save the odd rupee to put into her fight against the State. She tells Revati Laul all this isn’t a big intellectual idea. It’s simply tapping into what she believes being a woman and a mother is about.



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