Through the Lens: Life and Politics in Asia | Society | South Asia

A Northeast Indian Woman on Sexual Abuse in Big Cities

Vida Z. shares her experience with the troubling intersection of racism and sexual harassment.

The people in India’s northeastern region not only look different, but their cultures also set them apart from the rest of the country. While big cities in India are cosmopolitan, northeastern women routinely face harassment and discrimination, as they are presumed to be “fast and loose” by some men.

In this video, Vida Z., a public affairs professional from Mizoram and who has lived in Delhi and Bengaluru, shares what it’s like walking on the streets in the two cities as a northeastern woman, and how she was discouraged from filing a police complaint after a man attempted to molest her. But it’s not just about sexual harassment, as there’s also a dimension of racism here, she stresses. What compounds her concern is that there’s no law against racism in India.