Research Paper

River Song: Caste and Cultural Assimilation in the Brahmaputra River Valley, Assam

Authors: Nimisha Thakur

Year: 2018, Volume: 9, Page/Article: 1, DOI:

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In this paper, the author argues that the lens of assimilation which is often used to understand cultural change within the Mising1 community in the Brahmaputra River Valley, Assam overlooks state developmental initiatives that attempt to pathologize and exploit the reproductive rights of tribal women. This paper specifically focuses on the ideas of menstrual pollution ascribed to the bodies of Mising women embedded in coercive menstrual management and family planning awareness campaigns. More broadly, the paper focuses on state discourses of purity and pollution that shapes the location of the Mising community outside Hindu caste hierarchies despite their adoption of Assamese Hindu religious and socio-economic practices.