Munmi Pathak


The archetype of the mother is always perceived as ‘pacifist’ in war and conflict situations. However, there are numerous examples when mothers are not ‘pacifist’ but become participants and perpetrators of war. This article, through the analysis of the experiences of the mothers in the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), an armed nationalist organization waging war against the Indian nation-state to establish ‘sovereignty’ and ‘liberate’ Assam since1979, argues that mothers can also be warriors, going beyond their ‘pacifist’ archetype. With the analysis of the oral narratives of the women cadres of the organization, this article discusses how these mothers tried to negotiate their identity of being warriors and mothers and aims to set an alternative identity of the mother as ‘warrior-mother’.

Author Biography

Munmi Pathak has a PhD from Special Centre for the Study of North East India (SCSNEI). Her research interest includes gender and conflict, women’s history, and memory studies.