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Poll statement with same sex love

Simlaguri may be a tribal village, but the bodos have made an unusual demand, reports Rahul Karmakar.

india Updated: Apr 08, 2006 12:38 IST

Around the time mainstream India raged over Deepa Mehta's Fire, a tribal village near here displayed exemplary tolerance in accepting a lesbian couple.

Over half-a-decade later, Bodo tribal residents of Simlaguri village have made another path-breaking statement on the eve of the Assembly elections — they want their representative to ensure legal status for the couple, Thingring and Roinathy Basumatary.

Simlaguri is one of many back-of-beyond villages near the IndoBhutan border under Kokrajhar East constituency.

Most candidates kept wondering what hit them at Simlaguri when faced with the unusual demand. But they managed to mumble "we shall certainly do something about it" to wriggle out of a spot.

"We have gone through a lot since we fell in love with each other 15 years ago, eloping from home to get married in a temple to escape the wrath of our respective family members," said Roinathy, the 'man' of the house who toils as a daily wage labourer to keep the home fires burning.

"We have hopped from one village to another like fugitives until we found acceptance here. But we want our MLA to ensure legal status to our marriage."

According to village elder Robin Basumatary (55), the village accepted Roinathy and Thingring, albeit reluctantly, since they were decent and appeared normal.

Besides, he added, "why bother about the personal affairs of the people who live here as long as they do others no harm?"

The pair is so popular that villagers do not want them to run from law.