Angellica Aribam is an Indian political activist. She is known for raising her voice against gender inequality, race discrimination and democratic politics in India. She founded a non-governmental organization named Femme First Foundation that works to endorse political captaincy for women in India. Angellica Aribam is the former National General Secretary of the National Students’ Union of India that is a part of the Student’s Indian National Congress. At an American NGO named Vital Voices, which was founded by Hillary Clinton and Madeleine Albright, she is a VVEngage fellow for women political leaders. She is considered as the first student from the North-eastern region of India who was elected to the Students’ Union Executive Committee in Delhi University in 2012.
Table of Contents
Angellica Aribam was born on Wednesday, 22 January 1992 (age 29 years; as of 2021) in Imphal, Manipur, India. Her zodiac sign is Aquarius. She received her initial school education at Kendriya Vidyalaya, Andrews Ganj. In 2012, she obtained a degree in Biochemistry with honours from Sri Venkateswara College, Delhi University. In 2018, she completed her Master’s degree in Public Policy from Peking University, China, along with a MOFCOM scholarship. Her master’s thesis was titled “The public perception of stringent rape laws with respect to the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2013.” At the age of 20, she joined law school.
Height (approx.): 5′
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Angellica Aribam was born in a Manipuri Brahmin family in Imphal West, Manipur, India.
Parents & Siblings
Her father’s name is Aribam M Sharma, and her mother’s name was (Late) Thoibi Devi.
In 2012, she joined the Students’ Union Executive Committee at Delhi University in the National Students’ Union of India (NSUI). In a media conversation, Angellica Aribam narrated,
How racism towards the north-eastern people in various Indian cities pushed her to join active politics.”
In September 2012. she was chosen as the Executive Committee of the Delhi University Students’ Union in the Campus Law Centre, Faculty of Law at Delhi University. Later at the end of the year, she was promoted as a National Secretary by Rahul Gandhi in the NSUI. In 2013, at the AICC session organised at Jaipur, Angellica Aribam was the only speaker from the northeast region of India. Her speech was on,
The challenges faced by the northeast diaspora across the country.”
In 2015, she represented the Indian National Congress delegation in China. In 2016, she co-anchored the designing processes, the discussions, and the conceptualisation of the Student Manifesto of the Indian National Congress amid the 16th Lok Sabha elections. She was designated as the National General Secretary of the NSUI in March 2016. In July 2017, she quit the position of the National General Secretary of NSUI for giving the chance to young blood. In 2018, Aribam was one of the delegates to Israel who represented the Indian National Congress in the Indian political parties’ spokesperson delegation.
‘The Fifteen’ to be published by Hachette India in 2021.
Gendered Lens in the Climate Crisis
Racism during Covid-19 pandemic
500 million Indian women demand to be heard
Jammu Kashmir & Manipur: Shared History
Why Indian politics needs a sisterhood
What the Modi government should do for Indian women
Women in politics are 2nd class citizens
Bollywood in the #MeToo Movement
Are we ready for women’s reservation in politics?
China & India losing the gender potential
Presidential term limits for Xi Jinping
Kerala HC ban of student politics
Journey Towards Breaking The Shackles
Unnoticed sexism in everyday life
Authoritarian regimes gag universities
At BHU, Women are being restricted by RSS’ chains
Debunking AAP’s propaganda of education reforms
How many racial attacks against NE people will it take?
New Education policy is a fascist agenda in disguise
What 10 days of Vipassana taught me
Sorry to break the liberal image of Northeast
Women Leadership Quota
Angellica Aribam extensively works for the representation of Indian women in Indian politics. She advocated endorsing the Women’s Reservation Bill through her writings and public lectures. She also focused on the need for women leadership. She also recommended the initiation of gender quotas with capacity building and incentives for women in political parties.
On 24 June 2019, Aribam founded a non-profit organisation named Femme First Foundation (FFF). It is a non-partisan venture that emphasizes women leadership. This organisation trains and grooms young women political leaders in India.
Angellica Aribam is an anti-racism activist. She decided to join politics in July 2012, when there was a violent outbreak against Northeast students happened in New Delhi. In 2016, she continuously appealed for the execution of the Bezbaruah Committee recommendations during her work in NSUI. In 2015, she also demanded a clarification from the BJP on referring to the North-eastern Indians as immigrants. In 2019, in an interview, she elucidated that while representing a minority one had to show greater responsibility. She stated,
When an individual from a minority community commits a mistake, then it is viewed as the mistake of the whole community and puts a lot more pressure on the representative to perform better as a leader.”
In March 2020, Aribam confronted a harsh online abuse in which she was harassed with a demeaning racial comment that is punishable under Indian law. In her email complaint to the Delhi Police, she wrote,
The trolling turned racist and a graphic image was posted by a user. That’s when I decided that I’ll not take this. I also called the Northeast helpline and they offered to send a police official but I thought it wasn’t required. The reason is that we don’t have an anti-racism or discrimination law. People think they can comment and get away with it. No leader talks about it. There is a lack of political will.”
The General Secretary of Manipur Students Association, Thokchom Veewo, said on various incidents that harassed the Manipur students in Delhi University amid corona,
Because of the features of the people from Northeast, they are being ridiculed as ‘Coronavirus’. They are being teased by calling “corona” at sight, treated differently at shops, convenience stores, etc. for which videos have been shared on social media. This is a total act of blatant ignorance and racial discrimination.”
Consequently, Aribam filed a petition to the Prime Minister of India due to rising racial crimes due to COVID-19 in April 2020. She also got support for her initiative from the general public and later, a statement was also issued by the Prime Minister for the concerned issue.
Angellica Aribam repeatedly fighting for a free and open internet since her entry into politics. She has been advocated for the principles of Net Neutrality. In 2015, when she was serving as a leader in the Indian National congress student’s union, she raised her voice for Net Neutrality in the Indian Parliament. In an interview, as a vocal to Net Neutrality, she said,
It was in 2015, telecom companies were implementing differential pricing for using the internet, meaning that browsing different websites would cost differently. It was against the principles of Net Neutrality. The government was hand in glove with the telecom companies, and it was going to introduce a Bill into Parliament to allow differential pricing. Many civil society organisations were protesting against this move.”
Menstrual Health Campaign
Aribam extensively fights for clean, healthy and hygienic-sanitary pads access to the Indian women prisoners. In 2015, she protested for the high security for the women in Delhi and she was detained by the Delhi Police. After being put in jail by the police, she was not provided with a basic menstrual pad that motivated her to take up the cause with Delhi Police. She demanded the availability of free sanitary pads in prisons. In a conversation with the media house, she narrated her experience in jail,
As I started menstruating in police custody, I requested a police officer for a sanitary towel. She gave me a dirty handkerchief. I didn’t accept the handkerchief and kept bleeding. The episode traumatised me. After my release, I decided to fight for improved menstrual health for women in custody and I started a small campaign that generated quite support. We asked the Delhi police to keep sanitary towels in all police stations. In its aftermath, a taboo topic like menstruation became a part of the mainstream conversation.”
Protests for the Rights for Women
Angellica Aribam holds the trust in fourth-wave feminism as she considered herself an intersectional feminist. She penned an article in September 2016 that highlighted the sexism and misogyny that was experienced in the hostels of Banaras Hindu University (BHU). This article was regarded as the first article that exposed the vast gender discrimination in the BHU. Consequently, the protests got favour from all over India. In a conversation with a media house, she emphasized more marginalized communities in the decision making authorities.
Separate Time Zone for Northeast
Angellica Aribam filed a request to the Central Government to allocate a different time zone for the Northeast region in May 2017. According to Indian Time Zone, India has a single time zone when it stretches 3,000 kilometres. It is believed by the experts that different time zone would maximize day working hours, and it also conserves energy.
Angellica Aribam was chosen for the inaugural cohort of the VVEngage Fellowship in 2018. It is a Vital Voices programme that trains women in leadership. The fellows of the VVEngage undergoes strict in-person and online training that gives them a chance to interact with global mentors and develops a network of peers. Former Prime Ministers Beatriz Merino of Peru, Jenny Shipley of New Zealand, and Kim Campbell of Canada were her mentors amid this program. She was also trained by the professors of Harvard Kennedy School during her fellowship.
Delegate to the American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL)
In 2020, Aribam was chosen as an exchange fellow at the American Council of Young Political Leaders (ACYPL). She also got the opportunity to observe the election rallies of the two presidential candidates including Joe Biden in January and February 2020. She observed a caucus in Iowa that was launched in the Iowa Senate.
Awards, Honours, Achievements
In 2017, she was listed in Forbes India’s Under 30 for her work on politics and policies.
In 2016, she was listed among 7 women who made the north-eastern region of India proud by SheThePeopleTv.
In her leisure time, Angellica adores cooking, reading, and modelling.
At the age of 20, Angellica Aribam joined politics believing that it was the best way to change the status of a woman in Indian society.
From 2017 to 2018, she studied her maters on a full governmental scholarship at Peking University.
At the age of 12, she shifted to New Delhi to pursue her higher school education.
In 2018, Eastern Eye, a British newspaper, featured Aribam on their cover page the top 10 successful Indians under 30.
In 2020, Vouge India featured Angellica Aribam on their cover page as among the seven most beautiful women from the northeast state of India. In an interview, she revealed her beauty secrets as,
In my experience, the one ‘beauty tool’ that you can never go wrong with is self-confidence. So wear it always.”
Angellica is a friend to the Prime Minister of Peru Violeta Bermudez.
In a conversation with Forbes India in 2017, she narrated her encounter with racism. She said,
I was racially discriminated against, more so because of my Mongoloid features. I decided that the only mode of survival was to either ignore this or to fight back. As I grew up, I chose the latter. I realised someone needs to stand up against this discrimination that often leads to violence against Northeasterners and the only way to do something was to join politics.”
Angellica is a public speaker. She has been often invited by various public motivational programs for delivering anti-racism speeches.
In 2021, she shaved off her hair to deny the societal stereotype logic regarding women’s hair.
Several Indian magazines and tabloids often print Angellica Aribam’s story in their reading content.
Angellica Aribam also writes quotes to promote women empowerment.