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  • Need for Inclusive Governance Structures in the North-East

    Need for Inclusive Governance Structures in the North-East

    The Centre must reiterate its commitment to uphold the Constitutional provisions enshrined in Article 371, expand the scope of the Sixth Schedule, and empower the autonomous council institutions in the North-East.

    December 17, 2014

    The Battle of Imphal: March–July 1944

    The year 2014 is the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Imphal. To mark the occasion, this article looks at who fought it; how and where the fighting unfolded in Manipur; how it was a battle fought in the air as well; and the link with the INA and the Chindits. It also notes the many reminders of the Second World War in Manipur today and concludes with a brief overview of the state’s overall experience of the war. The article aims, in effect, to introduce the reader to the Battle of Imphal, an extraordinary event in India’s history that has received little to no attention till date.

    July 2014

    Amit Rathee asked: What is the difference in the nature of internal security challenges in Nagaland and Manipur?

    Namrata Goswami replies: The nature of internal security challenges in Nagaland and Manipur has certain common factors, but also significant differences. The common factors are that both the states are affected by ethnic conflicts over land and issues of identity, and suffer from extortion by armed groups and easy availability of arms. The situation in both the states is further complicated by overlapping state demands on the same piece of territory by the National Socialist Council of Nagalim led by Isak Chisi Swu and Thuingaleng Muivah--NSCN (IM) and the NSCN--Khaplang (NSCN-K) in Nagaland, and by the NSCN (IM), the United National Liberation Front (UNLF) and the People's Liberation Army (PLA) in Manipur.

    The differences are that unlike Nagaland where the conflict is mostly intra-ethnic, between the Naga armed groups; the conflict in Manipur is more intense as violence is inter-ethnic, as between Nagas and Meiteis and Nagas and Kukis. As a result, unlike Nagaland, where there are four major armed groups, Manipur suffers from nearly 32 different armed groups. This renders the atmosphere insecure. Unlike Nagaland, Manipur also suffers from deep seated hill-plain divide, where the Meiteis mostly inhabit the fertile Imphal valley, whereas the Nagas and Kukis live in the hill districts.

    The internal security challenges in Manipur are rather daunting. There are no significant peace talks between the union government and the PLA and the UNLF (neither groups have signed cease-fires); whereas in Nagaland, the peace process between the government and the NSCN (IM) and cease-fire with the NSCN (Khaplang) fosters a measure of accountability and stability.

    Peace Gestures in Manipur: Will it Work?

    Gestures for peace talks in Manipur by the government indicate a willingness to engage in dialogue with armed groups, which in itself is a step towards reconciliation. Equally important is to ensure that these gestures are seen as a genuine desire to engage with the real issues.

    September 23, 2013

    Tedim Road—The Strategic Road on a Frontier: A Historical Analysis

    The article is an attempt to study the history of the Tedim Road, a 265 km transborder road connecting Imphal (the capital of Manipur in India) with Tedim in the Chin Hills (Chin State) in western Burma (Myanmar). It was constructed by the British solely for the purpose of facilitating military movements along the India–Burma frontier during the Second World War.

    September 2012

    The Conscription of Children as Ultras in Manipur

    The Government of India may perform a catalytic role to activate community-cum-family based endeavours with particular emphasis on sports-related and youth activities—areas in which the Manipuris naturally tend to excel.

    May 04, 2012

    Manipur: Post-Assembly Elections 2012

    The Ibobi dispensation would do well to understand that the people have reiterated their faith in democracy and have cold shouldered the militants, if not politely shown them the door.

    April 16, 2012

    Emergent Micro-National Communities: The Logic of Kuki-Chin Armed Struggle in Manipur

    The granting of scheduled tribe status to the Kuki-Chin people eroded their allegiance to clan and linguistic/dialectal identities. While they do not have any problem with a pan-ethnic identity, their primary loyalty is to their own clans and communities. Invocation of kinship ties by different groups does not necessarily translate into a common political agenda. There are at least 15 armed groups among them that have combined into two larger groups—the United People's Front (UPF) and the Kuki National Organisation (KNO)—and signed a peace agreement with the state and central governments.

    March 2012

    Hans Raj Singh asked: Why the people of Manipur want AFSPA to be repealed? Which section of AFSPA does Irom Sharmila wants to be repealed?

    Namrata Goswami replies: The people of Manipur want the AFSPA repealed because they view it as repressive law which denies them their fundamental rights. According to the AFSPA, a person can be arrested without warrant on mere suspicion, without evidence, that he or she is supporting insurgencies. This has created a militarized political space, which curtails civil liberties, in their viewpoint.

    I do not think Irom Sharmila is fasting for the repeal of one particular section of the AFSPA. She wants the act in its entirety to be repealed.

    The Manipur Blockade: Symptom of a Crisis in Desperate Need of Resolution

    Barely a year after suffering two months of road blockade by Naga groups, Manipur is in the throes of a similar crisis again. What Manipur is in desperate need of is a resolution of the crisis."

    October 28, 2011