Critical View to the Reasons and Effects of the Manipur Violence


    India is a diversified country with different culture, tradition, beliefs, customs, ethnicity and languages. We strengthen by co-existing and contributing towards the social, cultural and economic values. Manipur is one such State with peoples of diverse communities and vestiges of history from the past. Restive situation of the state is not  new and for decades they strive to live together in peace.

“Manipur” which translates to abode of jewel, struggles to put together all colors of stones in a single solidarity loop of a state which often severed by religious and political abetments. Severe clash between Meitei community and Kuki Tribes makes up the rest of this blog for Manipur violence.

History and Geography of Manipur:

  After independence, Manipur was one of the princely states which merged with India and officially became part of the Republic of India on October 15, 1949. The merger was formalized when Maharaja Budhachandra signed an accession treaty in Shillong.

There was contention about whether or not the Meitei community would be included in the list of Scheduled Tribes even at that time, which did not happen. Until 18th century indigenous faith known as sanamahism was followed by the king and people. 

       A beautiful state in the North Eastern part of India, East to Bengal and sharing boundary with Myanmar lies Manipur surrounded by valleys and hills. Of the total population Meitei community who lived in the Imphal valley form the majority and Kukis form the minority who lived in hills.  

Community conflict between Meitei and Kuki:

   The conflict arised between Hindu Meitei community and Christian Kuki ethnic community. There already prevails land dispute between Nagas and Meitei for a long time. Moreover, consistent protest against AFSPA in by the Ethnic Armed forces and the Indian Armed Forces is a never ending scenario in Manipur. Among all fervour agitations earlier which Manipur been through is different from what happened in May, 2023 was not just Ethnic violence or religion based attack but targeted racial attack. 

   The Majority Meitei continuously kept their demand to be declared as Scheduled Tribe to enjoy many benefits that Kuki were entitled for a long time, including their owning of land in the forest regions which Meitei could not and Special reservations for ST category in education and employment. This was ignored by the Manipur Government for many reasons.  This always kept Kuki Tribes awake, if such status was provided to Meitei community, then their livelihood would be gravely in danger who lived in the hills and forest regions. 

On April 14th, 2023 hearing on a writ petition for the continuous demand for Scheduled Tribe status for Manipur’s dominant by the Meitei Tribe Union, Chief Justice of Manipur High Court Justice M. V. Muralidharan ordered that, the Manipur government to send recommendation to Union Government within 4 weeks time.

This ignited the issue during early May following riots in the state. Later this decision was criticised by the Supreme Court. Their demand for ST was justified by them, that they were recognised as tribes until Manipur was merged with India in 1949 and later that identity was ripped off from them, which they want back to protect and nurture their culture, tradition and language. 

Staggering after effect for a Nations honour:

   The tension increased by violence all over the state killing 160 people mostly Christiam Kuki communities, which included alleged acts of sexual violence, extrajudicial killings, home destruction, forced displacement, torture and ill-treatment.  Grave Humanitarian shortfall was witnessed in Manipur when gang rape, parading women naked in the street, severe beatings causing death, and burning them alive or dead.

The common man was armed in the streets, who were ethnic community of the state fuelled with hate and vengeance. Kuki living the plains and the Meitei living in the pockets of the hills are easy targets for destruction. The Anti-terrorism measures were misused with disabled functioning, and just overlooking the chaos as onlooker.  UN condemned the violence on religious minorities which is a ongoing deteriorating situation in India. 

  A state which absorbed refugees, immigrants from Myanmar for decades from transition of war is still rebelling with each other with many other political conspiracies along the way. Unemployment leading to formation of rebel forces, Waging War against narcotics by the BJP run Government headed by Chief minister  Nongthombam Biren Singh, a Meitei who claimed to have destructed18,000 acres of poppy plantation in the hill regions of which 2/3 share of land belong to the Kuki tribes. Myanmar being the second largest opium cultivator in the world had its invasion in the regions of Manipur too. The Chief Minister also warned that, villages cultivating poppy will be losing their subsidies and welfare benefits. This widened the gap between the relationship of Kuki tribes and the Government.

Vicarious Emotions and Comments:

     Lieutenant General L Nishikanta R Singh(retired), a resident of the state said that Manipur is now ‘Stateless’

   Reacting to it Former Indian Army Chief General VP Malik (retired) tweeted that it needed urgent attention tagging, PM, Defence Minister and Home Minister. 

   The hopelessness and disbelief in the protection among women is negatively used, said North East India Women Initiative For Peace. 

   Supreme Court Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud expressed “Deep concern” over the video of two women made to parade naked and calling it “simply unacceptable” and “the grossest of constitutional and human rights violations. 


  It made women in India to look back Draupathi in the centre stage of men when her clothes were attempted to rip off. Is that because women are always used as a human shield by men which gave utmost satisfaction of taking upon vengeance though the powerful Pandavas stood around. Austin defined law as “A rule laid down for the guidance of an intelligent being by an intelligent being having power over him. How true it is. After all that intelligent being is a social animal too who cannot live without the existence of others as a society. 

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