Women’s Plight In Manipur: A General Insight - Eastern Mirror
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Women’s Plight in Manipur: A General Insight

By EMN Updated: Oct 04, 2023 10:06 pm

Beneath the serene surface of Manipur’s landscape lies a troubling saga of ethnic discord that threatens to unravel the social harmony of the region. The ongoing conflict deeply rooted in the complex interplay of identities between the Meitei and the Kuki communities has revealed a distressing reality: women’s bodies used as battlegrounds and tools to exert dominance.

The heart of Manipur’s crisis lies in the intricate tapestry of its ethnic groupings. The generally accepted cause leading to the recent clashes is considered to be the seeking of Scheduled Tribe status by the Meiteis and which is staunchly opposed by the Kukis.  This embodies a discord and reflecting not just differing ethnicity but also historical narratives. While the economic and political dimensions cannot be ruled out yet the crisis is predominantly an outcome due to collision of ethnic aspirations. The kuki people’s connection to the land and the Meiteis pursuit of ST status stands as a symbol of contested narratives, stretching back to generations.

In the midst of this complex ethnic battle, like in any warfare, women again have to bear the brunt of the tragic casualties. Beyond the struggle for identity and resources, they face a harrowing plight of being systematically weaponised and violated.  With the intensification of clashes the plight of women often goes unseen and ignored. Realities of women assault, torture, sexual predation et al often take a backstage and remain mostly concealed. Victims are often silenced by the vortex of conflict and the weight of pretext societal norms and sacrifice. The disturbing manifestation of this turmoil is the weaponisation of women in the form of the two unfortunate women being subjected to dehumanising treatment which is a brutal testament of how women become soft targets in the theatre of conflict/wars. The National Commission for Women (NCW) had informed a 46% rise in crime against women in the first eight months of 2021. The conflict statistics if compiled will reveal an even darker picture of the first eight months in 2023. Where do the government fit in the legislative framework for women and women empowerment schemes for conflict torn state of Manipur. In this turbulent chapter, Manipur’s women should not be reduced to mere statistics. Atrocities have to be stopped immediately and accountability ensured for the violence inflicted and borne by the women folk.

Amidst this ethnic chaos grappling Manipur, the pain, the resilience and the robust fortitude displayed by the women must not be forgotten. It is these same virtues that offer a glimpse of hope amid the confusion and darkness. The need therefore, rest in adopting a holistic review and effort not only to seek justice from the court of law but the involvement of all stakeholders including the law makers, police officers, NGO’s, the forensics, rehabilitation centres and the civil organisations. If India, the largest democracy is to ensure a truly plural state then for sure, the government must first guarantee the safety, protection and justice of women: the Home-makers and the Nation builders.

Thripila Sangtam

B.A. 3rd Semester,

Department of Political Science

Modern College.

By EMN Updated: Oct 04, 2023 10:06:48 pm
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