Manipuri Women & Crime Against them

Sanjenbam Jugeshwor Singh *

 Awareness Program on Crime Against Women & Children held at Moreh on April 28 2018
Awareness Program on Crime Against Women & Children held at Moreh on April 28 2018 :: Pix - IT News

Manipur, a tiny state with an area of 22,327 sq. km in the north-eastern part of India is home to diverse ethnic groups and sub-groups. The sex ratio, according to 2011 census is 934 per 1000 male and has decreased as compared to 975 per 1000 male in the last census. Manipur has a literacy rate of 79.85% with male literacy 86.49% and female literacy at 73.19%.

In general women hold a high and free position in Manipur. Manipur is a state where women occupy a very unique position in the society since time immemorial. The Manipur women enjoy much more freedom to move around and so are much more enlightened and intelligent unlike in other parts of the country, where women are kept shut inside their homes.

Women have always been held in respect and accorded honor in Manipur. Manipuri women are usually inspired by ideal women depicted in literature both mythology and legendary. It may be said that most women while discharging their duties in the families are still following in varying degrees, the principles and norms prescribed by IMOINU, a mythological Goddess for the maintenance of peace and welfare of the family.

In addition to their household responsibilities, women also participate in social function and religious ceremonies. Since early times, women have been taking active parts in the performance of religious rites and rituals.

Another important contribution of Manipuri women is in the field of art and culture. They have added a lot to the cultural heritage in dance, literatures and the like. The world famous “RAS LILA” is performed by female artists only.

Manipuri women have also contributed a lot in the field of sports. M.C. Mary Kom, Kunjarani Devi, L. Sarita, Bombela, Bembem, Bala etc are acclaimed sportspersons of the state. The responsibility of running the family was by and large entrusted to women in the absence of their menfolk. The work participation of women in Manipur has been fairly high.

Sometimes women also supplement their family income by weaving cloths and selling them in the market. At the same time we all see the street vendor’semas (women), who are taking major role to sustain family economy/income, though they are deprived of their comfortable seats. They are in fact very industrious in many sectors.

The most admirable feature of the Manipuri women has been their capacity to resist any imposition on them, their families or their state, be it in the social, political or economic field. From the very ancient times, Manipuri women as a group played active role and participated in the political and social movement of the state as indicated by the two Nupi Lal of 1904 and 1939.

Ema Keithel or Nupi Keithelis one of a kind in the World as it is exclusively run by women. Rani Gaidinliu is another woman who had strongly asserted the political rights of her people against the British authority. The Nisha Bandh movement started in the seventies to take up steps to prohibit the use of liquor and drugs in Manipur.

The Meira paibi movement in the 1980s as a voluntary organization of the womenfolk to prevent violation of basic human rights of the people in the hands of the armed forces. The Meirapaibis also work for the eradication of social evils which are harmful to the development of the society as a whole. The Manipuri women as a group, played active role and participated in political and social movement of the state.

Manipuri women make crucial economic contributions and hold a distinctive position in social, religious and political life.

However, reports of violence against women in Manipur have been rising rapidly in the last few years. Despite being accorded respect and honor at home and adorned on public platform, in recent years, women have been more and more at the receiving end of escalating violence to which there is no limit, both in the public domain and private arena of the family.

Man-woman relationship in the society continues to be a dominating-dominated relationship. Much of the violence in the public sphere has been a direct result of the conflict situation in the state which is accompanied by an atmosphere of vagueness, fear and insecurity to aggression.

Violence in the public domain –shapes the choices women make about their own mobility and those of their family members and the choices family members impose on women which have lasting consequences when mobility is necessary.

Violence against women has become an endemic part of our society today. When one subscribes to the view that the status of women in Manipur is very high, the question arises as to why women are then vulnerable to all forms of violence? Many women fulfil multiple categories in their varied roles inside and outside the household.

A heterogeneous form of patriarchy looms large behind the unwavering perception of women’s elevated position in Manipur, a perception common both within and outside the state. As customary practices are reshaped by modern legal and social norms, patriarchy in the state has evolved, yet subordination of women is still prevalent.

Just as violence against women has a close connection with women’s status and position, it also has an intimate connection with the ideology of patriarchy, especially in the context of Manipur. In patriarchal society like ours, violence against women occurs in every step of life in different forms—mental, physical, economic, emotional and sexual.

Despite the involvement of women inagricultural production, Paid employment and household decision –making, women are still excluded from formal decision-making institutions.However high the women’s status in any given society, as long as there is no quality and freedom in the realm of politics ,economy and decision-making, the patriarchal element will reign strong and supreme.

Reports of incidence of violence against women amounting to killing have been on the rise in recent times. The present state of conflict situation has also compounded the problem. Increasing crime against women is an escalating problem in Manipur.

Women of Manipur have experienced multiple forms of gender-biased atrocities including rape ,molestation, kidnapping , intimidation, cheating on the pretext of marriage proposal and job opportunities and various types of verbal, psychological ,sexual harassment and abuse of women including eve-teasing. Such action deepened the sense of victimization and helplessness of the women of Manipur and brought both physical and psychological insecurity.

All these are again catalyzed by social media of IT product. Manipuri women fit the portrayed of what is called victimization of the victim. Manipuri women have been the victims of various forms of violence. Yet the strong sense of subsistence and survival compels them to be the source of sustenance for their families. In spite of such strength, the burden of all misfortune and adversity has taken a toll on their lives.

They have not been given their due recognition for all that they are worth which is why women in the state still victims to copious crime and violence. There is no economic, political or social empowerment of women in true sense in our state. The deteriorating law and order situation in the state has added to the sufferings of the womenfolk.

It is quite tragic and painful that women are increasingly unsafe, whether within or outside their homes. The harsh reality is that the elevation of women to a high pedestal in the socio-economic realm is only another side of the coin because as individuals, most women in Manipur fall prey to one or the other form of violence.

Rape and murder are no longer sporadic cases and has become some sort of an epidemic in the state. Lives of women have been severely affected to such an extent that in both the hills and valleys of the state while doing their day to day chores, many women have been tortured and raped and sometimes murdered.

There are various instances where the raped victims conceal their awful stories because of fear being stigmatized by the society.

In tiny state of Manipur, violence has become a way of life with an ever increasing incidence of different forms of violence against women. Though violence against women has increased in Manipur, going by the rate of conviction in cases of violence against women, it would not be wrong to say that the law and criminal justice system has failed to respond or deal effectively with it.

Women therefore continue to suffer without adequate legal or other redress. What is needed is an active and sustained engagement on the issues of violence against women in the form of collective people’s movement and not just the collective women’s movement. To combat the menace of violence against women, a woman-specific movement is the need of the hour.

* Sanjenbam Jugeshwor Singh wrote this article for Imphal Times
The writer is a Faculty at NIELIT, Imphal can be reached at sjugeshwor7(AT)gmai(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on October 05, 2019.

* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.

  • 123rd Lamyanba Irabot #3 : Gallery
  • May all the roads lead to Ukhrul ..
  • AMAND Cultural @Pune #2 : Gallery
  • Naga Flag & Constitution is our Identity
  • Global Handwashing Day
  • Gwangju Prize for Human Rights: Nominate
  • German program for women entrepreneurs
  • Raising the integration bogey, again
  • October 15 and the GoI
  • NTC calls for solution within scheduled time
  • Naga peace talks deadlocked
  • Pot Lannaba : Houchongba #1: Gallery
  • IM & Govt against freedom fighters
  • Wijaidin Pamai @Intl Fashion Week Goa
  • SheChef Season 2, Shirui Lily Festival 2019
  • Crazy for the hole :: Poem
  • Intl Classical Manipuri Dance Festival
  • Putting a check on single use plastic
  • Harvesting the green gold
  • Mera Houchongba @Kangla #1: Gallery
  • Mera Houchongba festival
  • Intl Day for Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Understanding JAM for bright career
  • For you, I gave up everything : Poem
  • Paranoia of Beauty: A Corporate Brainwash
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Opening NE to outside world: Challenges ..
  • Contested Identity Along Myanmar Border
  • NNPGs mandated for solution: Isak
  • Wont walk path of capitulated peace: IM
  • 3-month deadline ..unacceptable: Hoho
  • Manipur Street in Manchester & Shirui Lily
  • A glimpse of Shirui Flower : Gallery
  • World within a World
  • Face of RaDiant Group
  • For the Common People :: Poem
  • Heart Camp at Senapati District Hospital
  • NDPP is 'verba non facta' : NPF
  • Swindling of Public Money
  • Bor khoiramba @Hiyangthang #2 : Gallery
  • Lansinganglu, Ahinglang : eMing
  • World Tourism Day @Noney #3 : Gallery
  • World Mental Health Awareness Week 2019
  • Manipur lost legacy- Merger Agreement #2
  • My aquamarine :: Poem
  • Rice for beauty
  • Stand off over flag and constitution
  • Suicide - Western docs, Psychologists...
  • Naga wont accept alien doc. as constitution
  • Manipuri Calendar 2020 :: Download
  • AMAND Cultural @Pune #1 : Gallery
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand : Timeline
  • NE Message of Cleaninness at Delhi
  • Research Support Officer @ Amethyst
  • 8th AGM/Annual Cultural of AMAND, Pune
  • Peace & conflicts studies as a career
  • College student leaders learn leadership
  • Reaffirming stand of 2016 unity
  • Mr. Chief Minister, clean the dirt...
  • Nongdol Leima @ JNMDA #2 : Gallery
  • Haloi Taret: Dangerous Beauty....
  • Difficult days ahead for Muivah
  • Manipur from Independence to Merger #3
  • World Mental Health Day, 2019
  • Traditional DJ
  • Cry of a Dying River - 96 :: Poem
  • ..district to State level : Shirui Lily Festival
  • Something is still not right
  • Chothe Achui Lin festival #2
  • Heritage Park @Sangai Fest #3: Gallery
  • Are we being bullied with same fake news?
  • Hard facts about the betrail
  • World Animal Day 2019
  • Academic Entrepreneurship at MU #2
  • Nagas of Nagaland : Drawing the divide
  • ... Manipur needs strategic change
  • World Tourism Day @Noney #2 : Gallery
  • ST status is to save indigenous community
  • Sangai festival and tourism multiplier
  • Governance, Gender & Environment :: Book
  • Now Your Hair :: Poem
  • Neiphiu Rio's myopic belief on ILP : NPF
  • Probe into maladministration of hospital
  • Taking high moral stand: Begone moral cop
  • Bor khoiramba @Hiyangthang #1 : Gallery
  • Manipur lost legacy- Merger Agreement #1
  • Sikkim Dance @Sangai Fest: Gallery
  • World Habitat Day: A celebration for home
  • For Your Eyes Only :: Poem
  • No School bag day in Manipur
  • Making ban on single use plastic effective
  • New CAB clause to protect NE : HM
  • NNPGs ready to conclude talks: Kitovi
  • 123rd Lamyanba Irabot #2 : Gallery
  • Ngangom Chaoba : Natyabhusan
  • Ganja economics, Jai Bholenath !
  • Soul Sister :: Poem
  • Leap of faith on wings of Prayer
  • Counselling: Children in Conflict with Law
  • Caution for the cocksure
  • CAB Protest @Khwairamband : Gallery
  • Manipuri Women & Crime Against them
  • Toward exploring a better future for youth
  • I happily cry :: Poem
  • NE Students' Culturals at Pondicherry
  • Beauty benefits of banana
  • Heart Camp at District Hospital, Chandel
  • Contained but final word yet to be said
  • Smart idea, bumbling idealists
  • Chingda Satpi Engellei #2 :: eRang
  • Facts & Opinions: Integration of Naga Area
  • Licypriya : Earth Day Network 'Rising Star'
  • Cry of a Dying River - 95 :: Poem
  • Khangminashi - V at Ibotonsana Hr Sec
  • Academic Entrepreneurship at MU #1
  • Vote BJP but protest: CAB Indecisive stand
  • Significance of Manipuri proverbs
  • Hathei Phanit (Chilli) #2: Gallery
  • Naga insurgency & peace condition #2
  • World River Day, 2019
  • Half Brother :: Poem
  • Youth Essay Contest: May 18 Memorial
  • Michelle Salam : Top Ten Cake Masters
  • Internal tussle within the Government
  • The humility of MK Gandhi & Manipur
  • Bhagyachandra Death Anniv @WB : Gallery
  • Why dont Manipur forget Merger Agreement
  • Let us celebrate Non Violence Day
  • Looking Forward to a Sexy Evening : Poem
  • Observance of Senior Citizen's Day
  • Turmeric in beauty care
  • Artists for NH7 Weekender, Meghalaya
  • Parking madness at commercial centres
  • Demise of a dream
  • 123rd Lamyanba Irabot #1 : Gallery
  • International Day Of Older Persons, 1 Oct
  • Licypriya : India Peace Prize : Gallery
  • Irabot the poet of the working class
  • October Calendar for Year 2019 : Tools
  • Licypriya Kangujam : India Peace Prize 2019
  • ST status demand for Meiteis widening rift
  • Certificate Course on Neuropsychology
  • Lining up stand against CAB
  • Remembering Lamyanba & his politics
  • Irabot Day & the practice of volunteerism
  • Lamyanba Hijam Irawat :: Read articles
  • Around India in 60 days
  • Nungleiband Massacre: Diary of Editor
  • Judo: Rishikanta, Roshibina, Kalpana
  • Heart of an empowering woman : Poem
  • Imphal Peace Museum: Best Design Award
  • Engaging with the young minds
  • Lai Khutsangbi & female power
  • Naga liberty or forced disintegration..
  • Irabot's letter to Assembly: 18 Oct 1948
  • Monika Ingudam: Natl Youth Icon Award
  • Heart Camp at District Hospital, Ukhrul
  • Swacchata Hi Seva at Lakoipat
  • Let 'tree' that was cut, be the last
  • World Tourism Day @Noney #1 : Gallery
  • Where All The Flowers Gone? #2: Gallery
  • The resurgence of Hijam Irabot
  • Naga insurgency & peace condition #1
  • World Heart Day 2019
  • Judo: L Sushila; M Bidyashori, T Inunganbi
  • The Killing Fields 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • Counselling: Children in Conflict with Law
  • Looking to increase revenue collection
  • Adapting with the changing time
  • Inamma - Film Scenes #1 :: eRang
  • Heritage Park @Sangai Fest #2: Gallery
  • Cry of a Dying River - 94 :: Poem
  • Reject false solutions to climate crisis
  • Career in Mass Communication
  • Ideals of Lamyanba Irawat
  • Laurels for Th Brinda, Ng Touthang
  • Performances to watch at NH7 Weekender
  • Protest in NE against CAB starting Oct 3
  • Bamboo bus shelter model developed
  • Noney to host World Tourism Day
  • Drought and the drainage issues
  • Marangwon @Kangkhui Khullen: Gallery
  • The flavor of Utsav Tarpon
  • Urgent Need to Reconsider Naga History
  • A woman :: Poem
  • Human Papilloma Virus & women's health
  • Meeting the Enemy at Nathu La
  • 'Outburst' of Thuingaleng Muivah
  • Concerns for media persons
  • Ibudhou Thangjing Haraoba #5 : Gallery
  • Licypriya Climate March @Angola :Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2019 #4: Gallery
  • Licypriya Climate March at Luanda :: Report
  • Workshop on Science Writing
  • Nurabi, nominated at Rio WebFest
  • Manipur retain Senior Women's NFC title
  • Robert Naorem : Best Intl Fashion Designer
  • Process of updating electoral roll
  • Ban on plastic use
  • Kartal Cholom @ Sangai Fest : Gallery
  • Reflection on Tolstoy, Irawat & Dr. Kamal
  • Local solution, local action for #GlobalGoals
  • In You I Find My Sunset :: Poem
  • ... denying rights in actual practice
  • Landslide: Are Mitigation measures effective
  • Emotional Intelligence: Yardstick for life skill
  • eNabling North East Award 2019
  • The debate over legalising ganja
  • The new MVA; how serious is the govt ?
  • Chothe Achui Lin festival #1
  • Lady E-Rickshaw driver inspires women..
  • M Shanker: Indian Achievers Award 2019
  • Softly Coo the Wild Pigeons :: Poem
  • Discussion on Manipur Merger Agreement
  • Irabot, one & only leader of oppressed mass
  • Start-up Manipur as a potential launch pad
  • Culture Students Foundation Day : Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Territorial Integration, Flag or Constitution
  • Book published on Irabot Day: Download
  • In love with the night :: Poem
  • Maverick mind of Ram - Dedicated to Bar
  • Smoking- silent killer for your backbone
  • Revisiting Sept. 21 (1948 & 1949)
  • Where All The Flowers Gone? #1: Gallery
  • BCIM Corridor & China New Transportation
  • Alzheimer's Awareness Month
  • Cry of a Dying River - 93 :: Poem
  • Rally & Youth's Voice on Climate Change
  • Guwahati to Bangkok : Direct Flight
  • Stringent traffic rules in place
  • Time for immediate solution to climate crisis
  • Traditional Dress of Hmar : Gallery
  • Licypriya @UNESCO Forum, Angola: Gallery
  • World Ozone Day and Langban Tarpan
  • Protection of Land in Tamenglong: Meeting
  • Licypriya Kangujam at UNESCO : Report
  • 46th AMWJU Foundation Day : Gallery
  • Heikru Hidongba #2 : Gallery
  • 48th Foundation Day of RIMS : Gallery
  • Chaklam Khongchat Numit #4: Gallery
  • Mukna - indigenous game : Gallery
  • Hiyang Tanaba @Lamlai #1: Gallery
  • Babysana's last rites performed: Gallery
  • Tolloi, Ukhrul :: 360 Panorama View
  • Manipuri Calendar for 2019 : Download