TODAY -

What The Youth Says About Insurgency And The Demand For Kuki State?
[Updated Version]

Misao Hejang Hangmi *

Kuki National Front (KNF) arms deposition to GOI under SOO in Sept 2010
Kuki National Front (KNF) arms deposition to GOI under SOO in Sept 2010 :: Pix - Leivon Jimmy Lamkang



With the demand for Kuki State gaining momentum in Manipur which is spearheaded by the Kuki State Demand Committee (KSDC), the writer felt the need to carry out a study among the youth about their perception on the demand for Kuki State. If success it has to be carved out of the tiny state of Manipur. As everybody knows the KSDC is the pressure group pressurizing the centre for early political talk with the Kuki underground group who are entering Suspension of Operation (SoO) with the centre and state government.

The writer carried out his study on the perception of youth towards insurgency and the demand for Kuki state in Sadar Hills Autonomous District Council that comprises of three sub-divisions viz. Kangpokpi, Saitu-Gamphajol and Saikul, believing that research is one of the effective tools in establishing facts that contributed to the enhancement of existing knowledge and creation of new knowledge that are scientific in nature, meaning absence of bias, prejudices and manipulation. Researches, as we all know, are not done in random rather with well defined models, procedures and techniques which we called it methodology.

The researcher's clear methodology helps him in successful collection of facts and enables him to analyse the facts in a scientific manner to reach at a scientific conclusion. With the help of this methodology, data was collected and analysed systematically in a scientific manner using the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS). Based on the analysis, the researcher drew the conclusions on the subject of study.

Considering the nature of the problem and study, he selected the descriptive research design. The universe of the study was all the Kuki youths of Sadar Hills who are from 15 35 years of age but unmarried, irrespective of their social and educational background. It includes both school going and non-school going youths. It also included both employed and unemployed youths.

The sampling design for the research is probability sampling since the universe is known through the government census record. The researcher selected youths at the age group of 15 35 years with the assumption that they are able to contribute reasonable amount of knowledge based on their practical experiences related to the subject/topic of the research. Simple random sampling is the technique that has been applied by the researcher.

The researcher used Questionnaire as the method of data collection for the research taking into account the wide spread of the geographical area of Sadar Hills. Almost all the youth in Sadar Hills know how to read and write which made the questionnaire more relevant and convenient.

The data collection was done on primary and secondary data. Information collected directly from the respondent from the field was treated as primary data whereas the information culled from the books, magazines, journals etc was treated as secondary data.

The researcher collected his primary data from sixty youths from the three sub-division of Sadar Hills Autonomous District Council viz, Saikul, Saitu-Gamphajol and Kangpokpi in the month of January, taking into consideration the respite season and availability of youths who will be on their vacation from schools, colleges and work.

The researcher made extensive itinerary tour to the wide stretch area with beautiful landscape and collected his data from youths with diverse occupational background and gender who hailed from various villages or town so as to ensure the research is free from personal biases and prejudices. Here one needs not to doubt the reliability or veracity of the small sample. Research believes that 60 sample is enough to draw a general conclusion with scientific methodologies and processes.

Data analysis and interpretation

The data collected from the field was entered to the computer using the software called Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS). The raw data that has been entered to the computer are analysed and interpreted using SPSS software which is purposively developed for analysing raw data so that the inferences drawn from the analysis and interpretation are scientific that are free from manipulation by avoiding errors and ensuring accuracy and precision .

The data collected was analyzed statistically and scientifically using the SPSS and interpreted for meaningful conclusion and generalization on the whole population. The analysis and interpretation done here consists of figure and graph. The results and findings of the researchers presented here are the outcome of the work done through the application of various computer applications.

Gender Distribution of the Respondents

Understanding the perception of youth in gender wise is very important to fill the gap of misperception. The table below gives the gender distribution that shows the number of male and female respondents in varied frequency.

GENDER DISTRIBUTION OF THE RESPONDENTS

Youth Says About Insurgency And The Demand For Kuki State?



Female respondents were just half of the male respondents, however the purpose was not to be prejudiced on the sex of the youth but to have an understanding on the general perception of the youth be it female or male.

Occupation of the Respondents

One of the important deciding factor for understanding perception and impacts is occupation. The researcher was of the opinion that individual's perception will differ according to the occupation. The figure below gives the distribution of respondents based on their occupation.

Youth Says About Insurgency And The Demand For Kuki State?



Having insurgent group is necessary for asserting one's traditional rights and identity

In the backdrop of the globalization there is constant erosion of one's identity and culture in various forms at the same time there also arises the need to preserve one's identity and culture from total lost. The figure below will give the various perspectives of the youth on insurgency vis--vis traditional rights and identity.

Youth Says About Insurgency And The Demand For Kuki State?



Whopping 65.0 per cent youth thought it is necessary to have insurgent group for asserting Kuki's rights and identity in the present Manipur context.

Kukiland is necessary

The Kuki insurgent groups are formed mainly to restore the Kuki nation to its state of former glory when self-rule prevailed among the people. The contemporary word for it is fighting for a separate state for separate administration under the framework of the constitution of India. Hundreds of lives had been lost and thousands of blood had been shed for this cause. The protracted movement raised lots of doubt to the people whether the movement will take us to a desired end. Let's see what the youth say about it.

Youth Says About Insurgency And The Demand For Kuki State?



The above figure gives a clear picture of what the youth thought towards the idea of Kukiland state. The cumulative percentage of agreed and strongly agreed, that is, youth who supported the idea of Kuki state is 75.0 per cent. Thus here inference is drawn that vast majority of the youths subscribed to the idea of Kukiland state.

Insurgency is responsible for economic backwardness and poverty of the Kuki society

Insurgency is, in most cases, associated with violence, and violence leads to disorganisation of social systems and institutions of which the cascading effect is poverty. The general thinking is that if insurgency related disturbances and violence are stop, then people will pursue their economic activities in full swing and the rate of poverty or economic backwardness as it is now will go down drastically. The larger section of the Kuki community's economic condition is very poor. The intention here is to see whether insurgency is the cause for poverty and economic backwardness.

Youth Says About Insurgency And The Demand For Kuki State?



The figure give a clear picture that 67 per cent of the youth accepted that insurgency is responsible for the economic backwardness and poverty of the Kuki people.

Insurgency Created Psycho-Social Problem in the Kuki Society

Psychosocial is of or pertaining to the psychological development of the individual in relation to his/her social environment. The kind of environment created by insurgency is sometimes considered disturbing to one's tranquillity which is directly related to psychological aspect. Since the past few years there has been an increase rate of insurgency activities in the Sadar Hills Autonomous District Council and most of the youth underwent a kind of psycho-social problem in such social milieu. The researcher made an attempt to see how the youth thought about this problem with insurgency.

Youth Says About Insurgency And The Demand For Kuki State?



Altogether 78.3 per cent of the youth considered that insurgency brought psycho-social problem to the Kuki's youth. Therefore, it is concluded that insurgents are responsible for psycho-social problem among the youth.

Educational Qualification and Perception of Kuki youth towards insurgency

Education is an important aspect of each and every individual's life. The cognition level of human beings grows and develops in the different stages of education. The educational qualification plays a crucial role as long as the thinking and reasoning capacity of an individual is concerned. Therefore the researcher thought to measure the perception of the Kuki youth towards insurgency based on their educational qualification with the hypothesis that perception might vary according to their qualification.

The scores obtained from the variable which indicated the attitude of youth towards insurgency were computed and recoded as another variable which was treated as the perception of Kuki youth towards insurgency. The researcher measured the perception of youth with one independent variable and this new variable.

Youth Says About Insurgency And The Demand For Kuki State?
X2 = 11.902, df = 6 , p = .06 (not significant)



The figure clearly indicates that the higher the educational qualification or the more a person is educated the more unfavourable she/he is towards insurgency. The less educated are more favourable to insurgency.

The chi-square was tested and the p-value is .06 which is more than the significant point i.e, .05. Therefore it is concluded that there is no association between the educational qualification of the respondents and their perception towards insurgency.

Conclusion:

According to the study youth have mix responses towards insurgency. In most cases they are not favourable but the disturbing question is what compelled them to say that it is necessary to have insurgent group for identity and traditional rights. I guess youth are living in dilemma. Who would want guns and violence? The precarious situation of Manipur, I believe, is compelling these youngsters to say that having insurgent group is inevitable. "One always prefers to suffer under his/her own man than the enemy".

Looking at the realities, such as the clandestine sinister expansionism design/policy of the major community added salt to the wound, who, under desperation, made every effort to encroach upon the tribal land. The demographic change, that is the ever rising population and the ever shrinking land for settlement forced them to eye on the tribal land, which has constitutional protection.

The government umpteen times made an abortive attempt to have rights over the tribal lands through various legislative amendments such as Manipur Land Revenue & Land Reform Acts, the latest attempt being made in 2010. These are nothing but land alienation policy. Unfortunately some of the district boundaries have been altered already; some tribal areas have been incorporated in the valley districts without their consent.

As a result the tribal feels insecure and been woken up that their lands have to be protected at all cost. They felt that the Sword of Damocles is imminent. In such situation supporting demand for separate state or alternative administrative arrangement become inevitable.

Political conspiracy and intrigue make the situation out of control, and sadly government has no political will to solve the problem.


* Misao Hejang Hangmi wrote this article for Hueiyen Lanpao and resubmitted to e-pao.net
The writer is working with DKA-Austrian project, coordinating the project in North East. He is also the founder of NGO called InSIDE-North East working for youth development for peace & just society
The writer can be contacted at hejangmisao(at)rediffmail(dot)com
This article was posted on August 15, 2013 and later updated on September 27 2013 with more inputs/graphs.


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