TODAY -

Social Unrest in N-E Regions

Sanjenbam Jugeshwor Singh *



Civil unrest may be described as disputes, disagreement, quarrels, fights, violence and wars between individuals, groups and nations. It may be observed that the problems of underdeveloped &poor regions of India like North-Eastern States are ethnic, religious and communal civil unrest among others which poses serious threat to peace, security and progress of the region.

Therefore in regions like N-E states where different ethnic groups claiming one form of deprivation or the other and attempt to increase share of power and wealth is a prevailing situation. It also worth noting that conflict may be functional or dysfunctional. Dysfunctional conflict result into civil unrest, destructive in nature and leading to loss of lives and property, time, investment opportunity, hunger and malnutrition.

Obite (1999) opined that the breakdown of vehicle of social control agents such as family, education. Law, religion and political system has increased ethnic and communal civil unrest. He further asserts that civil unrest arises from the pursuit of divergent interest, goals and aspirations by individual or group in defined social and physical environments.

It is worth noting that the manifestation of the failure of Indian/ state government to provide good governance and forge national integrated government as well as the inability of many homes to meet the economic needs of its members has increased the persistent civil unrest in society.

In a related development, Deeka(2002) asserts that the eruption of civil unrest can be linked with group pluralism and interactions to achieve their diverse objectives. While Jega(2002) in his own opinion states that in seeking relevance or retention of political power, the elite manipulates religions and ethnic sentiments , it can be noticed that a range of ethnic clashes and sectarian conflagrations are deep rooted in the context of the group conflict theoretical hypothesis.

In addition, Abah (2009) view, civil unrest as form of violence, modernized on the basis of a great range of social injustice and inequalities prevailing in a state. In this respect, the aggrieved people rationalize their opposition leading to civil unrest in the states on the basis of seeking the correct prevailing social injustice and inequalities in the states. This form of civil unrest often result to direct physical attack in reaction to and defense against acts perceived as unjust and inequitable in the society.

It can be observed that since its inception as colonial regions to independence and post-independence can really describe N-E states as one of the most divided region (especially Manipur) along religious or ethnic background. It can be observed that since its inception as colonial state to independence and post- independence, Manipur as a country/state has been facing a perennial or state legitimacy, which often challenged its efforts on state-national cohesion, democratization, stability and economic transformation.

The ethno-religious civil unrest are set of actions that are the product of intermediary bourgeois who manipulates ethno-religions bigotry in order to maintain their exploitations of masses. Civil unrest has been a part of human history. Hence it has been there in the history of all human races for ages. It is prevalent characteristic of most of the developing world /region. The ethnic groups fight because they are denied not only their biological needs but also psychological needs that relate to growth and development.

These included people’s needs for identity, security, recognition, participation and autonomy. Civil unrest in N-E regions, especially in Manipur where such needs of citizens are hardly met by the government due to bad governance. Whenever such non-negative needs are not met, the next thing is civil unrest which is inevitable in the society. One of the main causes of prolonged or complicated civil unrest is people’s unbending force to meet their unmet needs leading to civil unrest.

At the same time the intention of union government to introduce Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) in the current session of Parliament further make people unrest in the whole N-E States. Peoples apprehension is that if CAB is passed then there will a population explosion in the region which in turn will pave a way for the outsiders to be a citizen of India/the region which will definitely affect the indigenous people of the region badly.

Not only this due to Indo-Naga framework pact ,the contents of which may affect the territorial, cultural and administrative integrity of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh again make people of these three states terribly unrest as the verbal assurance given by Union government is not satisfied by the people which led the boycotting of SANGAI TOURISM Festival 2019 in Manipur.

Citizens of North-Eastern states especially Manipur, believe that our legitimate identity, participation in affairs of local indigenes / settlers syndrome which really affecting our social interaction and relationship in the society.

In a related development, stresses are needed or like interest cannot be traded, concealed or bargained for. Meaning, it is important the involvement of all the interested parties in finding and developing acceptable ways to meet the needs of all concerned groups.

Consequently, resolving civil unrest such as ethno-religious coloring, people’s needs values and interest should be put into consideration for attaining sustainable development in the society. It is worth noting that provisions of basic needs such as health services, education, employment, good roads and security among others which are important to human survival will reduce tensions that may lead to civil unrest.

The unequal distribution of scarce resources and process of getting them become desperate and highly competitive and often leading to serious civil unrest, armed robbery, drug & human trafficking and organized crimes that are detrimental to achieving sustainable development in the society. It is noted that the socio-economic, political and ethno-religious factors are key players in the causes of civil unrest in N-E regions particularly in Manipur.

Ethno-religious differences have created intolerance and serious tensions among the citizens creating unwanted distrust and fear. Therefore it has become vital for the citizens to know the danger civil unrest poses to strengthening and deepening the social co-existence among the people of N-E states.

In order to strengthen and deepen social relationship for sustainable development of the region, the citizens of the region particularly the people of Manipur need to shun all forms of civil unrest for the development of our state & union government should also listen to the voice of our people against the passage of CAB and people’s demand of disclosing the contents of Indo-Naga Framework Agreement.


* Sanjenbam Jugeshwor Singh wrote this article for Imphal Times
The author is a Faculty at NIELIT, Imphal, Akampat and can be reached at sjugeshwor7(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on November 29 2019.



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