In the past week, Manipur has been plagued by reports of violence. Clashes erupted on May 3, with images of angry mobs setting properties ablaze. The army was called in on May 4 to assist law enforcement, as a curfew was imposed in eight districts. The immediate violence erupted after a 'Tribal Solidarity March' protesting a court order directing the consideration of Meiteis for Scheduled Tribe status. The state government reported that 60 people died because of the violence in the state.
Now that the violence appears to have died down, there is an uneasy calm. We need to understand not only historic origins of the violence, but what measures can be taken in the future. The recent clashes in Manipur revolve around two communities: the Meiteis, who dominate the valley region, and the Kuki tribe, who inhabit the hills. The conflict is linked to the land and demography of the region, and its complex history.
Host Sneha Richhariya speaks to Prof. Kham Khan Suan Hausing, who has closely studied the conflict in Manipur and is currently Head of the Department of Political Science at the University of Hyderabad.