Explainer: Why have Meitei and Kuki communities become enemies of life? Know what is the real reason for the dispute

Manipur It has been burning in the fire of violence for almost 80 days. The people of Kuki and Meitei communities have become enemies of each other. The situation has become so bad that the government has to take the help of the army to restore peace in the state. Despite this, news of violence and demonstrations are coming in the state. So far more than 160 people have died in this ethnic violence. While hundreds of people have been injured. Many people from the state are forced to migrate and live as refugees in other states. The case of two women being stripped naked and paraded on the road has fueled the ongoing violence in Manipur. This matter has angered the whole country. So let us look at the real reason for the ongoing violence between Kuki and Meitei community.

Who is the Cookie Community?

Kuki is a tribe that lives in the south-eastern part of Manipur and Mizoram states of India. The Kukis are one of the many hill tribes found in India, Bangladesh, and Myanmar. People of Kuki community are present in almost all the states of North East India except Arunachal Pradesh. Naga and Kuki population is about 40 percent of the total population of Manipur. But they live on 90 percent of Manipur’s land. Both these communities reside in the hilly areas of Manipur.

Who is the Meitei Community

Meitei is the largest community of Manipur. The Meiteis have dominance in the capital Imphal and are commonly referred to as Manipuri. According to the 2011 census, Meitei constitute 64.6 percent of the state’s population. However, despite this, they occupy only about 10 percent of the land of Manipur. Most of the people of the Meitei community are Hindus. While Naga and Kuki are mainly Christians. According to the 2011 census, Hindus and Christians constitute about 41 percent of the population in Manipur.

Meitei community is very strong politically

Along with the large population, the Meitei community also has a strong hold in the politics of Manipur. Meitei has more representation in the state assembly. Not only this, the present Chief Minister N. Biren Singh also comes from the Meitei community. Politically, the people of the Meitei community are considered stronger because out of 60 assembly seats in the state, 40 seats are from the Imphal Valley region. And these areas are mostly occupied by the people of these communities. The Meiteis are more educated and are better represented than the Kukis and Nagas in the business and politics of the state.

What is the reason for the dispute between Kuki and Meitei?

The Kukis and the Nagas have traditionally been at loggerheads with each other. However, when the matter comes against the Meitei, the people of both the communities unite and that is why the Meitei community has to confront both. Talking about the early days, Kuki was settled by the Meitei kings in the hills of Manipur. So that they could act as a buffer between the Meiteis in the Imphal valley and the Nagas who invaded the valley. In 1993, Manipur witnessed fierce Naga-Kuki violence in which more than a hundred Kukis were killed by Nagas. At present the reason for the conflict between Meitei and Kuki is reservation. The Kuki community living in the hills are included in the government’s list of Scheduled Tribes, but the Meiteis are not. That’s why the people of Meitei community have been demanding Scheduled Tribe status for a long time. On the other hand, the Kukis and the Nagas allege that the Meitei community gets most of the development. The controversy escalated when the Manipur High Court asked the state government to send a proposal to the Center to include the Meitei community in the list of Scheduled Tribes. Against giving ST status to Kuki and Naga Meitei. They believe that if Meitei gets ST status, they will get more jobs and benefits than they need.

Manipur’s law is also the cause of controversy

Another reason for violence and controversy in Manipur is the law there. Under which, the people of the Meitei community settled in the valley cannot live in the hilly areas nor can they buy land. While the Kukis and Nagas living in the hills can settle in the valley and can also buy land. The Meitei community has an objection regarding this matter.

What happened on 3rd May?

A ‘Tribal Solidarity March’ (tribal solidarity march) was organized in the hill districts on May 3 to protest against the demand of the Meitei community for Scheduled Tribe status in Manipur. This march was organized on behalf of the Kuki community. During this violence broke out. So far more than 160 people have died in the state and many others have been injured.

The May 4 incident added fuel to the violence in Manipur.

Significantly, in Manipur, an armed mob of about one thousand people attacked a village in Kangpokpi district, looted houses, set them on fire, killed them and paraded two women naked. This incident is being told of May 4. After the video of these women being paraded naked, the whole country is agitated and demonstrations are being held at various places to protest against the incident. An FIR was registered in this matter on 21 June. In this, the story of the atrocities that happened before the abduction of tribal women and their shameful treatment is mentioned.

Home Minister Amit Shah visited Manipur to reduce the ongoing violence

To reduce the ongoing violence in Manipur, Union Home Minister Amit Shah visited the state. He had also talked to the people of both the communities while staying there. Later the situation was getting normal in the state, but after vandalism with women, the situation in the state worsened again.

Protest from street to parliament regarding Manipur case

In Manipur, protests against brutality against women are going on from street to parliament. The constituents of the opposition alliance ‘Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance’ (India) continued to demand Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make a statement and discuss the issue of Manipur in both houses of Parliament on Monday, the third day of the monsoon session. Members of these parties demonstrated in the Parliament House premises regarding this demand. Several opposition MPs, including Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, have given notices under rule 267, which provides for adjournment of business in the Upper House, to discuss the Manipur issue and demand Prime Minister Modi’s statement. Monsoon session has so far been marred by violence in Manipur. The proceedings of the House are being adjourned continuously. Opposition parties are continuously creating ruckus regarding the Manipur issue.

PM Modi spoke for the first time in the Manipur case, told the video to be embarrassing

Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave a statement for the first time in the Manipur case on 20 July. Expressing anger over the incident of two women being paraded naked in Manipur before the Parliament session, he said that this incident is shameful for any civilized society and has brought dishonor to the entire country. The Prime Minister assured the countrymen that the culprits of this case will not be spared and the law will strictly take one step after another. He said, what has happened to the daughters of Manipur. Its culprits can never be forgiven. The Prime Minister had said, I am standing near this temple of democracy, then my heart is full of pain, full of anger. The incident that has come to the fore in Manipur is going to put any civilized society to shame. How many are the sinners, who commit crimes, and who are they in their place… But the whole country is being insulted. 140 crore countrymen are feeling ashamed.