Political History of Manipur

Manipur’s long tradition of independence can be traced to the foundation of the Kangleipak State in 1110. The Kingdom of Manipur was conquered by Great Britain following the brief Anglo- Manipuri War of 1891, becoming a British protectorate.

Initially, there was a demand of the creation of an independent state within the borders of Manipur, and dismissing the merger with India as involuntary. But even after carving a new state of Manipur, on 21 January 1972, their demand continued.

The protests took a violent form with the formation of various militant and insurgent groups. Even in this regard of political independence, Manipur is not united. There are majorly 3 tribes (Meitei, Naga and Kuki) in Manipur each with a separate set of demands.

  • The Meitei insurgent groups seek independence from India.
  • The Kuki insurgent groups want a separate state for the Kukis to be carved out from the present state of Manipur.
  • The Nagas wish to annex part of Manipur and merge with a greater Nagaland or Nagalim.

Some want the envisaged nation to be based on “Christianity”. Their discontent is also due to varied boundaries, populations and identities. The issue is further complicated as Manipur is not unified by a language. There are as many as 29 different dialects with 5 main tribal dialects recognized by government of Manipur for medium of instruction and examination up to class V.

Coming to the current scenario of Manipur politics, according to Cvoter, Inner Manipur has its votes divided between BJP and Congress, while the newly created districts have voted for BJP and not then ruling Congress.Manipur went into polling in 2018, and there has been a formation of new government, that of Bharatiya Janata Party in the state, with N. Biren Singh as the serving Chief Minister of Manipur.

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