People in the north eastern state of India, Manipur are protesting related to some bill. Why are they protesting? What is their demand? Let’s discuss the diverse opinion of people in Manipur related to this Bill. The bill is called Manipur Protection Bill, 2018
Human beings always tend to link themselves with some Identity. Manipur being a hilly state, people of this region differentiate themselves as hilly and valley people. Manipur has 90% of Hilly area but this area is not much developed. Valley area is just 10% (out of which 4% is Loktak Lake).
Along with the hilly and valley people who are indigenous to the place, some population in the region is considered to be outsider like Tamil comprising of 40K Population.
Historical Context: In terms of migration, there was an increase in migration in 20th century. The Britishers had a commercial interest in the region, they set up an“Inner line permit system”. This system mandated the outsider citizen to register and take permission to enter the regions of Manipur, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland.
Even after 1947, this system was continued. But, suddenly in 1950 this system was lifted which resulted in sudden increase in the population of the region. This was a matter of concern!
The increased population comprises more of the outsiders which created a set back for the native people of the region in the field of politics as well.
The Manipur Protection Bill 2018 was passed with the objective of regulating the influx of outside population and maintain the number of indigenous community and the civilization of Manipur. The bill has set 1951 as the base year for tagging someone as outsider. Example, someone who has entered the region after 1951 will be considered as an outsider. This has been done to protect the identity of the locals.
Once the Governor gives a green signal to the bill, it will become an act. Such outsiders will then be labelled as ‘Foreigners’. They will not have any voting rights or land rights in the state. The Tribes in hilly areas like Kukis and Nagas are afraid because they lack the legal documentation to prove their existence before 1951. According to the bill, Manipur people include Meitis, the Pangal Muslims and schedule Tribes and all the citizens living there before 1951. Except these, others will have to register themselves.
All this has ignited the protest amongst the student union, tribal groups and people of Manipur. This has created a tension in the state.
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Article Credit – Phalak Betab (www.themarketer.in)