WOMAN AND ARMED CONFLICT SITUATION: WITH SPECIFIC REFERENCE TO MANIPUR

Neha Gupta
Research Scholar (Mphil), Department of Political Science
Dibrugarh University, Dibrugarh, Assam, India

Abstract
The Northeast region of India which is termed as “Mini Asia” is the homeland for many ethnic tribes who celebrate the rich culture and tradition of their lands. Terrorism, military operations, insurgency and constant struggle has for long surrounded the strategic region of North East India, categorizing it to be one of the most disturbed regions of South Asia. Since 1940’s Northeast India has been confronting multiple armed conflicts were women were open to humiliation, rape, molestation and murder. In Northeast India, women are taking an active part as peacemaker and are considered self-determining, daring, and forceful against any wrong doings of the ruling authority in comparison to other women of different parts of India. They have always been in the vanguard in fighting for their rights, protesting against injustice and violence and also in defending their husbands and sons. Many women’s associations in Northeast India such as Meira Paibis, Tangkhul Shanao Long, Nisha Bandh Movement, Mother’s Union, Naga Mothers’ Association, Assam Pradeshik Mahila Samiti, Mahila Samiti, All Assam Lekhiya Smarooh, Mizo Hmeichhe Tangrual Ka Synjuk Kynthei etc, have been uniting women of all ages and groups in footing against the forces of discrimination, abuse and violence in the region and especially from early stages addressing social issues of freedom from forced labour, illegal tax, artificial scarcity of essential commodities, alcoholism, rape, drug abuse, etc. Women’s peace groups in Manipur and Nagaland have become an important and necessary part of their own societies. Women movement in this region is concerned as very organized and energetic movements dealing specifically with regional problems. Northeast India faces constant tensions exploding between local people and Indian security forces. To regulate and solve the tension so erupted in the region, northeast women has used peace and Gandhian principles as its weapon. Consequently Meira Paibi has become a fundamental part of women’s movement in Northeast region and is considered as the major civilian human rights movement in Manipur. Thus through this research article, the role of women as peace maker and peace keeper is discussed where they are using social movement to bring security and tranquility in northeast region of Manipur.
Key words: Peace makers, armed conflicts, human rights, social movements, insurgency
1.   Introduction  
In India’s northeast, women have always played a major role in many peace and social movements. Concepts of solidarity amongst women’s groups are very strong in the region. Women security is a pre condition for human security. As Northeast India is considered as war conflicted zone, colossal sufferings, devastation and break down of social harmony is a common problem of this region were women are the worst victims.

The rebellious groups occupied in the armed struggle symbolize the different ethnicities dwelling in the state of Manipur leading to a multifaceted relationship of identity politics beside ethnic lines. An expected thirty illegal insurgency groups exist in Manipur, which is possibly the utmost of any Indian state.  Each group claims to have its own ideology, objectives and views but one of the frequent justification they share is, secessionism commencing the state - either from  the Indian Union or the state of Manipur, or both. Until the independence of India in 1947, Manipur was a princely state which was compellingly merged to the Indian Union on October 15th, 1949...

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