Conclusions – Present Scenario in Manipur

Manipuri women’s stand against AFSPA is a direct challenge to state repression, sexual violence and militaristic mentality, which glorifies practices associated with war and military. In Manipur, use of violence is justified and glorified by the state as well as by several insurgent groups, who have their own armed militias. `Counter-insurgency’ laws like AFSPA have resulted in a multiplication of insurgent underground groups, and their increasing adoption of violent methods.

Women’s actions against violence have drawn national and global attention to the condition of women under armed repression in Manipur. Although these protests could not negotiate a solution, they have created new ways forward. Women have wrested a position of strength, transforming themselves from total victims, into determined survivors. The protests have helped the people acquire more confidence.

It is to be noted that the majority of the women activists are from ordinary working class backgrounds. As with the earlier Nupilans, it is women who grow their own food, weave, and handle local trade, that are the backbone of the protests collectives in Manipur. Most members are neither highly-educated, nor high income earners. But they are clear thinkers and determined fighters.

As elderly Meira Paibi activist Ima Ngombi says, “I urge women to please continue the fight. And fight strategically…. I have seen a stirring. Things are not going to be as they were. One fine day, with enough women rising, AFSPA will have to go.”

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