Struggling Women of Manipur and Armed Forces Special Powers Act- Irom Sharmila

Manipur, in north-east India, has been marked by sharp political conflict and turmoil, over the past few decades. At the same time, it is known for an exceptionally rich culture, world-class theatre, sports, dance and literature.

There are some 29 major tribal groups dwelling in the hill districts, classified into two broad ethnic dominations, Nagas and Kuki-Chins; while Imphal valley is inhabited by Meiteis, numerically the largest population group. Manipur was an independent kingdom since 33 A.D. with elaborate systems of governance; in 1891 A.D. it became a princely state under British suzerainty.

The people of Manipur struggled against colonial rule and, later, engaged in movements for justice vis-à-vis the Indian state. Over the centuries, people of valley and hills have interacted and depended on each other for their needs, their relations at times turbulent and other times peaceful. The last few decades have also witnessed rise in ethnic conflicts.

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