Plight of Truck Drivers at NH 37 during Economic Blockade in Manipur: A Grave Concern of Human Security

By I. Yaipharemba

Manipur is a land lock state which depends on existing National Highways for importing essential commodities and transportation of materials entirely rest with the incumbent trucks. Highways remain only passes through which, in addition to essential commodities, traveller undertake bus journey to train station like Dimapur or Guwahati. The Tupul-Imphal train line is at construc- tion phase and will take some more years to complete. Jiribam has also lim- ited train service. On air connectivity, Imphal has an airport that is well con- nected with metro cities but bringing essential commodities by aircraft is very limited, as a result highways are very important for the state for flow of com- modities. In a nutshell, average Manipuri depends on road for journey to other states of Northeast and commodities required. By its significance nature ex- isting Highways are the life line for people of Manipur irrespective of Hill or Valleymen. Due to fragile ethnic-political conditions that prevail, the state is prone to bandhs and economic blockades initiate by parties for one or another reason. During economic blockade, vehicular traffic at the Highways is to- tally shut down by supporters and violent attacks at good laden trucks and drivers frequently take place. The truck drivers suffer the most when assaults were inflicted during the journey. The assaults generally damage or destroy vehicles and cause financial issue for the drivers. During normal days, essen- tial items are brought at NH 2 Dimapur-Imphal which is short and well con- structed as compare to NH 37. The NH 37 for Manipur is 220 km in length and is single lane with severe road conditions. However, due to frequent and prolong blockade, essential materials including petroleum products, medical items, eatable etc are brought through NH 37 Jiribam-Imphal with police pro- tection regardless of violent assault from blockade supporters and bad road. The truck drivers thus, play a live saviour role in the critical situation by bringing goods to capital city Imphal, facing numerous odds. Time and again, during blockade while escorting, there is wide presumption that police pro- tection are inadequate and insensitive. Drivers feel the security cover is not enough and more materials can be transport in, if frequency of security convoy is increase. The study attempts to establish the complexities suffer by truck drivers integrating the fundamental of Human Security that concerns with individual safeguarding. This paper is a noble effort of recounting the relentless efforts of unrewarded truck drivers at the mad road ahead.

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Effectiveness of Health Workforce and Manpower Deployment in Health Care Institutions in North-East India

By Farhat Hossain

The effectiveness of skilled health workforce is most influencing factor to the health status of the population and its ratio to population across space and regions. This paper explores the availability of health care institutions as per Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS) norms and the nature of shortfall and surplus of health workforce in accessing health care services to the people of North-East India. The region is considered to be one of the economically depressed regions in India and has low health workforce-population ratio and unskilled due to absence of training centres. Health Care Institutions consists of Sub-Centres (SCs), Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and Community Health Centre (CHCs) that provide complete health care delivery to the population. The deficit of health care institutions is very high in densely populated states like Assam and it is favourable in lower density states i.e. Arunachal Pradesh. The numerical deficits are greatest in case of specialized doctors and numerical surpluses realised for Para-medical staffs which is likely to affect adversely the utilization of health care services in CHCs in North-East India. The co-efficient of variation for health workforce shows that the regional disparities is widening and worsening because of uneven health workforce availability in the health care institutions.

Key Words: Health workforce, Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS), Sub-Centres (SCs), Primary Health Centres (PHCs), Community Health Centres (CHCs)

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Migration from North Eastern Region to Bangalore: Evidences from Census Data

By Marchang Reimeingam

Migration rate from North Eastern Region (NER) to the rest of India (ROI) in general and to Bangalore in particular has increased. The rate of migration from NER to Karnataka has declined steadily; however, to Bangalore it has slightly increased. Urban people from NER show higher tendency to migrate to Bangalore which is not the case for migrants from NER to ROI. Migration level from NER in Karnataka as well as in Bangalore is relatively insignificant. Migrants from NER are not choosing Karnataka as migration destination as before. Migrants from NER in Bangalore and Karnataka were dominated by males. Conversely, females dominated migration from NER in ROI. Males, unlike females, continue to prefer and choose Bangalore as one of their favourite migration destinations. NE people, particularly males, migrated to Karnataka and particularly to Bangalore mainly for education and employment. Females migrated mostly due to family migration. Migration from NER to Bangalore for employment and education has increased while migration along with their family has declined recently.

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Hira Moni Deka, Politics of Identity and the Bodo Movement in Assam. New Delhi: Scholar World, 2014

[Book Review] Hira Moni Deka, Politics of Identity and the Bodo Movement in Assam. New Delhi: Scholar World, 2014.

Reviewed by Anup Das

The Northeast region of India has witnessed political movements in the form of either demands for cessation or separate autonomy among different ethnic groups. Each ethnic group express and asserts one’s cultural identity in order to claim a territory and political control over natural resources. The present book attempts to provide a holistic understanding of the Bodo movement in Assam which is demanding for a separate state within the democratic framework of India. The author focuses on different issues that have fuelled or motivated the identity movement among the Bodos since the colonial period. She systematically traced the different phases of Bodo identity assertion beginning from the colonial period to the post independence era. The Bodo identity assertion movement is divided into four different phases. Altogether the book has six chapters.

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Agricultural Practices and the Changing Pattern of Land Holding System from Pre-Colonial to Colonial Manipur

By Moirangthem Monica Devi

In contemporary Manipur, agriculture is the main economic base of the rural society. In earlier times too, such was the economic scenario as observed from various sources and accounts. Both the valley people and the hill tribes were agriculturalists even though their modes of cultivation varied. As the society was predominantly a subsistence based economy, land especially agricultural land was a big part of life. Therefore, the paper will examine the various modes of cultivation prevalent in Manipur. The paper will also be examining how the agricultural land of the kingdom was controlled and the various modes revenue collection systems that the Pre Colonial State used during that period. The paper will further discuss the course of historical development and the changes that British brought into land holding system and land revenue policies throughout the colonial Manipur.

Keywords: Agriculture, land holding, economy, land revenue, Pre-colonial, Colonial, Manipur

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Urban water governance: Examining the role of traditional institutions in Shillong, Meghalaya

By Bankerlang Kharmylliem and Ngamjahao Kipgen

This paper explores the strengths and weaknesses of the traditional institutions (dorbar shnongs) operating in the urban setting in the context of domestic water distribution in Meghalaya’s capital city of Shillong. The nature of water governance carried out by these institutions is examined to understand their role and contribution to water (in)equity in the city. Based on empirical study, selected localities are undertaken and compared to highlight the role of dorbar shnongs in water governance that are directly and indirectly contributing to water supply. This study focuses on the significance and the role of the local traditional institutions with regards to urban water governance in Shillong.

Keywords: dorbar shnong, traditional institutions, urban water governance, Shillong, social sustainability, water (in)equity

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Memories that always return

By Thongkholal Haokip

Twenty four years ago Naga Lim Guard killed more than a hundred innocent Kuki villagers on 13th September 1993 in Tamenglong district of Manipur. These villagers were fleeing after a ‘quit notice’ was served to them by the United Naga Council, an apex body of the Naga tribes of Manipur, on 10th September to leave their villages in the Naga dominated areas, in the erstwhile Jampi area, before the 15th of September, otherwise their secure passage to Sadar Hills via Tamei would come to an end. On the 11th of September Joupi villagers performed the last rite of their kidnapped village chief assuming that he had been killed. The church bell rang for the last service, though it was not Sunday. The following day the entire villagers left their village with resounding cries at the last glimpse of their homesteads. Rushing on their way towards their sanctuary before the deadline, they were intercepted by Naga ultras en route Tamei on 13th September. The victims on that day were tied behind, killed with dao not sparing women, children or the aged, and their mutilated dead bodies either thrown in the river or buried to conceal. On the same day several others were also killed in Janglenphai and in Gelnel just the previous day. These massacres were the highest number of deaths in a single day in the Kuki-Naga conflict of 1993, which continues to simmer till today. The day is observed annually by the Kukis around the world as Sahnit-ni or Black Day.

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Natural Resources and Socio-Economic Development in North East India

By Mirinchonme Mahongnao, Noklenyangla & Subhash Kumar

The Northeastern region of India comprising eight states has enormous natural resources. Like the rest of the world, this region faces threat to biodiversity and river ecosystem owing to various developmental projects. This paper attempts to highlight the problems which are not impossible to solve: if only addressed, and identifies the existence of a gap between what policy for development for Northeast aims to achieve and what really happens. Since, development in northeast region is inevitable. We argued that a genuine and concrete social-environmental impact assessment must be properly done before the initiation of any developmental activities. The hydroelectric projects are more sustainable and cost-effective, and thus smaller dams should be constructed in lieu of large dams. Finally, we conclude with the assumption that instead of ‘planning for the Northeast’ the emphasis should be ‘planning with the Northeast’ for the benefit of its people through industrial prospects of this region, keeping in mind the basic determinates of such process in order to facilitate effective growth strategies.

Keywords: Northeast India, Natural Resources, Socio-Economic Development, Sustainable Development

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Food Culture, Nutritional Status and Health-Care Accessibility of the Kukis of Manipur

By Ruth Nengneilhing

The paper studies the quality of life and health of a conflicted affected population by taking the case of the Kukis of Manipur in the aftermath of the 1990s’ Kuki-Naga ethnic conflict. The clash resulted in the uprooting of hundreds of villages with the loss of more than 1,000 lives and enormous internal displacement. Conflicts have often resulted in various forms of infectious diseases in epidemic forms resulting in high rate of mortality among the affected population. The objective of this paper is to study the quality of life and health of the conflict affected Kuki population in three selected sites: Chavangphai, Gelnel and Tujang Vaichong. The determinants of health that are taken in the study are food culture, nutritional status and accessibility to health care facilities. It takes into account the health indicators such as height, weight, Body Mass Index (BMI) and mortality rates.

Keywords: Food, Kukis, Nutrition, Anthropometry, Nagas, Mortality, HealthCare

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Role of the State and Traditional Institutions in Identity Formation: A Study of the Namghar in Assam

By Ankita Dutta

The Neo-Vaishnavite movement of Srimanta Sankardeva in the 14th century led to the subsequent formation of an ‘Assamese’ identity centering around the Sattra (a Vaishnavite monastery) and the Namghar (the former’s extended wing). Both the Sattra and the Namghar are intimately associated with the socio-cultural and religious life of the Assamese society. The ‘democratic’ institution of the Namghar provides a common forum for villagers to assemble and not only discuss collectively their common issues and problems but also resolve the local disputes of the village through locally evolved judicial procedures and methods. This paper tries to locate the role of the Namghar as a traditional institution in today’s context of the fragmentation of the Vaishnavite community into different sects and sub-sects. It makes a study of the factors resulting in the ‘fracture’ of the ‘Assamese’ identity in the context of the Namghar, and looks into the several ways by which people identify and distinguish themselves from the ‘other’. It also tries to emphasise the complementary relationship between the traditional and the modern, and how the continuous interaction between the state and traditional institutions seeks to create and re-create new identities and new dynamics of legitimacy and power relations, having implications on the way of functioning of both.

Keywords: Neo-Vaishnavism, Namghar, Sattra, identity, Assam.

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