Autonomy Demands in the Hill Areas of Manipur: Issues and Challenges

By Seikhogin Haokip

In contemporary multi-ethnic nation-states of the world, autonomy has been often seen as a panacea for solving ethnic conflicts. However, when ethnic groups do not settle compactly in a particular geographical area, granting of autonomy to minority ethnic groups becomes problematic. It is often faced with overlapping land and territorial claims between groups and the tensions and conflicts thereafter. In India’s Northeast, ethnic groups are seldom found settled compactly in defined geographical areas. As such, autonomy demands in the region often involve contesting identity, land and territorial claims between groups, thereby, becoming the source of ethnic tensions and conflicts in the region. This paper examines the various issues and challenges in ethnic-based autonomy demands in the hill areas of Manipur.

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