Reading ‘Colonial’ and ‘Post-Colonial’ Methodologies on Land: Perspectives from the Hill Tribes of Manipur

By Somingam PS

The historical experience of hill tribes1 in ‘post-colonial’ Manipur in relation to state laws and policies, administration and development process around the question of Land has invariably been the subject of much controversy over the decades. One such continuum is the recent contention between the hill tribals and state government – aided by valley settlers over land area identified in the construction of National Sports University (NSU) in the foothill of Manipur. In these lights the paper set forth that, such continuity illustrates about the intactness of colonial knowledge and power: predominantly of caste & western epistemological framework perpetuated in the existing state structures, coaxed with ethnic power relations (majoritarianism). In doing so, the author revisits the historical trajectories of colonial encounter; the basis of colonial epistemology, methodological issues that it manifests in post-colonial structures.

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