Manipur and the Paradox of Security

Reviewed by Teinkoo Soibam

The situation of security in Manipur today has gone from bad to worst. It is no longer a question of law and order problem but increasingly a socio-political and economic problem of the various ethnic groups of the state. The security concerns are not merely confined to insurgency and counter-insurgency operations, and its repercussions on the general public and society, it also encompass the ethnic tensions faced by the state and the people as a major challenge to the peaceful co-existence of the numerous ethnic communities. The scenario is a cluster of complex and myriad issues ranging from identity formation by various ethnic communities to gross human rights violations especially by the security forces. In a very common parlance, the notion of security is closely related with the concept of security forces or the police. The people look up to them as an agency for ensuring public order, protection of the people and property for a peaceful and secure life by maintaining law and order, and prevention and detection of crime. However, people in Manipur have developed a different perception of these law enforcing agencies. Mistrust of the public towards the security forces are large, where they are seen as tormentors rather than helpers.

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