Lacking Legitimacy? State, Civil Societies and
Trust Crisis in Manipur

By L. Letkhomang Haokip

This paper examines the movement against three bills passed in Manipur Legislative Assembly on 31 August 2015. The agitation against the bills is seen to be a much deeper one. It represents a strong sense of insecurity among the subaltern class in Northeast region over their land and natural resources. It questions on the integrity of existing laws on landholding and resource management in the region which would be helpless in the face of a larger economic force such as India’s Act East Policy. People wanted a stringent law to protect and galvanise them from an intrusive capitalism. It is also about questioning the legitimacy of the government whose intention is going against people’s interest. Tension such as one saw in the case of anti-bills agitation in Manipur looms substantially from the moral trust deficit and the trust crisis between different communities in particular and state and civil societies in general. Such crisis invariably arises when the confidence of people are not taken or when their interests are mindlessly floated. Any bill, how good the intention would have been, must first adhere to public consultation and consensus before it gets passed.

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