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Status Report on displacement in Assam and Manipur

Authors: Hussain, Monirul
Phanjoubam, Pradip
Keywords: Internal displacement;Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs);ethnic conflict;human rights;development induced displacement
Issue Date: Feb-2007
Publisher: Mahanirban Calcutta Research Group
Description: "While inter-ethnic conflicts have by no means been rare in India’s Northeast, population displacement induced by such conflicts is sharply on the rise particularly since the 1980s. Conflicts and violence confined in the past mainly to the armed groups and the security forces of the state seldom triggered off population displacement of such scale and magnitude as one notices now. It is important that we take note of the changing dynamics of conflicts and violence in the region. Conflicts today have acquired a truly mass character in the sense that they show an alarming propensity of engulfing an ever-greater number of people involved in them. In this situation, it is ironic that the two rights of home and homeland run at cross-purposes. This has its implications for the politics, ecology and topography of the region. Mixed areas with historically practised exchanges and transactions between communities are at peril. And, thus for instance, never before in its history has Manipur been so much divided as it is now. Internal displacements sparked off by conflicts are a product of many a hidden partition in the society seldom officially acknowledged. This study on fifty years of population displacement in Manipur tells us the story of a society that has hit almost a blind alley with little clue as to how to cross the divides and negotiate its rapidly changing ethnic landscape. We need to complement it with many other stories. As various stories marked by these divides unfold, they reveal a surprisingly similar structure – a structure that constantly reminds us of how violence once initiated eventually gathers its own momentum and takes its toll on each one of us – big or small, powerful or powerless. The essay on Assam prods us to think in terms of formulating an agenda that takes us beyond the given fault lines. It underlines the need for dialogues as a means of addressing the issues of rights and justice. We cannot ignore the fact that the development-induced displacement against this backdrop of ethnic tensions has complicated the problem related to rights and justice in India’s Northeast even more."
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Appears in Collections:South Asian Born-Digital NGO Reports Collection Project

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