Consultation introspects civil movement in state

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IMPHAL, March 1:  A one day consultation on “Revisiting Human Rights Movement in Manipur” was held today at the Indira Gandhi National Tribal University (IGNTU), Regional Campus conference hall.

The consultation was organized by the Department of Social Work, IGNTU and Conflict and Human Rights Studies Network, Manipur.

Prof MC Arun of Anthropology department, Manipur University spoke as a resource person on the “evolution of the women movements and its classification”.

He commented that there has been a women’s movement in Manipur since 1904.

A women’s movement can be political in nature, whereas a movement led by group of mothers is apolitical, he observed.

The term “empowerment” has demeaned the status of a woman because; to empower somebody ultimately implies to mean that the person or the women in particular shows that they are totally powerless or empty.

He further argued that the women of Manipur are clamped by a hegemonic cultural chain that becomes very difficult for most of them to be liberated. Unless these male dominant hegemonic cultured are deconstruct, women are likely to suffer as it is. He concluded by stating that women rights are shape by their cultural orientation and there is a need to question the orientation to strengthened women rights.

Social scientist Dr Dhanabir Laishram talked on the topic “civil society and the civil society Movements in Manipur” he said that the term “Civil Society” is the subset of the “Non-state” domain because in non-state sector, all the entities are included such as, the armed insurgent groups, where, in civil society domain, only the civil organization involved.

The government at the centre plays a big role in deciding the future of the people of Northeast, he said and continued that according to him, the Schedule Tribe status demand initiated by some Meitei elites and the Inner Line Permit system demand are just manipulations of the central government.

He opined that these demand would eventually trigger an unprecedented ethnic tension in Manipur, and concluded with an appeal to the youth/civil society organizations of Manipur and the Northeast in general to work collectively to bring social harmony in the region.

Dr N Promod of LMS Law College, spoke on the topic “international humanitarian law (IHL)” said that popularly known as law of armed conflict.

He elaborated that it is a procedure to protect the humanity and the mitigation of human suffering in an armed conflict.

While the conflict must take place on the territory of a State Party, it does not have to involve the armed forces of the state, but could involve two or more armed groups, he said.

He observed the non-implementation of the Geneva Convention particularly the Common article 3 India is questionable as India has already rectified the Geneva Convention in 1950.

The Government of India so far stated that there is no armed conflict India and termed the various movements in India Northeast as insurgent, misguided youth etc, he said and continued that the imposition of AFSPA is questionable and problematic if we observed the basis of Imposition. However, it is an indication of the existence of armed conflict. Lastly he concluded by observing that IHL is now considered as customary law which need to be respected by everyone irrespective of their rectification.

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