Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Understanding the Manipuri Verdict -- Part I

Elections to the 10th Legislative Assembly of Manipur has just now been completed with the people's mandate counted and declared. It makes sense to understand the subtle and not-so-subtle meanings of this democratic mandate as Manipur is not only a frontier and fractured state, but also because this could have serious import on the business of counterterrorism in the Indian Northeast for a significant period.

But before this task can be undertaken, the numbers that make Manipur need to be understood. For this, we follow-up from Linky in our goal of understanding Manipur and its peoples.

1) There are nine administrative districts in Manipur: i) Bishnupur, ii) Imphal East, iii) Imphal West, iv) Thoubal, v) Churachandpur, vi) Chandel (formerly known as Tengnoupal), vii) Senapati, viii) Tamenglong, and ix) Ukhrul. A picture of the district map of Manipur is available at: (Linky).

2) Of these, the four districts of Bishnupur, Imphal East, Imphal West and Thoubal form the Valley or plateau region while the rest form the Hilly area. The area of Manipur is 22,327 sq km, of which 20,736 sq km is the surrounding Hills and the remaining area is the Valley. Clearly, the population density in the Valley is much much more than the density in the Hilly districts.

3) From the 2011 census, the population of the various districts of Manipur is as below (Linky). Also provided is the district's population percentage relative to the state's population in the 2001 census

Manipur total population: 2,721,756 = 100%

Valley population: 1,628,224 = 59.79% (2011) 61.54% (2001)
Bishnupur - 240,363 = 8.83% 9.08%
Thoubal - 420,517 = 15.45% 15.87%
Imphal West - 514,683 = 18.91% 19.37%
Imphal East - 452,661 = 16.63% 17.21%

Hills population: 1,093,532 = 40.18% (2011) 38.46% (2001)
Senapati - 354,972 = 13.04% 12.36%
Tamenglong - 140,143 = 5.15% 4.86%
Churachandpur - 271,274 = 9.97% 9.94%
Ukhrul - 183,115 = 6.73% 6.14%
Chandel - 144,028 = 5.29% 5.16%

Conclusion 1: Thus the population of the Valley districts has decreased slightly over the 2001-2011 census relative to the population of the Hill districts. But in terms of general trends, both the 2011 census as well as the 2001 census show similar behavior. This is in contrast to the 1991 census where dramatic changes were witnessed due to ethnic cleansing of Kukis from Naga-dominated territories by NSCN(IM), ANSAM and affiliated bodies so that a stake for Nagalim could be put.

4) As we know from Linky, Manipur is a four-way contest between the Meiteis, the Meitei Pangals, the Kuki/Chin/Mizo tribal affinities and the Naga tribal affinities. The precise contest as from the 2001 census is as follows:

Hill districts
a) Senapati district:
Population - 283,621 (- 100%)

Population excluding Mao-Maram, Purul and Paomata subdivisions - 156,513
Christians: 122,724
Hindus: 30,441
Muslims: 1,281

ST Population - 122,791
Thadou (Kuki): 72,535
Tangkhul (Naga): 8,329
Vaiphei (Kuki): 7,357
Rest: 34,570

Missing data on Mao-Maram, Paomei (Naga): 127,108

Estimate of Naga percentage in the district population: 47.75%
Estimate of Kuki percentage in the district population: 28.17%
Estimate of rest: 12.19%
Estimate of Meitei population: 10.73%

Assembly constituencies (6): Karong (ST), Mao (ST), Saikul (ST), Saitu (ST), Tadubi (ST), Kangpokpi (General)
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b) Churachandpur district:
Population - 227,905 (= 100%)
Christians: 213,186 (93.5%)
Hindus: 10,538 (4.6%)
Muslims: 2,573 (1.13%)

ST Population of district - 212,482 (= 93.23% of district population)
Thadous (Kuki group): 54,929 (25.9% of ST population)
Paite (Kuki): 45,549 (21.4%)
Hmar (Kuki): 37,998 (17.9%)
Rest: 74,006 (34.8%)

Assembly constituencies (6): Churachandpur (ST), Hinglep (ST), Saikot (ST), Singhat (ST), Thanlon (ST), Tipaimukh (ST)
----------------------------------------------
c) Ukhrul district:
Population - 140,778 (= 100%)
Christians: 133,966 (95.2%)
Hindus: 5,687 (4.04%)
Muslims: 881 (0.6%)

ST Population of district - 134,493 (= 95.54% of district population)
Tangkhul (Naga group): 127,035 (94.5% of ST population)
Thadou (Kuki): 5,268 (3.92%)
Simte (Naga): 718 (0.5%)
Rest: 1,472 (1.09%)

Assembly constituencies (3): Chingai (ST), Phungyar (ST), Ukhrul (ST)
----------------------------------------------
d) Tamenglong district:
Population - 111,499 (= 100%)
Christians: 105,791 (94.88%)
Hindus: 3,187 (2.86%)
Muslims: 1,431 (1.28%)

ST Population of district - 106,349 (= 95.38% of district population)
Kabui (Naga group): 60,893 (57.26 % of ST population)
Kacha Naga (Naga): 34,368 (32.32 %)
Thadou (Kuki) - 6,888 (6.47%)
Rest: 4,200 (3.95%)

Assembly constituencies (3): Nungba (ST), Tamei (ST), Tamenglong (ST)
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e) Chandel district:
Population - 118,327 (= 100%)
Christians: 109,128 (92.2%)
Hindus: 5,701 (4.8%)
Muslims: 2,318 (1.96%)

ST Population of district - 108,779 (= 91.93% of district population)
Thadou (Kuki group): 35,086 (32.3% of ST population)
Anal (Naga): 20,851 (19.2%)
Maring (Naga): 19,828 (18.2%)
Rest: 33,014 (30.3%)

Assembly constituencies (2): Chandel (ST), Tengnoupal (ST)
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Conclusion 2: Thus, Churachandpur district is two-thirds Kuki majority, Ukhrul is Tangkhul Naga (same affinity as Thuingaleng Muivah who was prevented from entering Ukhrul district in 2011)-dominated, and Tamenglong is Kabui-Kacha Naga dominated. On the other hand, Chandel is evenly split between Kukis and Nagas. For Senapati district, the figures are controversial because no census was taken for Mao-Maram, Purul and Paomata subdivisions and the numbers for other subdivisions is believed to be inflated at the edges (see Linky, for example). But it is also widely believed that these three subdivisions are (at least historically) dominated by Naga affinities, specifically Mao-Maram and Pangmei tribes. On the other hand, the complete stalling of activity in the Sadar Hills subdivision by Kuki blockades over the last year shows that these regions could be Kuki dominated. Using this intuition and the 2001 census figures, our best guesstimate is that in Senapati district, the Nagas are ~55% in the district, with Kukis around ~30%, and Meiteis around ~15% (give or take 1 or 2% points either side for the three parties). This explains why a general Assembly constituency (Kangpokpi) is delimited in the Senapati district for the Meitei/general population.

Valley districts:
f) Imphal West:
Population - 444,382
Hindus: 330,994 (74.48%)
Others: 73,705 (16.59%)
Muslims: 19,124 (4.3%)

ST Population of district - 21,118 (= 4.75% of district population)
Dominant ST group: Kabui (Naga) - 9,042
---------------------------------------------
g) Imphal East:
Population - 394,876
Hindus: 240,347 (60.87%)
Others: 67,741 (17.16%)
Muslims: 62,932 (15.94%)

ST Population of district - 24,712 (= 6.26% of district population)
Dominant ST group: Tangkhul (Naga) - 5,896
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h) Thoubal district:
Population - 364,140
Hindus: 221,096 (60.72%)
Muslims: 86,849 (23.85%)
Others: 50,819 (13.96%)

ST Population of district - 4,274 (= 1.17% of district population)
Dominant ST group: Thadou (Kuki) - 1,154
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i) Bishnupur district:
Population - 206,368
Hindus: 148,903 (72.15%)
Others: 38,763 (18.78%)
Muslims: 14,194 (6.88%)

ST Population of district - 6,143 (= 2.95% of district population)
Dominant ST group: Kom (Kuki) - 2,229
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Conclusion 3: Thus, except for Thoubal district, Hindus and Others (followers of Sanamahi religion, nature-worshippers, etc.) dominate over the rest of the religious affinities.

To follow next: What does the Manipur verdict really mean?

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1 Comments:

At April 7, 2014 at 7:12 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the way on what source of information you to put the term Kuki (in bracket) after Paite Vaiphei,etc. It is inaccurate and threatened the validity of your article. Why don't you refer Census of India 2001 or the Gazette.

 

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