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Building LegitimacyExploring State-Society Relations in Northeast India$
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M. Sajjad Hassan

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195692976

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195692976.001.0001

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Fragmentation of Society in Manipur

Fragmentation of Society in Manipur

(p.109) Chapter 4 Fragmentation of Society in Manipur
Building Legitimacy

M. Sajjad Hassan

Oxford University Press

This chapter investigates the dynamics of the exclusivist political mobilization in Manipur. It explores the social basis, aspirations, and interests of the rising middle class in the Imphal Valley. The nature of ‘civil society’ in Manipur is explained. It reveals that the growing imbalance between rising education levels and aspirations, and avenues for gainful employment to satisfy those aspirations has resulted to contests intensifying over economic opportunities. Developments in Manipur's neighbourhoods threatening its territorial integrity further concretized the ethnic basis of making territorial claims. It discusses that the case of Manipur reveals that the tendency towards an ethnic basis of society formation may be enhanced when state power is controlled by external agents. It also represents an extreme example of how internal and external political and social dynamics could work together to create a distinctly ethnic basis for society formation, resulting in fragmentation and conflicts.

Keywords:   Manipur, political mobilization, Imphal Valley, civil society, rising education levels, employment opportunities, state power, ethnic basis, society formation, fragmentation and conflicts

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