Challenges for Democratic Governance in Manipur

in G. Ram (ed.). Exploring Social Margins: Human Development in India’s North East. Guwahati: Eastern Book House, 2017. pp. 270-280.

In a state where there exist a number of ethnic groups which are mostly antagonistic, often parallel and competing in their aspirations and supported by each of their armed groups rebelling against the India state demanding various levels of autonomy, settling such demands is not only cumbersome but also time consuming. In the process the law and order situation has deteriorated and the state continually faces the challenges of governance. Among such states Manipur is one of the worst affected and can now be labeled as a “weak” state having almost all the characteristics of a “failed” state. Taking into account the centrifugal forces of various autonomy demands by ethnic groups and their armed outfits this paper assesses the challenges of democratic governance in Manipur using some of the indicators of International IDEA’s Democracy Assessment Framework. The paper also makes key recommendations for better governance in a democratic framework.

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