The Inner Line Permit System and Governance Issue in Manipur

Publication Date01 July 2016
AuthorP.C. Nair
DOI10.1177/0019556120160314
Date01 July 2016
SubjectArticle
THE INNER LINE PERMIT SYSTEM AND GOVERNANCE
ISSUES IN MANIPUR
P.
C.
NAIR
The Inner Line Permit System (ILPS)that
is
being followed
in
Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, and Mizoram
in
the North-East
is a matter that was not very well known to most citizens
of
the country.· The issue, however, has come to the forefront with
the Meiteis
in
Manipur today demanding that this system be
followed
in
Manipur as well
for
the 'demographic inversion'
that is taking place
in
the State, along with the lack
of
job
opportunities to the local youth. The cases
of
Sikkim
and
Tripura are often brought to fore
to
create paranoia amongst the
masses. Three bills were passed unanimously by the Manipur
State Assembly to implement the ILPS
in
August 2015. JLPS
in the form passed
in
the bills is widely opposed by the other
two demographic sections
of
Manipur, the tribal Nagas
and
Kukis, who
in
these bills
see
an
attempt by the Meiteis to
usurp their land and further distance them from development.
Besides, there are many other governance issues that the state
is faced with.
This article discusses what these three bills are and why there
is a state
of
impasse now.
It
also suggests
in
what way these
bills could be reframed to satisfy all stakeholders, besides also
recommending ways by which governance issues can be tackled
to
ensure economic prosperity and social uplifiment
in
the State.
INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND
THE INNER Line Permit System (ILPS) has been in the news
of
late,
after a series
of
violent protests broke out
in
Manipur since the passage
of
three controversial bills by the Manipur Assembly in August 2015. Ten
people (nine tribal and one plainsman) have died in police firing since
the issue re-erupted in early 2015. The ILPS itself is a legacy left by the
British who first introduced it
as
a travel permit under the Bengal Eastern
Frontier Regulations Act
of
1873 which protected the Crown's interest

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