Two issues made headlines recently. In Manipur, ethnic clashes—between the Meitei and Kuki communities—led to extreme violence claiming more than 70 lives, injuring 230, while 20,000 people were shifted to safer locations. Though the state has witnessed similar conflicts since the 1990s, it was largely contained.
But this time, it was different. Both communities were gruesomely attacked—schools, churches, temples and homes were burnt to ashes. The police remained mere spectators to the riots, even as their own heavily armed police stations were attacked; arms and ammunition were also looted. Worse, the state government was caught napping. This crisis shows us that peace is impossible to achieve wherever there is discrimination against one group or community. It is time the Union government directly steps in to balance the unequal sharing of resources among the two communities and bring peace and harmony.
Our second cover story comes in the wake of the recent Karnataka elections. What will be the messaging for the forthcoming Lok Sabha and state elections? We have focused on the manifestos of various political parties across India, asking a question: Do mere manifestos deliver victories? And how political parties recalibrate their manifestos and poll pitches to suit regional state elections.
(This appeared in print as "Lessons From Manipur And Karnataka")