By Ajaz Ashraf / Mid Day
A sinister method of silencing civil society leaders and public intellectuals is emerging in Manipur, where criminal complaints have been filed against three of them for their media interviews. All three are Kuki. All three articulated their community’s viewpoint on the social conflict in Manipur. All three have been accused, under different sections of the Indian Penal Code, of outraging religious feelings and promoting enmity between social groups.
The three entangled in the criminal cases are Dr Mary Grace Zou, the convenor of the Kuki Women’s Forum; Wilson L Hangsing, the co-founder of the Kuki People’s Alliance; and Dr Kham Khan Suan Hausing, a professor of political science at University of Hyderabad. Of the three, Hausing is arguably the most well known outside Manipur, for the erudite pieces he has written, for years, on the Northeast.
I focus on Hausing as his case raises the question: can a person analysing contradictory claims of two social groups, locked in a bitter conflict, be accused of promoting communal discord even when her/his arguments favourable to the community s/he belongs to are backed by data and historical documents?
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