For Nupi Lan, the women’s war

One of the major landmarks in modern history is the Nupi Lan, which can be translated as the women’s war. It took place not only once, but twice in 1904 and 1939, waged by the Manipuri women against the imperial faggots of those times.

Nupi Lan took place in Manipur, a strife-torn frontier state in northeast India. It must be noted that these wars were, to a great extent, concerted campaigns against socioeconomical injustice. The first war was a protest to defy forced labour, and the second—which is more significant than the 1904 version—was a dissent to the unfair trade policies that caused an artificial famine in the erstwhile princely kingdom. In both cases, the womenfolk took the major role and hence the name.
WRITING HERSTORY: A peace rally on
Nupi Lan day (12 Dec 2010), organised by Khonthang,
a New Delhi-based organisation.

In this age of gender equality, women empowerment and emancipation, it has meant more than just being a protestation. It shows: (a) how women have helped in shaping our society; and (b) how suppressed voices, when they can tolerate no longer, can silence the shrieking of the authority.

Nupi Lan day is celebrated on 12 December. Again, the rhetoric that follows such a celebration shows the broken link between the historical day and the pathetic contemporary living experience. 

It is also true that we live in a male chauvinistic society. Things have changed, but we still have issues like domestic violence and a certain belief that man can do what woman cannot, and that man do but woman are allowed to. But it is really appreciated the situation is better than the mainland culture, when girls are treated as second-class citizens. Check for instance, the cases of infanticide and dowry. But we do hope, things will change out there too.     

As we celebrate the valour of our women, we have to remember that mutual respect and cooperation are the only things we can cherish; so that we march forward, walking hand in hand, step by step together. 

  1. Women: The Longest Revolution by Juliet Mitchell

  2. Man Made Language by Dale Spender
  3. The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir



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