North-East India – Security and Developmental Issues

Kuki Groups seek Separation from Manipur


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Article 3

Mains level: Sub-regionalism issue in India

kuki article 3

Central Idea

  • Kuki Inpi Manipur (KIM), the apex body of Kuki tribes, issued a statement calling for a separate state under Article 3 of the Constitution.

Manipur violence: A quick recap

  • The ethnic conflict in Manipur originated on May 3 between the Meitei people (valley-based) and the Kuki-Zomi people (hills-based Scheduled Tribe groups).
  • The violence resulted in the forced migration of the two populations, prompting Kuki-Zomi MLAs and various groups to call for separation.

What is Article 3 of the Indian Constitution?

  • Article 3 grants the Parliament the authority to create new states, modify boundaries, and rename existing states in India.
  • It establishes the legal framework for the reorganization of states within the country.
  • Here is the text of Article 3: Parliament may by law—
  1. Form a new State by separation of territory from any State or by uniting two or more States or parts of States or by uniting any territory to a part of any State
  2. Increase the area of any State
  3. Diminish the area of any State
  4. Alter the boundaries of any State
  5. Alter the name of any State

Procedural Requirements

Certain procedural requirements must be fulfilled before enacting changes under Article 3:

  • Presidential Recommendation: No Bill pertaining to these matters can be introduced in Parliament without the recommendation of the President.
  • State Legislature Consultation: If a proposed bill affects the area, boundaries, or name of any state, it must be referred by the President to the concerned state legislature.
  • Time frame: The state legislature is given a specific period to express its views on the proposed changes. Additional time may be granted by the President, if necessary.

Significance of Article 3

  • Alteration for reasons: Article 3 provides a mechanism to adapt the political boundaries of states in India as per the evolving needs of the nation.
  • Power Sharing: While the Parliament holds the authority to initiate state reorganization, the consultation with the state legislature ensures a democratic process and considers the views of the affected state.
  • Regional Aspirations: Article 3 acknowledges the aspirations of various regions by allowing the formation of new states, thereby promoting regional development and administration.
  • Flexibility: The provision for altering state boundaries enables the government to address demographic changes, regional imbalances, and administrative efficiency.

Why is the demand by Kukis not feasible?

  • Social and Political Cohesion: The consideration of endorsing separate administrative setups or a greater Mizoram based on ethnic lines raises concerns about social and political cohesion in Manipur.
  • Tensions with Naga Community: Tensions between the Kuki and Naga communities in Manipur complicate the situation and have the potential to escalate conflicts.
  • Unique Cross-Border Presence: The demand for a separate homeland for the Chin-Kuki-Mizo community requires careful evaluation due to its unique cross-border presence and potential for Pan-Nationalism.
  • Implications on Regional Stability: Recognition of a separate homeland would strain relations with Myanmar and Bangladesh, impacting regional stability.


  • Cautious Decision-Making: The Indian government must navigate the complexities by considering the broader implications on Manipur’s stability, cross-border relations, and the risk of future conflicts stemming from ethnic separatism.
  • Inclusive Dialogue and Peace: Inclusive dialogue, addressing grievances, and promoting peace and unity among all ethnic communities involved are crucial for long-term stability and harmonious coexistence.

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