Words of anguish resonate all-India, streets protests spill over, raising cries for justice: Manipur

After the video of two Kuki women being paraded naked and sexually assaulted made it to social media generating renewed outrage, demands for CM Biren Singh’s resignation, accountability and justice are raised from the length and breadth of the country

‘The Parade’


You undress them

March them, consume them with your lust and hatred

It is flesh to flesh

But you have not won the battle


Their souls you cannot touch

the souls you are after

Dignity, God clothed them with-

is not in their bodies.

It cannot be stripped by the mob

nor by the pack of those mighty women who stripped

themselves in front of the kangla fort.

Women to women!


Yes, the violence is flesh to flesh brothers

But the judgement is soul to soul.

Today it is yours to cheer

Today it is ours to weep

Tomorrow belongs to the Lord!

(The poem has been written by Ningreichon Tungshangnao, who is based in New Delhi)

Since the video of two Kuki women being paraded naked by a mob of men surfaced on social media, there has been an outcry against the grave violations of the basic human rights taking place in Manipur since May 3. The gruesome incidents of gendered violence had taken place on May 4, (reported by The Print) but the video surfaced only onJuly 19, after internet ban imposed on the state was lifted. With the surfacing of the disturbing video, and the allegations of gang-rape on the two Kuki women(parading of two women naked, killing of the father and son of one of them who tried to protect her) — once again, brought out a sense of national outrage. Citizens, the political opposition and the Supreme Court expressed condemnation at the inhumane acts being committed in Manipur.

The video had showed two Kuki women being paraded naked by a mob, with several men, apparently Meiteis, walking alongside the two women as they are led into some fields, appeared on social media earlier this week. The video shows at least some of the men groping the women.

Thursday morning, July 20, witness the Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud too suo motu notice of the horrific video showing two women in Manipur being paraded naked and being subjected to sexual violence. The opening day of the monsoon session of Parliament was also scheduled to have discussions on the continued, ongoing violence in the state. It was only then, for the first time that the prime minister, narendra Modi and one of his ministers broke their long silence on the issue. The state government is also ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Taking suo motu cognisance of videos of two women allegedly being paraded naked in ethnic-violence-hit Manipur, the Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Centre and the state government to inform it about the action taken against the perpetrators. The matter had now been posted on July 29, next Friday. “We are very deeply disturbed about the videos distributed yesterday. We are expressing our deep concern. It is time that the government steps in and takes action. This is completely unacceptable…Using women as an instrument in an area of communal strife to perpetuate gender violence is unacceptable,” a Bench led by CJI DY Chandrachud had said.

Protests erupt

Over the past two days, several protests have been organised, and statements have been released, to demand action against the perpetrators involved in committing the heinous crimes against the three women, as shown in the video, and the police inaction over it. Political parties, human rights organisations, college students, and the common people of India have come together to demand resignations, concrete actions, and accountability on the brutal murders and sexual violence taking place in Manipur.

The collective consciousness of the young and the old have been shaken, as is evident from these pictures of a protest that took place in Bengaluru. A big group of people, comprising majorly of women, can be seen holding placards demanding justice for the women can be seen.

Two protestswere organised by the All India Students’ Association (AISA) on July 21, one in Bengaluru and the other one in New Delhi. Through these protests, AISA showed their solidarity, questioned the silence of PM Modi on his two month long silence on the violence in Manipur, highlighted the inaction of the police and demanded action against the attackers.

On July 21, as reported by the Siasat Daily, Osmania University PhD scholars also organized a protest against the Manipur violence. During the protest, they burned the effigy of PM Narendra Modi and raised slogans against the government, holding it responsible for the violence in Manipur. Speaking to the media, one of the protestors stated the follwoing, “Since this government has come to power, attacks in the name of caste, assault on women, anti-farmer laws have gone up. Back then, they denied responsibility for killings in Gujarat and then Kashmir. Now they say the same about Manipur. They keep talking about Bharat Mata all the time. Now, Bharat Mata has been stripped naked and was paraded in Manipur. The pseudo intellectuals of the BJP and the RSS today have stripped Bharat Mata in Manipur. One of the victims is a wife of an Indian soldier. The Hindutva goons did this to Adivasi women in Manipur. The PM keeps talking about getting India to a better place. Is this what it means?”

A video of protest by National Student Union of India (NSUI) has also surfaced on the social media. At the said protect, organised at the Jawaharlal National University (JNU), demands for justice were raised and effigies were burnt.

The video of the protest can be viewed here:

Another protest had been organised in the national capital of India, wherein various women’s organisations in Delhi staged a protest together, demanding the resignation of Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh. They raised the question of why the BJP government, which gave the slogan of ‘Beti Bachao’, is silent on the violence in Manipur. The protesters demanded that the central and state governments provide justice to the victims, as reported by the NewsClick. The organisations that were involved in the said protest were AIDWA, AIMSS, CSW, NEFIS, NFIW, Pragatisheel MS, Zimmedari SWO.

On July 20, the aforementioned organisations had also released a joint statement raising the following demands:

“immediate arrest of the accused and fast-tracking of the case, action against the policemen responsible for dereliction of duty, resignation of Biren Singh, immediate steps to restore peace in Manipur.”

As reported by the Times of India, on July 20, the All India Mahila Congress held a massive protest in the national capital Delhi over the incidents of violence in Manipur. As per the report, Congress MP Ranjeet Ranjan and Mahila Congress chief Netta D’Souza had even held a press conference at the party headquarters earlier in the day, expressing shock at the video of two women being paraded naked in Manipur by a mob.

Another protest was organised in Bengaluru, through which solidarity was shown with the survivors of violence in Manipur.

Legal Fraternity demands action, passes resolution

On July 21, the Supreme Court Advocates on Record Association (SCAORA) passed resolution regarding Manipur sexual violence video. In the said resolution, the SCAORA condemned the incident, and stated that the said incident reflected the failure of the state machinery in protecting the basic human rights of the citizens and controlling the riots in the state.

SCAORA also resolved to provide any and all assistance that the Supreme Court may require to bring the perpetrators to justice, including offering Pro Bono legal help.

The resolution can be read here:

The All India Lawyer’s Association for Justice (AILAJ) also called for lawyers, law students and legal professionals to join the citizen protest to be held at Bengaluru and Delhi. They raised demands for ending violence in Manipur.

Words expressing anguish, heads hanging in shame

Words, as a medium to express one’s anguish and helplessness, have also been powerfully  used to express the collective outrage.

“Hang your heads in shame, dear citizens. Hang your heads in shame. Hundreds of your fellow citizens in Manipur have been murdered in the past few months; they are still being butchered. Their homes have been set alight and torched; the people of Manipur have been forced to choose between being burnt alive and fleeing from their homes.

Women of this country – sisters, mothers, daughters, your fellow citizens – are being paraded naked, raped and humiliated. Yes, you read it correctly – they are being paraded naked and raped. The Manipur police, who picked them up from their home, gave them away to the mob. Hang your heads in shame, dear citizens. Hang your heads in shame.

Is this what we are as a nation? Is this who we are as a civilisation? Is this who we are as a people? Inhuman, beastly, ghastly, uncivilised savages? Hang your heads in shame.” These were the words written in an article in the Madras Courier.

A song dedicated to the women of Manipur, with lyrics by Ernest Flanagan, can also be accessed here.


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