Home » Human rights issues in Manipur and participation of Tangkhul women -2

Human rights issues in Manipur and participation of Tangkhul women -2

by Rinku Khumukcham
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Contd. from previous issue

TSL and human rights of the Tangkhuls:
Once the TSL came into existence it became the main Tangkhul women’s organisation working for the protection and promotion of Human rights of the Tangkhuls. It has to be noted that from the very onset that the TSL works as per the provisions of its written constitution and does not initiate any activities that are outside of it. At present the constitution which was reviewed and approved by the General Body of TSL on 17 March 2005 at Chinjaroi village in its year-end meeting is in effect. The constitution starts with a preamble and it reads as follows: 
“All the womenfolk of every Tangkhul villages, by uniting unanimously, for the rights of women, for living with freedom, with trust and understanding for improving the living standard of the women, for advancement in education, economic, society, family life, for supporting the Tangkhuls in its endeavour in making a better and progressive society without discrimination based on big and small, educated and illiterate, rich and poor and for the progress of  the society, the organisation was established”. (TSL, Ukhrul, 2005:1).
The Constitution makes detailed provisions dealing with its membership, organisational structure, aims and objectives, various other principles and ideals which the TSL stands for, etc.
Membership: Any Tangkhul women who have reached 15 years of age may become a member of the TSL. Each and every Tangkhul village is to have a Tangkhul women organisation of the own. For example, Ningchou village has its own women organisation named Ningchou Shanao Long. Similarly, Kumram village also have its own women organisation named Kumram Shanao Long. These organisations are obviously at the village level whereas the TSL is for all the Tangkhul women living everywhere. In addition to the village level organisations, commercial town areas also have their own Tangkhul women organisations. For example, Phungreitang Shanao Long, Hamleikhong Shanao Long etc. are some of the commercial town area Taangkhul women organisation located in Ukhrul town. All the members of the village level and town area organisations also become the members of the TSL. In other words, no Tangkhul women can be a member of the TSL unless she belongs to a local level Shanao Long (Women’s organisation). The TSL Head Quarter is at the Ukhrul District Headquarters.
Organisational Structure: The TSL has a President as the head of the organisation. She is the chief spokesperson and chief executive of the organization. There is also an Executive Committees. The Executive Committee assists the President in her day-to-day works. There is also a General Body consisting of all the registered members, and it meets twice in a year. The Executive Committee executes day-to-day matters of the TSL but the General Body is the final authority to decide any major policy. The Executive Committee is to have not more than 21 members and not less than 19 members. The Executive Committees of the TSL comprises the following members (Ibid., 9):i) Yaruiwo (President); ii) Woshinwo (Vice President); iii) Kapime (General Secretary); iv) Pishinme  (Joint Secretary); v) Chumsingmi (Treasurer); and vi) Kazime (Accountant)
a. Twelve other members were drawn from the circle areas. (There are four circle areas and three members each from each circle has to be drawn).
b. Any other member drawn from the area where the TSL Head Quarter is located. These members are to be drawn from people who are in medical or educational profession, or involved in Christian missionary activities, etc..
Qualification of the President of TSL: To be the President of TSL, a Tangkhul woman must have at least attained the age of 40 years. She should also be at least a graduate. However, an exceptional woman with high leadership quality can be considered even without the graduate degree. She must not be an active member of any political parties. She must know how to read and write Tangkhul language and she must be a woman of high moral standard.
Its emblem, motto and flag: A pair of Zeithing (Spear), with Chonkhom (A Tangkhul Naga shawl), printed in the middle and Kongsang (Traditional Tangkhul necklace) printed below the Chonkhom and the motto written between is used as their emblem. The motto of TSL is “Mashun Otsakrum” which means “Unity for Justice”. The TSL’s flag is made of two colours. The upper part is sky-blue and the lower part of the flag is white in colour signifying Justice. The Chonkhom is printed in the middle of the flag signifying the unity of all the Tangkhul women. 
Aims and objectives of the TSL(Zinkhai, op.cit., 35).:  The aims and objectives of the TSL are : to safeguard the rights, modesty and dignity of women; to promote educational, cultural, and customary life of women; to promote economic growth and welfare including animal husbandry, handicraft, weaving, tailoring, agriculture etc.; to promote peace, development, growth, and prosperity in all  aspects of life; Maintain and create healthy atmosphere in all spheres of life; to establish contacts with other organizations having similar objects around   the globe; to create awareness among the villagers through organizing and conducting trainingworkshops, seminars, consultations, etc.; to participate in maintaining ecology and environmental balance; and to organize relief, charity, etc. to help people who are in genuine need due to natural calamities and unforeseen incidents.
The TSL and Human Rights Issues: The emergence of TSL coincides with a new development that took place within the Naga underground. It may be remembered here that a faction of the Naga National Council (NNC) known as National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) emerged as some of the NNC members did not accept the Shillong Accord which was signed between the Government of India and NNC on the 11 November 1975. With this, the Indian Armed Forces intensified their counter insurgency operations to crush the new uprising because the Government of India was convinced that Naga Nationalism had erupted again with greater force and enthusiasm with the emergence of the new organisation. Constant armed conflicts became the order of the day. It has also been already pointed out that with the coming of the NSCN (IM), the Naga inhabited areas of Manipur in general and the Tangkhul inhabited areas in particular became the mainstay of the underground insurgent activities of the Nagas. As such, these areas attracted the attention of the Armed Forces all the more. Under such circumstances, the TSL came to play the role of the vanguard of the human rights of the people and it took up many human rights issues affecting the people. Some of the important human rights violation related cases concerning the Nagas which the TSL took up are being discussed as follows:
(To be contd  ……….)

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