The recent ethnic violence in Manipur, a state in northeastern India, has its origins in the longstanding tensions between two main communities: the Meitei majority and the Kuki-Zo tribe. The Meitei, primarily Hindu and concentrated in the capital city Imphal, have been in conflict with the mainly Christian Kuki-Zo tribe, residing in scattered settlements in the hills.

The ethnic violence in Manipur was triggered by a dispute over plans to grant the Meitei community Scheduled Tribe (ST) status. This status would provide them with affirmative action benefits, such as quotas for government jobs and college admissions,  aiming to uplift disadvantaged sections of society. The Kuki-Zo tribe, however, feared that this recognition would reduce their own entitlements. Protests against these plans escalated into violence, leading to property destruction, displacement, and loss of life.

Manipur has a history of ethnic tensions and separatist movements. In the late 1970s, an armed rebellion against Indian rule erupted, driven by grievances of neglect from the central government. Although the state had experienced relative calm since 2015, the recent violence has revived calls among the Kuki-Zo tribe for a separate state administration. This demand has been met with opposition from the Meitei majority.

The Indian government’s response to the ethnic violence in Manipur included deploying troops, implementing curfews, and shutting down the internet in affected areas. Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the situation after a period of silence, expressing concern over the violence. However, the government faced criticism for its handling of the conflict, with accusations of policies promoting majoritarianism.

Therefore, Real Research, an online survey app, launched a survey on ethnic clashes in Manipur state, India, to gather public opinion about the tribal clashes and ethnic tensions in Manipur.


  • 37.33% were somewhat familiar with the historical ethnic violence in Manipur.
  • Nearly half (49.87%) believed the Indian government handled the situation very well.
  • 34.92% believed the government-imposed internet ban was necessary.

Over the past few months, Manipur, a state in India, has been grappling with ethnic tensions and violence between two ethnic groups – the Meities and Kukis. The awareness of this situation varies among respondents. A significant portion (45.05%) were well aware of these events, while about 34.85% had a vague awareness, and 20.1% were unaware.

The historical context of Manipur’s ethnic tensions dates back to tribal clashes during the pre-colonial era. Respondents’ familiarity with this history also shows a diverse range of understanding. Approximately 37.33% were somewhat familiar, 36.96% were very familiar, 13.71% were not very familiar, and 12% were not familiar at all with the historical context.

Figure 1: Respondents’ familiarity with the historical context of tribes in Manipur.

A distressing incident involving the disrobing, parading naked, groping, and gang-rape of two women from the Kuki community in Manipur was captured in a viral video. Respondents’ awareness of this incident also varied, with about 40.54% having a vague awareness, 31.71% being well aware, and 27.75% being unaware.

Government’s Response and Internet Ban in Manipur

The response of the government to this incident raised questions, particularly the timing of the First Information Report (FIR) filing and the perceived lack of promptness. Opinions on the government’s response were mixed. Approximately 38.63% believed the response was not prompt and appropriate, 33.14% believed it was, and 28.23% were unsure.

Figure 2: Do you think the government’s response was prompt and appropriate?

In an effort to control the spread of fake news and misinformation, the government imposed an internet ban, including broadband services, following the Manipur incident. Respondents had varied views on the necessity of this measure for curbing misinformation and maintaining public safety. 34.92% believed it was necessary, 34.5% believed it was not, and 30.58% were unsure.

Government’s Actions and Opposition’s Motion

The Indian government has taken measures to address the violence in Manipur, including deploying security forces and engaging with local leaders. However, accusations of inaction have also been raised. The timing of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement after over 180 deaths and more than two months since the violence began prompted different opinions on how well the government has handled the situation.

Responses included 49.87% saying very well, 14.75% saying somewhat well, 16.67% being neutral, 8.67% saying not well, and 10.4% saying not well at all.

Figure 3: How well did the Indian government handle the Manipur ethnic violence?

In response to the inactions over the violence in Manipur, the opposition party in India brought a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Modi. Views on this motion also varied, with 44.44% in support, 32.41% being neutral, and 23.15% not supporting it. These insights reflect the complexity of opinions and perspectives surrounding the ongoing situation of ethnic violence in Manipur.


Survey TitleSurvey on Ethnic Clashes in Manipur State, India
DurationAugust 16, 2023 – August 23, 2023
Number of Participants10,000
DemographicsMales and females, aged 21 to 99
Participating Countries Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, China (Hong Kong) China (Macao), China (Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Greanada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Maldives, Maluritania, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar [Burma], Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.