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Search for Inclusive Growth amidst Exclusive Appropriations in Manipur

In its predominant preoccupation with corporates and businesses, the strategy literature neglects policies in the governance arena. Problems of market failures in the provisioning of private and public goods are known. Less discussed are Scitovskian "double market failures", where neither government nor market can create and sustain institutionalities for safe, secure and reliable transactions due to pecuniary externalities. The most problematic are situations where concern for inclusive growth coexists with exclusive appropriations over long periods and problems defy solutions, being neither cyclic nor structural. This paper cites evidence from precisely such a breakdown in Manipur to examine this third category of systemic failures which are "treble failures" characterising situations where a nexus of stakeholding contracts to underpin strategy is infeasible, fragile or highly vulnerable.


Search for Inclusive Growth amidst Exclusive Appropriations in Manipur

Ajeet N Mathur

In its predominant preoccupation with corporates and businesses, the strategy literature neglects policies in the governance arena. Problems of market failures in the provisioning of private and public goods are known. Less discussed are Scitovskian “double market failures”, where neither government nor market can create and sustain institutionalities for safe, secure and reliable transactions due to pecuniary externalities. The most problematic are situations where concern for inclusive growth coexists with exclusive appropriations over long periods and problems defy solutions, being neither cyclic nor structural. This paper cites evidence from precisely such a breakdown in Manipur to examine this third category of systemic failures which are “treble failures” characterising situations where a nexus of stakeholding contracts to underpin strategy is infeasible, fragile or highly vulnerable.

The author is grateful to Gangmumei Kamei for clarifying certain aspects with his insightful recollections. This is a revised version of the paper presented by the author at the Strategic Management Forum International Conference on “Challenges to Inclusive Growth in the Emerging Economies”, 15-17 December 2010 at IIM Ahmedabad.

Ajeet N Mathur ( is with the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad.

his paper is prompted by three considerations. First, the crisis that erupted in Manipur in April 2010 triggered by forces opposing devolution of authority and district council elections was a poignant reminder that entities experiencing complex systemic failures present a challenge to strategists. The stakeholding contract in such cases does not conveniently fall within the purview of frameworks and models discussed by practitioners, policymakers and the academic community. Second, in the predominant preoccupation with corporate and business strategies, there has been a neglect of strategies in the governance arena. Third, reactive stances of actors involved may inflame biases for dramatic actions, melodramatic media reporting and secret government parleys. These further detract us from deepening our understanding by diagnosing the crises unless we examine the motives and power bases of manifest and latent sources of authority in their overt and covert aspects.

Problems of market failures or government failures in the provisioning of private and public goods are known. Market failures are those instances of under-emerged markets for goods and services where demand and supply are unmatchable by market forces or organisational solutions. Double market failures occur when the government is unable to intervene effectively to orchestrate a market and organisations also do not come forth with legitimate bridging solutions for profit. Scitovsky (1954) was among the first to suggest that double market failures could be caused by pecuniary external economies. Such failures are quite common and can be noticed all over the world in product markets as well as factor markets. In such “missing markets”, neither market forces nor government intervention, and often, not even both in concert, suffice to bring about sustained contact between actors on the supply and demand sides, notwithstanding the potential for supply chains. In such cases, (a) economic actors on the demand and supply sides do not transmit or receive market signals, and

(b) incentives for role holders in business and government to design value chains can also fail to produce intended outcomes.

When neither governments nor markets are able to create and sustain institutionalities for safe, secure and reliable transactions due to pecuniary externalities, the vacuum may get filled by unsavoury intermediaries. This unpleasant outcome would not come about unless community institutions of self-governance are also disabled. The most problematic of these are situations such as the hiatus in Manipur where the struggle for inclusive growth anchorable in democratic

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governance has coexisted with exclusive extortionary appropriations of developmental financial resources over long periods. In such cases, the problem is definitely not cyclical because efflux of time does not improve resource flows at any time. When alternative structures have been attempted and have failed, the problem is unlikely to be structural. So what is it? This paper cites evidence from the breakdown in Manipur to examine this mysterious category of systemic failures. These are “treble failures” (markets fail, successive governments fail, and the behavioural cement of the community’s institutions also comes unstuck) characterising situations where a nexus of stakeholding contracts to underpin strategy is infeasible, fragile or highly vulnerable.

Simply put, “strategy” is the grand design that sustains and progresses stakeholders’ expectations for which constituents establish an explicit or implicit understanding or nexus of collaboration for purposes valued by them. In case of artificial juridical persons such as business firms, stakeholders typically comprise shareholders, employees, customers, creditors, suppliers, communities and governments. When we think of countries or provinces or regions, stakeholders include people of demarcated territories – persons alive at different stages of life in their various roles, people yet to be born there, people who may relocate there, and also the government that governs and represents the territory and has responsibilities for the population’s well-being in intergenerational continuities in that territory as a spatial unit with its distinct identity. Intergenerational continuities, whether of business firms or regions, have something remarkable in common. They coalesce around authority which sanctions power and they compete and collaborate for sustaining and improving well-being of stakeholders which involves combining resources, incentivising responses, valuing production and organising distribution. In other words, a plurality of motives is pursued through power bases where each of the power bases is anchored in authority, organisation, strategies and politics of relatedness involving overt and covert processes. This is what makes possible both instituted communities and “imagined communities” in the Andersonian sense (Anderson 1991).

Markets and Governance

The history of planetary civilisation attests to the worldwide phenomena that natural markets may emerge from trade incentives within and across communities. Standards, weights and measures, and media of exchange are devices that enable institutionally shared capacities to account for production and distribution of value created and transacted, besides enabling wealth to be stored and transferred. Without moral solidaristic sentiments that communities may modulate, the accumulation of wealth and resource flows beyond a certain geographic scale and scope require an overarching authority to maintain stable boundary conditions for people to live as families and exercise some modicum of rights and freedoms. In such cases, the peaceful resolution of conflicts, disputes, claims, grievances makes prosperity through trade, profession, business or calling possible only if there is an overarching authority administering justice in a second-tier institution so authorised. The integration of second tier overarching territories and markets to enable free flows of goods, services, people and capital between them requires further authorities and rule of law to enmesh the second tier into a third tier like the Union of India or the United States (US) or the United Kingdom (UK). Thus, “long live the king/queen” or “Jai Hind” are more than mere slogans. They embody wishes for continued stability of the sovereignty and integrity that provides the context for markets and for interventions in cases of expected, anticipated and unforeseen market failures.

An overarching second-tier or third-tier authority may assume governance responsibility for the well-being of a territorially demarcated population in an area only if it can resolve what political scientists refer to as “a state of Hobbesian anarchy” by establishing and sustaining five necessary conditions (Mathur 2003).1

  • (1) Maintain monopoly of the means of organised violence to enforce law and order (despite the supposed virtues of competition, no one seriously wants two police stations in a local area or two national armies competing for services on grounds of efficiency).
  • (2) Exercise authority to collect taxes (as means to provide public goods in accordance with public choice and defray costs of administering a second tier/third tier of governance beyond gram swaraj or local governance).
  • (3) Demonstrate capacity to administer justice (conflict resolution between private parties, and between private parties and public authorities, is a necessary prerequisite to peaceful dispute settlement with audi alterem partem and crime abatement on principles such as rex persona).
  • (4) Require from the population an explicit or implicit pledge of allegiance to the legitimacy and identity of the governing unit by accepting personal status as subject or citizen or national of the governing unit.
  • (5) Grant of freedoms and rights consistent with law and as quid pro quo to the above including rights to electoral representation and minorities protection.
  • Any departure from the Hobbesian state of anarchy requires what one may call a Hobbesian contract of allegiance incorporating the first four elements of conditionalities before the fifth condition with Lockean elements of rights and freedoms is guaranteed as part of a political contract. There is no known exception to this sequence (for example, in the US, the Bill of Rights came long after the Constitution; and, rights flowing from Magna Carta, the Fifth Republic in France, or the Swiss Confederation were all sequels to territorial conquest and consolidation). The discovery or invention of strategy for stakeholders of a territorial unit is inconceivable until and unless this five-way test of governance is minimally met.

    Yet, if and when and where democratic governance requires listening to the vox populi before a Hobbesian contract of allegiance has stabilised, there is too little capacity to guarantee Lockean rights and freedoms. The inescapable tension between voids and vacuums of legitimate representative autho rity and the “picture-of-authority” in the minds of stakeholders

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    supporting and opposing the evolving and contestable Hobbesian contract become challenges to inclusive growth. Resource flows within the system do not occur freely if an open system has unstable boundaries and there are high transaction costs for resources to flow across unstable boundaries. The blockade of the Nagaland-Manipur border on NH-39 that began on 10 April 2010 was merely exemplifying a manifest signifier of some deeper malaise. Confirmation of this arose from further evidence during 2011 when various forms of organised protests continued to arise sporadically.

    Democratic Governance

    The status of Manipur at the time of India’s Independence in 1947 left some questions unresolved. It acceded to the union by the initiative of maharaja Srijut Bodh Chandra Singh under its own constitution, the Manipur State Constitution Act, 1947 (drafted by a committee consisting of representatives of Meitis, Nagas and Kukis). The Manipur Constitution was promulgated on 11 August 1947 preceding Indian Independence on 15 August 1947. Manipur’s merger agreement with the dominion of India on 21 September 1949 as a Part “C” state predated the Indian Constitution and was never ratified or approved through referendum or by elected representatives of the Manipur assembly. On 1 November 1956, Manipur was declared a union territory and later became a full-fledged state on 21 January 1972.

    The issue of Naga identity and nationalism was raised by the Naga National Council in the Naga hill districts of Assam and Nagaland but not in Manipur. I am not persuaded by the suggestion made by some journalists and miscreants (am carefully placing these two in separate categories although there could be some overlap!) that a greater Naga identity was fractured by the post-Independence administrative reorganisation of lands populated in India and Burma by the Naga tribes. At no time in history did such an imagined nationhood have claim to any overarching governance system that covered all Naga territories or all Naga populations. Given the authority vacuum, the resulting power play between interest groups proliferated pressure groups. Many of these have since transformed into extortion groups with an enormous vested interest in preserving the status quo.

    Strangely, the opposition in India to the participation of people in planning their own future had first arisen during the constitution-making process itself. Several of the founding fathers of India’s Constitution like B R Ambedkar did not believe that Gandhiji’s idea of gram swaraj was feasible or desirable. Rajendra Prasad, independent India’s first president who presided over the Constituent Assembly favoured making village republics the basis of the whole constitution. He raised the importance of recognising grass-roots authority flowing from the people towards more aggregated forms of political delegation and centralisation during the Constituent Assembly debates. The matter was hushed up on a technicality during the Santhanam amendment motion on 22 November 1948 concerning units of local self-government on grounds that it was too late to begin the drafting process again (Lok Sabha Secretariat 2003: 520-27).

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    T Prakasam had valiantly questioned the construction of an edifice that did not start from its foundations but went top down and welcomed the Santhanam amendment “because this gives opportunity to the people of every province and the whole of India to go on this basis and work up the whole thing, without interrupting the progress of the Constitution at this stage” (Lok Sabha Secretariat 2003: 522). It is noteworthy that the discussion on local self-governance units, although conducted, with frequent reference to panchayats in the Constituent Assembly, intended local self-government to be available to the people of every province (which term included chief commissioner’s provinces like Manipur at the time). In the final draft adopted, there was a brief mention of local self-government in an advisory provision in Article 40 (the Santhanam amendment Article 31A at the drafting stage) under Directive Principles and “local government” as a subject was exclusively kept on the State list in the Indian Constitution.

    A discussion of governance in Manipur cannot be meaningfully undertaken without explicitly recognising that people’s own chosen representatives at all levels of disaggregation, including the local district and village level need to be involved in that process. This was consistent with the customs, traditions and wishes of local communities in Manipur. There could be a few pockets where clan-based unelected fiefdoms may be acceptable to local people or where local leaders would not easily make way for expression of popular will. However, that was not the only reason to enable local communities to elect district council leaders. Whatever be the verdict of historians, Manipur is one of the 28 states of the union. In 1993, the 73rd and 74th Amendments of the Constitution incorporated Parts IX and IX A into the Constitution of India and grafted the 11th and 12th schedules listing schemes entrusted to local authorities. While the new three-tier system did not automatically apply to hill areas in Manipur, under Article 243 of the Constitution, Manipur became committed to the constitution of district planning committees with special provision to do so through district councils in the hill districts. Yet, none of the 29 functions were transferred to rural local bodies in Manipur.

    The schism between the toothless arrangements for “panchayati raj” in many states and the “councils” of north-east India with variations across north-eastern states depended on whether these councils were to be elected or nominated and whether the arrangements fall within the purview of the Fifth Schedule or the Sixth Schedule under Part X of the Constitution. Manipur became a state with the North-Eastern Areas (Reorganisation) Act, 1971. Under the 73rd and 74th amendments in 1993, Article 243 (d) explicitly defined “panchayat” as ‘an institution (by whatever name called) of self-governance” and Article 243M explicitly noted the existence of district councils in the hill areas of Manipur as the applicable alternative under the law. The mandatory constitution of a district planning committee (with 80% from amongst elected representatives) under Article 243ZD was impossible to fulfil in Manipur without elections also for the district councils in the hill areas.

    The commitment to strengthen rural local government in India is not a limited Manipuri concern. Grass-roots planning


    initiatives in decentralised planning by entrusting elected local bodies with the entire resource package of all schemes in a single envelope were initiated in 2007-08 by the Planning Commission together with the ministries of panchayati raj, rural development and agriculture as a nationwide initiative. It was only appropriate that districts in north-eastern India also be included among the first set of districts where this was to be facilitated. The most backward districts were identified first. Tamenglong (a hill district) was the only district in Manipur so identified and it was among the first 10 districts assigned for facilitating capacity building in district planning by locally elected bodies to Institute of Applied Manpower Research (IAMR), the think tank of the Government of India in the Planning Commission.2

    Planning and Development

    There are two ways of describing Manipur’s economy and its planning and development challenges – by providing observations of experts experiencing Manipur or analysing its economic statistics in technical terms. Let me begin with the former. Kaushik Basu, travelling in the region when he was still a professor at Cornell University (and not in his current role as chief economic advisor in the Ministry of Finance) wrote:

    Of all the states of this region, the most troubled is Manipur… there are few signs of the famous Indian economic boom here. This is a region of a collapsing economy, huge unemployment, and interrupted power supply. I was assured that at most times it was safe to touch those exposed wires. The people of the north-east have high human capital. At various institutes and universities I speak, the discussion is lively and engaged. But beneath this, the region is simmering. Insurgent groups routinely extort money from bureaucrats, shopkeepers, and professors. Kidnappings are frequent. Trucks on highways are often stopped by competing local powers and either have their cargo confiscated or are allowed to pass after paying a “tax”. Hardly any new industry worth its name is moving into the region. There are three immediate measures the Indian Government needs to take: Improve Law and Order, Invest in Infrastructure, Improve Interaction (Basu 2008).

    Under the Gadgil formula and the Eleventh Finance Commission’s devolution to Manipur, the ratio of central grants to loans was 90:10 in contrast with 70:30 for the general category states. Manipur’s share in central taxes brought Rs 3,166 crore to Manipur during the Tenth Plan period 2002-07. Chattopadhyay (2006) noted that Manipur was the last in outcomes from plan outlay rankings of north-eastern states, that the state fiscal deficits were mounting, and that state government expenditures were high at 40% of the state gross domestic product (SGDP) with a poor record in implementation of government programmes. In 2006-07, Manipur’s GDP was Rs 6,438 crore. The state budget in 2007-08 estimated Rs 8,175 crore in aggregate receipts made up of Rs 2,762 of revenue receipts and Rs 5,413 of capital receipts. The Plan Outlay during the Eleventh Five-Year Plan (2007-12) was projected to be Rs 8,154 crore. With a population of just over 2.3 million, the per capita availability of resources is not small. Manipur has a rich tradition of village communities and good village level governance and there is scope to improve transparency, accountability and performance on development and planning outcomes with increased community participation.

    Democratic Deficit or Anarchic Excess?

    In 2010, Manipur received a lot of media attention due to the blockading of the national highway, NH 39, from 11 April 2010 which affected supplies for 68 days. I was amused to read that reports of a blockade of NH 53 passing through Tamenglong could not be verified! When I visited this region in 2008

    and undertook padayatras there, fewer than 5% of salaried government officials were actually to be found at their posts in Tamenglong. Unless the situation has improved dramatically, there may not even have been enough officials there to check the veracity of such a rumour. I wonder if the media persons reporting on the situation actually went there.3 Only certain routes are used for entry into Manipur because extortion racketeers have prescribed entry points and collect informal border levies at such points so that the availability or non-availability of non-blockaded routes (such as NH 150) is just statistics.

    Much of what has since been reported about Manipur is in the form of opinions and propaganda, rather than news or facts. According to the Indian Express editorial “SOS from Manipur” (1 June 2010) “the trouble had begun with the state government’s decision to hold district council polls, including in the Naga-dominated districts”. This editorial called upon the centre to resolve “the political basis of the trouble” (the prescription was not elaborated upon leaving it to the guesswork of readers to puzzle that out). However, the same sentence ends with “...and that cannot happen unless the Centre settles with the NSCN and brings them into the mainstream” (from which the sources and motivations of this newspaper become clearer) as if the home ministry in the central government and the Manipur government have not tried to find a peaceful solution. It is also not clear if the newspaper favours compromise on rule of law or use of force to protect boundary conditions for rule of law to prevail.

    Decades of failure in Manipur to resolve “the political basis of the trouble” point to the need to diagnose and understand what exactly is the basis of the trouble? To what extent is the problem political? Who gains, who loses from the status quo? Why is it so difficult to resolve? The editorial in the Economic & Political Weekly (5 June 2010) titled “Manipur: Squaring the Circle?” attributes the political basis of the trouble to aspirations for a “Greater Nagalim” jostling with Manipuri determination to maintain current boundaries. While this explanation may satisfy those still struggling with class or ethnic

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    dialectics to explain conflict, such an overarching simplification conceals more than it reveals. It glosses over the crux of the problem, that people living in the hills and the people living in the plains both have equal right to representation for their political, economic, and social well-being within Manipur as a territory of jurisdiction as a state in the Union of India.

    It is worth examining why the decision of the state government to hold elections to the autonomous district councils in the hill districts (which are Naga majority) would provoke a Naga backlash from forces outside the state in neighbouring Nagaland? Is it because of the demand for a “Greater Nagalim” or because emergence of de jure and de facto authority of grass-roots democracy in the hill districts would counter the de facto legitimacy of illicit extortion rackets at Manipur’s border with Nagaland?

    Those who raise questions about the legitimacy of holding district council elections have much to answer for themselves. They must explain why they are against empowerment of people through elected representatives in the hill districts; and, why they continue to play on the Kuki-Naga divides (reminiscent of the artificial Hutu-Tutsi divides created by colonial administrators in Rwanda) to rule the hill districts when the Constitution requires and provides for people’s representatives to serve in bodies that govern and determine their economic, political and social well-being. Such sceptics need to explain why they claim a dichotomy between the “people of Manipur” and the “Manipuri people”. Every multi-ethnic and multicultural group in the world has cultural and spiritual inheritances beyond its inhabited geographical area. That is not a reason why Nagaland must now be expanded or Nagaland’s issues brought into Manipur. Rather, if the people from the plains concede to the people from the hills their rights to interpret their well-being and plan their development differently due to the diversity in economic geography, Meitei aspirations and the hill people’s aspirations may be reconcilable within Manipur rather than being posed in Meitei-Naga antagonistic terms with the Kuki factor brought in as a counterweight to “divide and rule” for extortion rackets disguised as separatism, belligerency, militancy, etc, to continue.

    Writing in the Economic & Political Weekly (26 June-9 July 2010), Pradip Phanjoubam of the Imphal Free Press (Phanjoubam 2010: 10-13) noted that the conflict in Manipur hardened after the Naga nationalist leader Thuingaleng Muviah of NSCN-IM (National Socialist Council of Nagalim, Isak-Muivah faction) was not allowed to visit his original home village, Somdal in Ukhrul district of Manipur. Muivah had not been in Somdal for 44 years. It seems the state government did not want to take any chances with the possibility that he could stir people’s imaginations about a returning Naga hero from exile. Yet, the government’s stance made a hero out of him and brought to surface subliminal anxieties about Greater Nagalim in some quarters. Phanjoubam (2010) concedes that both geographies (the plains and the hills) have to be addressed adequately for any lasting solution.

    The Manipur (Hill Area) Autonomous District Council (ADC) Act, 1971 precedes the demand for hill district councils under

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    the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution which would give legislative and judicial powers underpinning self-governance mechanisms. The 2008 amendment to the ADC Act transferring some of the traditional powers of village chieftainship to the elected district council of tribal leaders was a step in this direction without amending the Constitution. This came about at a time when hill districts were getting ready to take on responsibilities for self-governance through participatory planning and development. The Planning Commission’s initiative of grass-roots district planning putting into a single envelope all developmental finances in selected districts of the country covered Tamenglong in Manipur. When I negotiated and concluded the Tamenglong Accord for Peace and Development in 2008, the creation of an elected body in the district was a necessity if people’s aspirations were to be further expressed, mobilised and channelled through their own elected representatives. In other parts of India, similar processes were implemented through panchayati raj institutions (Mathur 2007) in a manner different from the traditions in the north-east.

    Need for District Council Elections

    The autonomous district councils in Manipur had been defunct since 1989. That is the reason I had personally called on governor Sidhu (then Governor of Manipur in April 2008) immediately after signing the Tamenglong Accord and discussed with him the need for hastening autonomous district council elections in all districts, including hill districts. The IAMR of the Planning Commission accepted the task of capacity building in the Tamenglong district council for facilitation of autonomous self-governance, planning and development. IAMR was involved with numerous action research studies covering all the northeastern states at that time. My understanding of the situation is that the main problem of Manipur is an economic problem of organised extortion rackets trying to throttle social and political expression of popular will. It may well be that more people in Manipuri officialdom have blessed the extortion racket than one would like to believe.

    Multiple levels of representation create representative bodies that compete unless their arenas of functioning are demarcated. In the absence of elected ADCs, there was a Hill Affairs Committee (HAC) of all 20 hill constituency MLAs of the Manipur assembly which functioned like a mini-assembly. The recreation of hill district councils surely opens up to contestation as to what should belong to the ADC and what to the HAC. An oft heard argument (also from Phanjoubam 2010, p 11) is that the hill ADCs have no representation from the valley communities. One may also ask how truly representative is the HAC in terms of people actually living in the geographical areas which they are supposed to represent. Why should grass-roots democracy be denied to locally elected representatives on grounds that the demarcation of arenas of responsibility is either incomplete or usurped? And, if statutory land tenure systems of the valley differ from contractual or customary land tenure systems of the hills, why should either the valley or the hills have to force their way on the other? This is something that can be determined by the authority of jurisdiction to the extent that the


    Constitution enables variety. There is no need to quarrel over governance does require certain necessary and sufficient dividing what is fundamentally indivisible or better left undi-conditions to be sustained. If we apply the five tests of governvided through acceptance of variety and differences in ways ance, it would be difficult to find many parts of the northand means towards cherished common ends. The persistence east, including Manipur, from passing the tests for now. Cases of the single tier system under Article 243 of the Constitution like Manipur present new phenomena that may be termed in defunct ADC areas is both a help and a hindrance. It is help-“treble market failures” where sources of legitimate authority ful to the extent that this enables district planning committees suppressed by power bases effectively silence the voices of to be set up and a hindrance because the representative nature community stakeholders rendering the genesis of strategy of such committees can blossom only through local elections. in a stakeholding contract infeasible. The way forward is to

    continue with authorised elected representatives at the Conclusions grass-roots and facilitate capacity building further so that The real question is: In governing Manipur, who is in charge? they are able to use the resources available without leakages The government, the communities or the extortionists? In for their well-being in accordance with their priorities. Stratepolitics of electoral governance, principal-agent problems are gically, curing the democratic deficit would treat the anarchic unresolvable because there is always some gap between ex excess but tactical compromising with anarchic excess is ante provisioning and ex poste reality (Van Hulle and Mathur a myopic recipe of horse-trading with the wrong sort of 1994). Perfection is neither sought nor expected. However, countervailing power.


    1 This five-part test of governance was originally formulated by the author at the height of the Khalistan crisis in the Punjab of the 1980s when invited by the home ministry, Government of India to spell out criteria for testing whether a de jure government at any given point in time is still capable of de facto governance or not! At that time, the Khalistani secessionists had established parallel courts to which public servants of the Government of India and the State Government of Punjab had begun appearing in response to summons; there was a parallel tax regime being administered; and, there was a serious challenge to the government’s monopoly of organised violence because the Khalistani Militias were well organised and armed to resist police forces in the Punjab.

    2 This author headed the IAMR as its director and chief executive officer with the rank of secretary to the Government of India in the Planning Commission and travelled to Manipur to lead this initiative in April 2008.

    3 The Survey of India official responsible for map-making certainly has not been there because the Survey of India Map shows the Irang River bridge at Awangkhul about 8 kilometres away from where the bridge actually was when it existed. The bridge has since been blown up and crossing the Irang River to reach Tamenglong required the author to use a Bailey’s bridge constructed by army engineers.


    Anderson, Benedict (1991): “Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism”, Verso, London.

    Basu, Kaushik (2008): “How to Fix India’s Troubled North-East”, pagetools/print/, accessed on 13 February 2008.

    Bohra, O P (2006): “Fiscal Decentralisation and Local Governments in the North-East States”, Manpower Journal, Vol XXXXI, No 2, April-June, 189-224.

    Chattopadhyay, Saumen (2006): “An Analytical Study of Fiscal Reforms in Manipur”, Manpower Journal, Vol XXXXI, No 2, April-June, 107-30.

    Lok Sabha Secretariat (2003): Constituent Assembly Debates, Book 2, Volume VII, 520-27.

    Mathur, Ajeet (2003): “The Changing Role of the State with Regard to Governance, Competitiveness, and International Economic Relations”, paper presented at the seminar “Emergence of National Firms and Groups and World Competition” jointly organised by Centre de Sciences Humaines, EU-CERNA, and the University of Marne la Vallee, 19-20 December 2002, New Delhi, Review of Professional Management, 2003 (1), 1-10.

    – (2007): “Planning at the Grassroots: Some Process Issues Concerning the Capacity of Panchayati Raj Institutions to Make District Plans”, Seminar on District Planning, CRID, Chandigarh, 27-29 September.

    Phanjoubam, Pradip (2010): “The Homeland and the State: The Meitis and the Nagas in Manipur”, Economic & Political Weekly, 26 June9 July.

    Scitovsky, Tibor (1954): “Two Concepts of External Economies”, Journal of Political Economy, Vol 62, 143-51.

    Van Hulle, Cynthia and Ajeet Mathur (1994): “Managing a Nation: Who Is In Charge? The Market for Political Control”, ASCI Journal of Management, Vol 24(1), 1-13 September.

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