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Rhetoric and reaction

A violent public discourse stokes civil unrest

Manipur, manipur violence
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Business Standard Editorial Comment Mumbai

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From Manipur to Kashmir, Uttarakhand to West Bengal, and also Tamil Nadu, social harmony appears to be under serious threat. The proximate cause in each case has been the extreme rhetoric deployed and normalised by politicians and politico-social groupings —from accusations of Indian citizens being “outsiders” and “infiltrators” to such phobic terms as “love jihad”. Such violent language, freely bandied about during election campaigns, is inevitably amplified on social media into unverified claims and accusations that ultimately lead to a breakdown of civil society.

This story is being played out in Manipur, where simmering tensions between the valley-dwelling Meiteis, mainly Hindu,

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First Published: Jun 20 2023 | 10:04 PM IST

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