Institute for Social and Economic Change

Working Paper: 400

Locating Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958
in the Federal Structure: An Analysis of Its
Application in Manipur and Tripura

Rajiv Tewari



Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA) has attracted attention from all perspectives. The Act continues to be applied in regions where problems such as ethnic conflict and unmet aspirations have not been resolved, and where violence along with secessionism threatens the very fabric of our nation and society. This paper attempts to address the location of the Act in the context of the State in Society theory proposed by Joel S Migdal and Vivienne Shue with specific reference to the application of the Act in Manipur and Tripura. In order to assess its location, a pilot study was carried out in Manipur and Tripura and a set of questions asked to a defined population and its results were analysed. This brought out very interesting findings. The findings substantiate the State in Society theory, and shows that State-Society interaction is a necessary part of federal nation building.


Working Papers