One of the 29 states of India, Manipur is located in the north-east of the country. In the colonial period, it was a British-dependent native principality. After India received independence, it became part of the country as an allied territory administered directly by the federal government. In 1971, during the reorganization of the north-eastern provinces, Manipur received state status.
The state's title group is the "indigenous population" - Manipuri-Meitei, who makes up about 55% of the state's population and speaks the Manipuri language. The language belongs to the Sino-Tibetan family; consequently, linguistically the titular group differs considerably from the majority of the country who speaks Hindi. However, regarding the religion, the differences are considerably less since most Manipuri profess Hinduism, though a substantial proportion of them adhere to traditional beliefs.
Manipuri live mainly in valleys that cover only one-tenth of the state's territory. 90% of the area is covered by mountains where various tribes reside. The most significant tribes are Kukis and Naga belonging to the Tibet-Burmese peoples professing Christianity. Special autonomous districts have been created for these ethnic minorities. Nevertheless, a complex ethnic composition generates acute ethnic conflicts. Naga, Kukis, Hmar, and other peoples are fighting for self-determination. Also, for many decades, there has been a conflict between the central government and Manipuri inhabitants. The latter demand restrictions on migration to Manipur. Likewise, since 1964 there is active separatist movement in the state called the United National Front for Liberation.