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One can trace back the history of today’s Miera Paibis to the days of the Nupi Lan or women’s war in 1904 and 1939. Beginning as a protest against price rise, the demand extended over to administrative reforms against the oppressive economic and administrative policies ruled by the Manipur Maharaja and the Political Agent—Mr Gimson—of the British Government. Women’s role in public sphere is not new to Manipur. Meitei women have enjoyed a significant space outside household spheres. Traces of this can be found from the existence of certain institutions or systems that have pushed the women to take part in family economy and one such institution was Lallup-Kaba. This is some kind of forced labour which prevailed in Manipur in the 1800s. This institution has a very ancient origin in Manipur. The general system of Lallup was based on the assumption that every male between the age of 17 and 60 must place his services at the disposal of the state, without remuneration, for a certain number of days. The male of the family remained out of the house for a long period and women were compelled to get into buying and selling for maintenance of the family. Consequently, a section of the trade came under the hands of women in the form of Women’s Market today known as Ima Keithel or Ima Market.
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