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Manipur State Constitution Act-1947 –A Cure for all myriads of ailments in Manipur ? - (3)

 

This article is the continuation from the previous write up by Dr. Khomdon Lisam Published on our yesterday issue

3.The signing of the Standstill Agreement on 11 August, 1947 was illegal

Maharajah Bodhchandra of Manipur signed the Standstill Agreement on 11 August, 1947. These were accepted by Lord Mountbatten of Burma on 16 August,1947. But his signing of the Standstill Agreement without the approval of the Manipur State Council in 1947 and without ratification by the Manipur State Legislative Assembly under pressure from the Government  of India was an illegal act since he had already become the constitutional ruler since 26 July 1947.

There is no such provision in the Indian Independence Act 1947 and India (Provisional Constitution) Order 1947 to merge and annex the acceding States who are acceding to the Dominion of India (now Union of India) by the Standstill Agreement. The acceding States are sovereign States. The acceding State is a part or unit of the Union not a part or territory of India. The Union is a political body.

The signing of the Standstill Agreement by Maharaja Bodhchandra and acceptance by the Governor General were illegal and invalid in the eyes of international law.

  1. Illegal Appointment of an outsider as Dewan of Manipur

Mr. Akbar Hydari, the Governor of Assam came in person to Manipur along with Nari Rustomji, Advisor  on 23 June, 1948 and asked the Maharaja of Manipur to appoint a Dewan in place of Dominion Agent. The post of Dewan was not included in the Manipur State Constitution Act-1947, which is already in operation since 26 July, 1947.  Mr. Akbar Hyder Ali , the Governor of Assam died of heart attack  in Manipur  while going for a  trip  for shooting ducks to Waikhong  near the Waikhong Salt Spring. Mr.  Akbar Hydari was succeeded by Mr., Prakasa from Bihar. Mr. Prakasa came to Manipur on 21-24 March, 1949 on the pretext of  assessing  the situation between Manipur and Burma. He simply said that the appointment of the Dewan would strengthen the relation between Manipur and India.

On 14 April 1949 Rustomji, Advisor to the Governor of Assam came  to Imphal with a new Dewan, Major-General Rawal Amar Singh. Rustomji brought with him a letter setting out the powers which the Government of India had given to the Dewan over the State of Manipur. Rustomji pressurised  Maharaja  Bodhchandra  to issue the  appointment of Rawal Singh and the conditions of his appointment within two days. No discussion was permitted and Bodhchandra weakly caved in to the  pressure. Nobody from Manipur had got the guts to question the legal validity of appointing a new Dewan which was not included in the Manipur State Constitution Act-1947 or in the history of  Manipur.  Neither the Council of Ministers nor the Legislators questioned the sweeping powers given to the Dewan over the State. The way towards annexation of Manipur had already begun by a deceitful combination of deviousness and bullying on Mr.Prakasa’s ( then Governor of Assam )  part.

Major General Rewal Amar Singh was appointed as the Dewan of Manipur  on 14th April, 1949  Mr. Prakasa who succeeded Akbar Hydari declared that there was no question of merging Manipur into India .According to the letter addressed to the Maharaja on 14th April, the Dewan would held the direct charge of the portfolio of Law and Order, administration of Hill Tracts, State Forces and Relation with the Government of India. The administration of the Manipur State  shall be  carried out under the general superintendence , guidance and control of the Dewan . The Dewan would be assisted by Major Khating, Manipur. Mr. Prakasa  also informed the Maharajah that the Government of India did not recognize the Manipur State Council and also the Manipur State Legislative Assembly.

This is illegal action on the part of Government of India.

  1. Forced Manipur State Merger Agreement -1949

Maharajah Bodhchandra of Manipur was invited to  Shillong in September, 1949 by Mr. Prakasa, Governor of Assam for talks as per wishes of the Maharajah. The Maharajah, having full trust in the relationship with Mr. Prakasa, arrived in Shillong on 17 September  1949 accompanied with his ADC, the Private Secretary and a few household staff members along with some bodyguards.

On the first day (18 September, 1949) of the meeting between Maharajah Bodhchndra of Manipur and Mr. Prakasa, the Assam Governor straight away placed before the Maharajah an already prepared Merger Agreement’ whereby Manipur would be ‘merged’ with India and asked him to sign on the same. The Maharajah  had given in writing to the Governor of Assam  “ I am merely a Constitutional Head of a full responsible Government under the Manipur State Constitution Act -1947 approved by the Government of India (British India) and the voice of the Majority is my voice and it shall be constitutionally and legally binding on me not otherwise” Knowing the Maharajah’s firm stand, Mr. Prakasa did not pursue the matter further  for the day.

The Maharajah on his return to his Redlands residence at Shillong where he was staying found several Indian Army personnel surrounding the compound of his premises. The house arrest had begun as pre-planned. While under house-arrest, the Maharajah was not allowed to have any communication with the outside world, not to speak to Manipur. When Mr.,  Prakasa ventured to suggest to Sardar Patel, Union Home Minister  that the Maharajah might not agree to sign the merger document. Sardar Patel, who was by then seriously ill. Sardar Patel demanded, “No Brigadier in Shillong?” Thus Sardar Patel, India’s ‘Iron Man’ had given green signal to use force should it became necessary in this land of Non-violence of Mahatma Gandhi. Mr. Prakasa was firm in his insistence that the Maharajah was asked to sign the ‘agreement’ before going back to Manipur. Thus, after resisting for three restless days and sleepless nights, the Maharajah could not see any escape. Ultimately, he signed the treacherous ‘Merger Agreement’ in a state of helplessness, while still under house-arrest, on 21 September , 1949. Under the terms of the “agreement” Manipur comes under Indian rule from 15 October, 1949. Thus the Government of India  overthrown the Maharajah, occupied Manipur and annexed to India violating all earlier assurances and declarations.  Thus. the signing of Merger agreement  on 21 September, 1949  was done by deceit and forceful tactics  contrary to international laws. Even after signing the Instrument of Accession, Manipur  did not lose her sovereignty as the Union Government was to look after Defence, External affairs and Communications. The people of Manipur is still observing this day as “National Repentance Day”.

Manipur and India were both sovereign and independent countries before merger to India.  Hence, the agreement between two sovereign and independent countries should have  been signed according to international law i.e free from duress or coercion or force. Therefore the Government of India was violating the international law in forcing and putting  the Maharajah Bodhchandra under house arrest from 17 September to 21 September, 1949 in order to extract his signature.

Further, Maharajah Bodhchandra had already become a Constitutional Ruler since adoption of the Manipur State Constitution Act, 1947 on 26 July 1947. He is not competent to sign the Manipur Merger Agreement without the approval of the Manipur State Legislative Assembly which was inaugurated and functioning with Chief Minister, Speaker and 51 other elected members since  18 October, 1948.

Further, the said Manipur Merger Agreement was not done under any Act or Law or Parliamentary Resolution. It was done hastily by the decision of Sri Prakasa, Governor of  Assam , V.P. Menon, Advisor to the Government of India violating international laws, the Manipur State Constitution Act-1947 and    the  Indian Independence Act-1947.

Further, the said Manipur Merger Agreement was not done under any prescribed format under any Act or Rule. It was done on a draft hastily prepared and amended many times by Nari Rustomji, Advisor to the Governor of Assam, V.P. Menon, Advisor to the Government of India. It should be rendered invalid.

The Manipur Merger Agreement of 1949 does not have any legality and constitutional validity in the views of the educated youths of Manipur.

There was nobody among the Indian Leaders who would listen to his legal assertion that sovereignty of the Manipur was vested in the people and that it was in the fitness of things to hear the people’s voice and learn their sentiment so that the line of action might not in any case be unconstitutional. He expressed his desire to return to Manipur the next day (19 September) itself to expedite the matters. On 19 September he  could not meet any representative of the Government of India but merely exchanged correspondence with the Governor of Assam expressing his sense of betrayal and reiterating his desire to go back to Manipur. The Maharajah  was a totally broken man who spent his time weeping alone in the ‘Redland’ where he was kept under house arrest by what Nari Rustomji called, “protective guard to ensure that all should be well.” The Redlands was his private lands. Actually nobody has got the right to enter the Redlands without permission of the Maharajah. Posting and occupation of Redlands by the so called Protective Guards  sent by the Governor of Assam amount to trespassing and punishable under the law. In that situation, according to Rustomji “the Maharajah was beset himself with emotion, now bursting into tears, now wrapped in sullen melancholy.”.

According  to Article VIII of the Manipur Merger Agreement,The Government of India shall also undertake to make suitable provisions for the employment of Manipuris in the various branches of Public Services, and in every way encourage Manipuris to join them” But not a single .Meitei and Meitei Pangan is given employment under this agreement. No reservation quota is created to recruit the  Meitei and Meitei Pangan in all India Services like IAS, IPS, IFS etc. during 1950-2018. The backlog must be around 300-500 in every category of employment. The Government of India clearly violated this agreement.

The Manipur Merger Agreement of 1949 does not have any legality and constitutional validity in the views of the people of Manipur.

  1. Manipur State Assembly rejected the Merger Agreement

The 4th sitting of the 3rd session of the Manipur State Assembly in its session held at the Johnston School on 28th September, 1949 at 2.30.p.m rejected  the “Merger Agreement signed on 21st September 1949” and declared the Merger Agreement invalid  as the powers and authorities of Maharajah  had been vested with the Manipur State Assembly . The excerpt of the Assembly proceedings was published in the Manipur State Gazette, part IV, dated 14 October 1949. Mr. T.C. Tiankham Speaker , Mr. M. K, Priyobarta Singh, Chief Minister and  6 other  Ministers and 43 Hon’ble  Members were present and adopted the resolution . The  copies of the declaration signed by P.B. Singh, Chief Minister, T.C. Tiankham, Speaker, Arambam Ibungotomcha Singh, Minister of Finance and Foreign Affairs. was sent to the Government of India. But there is no reply from the Government of India  on this issue during the last 68 years. It is said that the Kuki Chiefs were greatly disheartened to hear the news and they sent 250 armed  warriors  to protect the Maharajah from any possible  attack on the Maharajah. Seeing the honest and dedicated loyalty of the Kukis, the Maharajah gave them lands near the Manipur Palace for their permanent settlement. This place is now called “Haokip Veng”.

  1. The Merger Agreement was neither approved by his Council of Ministers nor ratified by the Manipur State Legislative Assembly.

The weakness of the Agreement lies also in the fact that the people of Manipur did not give consent in any form to the Merger Agreement as no referendum was held on that issue. Further, the Merger Agreement was neither approved by his Council of Ministers nor ratified by the Manipur State Legislative Assembly. Therefore, the Merger Agreement was illegal.

8.The dissolution of  Manipur State Legislative Assembly was in violation of  Independence Act, 1947 enacted by the King’s most Excellent Majesty on 18th July 1947

Once Manipur became part of the India, the Government of India  dissolved the State’s Constituent  Assembly on 15 October, 1949 without repealing the Manipur Constitution Act-1947. Here I may be allowed to ask a simple question: Can the present Manipur Legislative Assembly be dissolved by a simple administrative order of the Government of India or by an order of the President of India? 

The Indian Independence Act, 1947, Section  9(5) states that

“ No order shall be made under this section, by the Governor of any Province, after the appointed day, or, by the Governor-General, after the thirty-first day of March, nineteen hundred and forty-eight ( 31 March, 1948) , or such earlier date as may be determined, in the case of either Dominion,. by “any law of the Legislature of  that Dominion.”.

However, violating the provisions of the Indian Independence Act, 1947, para 9(5) , Shri C. Rajagopalcharry, Governor General  of India issued an order on 15 October 1949 declaring that   ‘the Ministers’ in Manipur State shall cease to function and the Legislature’ of the State shall stand ‘dissolved’ citing  Sections 3 and 4 of the Extra Provincial Jurisdiction Act, 1947 (Act XLVII of 1947) . This  is in violation of  Independence Act, 1947 and again illegal. Under which provision of the Indian  Constitution, Shri C. Rajagopalcharry, Governor General  of India issued this order on 15 October 1949?

  1. The Merged States (Laws)- Act, 1949 Act no. 59 of 1949 dated 26th December, 1949 is Illegal

The Merged States (Laws)- Act, 1949 Act no. 59 of 1949  dated  26th December, 1949 is an Act to extend certain laws to certain areas administered as parts of Governors’ Provinces or as Chief Commissioners’ Provinces. The legality of this Act is questionable as it has been passed after actual merger of Manipur to dominion India has already taken place illegally.

Why should a highly responsible democratic Government of India indulged in such deceitful action in order to provide legality to a highly illegal action committed earlier. It is just like hanging somebody first and then issuing the hanging order later on.

(... to be continued)

The tales of a forgotten University - Is India lsitening ?

 It is now 30 days. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mission to empowering youths of the nation by 2022 in making global players in the field of development appeared to be another joke to the people of the country particularly to the youths of Manipur.

Every citizen of today’s world known that Prime Minster Narendra Modi’s dream will only become a reality only after they are equipped with the best systematic knowledge through proper education. Today’s world is highly competitive and higher education and research scholars are the only hope to make Modi’s dream comes true in the making of this country marching towards development.

When everything is going well in across the country with more high class institution like IITs putting as a priority area, it is unfortunate that the Prime Minister fails to spell out a single word over the prevailing issues in Manipur University which is on strike for nearly 30 days over the alleged irregularities of the Vice Chancellor Prof. AP Pandey.

 Well and good, a joint secy. of the higher education department of the Union Ministry of Human Resource and development had been sent to look into the matters recently.

But the negligence on the part of the Union Government to any issue related with the academic welfare programme of this state has always been noticed, not only at the time of this govt, but also in the earlier days too.

The joint secy. refusal to meet the MUTA representatives of MUSU at high class hotel room here in Imphal after having consultation with some of the teachers from the Universities, the VC AP Pandey and later the Chief Minister of Manipur showed that the joint Secy. would certainly not present the exact happening at the MU except telling that this are small matters where the VC AP Pandey and CM can resolved.

This is a speculation, but following the silence of the HRD Ministry over the matter indicates that the speculation is reasonable.

It is hard to understand on how the chief minister of Manipur had announced an enquiry to the issue arises at Manipur University when the state govt can only urged the concerned HRD Ministry to look into the matter.

May to Chief Minister N. Biren singh would have strong desires to solve the ongoing issue. But such an announcement when academic activities is totally collapse not only in the university but also to all the colleges affiliated to the university is an exposition of his attitude towards the people.

Common people can be fooled for some time but cannot be fooled every time. But then fooling an academia is a tough job, the emotion, sentiment and high promises will find no room to convince the academicians. What the Chief Minster should understand is that those uprising in the Manipur University are highly intellectual community who plan, think and shape the future.

A mere commitment of constituting an enquiry under the Manipur govt. well not serves it. A high level that too an independent enquiry headed by some retired Judge which is constituted at the level of the Union HRD Ministry will be the only solution.

Meanwhile report of some teachers receiving threat intimidation calls will not work this time. If Pandey want to continue he should revealed everything that has been alleged by presenting a white paper. Threat intimidation or diplomatic lobby or trying to shut the mouth of those protesting against him by bribing will not work this time.       

 

The tales of a forgotten University - Is India lsitening ?

 It is now 30 days. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mission to empowering youths of the nation by 2022 in making global players in the field of development appeared to be another joke to the people of the country particularly to the youths of Manipur.

Every citizen of today’s world known that Prime Minster Narendra Modi’s dream will only become a reality only after they are equipped with the best systematic knowledge through proper education. Today’s world is highly competitive and higher education and research scholars are the only hope to make Modi’s dream comes true in the making of this country marching towards development.

When everything is going well in across the country with more high class institution like IITs putting as a priority area, it is unfortunate that the Prime Minister fails to spell out a single word over the prevailing issues in Manipur University which is on strike for nearly 30 days over the alleged irregularities of the Vice Chancellor Prof. AP Pandey.

 Well and good, a joint secy. of the higher education department of the Union Ministry of Human Resource and development had been sent to look into the matters recently.

But the negligence on the part of the Union Government to any issue related with the academic welfare programme of this state has always been noticed, not only at the time of this govt, but also in the earlier days too.

The joint secy. refusal to meet the MUTA representatives of MUSU at high class hotel room here in Imphal after having consultation with some of the teachers from the Universities, the VC AP Pandey and later the Chief Minister of Manipur showed that the joint Secy. would certainly not present the exact happening at the MU except telling that this are small matters where the VC AP Pandey and CM can resolved.

This is a speculation, but following the silence of the HRD Ministry over the matter indicates that the speculation is reasonable.

It is hard to understand on how the chief minister of Manipur had announced an enquiry to the issue arises at Manipur University when the state govt can only urged the concerned HRD Ministry to look into the matter.

May to Chief Minister N. Biren singh would have strong desires to solve the ongoing issue. But such an announcement when academic activities is totally collapse not only in the university but also to all the colleges affiliated to the university is an exposition of his attitude towards the people.

Common people can be fooled for some time but cannot be fooled every time. But then fooling an academia is a tough job, the emotion, sentiment and high promises will find no room to convince the academicians. What the Chief Minster should understand is that those uprising in the Manipur University are highly intellectual community who plan, think and shape the future.

A mere commitment of constituting an enquiry under the Manipur govt. well not serves it. A high level that too an independent enquiry headed by some retired Judge which is constituted at the level of the Union HRD Ministry will be the only solution.

Meanwhile report of some teachers receiving threat intimidation calls will not work this time. If Pandey want to continue he should revealed everything that has been alleged by presenting a white paper. Threat intimidation or diplomatic lobby or trying to shut the mouth of those protesting against him by bribing will not work this time.       

 

Colleges get heats of the MU crisis;

WhatsApp communication is not a way to solve the Issue- Dr. Chandrakumar

Laishram Ranbir

Imphal, June 29,

 

The prevailing crisis at Manipur University now started giving severe impact to the academic atmosphere of the various colleges in that state which are affiliated to the Manipur University.

It’s almost a month that academic related affairs of the Manipur University remain defunct as students’ body, teachers’ community and none teaching staffs of the University are on agitation demanding   removal of the Vice Chancellor (VC) Professor Adiya Prasad Pandey after failure to clarify the series of allegations about his irregularities.

Associate Professor of DM University, Dr. R.K. Chandrakumar Singh expressed surprise over the announcement of a massage sent by Union HRD Minister to Chief Minister N Biren Singh through social media “WhatsApp” which stated that investigation on the current situation at MU against VC will be carried out as soon as possible.

Being a Chief Minister of a state, the current issue of MU should have been brought through proper channel and discuss to sort out the differences at the earliest by sending an official letter to the concern but it’s a matter of shame that a Chief Minister of a state trying to solve a problems through social media as it will not bring any amicable solution, Chandrakumar added.

“This is the first time in the history of Manipur University that students, teachers and non-teaching staffs jointly uproar demanding removal of VC, MU even though there were some same cases in the past,’ he said.

“There must be some reasons behind the protest, so, the  government should take up proper initiative to short out the matter as soon as possible”, , Dr. Rk. Chandrakumar Singh.

Talking to Imphal Times, the Associate Professor, stated that since the agitation to remove VC of MU took place, academic atmosphere for almost all the colleges affiliated to MU has been affected badly.

Although the theory examination for 2nd, 4th and 6th semesters of DM University were able to completes, practical examination for 4th semester students remains on hold and uncertain due to the ongoing MU issue.

Many of the universities of outside states have already completed their academic semester examination, current prevailing issue of MU has completely affecting the academic carriers of most of the students of DM University and students of other colleges in the state who wants to pursue further studies could not collect their required mark sheets, certificates and documents for the for the students who have completed their respected semester, he added,

Chandrakumar also said that MU being a Central University, any rising situation affecting the university atmosphere should be taken care by the Centre and the university being in Manipur State, State Government has a big role to solve any problems or issue at the earliest or report to the centre before the situation went out of hands.

Concern authorities and state government are ought to solve the present scenario of MU before the academic carrier of the students are badly affected, else a worst situation may rise in the state especially in the academic atmosphere, he added.

One of the students of DM University named Thongam Tamphasana studying B. Sc. 4th semester stated that most of the students are facing huge pressure in their academic atmosphere, their mark sheets and documents cannot be availed to go for honours subjects of their choice for further studies due to the current issue at MU.

Even their practical examinations remain uncertain, Tamphasana added.

Before their academic carrier comes into uncertain condition, Tamphasana, on behalf of all the students appeals the state government and all concerns to sort out the issues at the earliest so that their academic session can be regularized without any interference.

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