September is important for the people of this region. This is the month when the then King of Manipur was forced to sign the merger agreement under duress at Shillong in 1949. This is also the month where our great leader Hijam Irabot was born (Sept 30, 1896) and he left for the heavenly abode on September 26, 1951).
The month we are suppose to remember in culture the sense of patriotism to the people is not left undisturbed with people engaging in game played by self proclaimed leaders. It is indeed a shame for the people of the state how we are putting ourselves on this month at which we are suppose to pay our highest regard.
A classless society with the proletariat on the forefront was the dreamt of our great Leader Hijam Irabot. For the cause the leader had waged a political war against the British colonial rule and then later against feudalistic nature of the Majarajah and the ruling capitalist class of Manipur. What makes different from this pioneer leader and the so call leaders of our days is that he was not lured by the prospect of the royal prerogatives and official facilities including the prestigious post of membership to the Sardar Panchayat Court that was being offered to him for having married princess Khomdonsana.
To Hijam Irabot, the war was not only against the external force which had colonized the nation state but it was rather against all forms of oppression and suppression committed under the feudalistic character of the system. He dreamt of a nation where every citizen has the right to live with dignity. His work for promotion of the culture, sports, literature and journalism is a reflection of his love towards this erstwhile nation state.
All his life the great leader had work for the cause of the people sacrificing every comfort of live. To convert his dreamt into reality he spearheaded various political movement starting from the grass hood level. He was the man behind the formation of students’ federation, peasant union, women’s organization and progressive party.
For his active role to bring about a reformed state, he was sent to prison many a times during the British colonial era. Later after the British left the nation state, Hijam Irabot was once again declared as a terrorist as his activities continued to be a threat to the Maharajah himself as well as the ruling capitalist.
In recognition to the activities of this all time leader, the state is celebrating his Birth Anniversary across the state. A political Party – Communist Party of India (CPI) is taking the main initiative in organizing the day to commemorate the leader’s birthday.
But one think we in the Imphal Times would like to remind is that, would the person who had sacrifices every comfort of life would be happy to see us celebrating the day without fulfilling any of his dream. Will our leader be happy if he sees the conditions of the peasant community or the working class people of this state? It is an open secret for each and one of us that a government posts are being bought with money, Fertilizers which are meant to be distributed to the farmers are being traded by some pseudo social workers for their own benefit; many people are driven out from their home stead in the name of development.
This is the state of our state. There is no doubt that our great leader Hijam Irabot would certainly shed tears in heaven seeing the reality.
Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 15+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents.