An apology to the event of Sept 21 - a probable solution to the armed conflict in Manipur

Written By: / Editorial / Friday, 02 October 2020 17:48

One Indian leader people across the world including those in this part of the country, where more than two dozen armed groups are still waging armed struggle for segregation of the region from mainland India, and where the armed insurgents are always boycotting any attempts at Indianisation of the region, is the Indian Father of the Nation – “Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi”. It is pertinent to ponder on the reason people of this region particularly those waging war against the government of India for showing respect to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Having said so, when the think tank of the government of India utilised Gandhi as a tool to amalgamate and suppress the armed insurgency movement, people of the region had witnessed boycotting of the observance of the birthday of the warrior of non-violence, not because this person whom the country lovingly call “Bapu” and whom the world knows as father of the Indian nation is not respected, but because his humane cause and respect for all people across the subcontinent has been misinterpreted and abused for narrow political ends.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi had waged war against the mighty British Empire using the most powerful and unconventional weapon called “non-violence movement”. Leaving aside all factors that provoked the British to leave the over 554 princely states they accumulate and reign as India, Mahatma Gandhi was the sole person whom the British rule consider as the main factor for the British parliament passing the Indian Independent Act.
After the British left, people across the country acknowledged that it was Gandhi that make India as a nation. The Nation building process of India affected by the leaders after the British left was not at all satisfactory to all the princely states. Forget about Hyderabad, the manner in which Manipur was annexed still hurts many forcing thousands to go underground to wage war against the Indian Union for restoration of its independence.
It is black and white that Manipur was not merged but annexed by the Indian authority. This is one reason for those against the annexation observing October 15 as Black Day as it was on this day of 1949 that Manipur was officially put under the control of India. The way that the then Maharajah of Manipur Bodhachandra was coerced into signing the merger agreement on September 21 of that year under duress by keeping him under house arrest at Shillong Red Land is a fact and this is the root of the prolonged armed struggle that has been going on till today hampering or in many cases abandoning all sorts of development in the region.
Coming back to Mahatma Gandhi, no record exist of this person whom the world honour and whom the country agreed as the man behind the building of the Indian nation of ever having visited Manipur. In his long march across the country as a part of his satyagraha movement, had the Mahatma reached Manipur, or, had Mahatma Gandhi, the father of Indian nation visited Manipur after British left the country and having spared time to meet AZ Phizo of Nagaland along with other NNC delegates, history would have been a little different, and wishfully, better.
But history is history, we cannot rewrite it nor can we make changes. But recognising it and correcting the wrongs is what we the people definitely need at the moment. It is time that the tragic incident of Manipur’s history of September 1949 should be accepted and recognised by the parliament of India. It doesn’t necessarily mean that Manipur should be separated but the government of India should accept the fact that Manipur was illegally annexed and for that there should be an apology. The British parliament officially regrets to what it had done to India and there is nothing wrong for the Indian Parliament to say ‘sorry’ for the manner in which Manipur was annexed. This apology may perhaps pave the way to a peaceful solution with all the armed groups waging war against the Government of India.

About the Author

Jeet Akoijam

Jeet Akoijam

Jeet Akoijam, Resident Editor of Imphal Times hails from Singjamei Liwa Road. Has been with Imphal Times since its start. An International level Rugby player and  a regular Trekker and Nature Lover, loves spending time in lap of Mother Nature. Jeet is the father of two lovely kids. Jeet can be contacted at [email protected]

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