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October 18 and Manipur

by Rinku Khumukcham
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These days some people re-write or re-built history to prove their claim of being an aged nation legitimate. Students of history were taught that history cannot be re-write or re-built, but it can be a lesson to change the future. The wrong that has been committed during the course of nation buildings, or the pains that many felt when their freedom and rights were shattered in the course of either building a nation or expanding colony have been known through historical record and it is those history that makes people of today to act so that it does not repeat in the future.
October 18, 1948, was an important day for the erstwhile nation called Manipur. As per record available from the writings of many eminent scholars, Manipur was declared a sovereign state after the British Paramountcy left on the midnight of August 14, 1947. And thus many civil society organization celebrate the independence Day of Manipur on August 14, a day ahead that India got its independence. However, some scholar advocated the celebration of Manipur’s Independence Day of August 15 as most relevant. Well, the idea of writing this piece is not to argue on which date we should celebrate the independence day of Manipur, as it is well recorded that the British left the erstwhile kingdom of Manipur on the midnight of August 14 after restoring the sovereignty of the nation. This record itself proves that Manipur was an Independent nation ruled by a king which have proper political and geographical boundary.
After the British left, over 500 small Kingdoms were amalgamated to build the nation called India. Some Kingdoms opposed the moved but almost all the Kingdoms were amalgamated either through talks and war. It will not be right to give a critical note to the move for building of Indian Nation as the over 500 small kingdoms have similar facial structures and anatomical appearance besides similar religions. May be the revolt at some major Indian states following the amalgamation of the small Kingdoms were against the system which they felt not fit that time.
Coming to the state of Manipur, an erstwhile nation, Manipur was perhaps the second nation in the South East Asian Countries to have a people’s government through adult franchise. July 1948, election was conducted and Manipur in actuality became a sovereign peoples’ republic when its assembly with its members elected through adult franchise had its first session on this day of 1948. This again proves that Manipur at the time of merger to the Indian Union have proper territorial and political boundary and that as per the Uti possidetis juris there is no way that the International law would accept segregation of the Manipur’s territorial boundary.
It is a much that the people of the state celebrate this day, the October 18 of 1948 as first state assembly session of the government elected by the people of the state through proper electoral process. This will remind the government of India and those who are striving hard to distort the geographical boundary of the state into pieces that Manipur’s merger to Indian union is not to sacrifice the land, identity, culture and status of the erstwhile nation protected by our ancestors since time immemorial and continue to be protected by people of the state belonging to various community of the state.
One thing need to remind the government of Manipur is that- the first state assembly session of pre merger period was held on October 18, 1948. This perhaps has been kept as record particularly the Manipur the Manipur legislative Assembly need to observed this day in a highly decorated manner. Government of India should also be proud to have Manipur as a part of the country as this erstwhile nation is the first to hold adult franchise to elect their representatives for running a democratic form of government. Prime Minister Narendra Modi should also take advantage of the state for being the second Asiatic country to have a peoples’ elected government.
It is a matter of pride that the state government have stated celebrating the October 18 as the day of the first Manipur legislative Assembly by next year in a grand way.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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