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Homage to Ojha Sanajaoba

In observance of Ojha’s 14th Death Anniversary, 2023

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Homage to Ojha Sanajaoba

By: S. Bhubol
‘Ojha’ Naorem Sanajaoba, former Dean of Gauhati University, Assam, was a human rights defender since the early 1960s, active campaigner against colonialism of all forms, racism, fascism and virulent casteism in the NE-region-the most restive region of India, and the world. To the people of Manipur in particular and the believers of global harmony, Ojha Naoren Sanajaoba, is one institution emanating the idea of regional peace for global tranquility. Ojha’s unusual academic works have become the source for filling up the vacuum to abating the conflicts of ideas and identity politics in the North-Eastern region in general and Manipur in particular. Noted that uncommon men also come on the earth, and leave timely or untimely, but the residual sequels of their activities are accounted either for existentialism or savage. But, the fact is that great men lived so that we exist and it happens when greatness stands to reasoning, not to whimsical muscle or money power.
Ojha ( Prof. Naorem Sanajaoba) is indeed a great man for he is the one who basically knows the people of the region, as he successfully diagnosed the various social ailments such as degrading political status, maltreated political economy, identity crisis, ethnic contradiction and other matters of conflicts affecting the regional peace, and he has also backbreakingly formulated workable solutions to most of the problems willfully injected to the region. Ojha Sanajaoba firmly believed in the mutual development and co-existence of all ethnic communities but by way of enhancing the right of ‘a people’ and the rights of its member communities. Conceptualizing it, the agenda of territorial nationalism in Manipur to him, as example, is to be meant only for ‘a people’(state) of Manipur, being historically entrenched in an internationally recognised multi-ethnic boundary. Any struggle for crafting a new ‘a people’ is possible only when the impossibility in it is removed. By ‘impossible’ we mean herein any struggle to separate liquid tea from the container cup, which symbolizes the unbreakable relationship between the hills and the valley of Manipur, bestowing the common sheltering place of ‘a people of Manipur’. Any individual or community that tarnishes the integrity of Manipur should be taken as being like the carcinogenic cell(s) intending to destroy the bodypolity of the historically evolved State of Manipur. Defining Manipur as such, Ojha Sanajaoba clearly put her censorious works as to unfold path to rightful futurology of Manipur. Similar to Abraham Lincoln’s journey of life ‘from log cabin to the White House’, Ojha Sanajaoba took his journey ‘from a nomadic family to an Institution’ by professing the truths and path-findings to the problems of influx, indigenous instability, ethnic unrest, intellectual property rights, political instability and liberation movements etc. Ojha came out as students’ leaders with the founding thought of Manipuri nationalism with a maiden article namely ‘Kadomdano Hayeng gi Manipur/ Quo Vadis Manipur) published in the journal of All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU), on the 27th August, 1947, and he ended life after writing a series of articles under the same title in the ‘ Echemma’(journal) upto 2009.
Ojha Sanajaoba exhaustively contributed a lot of academic work and intellectual drudgery to defending Manipuri civilization as a representation of the civilization of south-east Asia. The selective works of Ojha Sanajaoba include, (1). Industrial Tribunal-Working, Procedure and Judicial Trends, 1985, (2). Basic Issues on Centre-State Relations(ed.), 1986, (3). Socio Legal Problems and Developing Society, 1986, (4). Law and Society, Strategy for policy Choice, 2001, (5). Manipur Past and Present, Vol-I(ed.), 1988, (6).Manipur Past and Present, Vol-II(ed.), 1991, (7).Manipur Past and Present, Vol-III(ed.), 1995, (8). Manipur Past and Present, Vol-IV(ed.), 225, (9). Manipur Treaties and Document(1110-1971 AD)-Vol-1, (10). Human Rights-Principles, Practices and Abuses, 1994, (11). Right of Oppressed Nations, 1995, (12). A Manual of International Humanitarian Laws (ed.) forewarded by Vincent Nicod, the then Chief Delegate of the ICRC, 2004, (13). Meeoibagi Hak Kunmathoisuba Chahicha, 1999 , (14). Manipur: A British Anthology, Vol-I & Vol-II, 2003, (15). Curren Legal Essays (Humanitarian and Federal Issues),2007,and (16). Manipur Puwari Kunmathoisuba Chahicha,3rd Edition, 2009.
Ojha’s widely acclaimed articles include, (i). The Creative Judiciary, 1985, (ii). Gambheersing-the Prince who routed Burmese, 1990, (iii). High Tides Meitei History in South East Asian Convass, 1988, (iv). Ideological Framework of Hijam Irabot’s Radical Manipuri Nationalism, 1992, (v). Ethnic and National Contradictions, 1992, (vi). The Rights and Status of Indigenous Peoples, 1993, (vi). GATT Final Act, 1994, (vii). Human Economic Rights (20 series), 1994, (viii). British Manipur Encounter, 1993, (ix). Human Rights Enforcement in North East (I) & (II), 1993, (x). Manipur, 1891 (Beginning of End of British Empire), 1990, (xi). Supreme Court-Manipur Speaker Tussle, 1993, (xi). Human Rights Commission, 1992, (xii). Bir Tikendrajit and Anglo-Manipuri Wars, 1992, (xiii). Why Manipur resisted the British Invasion?, 1992, (xiv). Prestroika Dismantles the Old Orders, 1991, (xv). Commonwealth Independent State, 1992, (xvi). Right to Self-Determination, 1991, (xvii). The New World Order, 1991, (xviii). Palestine State, Arab Israel Peace Process, 1992, (xix). Rise and Fall Federations, 1987, (xx). Committee of Twentyfour, 1994, (xxi). Manipur’s Self-Determination, 1993, (xxi) Manipur from one crossroad to another, 1993,(xxii). True Revolution of Meitei Society, 1992, (xxiii). Confrontation between the Media and the Government,, 1980, (xxiv). Problem paper on taking over Manipur in 1949, 1994,(xxv). Students’ Power-the third Arm, 1971, (xxvi). Amnesty International, 1994, (xxvii). The Problem of Illegal Massive Aliens in North East India, 1983, (xxviii). Political Violence, 1993, (xxviii). On Annexation of Manipur, 1993, (xxix). Nehru on Decolonisation, 1989, (xxx) NLM other Terrorism, 1995, and above 200 others.
Since Ojha Naorem Sanajaoba was seriously engrossed in the problems and challenges being accosted by the north easterners as a whole and Manipuris in particular, and as he propounded workable paths to solutions, he may be called as the constructive iconoclast of the 21st century Manipuri society. His razor-sharp propositions shall be the weapon for axing the barricades and crackling nuts to avail indisputable resolutions to sensitive issues, and therefore, solemnly ask everyone and every section concerned to follow the tenets of Ojha Sanajaoba for restoration of peace and normalcy in the region including sustenance of historically evolved multi-ethnic identity of Manipur.
(The writer is the Managing Trustee of Ojha Sanajaoba Memorial Trust, The 13th December, 2023).

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