Home » Irengbam Chaoren in the National Liberation Movement of Manipur

Irengbam Chaoren in the National Liberation Movement of Manipur

by Rinku Khumukcham
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Irengbam Bhorot popularly known as Chaoren and fondly called by cadres of RPF as – “Sir Ahal” – President, RPF (Revolutionary People’s Front) met the tragic end of his life on the auspicious day of 10 February 2023 after a prolong terminal illness. May His Soul rest in peace in the Heavenly Abode!
Born to Late Irengbam Ibomcha and Tongbram Ningol Irengbam Ongbi Jamuna as the eldest son among three brothers on 2 November 1957, the 10 Hiyanggei at Khagempalli Huidrom Leikai, Irengbam Chaoren started his schooling at the Khagempalli Huidrom Leikai LP School. After attending school at the Keishamthong ME School, Elangbam Leikai, he cleared the High School Leaving Certificate Examination (HSLCE) in 1974 from the Ramlal Paul High School. While undergoing the Bachelor of Arts at the Manipur College after passing out Pre-University Course (Science) in 1976 from the Oriental College, Irengbam Chaoren began his maiden journey of a young revolutionary leaving behind his youthful student/college life. A sports enthusiast, Irengbam Chaoren was a good badminton and football player. He played with his peers at the community club and learnt Thang-Ta (an Indigenous Martial Arts Form) from different teachers.
Feeling the pain of the forcible annexation of Manipur by India (15 October 1949) and the strong urge of an armed liberation movement against the Indian colonialism, Irengbam Chaoren participated several meetings of the erstwhile Revolutionary Government of Manipur (RGM) since 1974 while still in high school days. Meeting a marathon of several leaders discussing and gathering multivarious revolutionary knowledge, Sir Ahal attended a secret college instituted by the RGM to gain more massive political wisdom. After participating in a 5-Day Revolutionary Leadership Training, Sir Ahal roamed far and wide across the territory of Manipur to meet young people and youths to instill revolutionary ideas in a view to build up a gigantic movement.
Amidst the huge ideological differences among the top leaders of the RGM, Irengbam Chaoren sided with those who upholded an armed revolutionary movement and at the same time prepared for the journey to China for obtaining military and political training/teachings. But, he failed to reach China after the Second Journey was intercepted by Indian security forces in 1977. On return of the trainees from China in 1978, Chaoren joined at the establishment of the People’s Liberation Army and emerged as a prominent PLA Soldier with many a golden assignment at his hands. He was instrumental in launching April 13 as the “Athoubasinggee Numit” (Patriots’ Day) and the banning of the Indian made foreign Liquor (IMFL).
Went to Kachin State of the present day Myanmar in 1982, Chaoren achieved military and warfare training from the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) for several years. His political maturity got the silver lining touch when he pioneered the First Party Congress of the Revolutionary People’s Front (RPF, incepted 1979) in 1990 after Oja Bisheswar joined the Indian electoral process/system as an MLA and the seemingly surrendering of some top leaders of the PLA. He was unanimously elected the President of the RPF and continued till his demise on 10 February 2023. He was also the Convener of the CorCom at the time of his death.
Sensing the need of the unification of all the revolutionary forces in the WESEA (Western South East Asia) Region, Chaoren took up a formidable task in the formation of RJC, MPLF and CorCom after becoming the President of RPF. To solidify the liberation movements in WESEA Region and for launching a United Front, he met several leaders including SS Khaplang of Nagaland, Poresh Asom of Assam and Ranjit Dev Burman of Tripura.
Making a diplomatic turn and internationalizing the National Liberation Movement of Manipur, Irengbam Chaoren clinched out a rigid Foreign Policy. The RPF submitted Memorandum for the Decolonization of Manipur from the Indian Colonialism twice on 11 December 1996 and 21 September 1999 under the signatory of Irengbam Chaoren. Irengbam Chaoren catapulted Manipur as the Fourth Nation in the World after the PLO (Palestine), the ANC (South Africa) and the SWAPO (Namibia) when he made RPF declare to abide by the Common Article 3 of the Four Geneva Conventions, 1949 on 6 August 1997 while the UN Human Rights Commission Session was going on and the whole world began to acknowledge Manipur People’s Struggle as a legitimate National Liberation Movement and not terrorism as envisaged by India.
Chaoren’s Message to Comrades:
“Friends/Comrades! We should work ceaselessly seeing no pain and no distress to emancipate the liberation of Manipur during our time/period.”
“Revolution has no meaning without people’s movement. We should make progress all the time”.
At the outset of the Russia-Ukraine War-2022, Irengbam Chaoren addressed his comrades, “Friends! Now the situation has come for a possible outbreak of the Third World War. Now is the perfect time for the Manipur People and the revolutionaries to take the right political step to lend support to whom for the liberation of Manipur in this crucial juncture lest the situation of Manipur should go down-and-out like during that of the Second World War in siding with false friends”.
“To make Manipur self-reliant and banning some types of imported Indian fishes as a gradual continued policy in 2024 and increase the fish productivity in Manipur.”
“Friends! Now the Party has been handed down/betrothed unto YOU. Make the Party stronger and liberate the/Our Motherland”. (Written message to the Comrades from his death bed)
“All the ethnic communities of Manipur are inseparable. We should bring every solution whenever any conflict arises among our brethren”.
“Wide afforestation of Manipur Hills and Plains to take part as a citizen of the world in preventing the global warming and saving the environment”.
“Take the mightiest task/responsibility in unifying all the revolutionary forces in/of Manipur”.
“In 1982, 86 PLA soldiers including 10 women set out their journey to the Kachin State. Three soldiers died during an ambush by the Naga National Council (NNC). We met some cadres of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN) while on a cross-road in the deep woods. We asked the cadres to signal the NSCN Headquarters for their arrival. Upon receiving appropriate information, we checked-in at the 1st Battalion of the NSCN and stayed there for few days before formal invitation by Oja Muivah at the NSCN Headquarters. We could see how the three leaders of the NSCN – Isak Chisi Swu, Shangwang Shangyung Khaplang and Thuingaleng Muivah put up a well-coordinated life in the jungle that inspired us unboundedly. Most importantly being fluent in Meeteilon, Oja Muivah gave us invaluable teachings on the revolutionary movements. Later on, Th. Muivah set off a Captain with us for Kachin State. We the RPF sends out Red Salute to Oja Muivah umpteenth times for helping us in times of our needs. Lastly, we urge Oja Muivah to take the lead role in unifying all the revolutionary groups in the region and wage a United War”, – Chaoren

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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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