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New India in Konung Lampak

Lord Krishna married rather abducted an Idu Mishmi girl from a remote village of present day Arunachal Pradesh. Her name was Rukamani. There are many stories of Rukmani and her village is located in different places of India. However, the myth of marriage between Lord Krishna and Arunachali girl became a political weapon of India’s integration. Lord Krishna is projected as being first Indian hero who tried to integrate India. Then came Sadar Bhal Bhai Patel, an Indian politician from Gujarat. He was the man who merged more than 550 princely states in India. All other politicians, even the President of the party to which Patel belonged, were projected as being meaningless jokers of history. This new narrative of Indian integration is from BJP, the party Patel did not heard of in his life time.
Selectively remembering Indian heroes is a new art of politics of New India, newer than the India made by Patel. Of 1857 Sepoy Mutiny or otherwise known as India’s first war of Independence, Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi was given more importance than Bahadur Shah Zafar and many others. She fought courageously against the colonial expansion of British East India Company and all the occupying forces to defend sovereignty of her state. Likewise, many Indian rulers and soldiers fought for their own cause against the external force to protect their past glories and prides, their sovereignty. The war that fought against brought a new consciousness of New India. However, remembering selectively those who fought against occupying force and considering Rani Lakshmibai only as symbol of Indian nationalism is new political move. In Manipur, there is confusion over the time line of political development: is 1949 before or after 1857. Could Indian nationalism arisen out of battles of 1857 reach the land of Rukmani?

In the twist of history, Manipur was last battle ground of WW II and was on the cross road of Independence with a ‘King’ and Democratic Republic of India. Debates among the elites, burnt of aristocratic puppet king in the person of Churachand, double burden of Feudalism and Colonialism kept the people in a collective confusion. In the dark background of confusion, Patel and his agents fixed the history of Manipur in Shillong on 21 September 1949.  After the merger, the princely states became part of India, India of ‘Patel’ if the new narrative is correct. Manipur was neither a princely state of central India nor a part of British India just before Patel’s action. Its voice was not heard as much as other princely states and it was not discussed much in the constituent assembly. Somehow, Manipur became a new Rukamani. Land of Rukamani, after merger, takes jo mera hai wo tera hai, Jo tera hai wo mera. This is once again expressed with the celebration of Patriots’ Day 2019 by RSS, Imphal zilla at Lamyanba shanglen.
In 1891 Manipur fought its own war against the British Crown. It was a declared war. It was sole war of the Manipur. British India was extension of the British Crown. Today, while celebrating the historical pride of the Manipuris who fought single handedly in 1891, RSS pay homage to the historical heroes, Tikendrajit and Thangal, as brave sons of RSS portrayal ‘Bharat Mata.’ Irony is the venue of RSS celebration of Patriot Day 2019 at Lamyanba shanglen. The Lamyanba Complex is known as the epicenter of Manipuriness of the universe and every pride of Manipuri wholesome. RSS somehow shows the Manipuri complex can become part of new mantra of jo mera hai wo tera hai. I do not know how historian will see it, this much can be said: the move is not a joke. It has a strong political implication.

Sh Ajit

Ajit Sh, a resident of Khongman 4, Imphal East is a regular contributor of Imphal Times mostly news photo and articles. He is a father of a lovely son. His favourite quote is " A Picture is worth Thousand words". He can be contacted at [email protected]

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