IT Desk

IT Desk

Thursday, 30 September 2021 17:22

Brief Profile of Comrade Hijam Irabot

Courtesy: Comrade Irabot and the Way Forward
Hijam Irabot:
* Born on 30 September 1896 at Oinam Leikai near Pishumthong, Imphal, Manipur.
* After his father’s death, he moved with his mother to stay with his aunt Sougaijam Ongbi Ibeton Devi at Moirangkhom Sawaijam, Imphal. After his mother’s death and his return from Dacca in 1915 he was sheltered in the house of Maibam Samden of Wangkhei, Imphal.
* He was known as Jana-Neta (Leader of the people) by the Cacharis, Simanta Prahari (Sentinel of the Frontier) by Hemango Biswas, AFOJI ( elder comrade in Burmese or, comrade Ahal to the armed Manipuri red guards) by the then Burmese Communist Party.
Father’s Name:
* Hijam Ibungohal
Mother’s Name:
* Chongtham Ningol Thambalngambi of Hijam Leikai
Spouse’s Name:
* Rajkumari Khomdonsana, daughter of MK Chandrahas, elder brother of the then reigning King Churachand.
Schools attended:
* Johnstone Higher Secondary School, Imphal (upto Class seven).
* Pugoj High School, Dhaka, in present day Bangladesh (upto class nine). In 1915, he dropped out due to shortage of money and went to Agartala.
Literature & Journalism:
* Editor, Meitei Chanu, a hand written magazine brought out in 1922.
* Author, Saidem Seireng, a text book purchased from him by the Manipur State Durbar on 4 December 1929 and prescribed as a textbook for the High School students of fifth class.
* Author, Mohini, a novel published in serialized from, from August 1931 in Yakairol monthly.
* Author, Dalil Amasung Darkhast Iba, printed in 1933.
* Founder General Secretary, Manipur Sahitya Parishad; 1937 and 1938.
* Author of a collection of poems, Imagi Puja, written in Shylhet jail, published in 1987.
* Founder cum editor, weekly Anouba Jug, from 13 April 1947 onwards.
* Author of Lokmanya Tilak  (Biography), J aymati  (Drama), Gomati  (play) and translated Bankimchandra’s novel, Krishna Kanter Will into Manipuri – many of these are still in manuscripts.
Art & Culture:
* Acted in Bengali plays during the early period (1915-20).
* Acted in both male and female characters in early 1930s
* Played the role of Kumud in his first historical play in Nara Singh (1925).
* Played the role of Chandra Singh in Areppa Marup, social play of S. Lalit Singh,
* Played the role of Baladeva in the Manipuri version of the play, Debala Devi.
* Acted in Satee Khongnang.
* Founding member, Manipur Dramatic Union (MDU, established in 1931
* Played hockey, football, cricket, tennis and badminton.
* Encouraged Sat-jal, Manipuri martial art.
* Founder member, Imphal Town Club, a premier sports club in his time.
* Founder member, Manipur Sports Association.
* Member of the Sadar Panchayat Court; appointed on 1 April 1930 and resigned on the 17 March, 1939.
Organisational experience:
* Founder, Bal Sangha and Chatra Sanmelan while in Johnstone Higher Secondary School
* President of the Reception Committee of Manipuri Sabha, appointed in November 1933.
* Original member, Manipuri Mahasabha, in early 1930s.
* Founder member, Nikhil Manipuri Hindu Mahasabha, 30 May 1934 at Imphal (later on Nikhil Manipuri Mahasabha). On 15 Feb 1939 the NMM was declared an illegal organization. On 7 January 1940, Irabot defected from the Mahasabha on matters regarding the nonagreement on physically supporting the Nupi-lan among its members.
* Founder of various organizations; Krishak Sabha Praja Mandal, Praja Sanmelani, Mahila Sanmelani, Youth League, etc.
Communist Background:
* During the Nupi Lan, that was broke out since 12 December 1939, Irabot was arrested on 9 January 1940 and sentenced to 3 years imprisonment for a speech delivered on 7 January 1940 at the Police Line Bazar. He was previously kept at the Imphal jail but shifted to Sylhet jail. In the Sylhet jail he came across Congress and Communist leaders. Irabot was released from the Sylhet jail on 20 March 1943. But he was not permitted to enter Manipur.
He stayed in Cachar to work among the Manipuri peasants and also among the non-Manipuri ex teagarden workers. There he joined the Kishan movements. He kept in touch with the communist leaders and attended the first congress of the Communist party of India that was held at Bombay from 23 May to 1 June, 1943 as a special invitee from Cachar.
* In Cachar he organized cultural squads known as Swadesh Ganer Dal, which was later on incorporated in the Indian People’s Theatre Association. He led a delegation from Cachar to the All India Kishan Sabha session held at Netra Kona in Mymensing District of Bengal. In March 1844, he went to Bejwada (Katakual Village) to join the Kishan Conference and stayed for sometime at the Bengal Communist Party office. The same year he went to Sylhet to join the annual session of the Surma valley provisional Kishan Sabha.
Irabot was detained as a security prisoner in the Silchar District jail with effect from 15 September 1944 on the charge that he was a communist. He was released on 10 January 1945. After more than 5 years of political exile Irabot was given permission to stay in Manipur for a week i.e., from 2 to 10 September, 1945. His request for an extension of his stay in Manipur was denied.
He came back to Cachar and carried out peasants’ movement. He was appointed General Secretary of the Cachar District Kishan Sabha and President of the Surma Valley Kishan Sabha. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Assam Kisha Sabha, the CPI Assam Provincial Committee, and the Assam Students’ Federation. He contested in the 1946 election to the Assam Provincial Legislatures Assembly from the Silchar constituency as a CPI candidate.
* Irabot was finally permitted to enter Manipur in March 1946. In Manipur he organized a new party called the Manipur Praja Mandal in April 1946. He attended two sessions of the Nikhil Manipuri Mahasabha before he was expelled from the membership of the Working Committee of the Mahasabha on the charge of being a member of the Communist Party of India. He attended the second congress of the CPI held at Calcutta from 28 Feb to 6 March 1948.
The first Communist Party of Manipur was formed on 23 August 1948. In the June/ July 1948 election to the Manipur Assembly, Irabot contested and won under from the Utlou Constituency as a Krishak Sabha candidate. Before the inauguration of the Assembly, Irabot on behalf of the Manipur Praja Sangha and Manipur Krishak sabha called a meeting at the M.D.U Hall on 21 September 1948, to protest against the formation of Purbachal Pradesh, comprising of Manipur, Tripura, Cachar and Lushai Hills.
A scuffle took place at Pungdongbam when the Manipur Sate Police prevented a group of citizens who came to attend the meeting in which a police officer was killed on the spot. The Manipur state council declared the Manipur Praja Sangha and Manipur Krishak Sabha unlawful. The state officials declined to constitute an Enquiry Committee to investigate the Pungdongbam incident.
Irabot could not attend the first meeting of the Manipur Legislative Assembly held on 18 October 1948 because of the warrant against him. Irabot formed an underground Communist Party of Manipur on 29 October 1948 and carried out armed struggle against the government. He died on 26 September 1951 at the foothills of the Anggo Hills.

IT Correspondent
New Delhi, Sept 21:

Popular Front of India Chairman O M A Salam has condemned the raids conducted by the Enforcement Directorate at the office and residence of prominent social activist Harsh Mander as well as the raids by the Income Tax Department at the children’s shelter homes run by Ummeed Aman Ghar in Mehrauli.
Salam added that these raids are clearly part of the shameful harassment and intimidation being spearheaded by the central agencies against the critiques of the Modi Government.
“Harsh Mander’s life and work is an open book. He is an ardent critique of Sangh Pariwar’s hate politics and an active promoter of peace, inclusivity, and social justice. He and his Centre for Equity Studies come under attack, like scores of other human rights activists, intellectuals, organizations, and NGOs in the country, for having a view that is opposed to the ruling party and expressing it openly. There are ample examples for the past many years for the Modi government targeting political opponents with bogus investigations, fabricated cases, and draconian charges. Democratic forces in the country have to come forward to resist the abuse of power to crush democratic rights and civil liberties. Popular Front expresses its solidarity with Harsh Mander and CES against this harassment” said O M A Salam.

Monday, 20 September 2021 17:27

The International Day of Peace

IT Desk
“Peace will not come out of a clash of arms but out of justice lived and done by unarmed nations in the face of odds.”- Mahatma Gandhi

Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The UN General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, through observing 24 hours of non-violence and cease-fire. The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by the United Nations General Assembly. Two decades later, in 2001, the General Assembly unanimously voted to designate the Day as a period of non-violence and cease-fire. The United Nations invites all nations and people to honour a cessation of hostilities during the Day, and to otherwise commemorate the Day through education and public awareness on issues related to peace.
This year, it has been clearer than ever that we are not each other’s enemies. Rather, our common enemy is a tireless virus that threatens our health, security and very way of life. COVID-19 has thrown our world into turmoil and forcibly reminded us that what happens in one part of the planet can impact people everywhere. In March, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called on all warring parties to lay down their weapons and focus on the battle against this unprecedented global pandemic. While the message is intended for armed parties, solidarity and cooperation across borders, sectors and generations are also needed to win this new fight against the worst public health crisis of our time.
For the United Nations, 2020 was already meant to be a year of listening and learning. To mark its 75th anniversary, the UN has invited millions of people worldwide to join UN75, the largest and furthest-reaching global conversation on building the peaceful and prosperous future that we want. An UN official release on the occasion reads “As we struggle to defeat COVID-19, your voice is more important than ever. In these difficult times of physical distancing, this International Day of Peace will be dedicated to fostering dialogue and collecting ideas. The world will be invited to unite and share thoughts on how to weather this storm, heal our planet and change it for the better. Even though we may not be able to stand next to each other, we can still dream together.” Adopting the 2020 theme for the International Day of Peace as “Shaping Peace Together”, the United Nations urge the people the world over to celebrate the day by spreading compassion, kindness and hope in the face of the pandemic, to stand together with the UN against attempts to use the virus to promote discrimination or hatred and to join the UN so that everybody can shape peace together.
António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations has been quoted urging, “warring parties to lay down their weapons. These are not normal times, and our responses cannot be routine. The pandemic is not just a health issue. It is having direct and troubling effects on development, peace, and security. Our global ceasefire appeal is resonating in many places and with many different groups. While distrust can make implementation difficult, I have been heartened by the strong support the appeal has received from civil society, which can influence and mobilize people at the grassroots.”
Closer home, a dark cloud of uncertainty is looming beyond the horizon for the people of the state, and if the centre does take any unilateral step to try and appease a particular group or community without heeding the concerned voices of reason, then the fragile lull the state and the region as a whole is experiencing at present is bound to shatter once again, when real and enduring peace looks so tatalisingly closer than ever before, drawing us back to the tumultuous and violent times that is still fresh in our collective memory. We would then be cursed forever for having mandated a government who has given in to the whims of warmongers and anarchists feeding on fear and coercion. We would have unwittingly or unwillingly be made party to setting a precedent for divisive forces to take root and prosper. Deeds, not words, will ultimately determine the future of the state and the country as a whole. For now, peace still remains an elusive concept, a tool of convenience for those walking the hallowed corridors of power.
 “Peace is more important than all justice, and peace was not made for the sake of justice, but justice for the sake of peace.” – Martin Luther

IT News
Imphal, July 30:

Instead of preventing people from coming out during the curfew announced by the Government, the Manipur Police is hell-bent on collecting fines from the people coming out during curfew hours without helmets and proper documents.  This latest move by the Manipur police during the curfew hours was witnessed in few parts of the Greater Imphal area. This is more of a mockery of the ongoing curfew to curb the spread of COVID-19. Earlier, Chief Minister N Biren Singh had requested and even begged the people of Manipur not to come out during the curfew.

As witnessed by this reporter at Sagolband Tera crossing, a team of Manipur police detained people without helmets and proper documents however people wearing helmet were allowed to pass by without any hindrance. Does this mean the curfew has been lifted and people with proper documents and helmets are allowed to move freely during the curfew, even if the person in question doesn’t fall in Essential service sector exempted by the Government in the latest order? Also, it was witnessed that no SOPs of COVID 19 like social distancing was enforced while detaining the traffic violators.
A detainee said to this reporter,” This is very inconvenient during these hard times of the Covid-19 pandemic. Would like to know if these collected fines really reach the concerned authority or not. They should focus first on enforcing the curfew, not on fine collection.”

It may be mention that the 10 days stricter curfew had been extended following the spike in covid 19 cases in the state. After the 10 days, stricter curfew, the State Government had extended the Statewide curfew by another 7 days with effect from July 28, 2021. The new extension of the curfew had allowed the opening of Insurance offices for three days from 10 am to 2.30 pm like in the case of banks and home delivery of vegetable/fish/meat/grocery items  and cooked food by authorised delivery staff. 

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