President of Proscribed Revolutionary Peoples’ Front (RPF), Irengbam Chaoren today calls on the Government of India to end their colonial rule over Manipur and create conducive atmosphere under which Manipur can once again exist as a sovereign country. In his message to the people on occasion of the 37th Foundation Day of RPF also observed as the Independence demand Day on February 25, Irengbam Chaoren said that Absence of political security and non-progressive socio-economic conditions which characterize contemporary Manipuri society are outcomes of the forceful and illegitimate annexation of Manipur by India.
“ Rather than preaching peace and socio-economic security among the people of Manipur, Government of India (GoI) should end their colonial rule over Manipur and create conducive atmosphere under which Manipur can once again exist as a sovereign country”, Choaren said.
The statement of the president further said that until and unless, the Indian colonial rule is uprooted from the soil of Manipur, peace and sense of security will remain an illusion. At the same time, Indo-Manipur conflict will only rise and this may ultimately lead to catastrophic war between people of the two countries.
It added that India should not commit the blunder of perceiving the liberation movement of Manipur as an internal issue which can be resolved within their constitution. In fact, the issue is a political conflict between two countries and sovereignty of Manipur forms the core of the conflict. Again, GoI should not think the issue can be resolved in the way they deem fit by employing several political maneuvers and military might. It would be a big blunder if GoI is thinking that they can waylay the revolutionary groups of Manipur just because they were so far quite successful in disorienting some neighboring revolutionary groups.
The statement further added, “At any point of time in its long history, Manipur never tolerated subjugation by foreign powers and for our freedom, we fought a great many bloody wars. Nonetheless, Manipur would not take any hasty decision to fight a decisive war against India. If necessary, Manipur will definitely fight any numbers of wars against India and these wars would be the only inevitable components of major conflicts which are bound to unfold in the region.
“Presently, GoI has been actively engaging in creating chaotic socio-political conditions among the masses apart from sowing seeds of discord and confrontation among different communities with the primary objective of suppressing the liberation movement of Manipur. By encouraging different ethnic groups to pursue implausible aspirations, GoI has been creating a restive situation and again this is driven by a diabolic motive to balkanise Manipur. Some ethnic groups who have been proudly claiming such ethno-centric and parochial outlook as their unique identity are conspiring to make GoI take the role of monkey of the famous fable of two cats and a monkey. The bread they are clamouring in this context is the geo-political entity called Manipur. The situation is really critical for Manipur and it is this grave situation which has been tormenting the people of Manipur for the past many years.
“On one side, the alliances forged by hill people of Manipur with neighbouring Nagas and Mizos, and their common political ambition are one factor which would ignite ethnic conflagration of the worst nature in the history of Manipur. Such a scenario would be a formidable obstacle on the journey of Manipur’s liberation movement. This may also breed an ugly situation where we are engaged in devastating but futile internecine war amongst ourselves rather than fighting India.
“Sowing seeds of discord and creating divisions, and conflicts amongst the many ethnic groups is a major strategy of GoI for suppressing the liberation movement of Manipur. When growth of ethno-centric ideas and concepts, and resultant conflicts become defining characteristics of a nation, the same nation is on the path of complete downfall. Such internecine conflicts which kill thousands of people and render even more homeless are being witnessed in different parts of the planet. Even though Manipur is facing a situation of ethnic conflict and confrontation, it is imperative to protect integrity of Manipur and unity of her people. Integrity and unity of Manipur and her people are indispensable for the sovereignty of Manipur. We must fight against all divisive forces with firm determination.
“On another front, GoI’s many sustained policies and campaigns which are all aimed at obscuring the subjugated reality of our people have been steadily overwhelming Manipur. But the main catchword that’s would like to be mentioned to our fellow citizens is “All human beings want to live in a developed and peaceful social livelihood”. Taking into due consideration, the inseparable connection between freedom and progress, our people need to ponder over the political and socio-economic position of Manipur in the face of the all pervasive Finance Imperialism. Understanding the objective conditions of our people’s underdevelopment and GoI’s roles in sustaining and promoting Finance Imperialism would definitely shed more light on the collective responsibility of our people towards bringing a successful revolution.
“We may safely assume that our people are living a subjugated life under total control of Finance Imperialism. One fundamental principle of Finance Imperialism is depriving the subjugated people more and more through rampant exploitation of their land and resources and by flooding them with industrial products and giving loans and grants from time to time which only make the subjugated people more dependent on Finance Imperialism. To wage wars, terrorize people, and repress mankind for economic gains are common characters of all exponents and agents of Finance Imperialism.
“After the British conquest of Manipur in 1891, our economic productivity was deliberately reduced. Over the years, Manipur was made dependent in all economic aspects. After the British colonial rule was taken over by India in 1949, a superstructure was imposed upon Manipur. A new comprador class who are enjoying trickle-down benefits of the new political system, education system and all socio-economic systems encompassed by the superstructure has been growing incessantly. This comprador class and their descendents have been ultimately transformed into collaborators or supporters of the colonial rule and they are looting our people. GoI has been openly supporting Finance Imperialism since 1991. They have been devising several strategies in association with multi-national companies and international monetary agencies with the sole objective of economic exploitation.
“As a result our markets have been completely flooded and dominated by industrial goods manufactured outside. Everything we use in our daily life starting from food items to clothes, house construction materials, means of transport and communication, medical equipment and medicines, books and stationery goods, sports materials, recreational items are all products of foreign countries particularly India. In the absence of adequate job opportunities which is another manifestation of the many colonial policies of economic deprivation and subjugation, a large number of our educated people are working in different metropolitan cities, far away from our homeland. At the same time, the number of underprivileged and impoverished people who are dependent on funds and grants doled out by GoI has been increasing dramatically. In the name of development, super-rich capitalist people have already started acquiring total control over our natural resources, mountains, lakes, rivers, agricultural lands, forests, underground minerals, oil and gas.
“In this way, GoI has been deliberately keeping the productive capacity of Manipur crippled and its economy stunted. One political objective of India is to keep Manipur as a frontier, a buffer zone against external aggression and exploit its resources to the maximum. To achieve this objective, GoI has been following three strategies. First, they groomed a puppet ruling class. Second, they unleashed all kinds of repressive measures through oppressive forces like army, paramilitary forces, police, secret agents, reactionary armed groups and enactment of a number of black laws to support these oppressive forces, and third, they have been projecting glitz and luxury as development. Coupled with state terrorism, the combination of these strategies have been breeding rampant corruption, communal politics and conflicts, social evils and crimes.
“With the beginning of the 21st century, many countries of Asia have been making rapid socio-economic progress but some other countries like Manipur have been struggling for freedom after their sovereignty was forfeited. The political history and reality about Manipur in 20th and 21st centuries is largely a narrative of freedom struggle against British colonial rulers and imperialist India. The colonial political system, super-imposed economic structure and proselytization into non-indigenous religious faiths severely mangled the integrity and sovereignty of Manipur. The colonial regime has been working consistently to destroy the interdependent relationship shared among different communities of Manipur. GoI has also been engaging itself in many piece meal peace processes which have no solution in sight. Apart from promoting factionalism and enticing many revolutionary groups with material benefits, GoI has been investing substantial amount of money in opening designated camps and misleading a large number of our youth.
“By claiming that there are more than 70 revolutionary groups in the so called North East region, GoI was trying to vindicate massive militarization and imposition of black laws like AFSPA in WESEA. But today more and more people across the world have started realizing that Thangjam Manorama, Rabina, Sanjit and more than 1528 other people were killed in fake encounters in Manipur. All these repressive measures have convinced our youth to take up arms and fight for freedom of the oppressed masses. But GoI is not sitting idle. They have been goading, confusing and misleading many of our youth in order to form militias which would ultimately take the form of ethnic armies.
“The impacts and miseries of black laws, fake encounters, absence of good transport infrastructure, lack of public health care facilities, absence of good governance and trustworthy electoral system are all common experiences of our oppressed people. None of these issues are specific to either hill people or plain people. Failure to comprehend this reality is one major factor for the inability of the revolutionary groups of WESEA to achieve any progressive stride. If these common experiences are put in the foreground, one can definitely go beyond ethno-centric politics and identify the common enemy. Moreover, we will also be able to see the crucial line of division which separates religious and communal dogmatism from the liberation movement.
“The war of liberation fought against Burmese occupation in 1826, the Anglo-Manipur War of 1891, the Khongjai War of 1917, Haipou Jadonang and Rani Gaidinliu’s anti-colonial movements of 1930-49 and the Nupi Lan of 1904 and 1939 transcended ethnic politics. These wars and movements stood firmly against foreign domination. These revolutionary ideas which transcended ethnic politics were visible more clearly in the far-sighted socio-political movements spearheaded by Hijam Irabot. In many of the continuous mass movements of Manipur, including the movement known as Meira Paibi movement to the world and in our brave mothers, there are ideal elements and political sagacity worthy to be emulated and carried forward.
“It’s time for our people to unite together and fight collectively against the colonial rule. All the communities settled together in Manipur can live with dignity when our people wake up and understand the political reality. People’s support will enable revolutionaries to defeat and destroy the enemies and their nefarious conspiracies and set up a progressive, prosperous, egalitarian society. The liberation movement can make meaningful strides and ultimately emerge victorious only when the revolutionaries and the masses walk hand in hand.”