Imphal, Sept 24,
Proscribed group People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the army wing of the Revolutionary Peoples’ Front (RPF), is observing the 40th raising day on September. President of the rebel group Irengbam Chaoren greets the people of the state in connection with the raising day.
A statement issued to media houses by RPF’s president irengbam Chaoren categorically stated the present state of the region.
“Manipur today is besieged by myriad socio-political and economic issues and we will never be able address these issues effectively as long as we live under the Indian colonial rule” Chaoren stated.
The statement further said that the collective wish of our people to extricate Manipur out of the prevailing sorry state of affairs, India’s repressive policies have devastated the society, and the puppet rulers who have been incapacitated to exercise any of their faculties for the welfare of the land will never be able to resolve the myriad issues and problems conclusively.
“All kinds of social issues have been multiplying today while communal harmony and sense of inter-community brotherhood have been poisoned but the puppet rulers are simply watching helplessly because all these negative developments are directly or indirectly linked to Indian colonial policies. This link can be traced to New Delhi’s policies of suppression, division and weakening smaller communities by way of pitching one group of people against another with the ulterior motive of annihilating all the smaller communities. This link was visible in all the relationships shared between colonial rulers and colonized peoples across the world and this link is still operating quite actively in Manipur and WESEA.
“It’s time for our people to stop directing all our wrath and grievances against the helpless and puppet State rulers and re-direct our energy and take on Indian colonial rulers for they are the real culprits. If we continue to seek solutions to the myriad issues and problems through the puppet rulers, the issues and problems will only get complicated and the social unrest will escalate because the puppet rulers have accustomed to using all their energy and wisdom only for elections and they have been baptized in the Indian brand of politics. It’s time for all of us to revert to our traditional ethics ‘action speaks louder than words’ rather than only shouting without doing anything, a parasitic character which we imbibe from our association with Mayangs so that we can challenge the Indian colonial rule directly and their diabolic policies which are the root causes of all our problems and hardships. This can save us from blaming and tearing into each other, a social evil born out of the forced annexation of Manipur by India, and from ultimately sinking together. Seeming differences among us have been strengthening the Indian colonial rule and the colonial rulers have been taking advantage of this seeming disunity. So the foremost task is unification. We must unite to identify and resolve each and every single problem entangling the society.
“For we are at present living under the Indian colonial rule, there is a growing need for all of us to walk together on a common path and create a commonness among our wishes with regard to certain national tasks which must be accomplished without fail. This will certainly help in removing distrust among us and tendency to oppose one another apart from reducing the adverse impacts caused by different problems and issues. Howsoever justified they are and though they are characteristics of Indian democracy, bandhs and blockades are becoming very unpopular in Manipur.
“This is a social change brought about by difficulties faced by masses over the years. Any agitation launched after overlooking this change which causes undue misery to the masses in the name of demanding one’s rights will prove suicidal and malignant. It is crucial to devise modes of agitation which have least impacts on daily wage earners, healthcare services and education with the exception of general strikes called on key national issues.
“Our people are anxious and apprehensive about possible threats to the integrity of Manipur vis-à-vis the peace talk going on between India and NSCN-IM. At the same time, our people must understand that GoI, while ignoring the collective wish and aspiration of Naga people, has been working to terminate the armed revolutionary movement of Naga people after coercing NSCN-IM to sign a deceitful agreement. GoI has been saying one thing to Naga people and something totally contradictory to the peoples of Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh thereby stoking conflicts among the peoples of the region. This is an unmistakable indication that the Framework Agreement is a deceitful agreement, a conspiracy to polarize the peoples of the region. Any people’s movement to challenge and neutralize such conspiracy of GoI must not have any element of communalism otherwise the movement may be interpreted wrongly and it may deepen inter-community conflicts.
Regarding the boundary issue , the statement added , “At the moment it would not be right to accept the eastern boundary of Manipur demarcated between Myanmar and India as our real boundary. We must not accept GoI’s approach to retain just 22, 327 Sq. Km. out of the total territory of Manipur within India and give away the rest to Myanmar.”
“In the past too, Manipur had lost its border areas not only to Myanmar but also to India when British India demarcated boundary of Manipur for their administrative convenience. It was not only territory but our people were also colonized when India annexed Manipur. Though we are living in Manipur as Manipuri, all our rights have been forfeited. That is why GoI is not listening to our single word with regard to our own territorial boundary and this is an unmistakable example of how we have been reduced to the status of refugees in our own land. Given this reality, putting faith in GoI and entrusting them the task of re-demarcating Manipur’s boundary with Myanmar will be futile. GoI will never establish the real boundary of Manipur. In order to entitle ourselves the right to demarcate our true boundary and resolve all boundary issues with Myanmar, we must first liberate Manipur and make it an independent country”, the statement added.
It added that Myanmar is our immediate neighbor and history clearly defines the relationship shared between peoples of the two countries. Even after Manipur had been annexed by India, Myanmar people do not see Manipuris as Indians; they give more importance to their relationship with Manipur than with India as testified by their treatment of issues of Manipur separately, away from their bilateral relationship with India. It is not very long back that Myanmar rescued itself from being overwhelmed by Indians demographically. Moreover, GoI supported many militant groups which were waging wars against Government of Myanmar thereby posing serious hurdles to consolidation of Myanmar as a unified country. Contributions of Manipuri cavalry known as Cassay Horse in the process of consolidation of Myanmar as a unified country and at times of aggression by external forces and creative works of Manipuri artisans are highly appreciated and respected by people of Myanmar.
Manipur-Myanmar relationship which had passed through both cordial and hostile phases had withstood the test of time. We must restrain ourselves from doing anything at the behest of GoI which may strain Manipur-Myanmar relationship and this will go a long way in determining the future of Manipur.
Regarding the incessant influx of Mayangs, their ever-expanding settlements, diversification and monopolization of commercial activities and their rapid population growth, the RPF President said that the people should fight the issue collectively rather than beseeching GoI to protect us from the population invasion for GoI will never do anything to safeguard us, the indigenous people of the land. Even though the dream of hard core Indian politicians to build a greater India by bringing Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, Myanmar and Bangladesh within India could not be realized, they firmly believe that the present boundary will remain intact forever. Apart from its military approach to keep Manipur within India, GoI has been scheming to make Indians dominate the indigenous people demographically with the sinister objective of assimilating Manipuri people completely into the Indian society.
“ We must take up concrete measures to counter this population invasion. Our people need to ensure that Indians living in Manipur are not given unlimited freedom and at the same time, Indians should know that they would be inviting strict vigil upon themselves if they fail to take the realities of Manipur with due seriousness. To avoid such strict vigil, Indians working in central government or state government offices and those searching for jobs in Manipur should never ever consider Manipur as their homeland and they must not overlook the existing deep-rooted political conflict between India and Manipur. If they ignore this advice and challenge the collective aspiration of Manipuri people, they will be creating their own enemy and revolutionary groups of the land will punish them.
“Last but not the least, we now know how Indian occupational forces captured revolutionary cadres, demanded ransoms, engineered their disappearances regardless of whether they got ransom or not, outraged modesty of a number of our women and massacred innocent civilians in fake encounters. They themselves have disclosed their own brutal character. Our people cannot afford inaction and silence in this situation on the false self-assurance that such brutal and ugly incidents will not happen to our families. We are all one and same before the eyes of our enemies. Even if our people take side with Indian occupational forces by blaming the revolutionary groups for all the misery, they (Indian occupational forces) will never trust our people. The revolutionary movement will definitely encompass each and every one of us one day or the other. By that time, all of us will face the wrath and brutality of Indian occupational forces. This is inevitable and no amount of pleadings and beseeching to the Indian occupational forces will help us. We must prepare ourselves for this eventuality and fight Indian occupational forces collectively and their local followers, the traitors”, the statement said.
The RPF president also called on the people’s need to raise a collective voice against treatment of revolutionary cadres by Manipuri Indian security forces particularly police commandos as their sworn enemies and undue harassment and killing of civilians in fake encounters in the name of maintaining law and order so that this disturbing trend does not continue any longer. Otherwise, a new chapter of endless vengeance, fraternal killings and bloodbath will be written in the history of Manipur. Just like British colonial rulers who employed British Indian Army to suppress the Indian independence movement, Indian Manipuri soldiers have started taking lead roles in GoI’s fight against the revolutionary movement. This must be stopped immediately. Else, their names will be discredited forever, future generations will look to them with contempt and their own descendants will live in disgrace among free people of independent Manipur. Manipuri Indian security forces must take all these facts into consideration while discharging their duties and they must re-orient their actions and intentions towards a progressive Manipur.
“We now know our enemies but as a result of living within India for a prolonged period, it appears that we cannot survive without depending on India. Driven by such notion that we cannot survive as a nation/community without India’s protection, our people feel compelled to go to New Delhi to seek their goodwill and blessing. But this, in fact, is becoming another major cause for further downfall of Manipur. It is the bounden duty of each and every one of us to make Manipur a progressive, prosperous and peaceful society. We can definitely see a new world, quite different from the world we are living at present if we look beyond India’s colonial rule and its illusions. It is for this very reason that we, revolutionaries, have been waging an armed revolutionary campaign with a firm belief that we are capable of re-building a nation and we have every right to re-build our nation, and we have to snatch this right from GoI. To be a part of this revolutionary movement is shouldering our responsibility towards our nation. Let’s unite together and take the revolutionary movement forward, the statement added.
Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 15+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents.