Shillong/Imphal, Sept. 21
September 21 of 1949 was the day that the then king of Manipur, Maharajah Bodhachandra was forced to sign the “Merger Agreement”. The Shillong Times in its report said that Manipur was annexed by India, but what is most unfortunate is that intellectuals of today’s Manipur seem to be afraid of stating that Manipur was annexed to the Dominion of India. This was stated by RK Bobichand, Deputy Director Free Press School of Journalism, while talking as a resource person on the One Day open discussion on Manipur Merger Agreement and Question of Manipur National Identity organised by Shillong Manipuri students Union at the historic Red Land of Shillong in Meghalaya today.
‘Red Land’ is the place where Maharaj Bodhachandra and his team were kept under house arrest and forced to sign the Merger Agreement on this day of 1949.
Bobichand further said that the people of the state of Manipur had agreed that Manipur was annexed by the Indian Union and that annexation was resolved as “Illegal and Unconstitutional” by a public convention held at GM Hall Manipur in 1993. However, the intellectuals and some high profile politician of the state are afraid to say that Manipur was annexed to India, he added.
“While we know that Manipur was annexed, and remaining silence without highlighting that the erstwhile Asiatic Kingdom was annexed by the Indian, will do no good to the state”, Bobichand said and added that our intellectuals and other thinkers need to research and write the truth that Manipur was annexed and not merged. Only then the world will know the proper history of the state as the world forum need documents and facts written, he added.
Advocate L. Jadumani, Consultative Member UCM, who also attended as resource person while speaking on the occasion recalled on how the then Home Minister of India Sardar Vallabhai Patel responded when the emissary of the Dominion of India, Mr. Prakash messaged him that Maharaj Bodhachandra declined to sign the agreement.
It was on record, Jadumani said, and added that the then Home Minister of India Sardar Vallabhai Patel asked Mr Prakash if there were no Army. This means that the Dominion of India was prepared to even wage war to Manipur if the agreement was not signed by the Maharaja of Manipur.
Jadumani said that Mr. Prakash was that time not the Governor of Manipur as his tenure was already over but was sent as he used to have a close affiliation with Maharaj Bodhachandra.
That time after the signing of the Merger Agreement at Shillong Manipur was annexed to the Indian Union on October 15 of 1949. The then Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru and the Home Minister Sardar Vallabhai Patel, has announced the merger through media and made many promise to Manipur. Where are the promises now?, Jadumani questioned.
“The event that took place here in Redland, Shilong is a clear example of Manipur to have been annexed by the Indian Union” Jadumani said.
He further said that there is nothing wrong to be with India but in one condition. If Manipur and India have to be together then Manipur should have its own identity that have been inherited before it became a part of India and the identity and status of Manipur should be respected by India. However, if we see the attitude of India it is well known that the erstwhile Kingdom was reduced to the status of Part C state governed by a Commissioner.
Ningthoujam Munich Singh President, Manipur Sahitya Parishad Meghalaya & Regional Director, Indian Council for Cultural Relations, who also attended as resource persons highlighted the significance of organising the discussion programme at Red land Shillong.
The One Day open discussion programme held at Red Land Shillong was attended by various leaders of students’ bodies including Dhanakumar Ningthouja President SUK ,Peter Laishram, President AMSU, Pangambam Nilakanta President, AAMSU, Sazad Bhuiyamayum, Vice-President MSF, Salam Akash, President DESAM, Yumnam Rajesh, Ex-President AIMS and Chongtham Thagamba Meitei President SMSU dais members.
Image Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHBmmzdIYIQ
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