Imphal, March 25
Chairman of the Military Affair’s Committee of the Red Army of the rebel group People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (PREPAK) Kh. Sathy greeted the people on occasion of the 40th Red Army Uprising Day which falls on March 26.
In a message, the Chairman of the outfit said that PREPAK in cooperation with other revolutionaries of WESEA region which shares a common objective and vision has been tirelessly pursuing a revolutionary movement to uproot the colonial practices of the Indian Union and to restore the independence of Kangleipak with more than 2000 years of written history which was annexed by brute force of the rapacious Indian colonial regime.
In this relentless movement for independence, PREPAK and its army wing - Red Army (RA) have endured hardships with unflinching dedication to the cause and are fighting without concern for personal safety or comfort for a free and equitable society.
After the annexation, India has been trying to portray the revolutionary movement spearheaded by Hijam Irabot as the handiwork of few people with extremist outlook thereby trying to degrade the movement, terming the freedom fighters as terrorists and claiming to the world that there is no liberation movement in India. Such an attempt to cover up the movement of the people will prove useless as fire cannot be kept covered for long. The ultimate goal of the revolution is not to be disintegrate or break up India, but to reclaim the independence which was snatched from the people using armed forces. When the hapless king of Kangleipak signed the treaty of annexation with India under duress, there was no approval from the National Legislature which was a body of elected representatives of that time, nor was there a referendum or plebiscite held to approve or oppose the move. If India respect its democratic principles and is really brave enough to face the truth, there is still time to hold a plebiscite to determine whether the people of Kangleipak wants to remain under the Indian regime or wants independence, but so far it has not been able to take up the bold step accepted by the international community as a standard democratic procedure to end conflicts around the world. On the other hand, as practiced by the previous governments, the present NDA government is insisting on giving up violence and to conduct peace talks with the armed revolutionaries in the state to usher in peace and prosperity. What is ironic is that the assumption that the armed revolutionaries are extremists seeking violence and bloodshed and opposing peace, and its efforts to portray the revolutionaries to the world as such.
The genesis of all these armed conflicts is the forced annexation of Kangleipak on October 15, 1949 and the subsequent enslavement of its people, and India should never forget this. The people of Kangleipak is fighting to reclaim what is truly theirs and does not want even an inch more of India’s territory. While India claims that there is no separatist movement in the region, the declaration of armed revolutionary movements in Kangleipak and the WESEA region as outlawed organizations under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967 has laid waste to their claims, and even though India termed the revolutionaries as terrorists and extremists, the directive of the UN Human Rights Committee to the Indian Government to settle the armed conflict through political dialogues and peace talks have reiterated the fact the revolutionary movement in Kangleipak and the WESEA region is being recognized by the international community as a legitimate one.
India claims itself to be the world’s largest democracy, but it has not been able to occupy any credible position in the annually published Democracy Index of the Economist Intelligence Unit based on parameters such as electoral process and pluralism, governance, political participation, political culture and civil liberties. Looking at the population this claim might be considered true, however it still lacks basic democratic practices and principles. In 2018 , out of 167 democratic countries the position of India in the democracy index was 41 and in 2019 it declined to 51. Of the total population of about 1.4 billion, about 21.9 percent or 300 million are below the poverty line, about 26 percent or 350 million people are illiterate. Moreover, per capita GDP of India has not been able to reach 2000 dollars till date. According to a report of Transparency International corruption perceptions index 2019, India is in the 80th position. Excessive and unchecked expenditure on elections and working for the profit of the powerful and influential while snuffing out the voice of the poor and weak still persists. Transparency in governance is still nonexistence despite claims of being the largest democracy, and unlawful political financing is still a bitter reality at present. Big corporate groups often interferes and have a big say in drawing up important decisions of the government, and while the Press has been regarded as the fourth estate of democracy after the legislature, executive and judiciary, journalists in the country are working under pitiful conditions. Except for a few journalists who sold their ethics to the highest bidder to be in the good books of the rich and powerful, the majority of them are under constant threat to livelihood and life. According to ‘2019 World Press Freedom Index’ published by Reporters Without Borders, India ranks 140 out of 180 countries. Intimidations, threats and warnings from politicians, criminals and hired goons are a common professional hazard of a working journalist in India .In 2018, 6 journalists were murdered under suspicious circumstances while carrying out their duties. Journalists and media houses are constantly under threat for reporting news against the parties and people in power especially in Kashmir and WESEA region with no reporters from abroad allowed. Constant shutdown of internet has hampered the work of the journalists. In reality, India is a crumbling entity whose parts and units have deteriorated beyond repair. This is not the time to heed the words of a few and enjoy the fleeting luxuries of life while forgetting the path we need to take and the goal we set of a free and independent region.
The time to wish for a resurgent India is gone. The time has come for everyone to remember and appreciate the work of the United Nations and its subsidiary organ the Decolonisation Committee in making efforts to root out colonialism from the face of the earth. Such encouraging efforts have become a source of hope and inspiration for smaller and weaker states and regions to assert their independence and rights from the big and powerful nations of the. After the UN was established in 1945, more than 80 countries have gained independence from their former colonial powers and it is at present working to help regain independence of 17 recognised countries in the world. In its latest session of UN Special Committee on Decolonisation, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres expressed that these small fledgling countries should put their priorities in meeting the aspirations and respecting the wishes of the people while taking up efforts to put up a responsible government, thereby reiterating the fact that the UN is committed to help regain freedom to colonized countries. The process for decolonization should depend upon the wishes of the colonized people, and the UN is taking a vital role in this regard. Colonized nations are usually small ones, and the roles of the colonized nation as well as those people who are to shape and determine the future of these colonized nations should be an ongoing challenge. At present, there are 17 Non Self Governing Territories without an independent and functional government. The revolution for independence of Angola, Mozambique and Guinea Bissau inspired the Portuguese revolutionary army to establish a people’s government in Portugal. People around the world living under colonized rule are eagerly awaiting the day when they can determine their own future. After 20 long years of struggle Timor Leste have regained its independence and have successfully established a free and popular government according to the aspirations of the people. According to Gueterres, the effort of decolonization has slowed but is still marching forward. In the Pacific region, New Caledonia – a French colony is holding a second referendum in September of this year after the people have voted for it. In the history of the UN, the efforts of decolonization is an ongoing process for the international body, and is a crucial one in attaining the goal of self-determination and independence for many colonized countries of the world, and is also contained in the UN Charter. Declaration of the UN General Assembly as well as International Law provides regulations for discussion and practice of self determination and governance, but today India does not abide by them. This does not mean that India can neglect or deny the existence of such regulations and rights. There has been no referendum or plebiscite which allows India to exert its rule on the people after Kangleipak was forcibly annexed. The right bestowed by the UN to be recognized as a group or community still exists. The task at hand for the people of Kangleipak is to advance the revolution for independence while knocking on the door of the UN to lay down the goals and rights as demanded by the people.
In closing, the duty of the Red Army in the 43 years of the revolution for independence and self determination of Kangleipak by PREPAK is commendable. The courage and valour they showed while facing the IOF in numerous instances and the spirit of sacrifice that they embody is remarkable. As long as the Red Army continues to resist and make persistent efforts to repel the IOF, the common goal of independence and self determination is getting nearer. The purpose and the goal of the revolution should always be held close to our hearts. Only such an approach can help us regain our lost independence and power of self determination.
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