Home » Manipuris lost the meaning of freedom since India took over the political reins says RPF president

Manipuris lost the meaning of freedom since India took over the political reins says RPF president

by IT Web Admin
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On the 37th Raising Day of its army wing- People’s Liberation Army (PLA), President of banned armed group, Revolutionary People’s Front (RPF), Irengbam Chaoren has conveyed revolutionary regards to the people of Manipur and salute all those brave men and women who have laid down their precious lives in the journey of the revolutionary movement.
“Our ancestors have created today’s Manipur, with the swords and spears that were manufactured from the local iron ores using the self-backed charcoals. Thousands of precious lives were sacrificed to protect the sovereignty of Manipur. For more than 500 years, our forefathers fought battles after battles against our neighbour Myanmar to protect the boundary of Manipur. These stories of battles, wars and supreme sacrifices are written in the golden pages of our history. The Battle of Khongjom fought against the mighty British forces even after fully knowing the outcome of the battle is a tale of supreme sacrifice made by our forefathers for the beloved motherland”, said Chaoren in a release.
“However when India, then created a new, annexed Manipur, our people could not stand united and resist the annexation. Even as a strong force of renewed colonialism swept across Manipur, our people, then accustomed to foreign culture and customs started undermining our own identity and our people let the new current of colonialism take firm roots as if it was an inevitable change brought about by time. At the same time, our ruling elites, fascinated and influenced by the newly established Indian regime, welcomed Indian agents with open arms. They hoodwinked the masses by churning out volumes of propaganda that merger with India could bring stable administration and rapid progress in Manipur. Slowly and steadily, they adopted the role of a puppet Government”.
Since India took over the political reins of Manipur, our people lost the meaning of freedom and life itself. Soon after, our people already reduced to wretched beings were enveloped by layers and layers of dependent colonial economy. Eventually Manipur was transformed into a society which could not survive without external aid. In the meantime, a new class of nouveau-riche, landlords and elites became virtual rulers of the land and they took control of all means of livelihood of the masses. With all the political powers concentrated in the hands of a handful of people, a devastating economic policy which only consolidated the ruling elites’ dominance over the common masses took firm roots in the soil of Manipur. Since then, unemployment and poverty became the twin scourge of Manipur. Many people who could not set an ideal for their lives started committing all kinds of weird, unexpected and unprecedented activities in their struggle for survival. Soon enough, all kinds of abominable and shocking incidents became daily affairs in Manipur. All kinds of anti-social activities starting from abuse of intoxicating drugs, corruption, graft practices and violence against women degenerated Manipuri society to the nadir. In the meantime, the colonial Indian regime has been creating divisions among Manipuri people in the name of freedom. In fact, the colonial regime has been consistently plotting for an internecine war which has nothing to rejoice even if one party wins.
On the other hand, some communal elements living in the hill areas of Manipur have been collaborating with neighbouring countries with a malicious intention to balkanize Manipur. For centuries, Manipuri people fought as far as Chindwin River to protect its boundary. The Anglo-Manipuri Treaty signed 180 years back recognised Jiri River and Barak River as the western boundaries of sovereign Manipur. Now the ideas of ‘Nagalim’ and ‘Zalengam’ which are of very recent origin has the audacity to challenge the centuries old, internationally recognised political boundary of Manipur.
The president also said that incessant influx from India has not only completely transformed the demographic profile of Manipur but the migrants have dominated all types of economic activities.
There is a growing fear of indigenous people becoming beggars in their own land. Number of people who have been exploring places for permanent settlement outside Manipur peacefully has also been rising. Nevertheless, the vast majority of the masses have no intention to leave Manipur which we rightfully inherited from our valiant ancestors but they have a nagging fear of Indian immigrants completely dominating the socio-economic and political landscape of Manipur in the near future.
Rather than delving into the causes and factors responsible for the malady in order to remedy it effectively, we have been blaming and suppressing each other. At this juncture, some people who deem themselves as intellectuals or scholars have been analysing the social life of Manipur from wrong perspectives. This has only bred more unrest, chaos and anarchy where everything that can go wrong has gone wrong. It’s time for all our people to forge unity and struggle collectively in order to rectify all the wrongs and blunders, and put back Manipur on a progressive path.
Re-visiting our glorious and shared history can shed light on new ideas which can salvage Manipur from the present predicament and put it on a new trajectory of development and rapid progress in future. Starting from the days of head hunting where different principalities were ruled by different clans, Manipur nation was eventually consolidated as a single united nation with Kangla as its capital or centre of power. Beginning with the earliest settlers, different ethnic groups who migrated to Manipur in different historical epochs collectively made up the Manipuri nation. Through co-existence for centuries and inter-marriages, an inseparable bond bounded together all the ethnic groups of Manipur. This inseparable bond of fraternity ultimately became the hallmark of Manipuri society. Attempts by any community or group of individuals to decide the future political destiny of Manipur which was formed and consolidated over ages or any attempts to re-structure the future political landscape of Manipur in pursuit of their own selfish interest would be always opposed by other communities/ethnic groups.
In the meantime, the Government of India, guided by a diabolic agenda to create more divisions on ethnic line, has been extending all kinds of support to some revolutionary groups and they (GoI) are using those revolutionary groups who have been brought under their patronage as pawns in their strategy to suppress the revolutionary movement of the land. This strategy sharpens contradictions and conflicts among different revolutionary groups and this is creating a situation where we, revolutionary groups of the land shall fight and kill each other rather than fighting the common enemy (India and its military forces). In order to neutralize the Government of India’s strategy to ignite inter-community or internecine wars, all the indigenous communities need to communicate, consult and sit together. It is also crucial for all the indigenous communities to consult each other and bring a consensus on a future political system under which all our people can live and prosper together.
The foremost task which lies before the present generation is prevention of Indian people from settling permanently on the soil of Manipur. If the incessant influx is not checked in time, the existing ad-hoc political set up of Manipur would be put under serious threats. More importantly, permanent settlement of Indian people will prove to be a serious impedance to the liberation movement. Planting Indian population on the soil of Manipur and making the Indian population the majority community of Manipur is another lethal strategy devised by India to suppress the revolutionary movement of the land. For all these reasons, all our people should stop befriending and playing host to Indian people in the collective interest of the nation’s future.
Most of the anti-social and criminal incidents which take place in contemporary Manipuri society are outcomes of our people’s emulation and imitation of the Indian people and their social system. Manipuri people and Indian people are poles apart in terms of social traditions, culture, physical features etc. Blindly imitating the Indian people and their way of life after overlooking the unbridgeable gap of differences resulted in disastrous changes in Manipuri society. We can undo this socio-political blunder only by reviving and promoting indigenous traditions and value systems. In order to re-establish a vibrant and thriving society, we must re-visit our history and protect our identity at all costs.
The existing Manipur-India conflict has its roots in the diverse histories of the two countries and it has not been settled yet. There is no possibility of resolving the conflict within the constitution of India. Manipur’s sovereignty was recognised by peoples of WESEA and the international community. Manipur had a tryst with democracy and democratic way of life before India. Manipur adopted a constitution in 1947 and an elected Government was set up next year through adult franchise. However, Manipur was forcibly annexed to India on September 21, 1949. The National Parliament of Manipur was also dissolved forcefully on October 15, 1949 in total contravention of United Nations principles and rules. Annexation of Manipur to India has neither legal validity nor moral vindication as the people of Manipur never gave their consent to become Indian citizens.
“Forfeiture of the freedom of Manipur is the central issue of the Manipur-India conflict. As such, freedom of Manipuri people is most essential to RPF. Our people should be always on guard against any piecemeal approach which tends to ignore the central issue. With a firm conviction that we can enjoy all the rights entitled to citizens of a free country, lead a dignified and prosperous life as individuals and collectively establish a progressive and egalitarian society only when Manipur wins back its sovereignty, all our people need to join the revolutionary movement”.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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