Imphal, Sept 24:
Proscribed group Revolutionary People’s Front (RPF) greets the people of the state on the occasion of 44th Raising Day of the Peoples Liberation Army(PLA). RPF President Irengbam Chaoren wishing the people of the state, paying deepest respect to all the martyrs who laid down their precious lives in the course of the revolutionary movement, on the occasion of the 44th Rising Day of the People’s Liberation Army, the Party extends it unbound respect and gratitude to the people of Manipur, said a press release.
The press release states, “Love for freedom, dignity, and a desire to live as an independent nation is the most treasured aspiration of every person in the world. It was in the light of these values; the government of India in November 1991 endorsed its stand at the United Nations General Assembly to end colonialism before the end of the 20th century. However, India’s double standards lay bare as it has neither discuss nor endorsed the question of Manipur’s colonization by India till date. Instead, it has been dominating over the sovereignty of Manipur by harping of draconian laws like the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 till date.”
Expressive of its dubious design, India has misled the international community by wrongfully projecting free ancient Kingdom of Manipur as its integral part while orchestrating to discredit the ongoing liberation movement of Manipur as ‘separatist’. This is a self-evident wrongful obliterating propaganda of India. The existence of Manipur as a distinctive political entity is evidenced by the fact that M.K. Velody, Secretary, Ministry of State, India officially announced Manipur as a part of the Indian Union only on 15th October, 1949. On this day, the independent Manipur State Assembly and the then Council of Ministers was dissolved by belittling Manipur to a Part C status under the headship of a Chief Commissioner which is a testimony to India’s annexation of Manipur in 1949. It is for the same reason that India owes to live up to what it had endorsed at the UN General Assembly in 1991 and retreat itself from occupying Manipur by restoring the lost political independence of Manipuri people under the established provisions of United Nations.
It is noteworthy to remind ourselves that on several occasions the Government of India has expressly shown its unwillingness to accept the cause of Manipur’s liberation. Successive governments and mainstream people of India have resolutely stood against the rights of self-determination in the name of India’s unity. A pertinent point that the people of India should remember is that Manipur’s reverting back to its independent status is not to be construed as anti-thetical to India’s integrity. Manipur became an international treaty making power in 1826, 28 February when it was involved in a British and Burma treaty preceding India which is an obvious example that Manipur’s existence as an independent State preceded India. Even prior to this, on 14th September 1762 Manipur and the British East India signed a Defense Treaty while another historic agreement was signed between the British and Manipur in April 1833 resulting in the boundary mapping of Jiri and Western areas of the Barak River. The historicity of Manipur’s international treaty making power was witnessed again during the third Burmese War, the Maharaja of Manipur Chadrakriti and Governor General of India reached an agreement to help each other.
Moreover, Manipur had been different from Indian society of which Manipur was a nation of high distinctive social characters which has abode distinct language, culture, tradition, and distinct identity. In the years after the Second World War, it is a well-known fact that the number of independent nations was just 51 in the year 1945 which has increased to 193 today. Comparatively among the galaxy of independent nations Manipur deservingly stands as a discrete political entity with independent history and constitutional system. For the last 2000 years Manipur has a recorded civilizational national yearning. In its civilizational progression there reflects a sense of community of having lived through momentous journey of collective struggle.
However, the present day degradation of collective life in Manipur and its inability to live upto its civilizational legacy is due to the hegemonic power patronage enforced by Indian state. If such a situation is to linger on the future of Manipur is at stake for it is to certainly worsen. The only way out is to ensure a vision and political life where the people of Manipur shall have their exclusive and independent rights over their national resources and adoption of new horizon of development by abrogating India’s unwarranted colonial interference in Manipur.
In contrary to the spirit of independence, India has consistently projected Manipur as perennially underdeveloped and parasitic on Indian funding as a part of its colonial ideology is not only outdated but also unsuitable to modern day political values. The people of Manipur need to wake up from this colonial slumber and preaching by re-orienting themselves that projected dependence of Manipur on India as nothing, but a colonial make over. Unfortunately, the failure on the part of the administrators to inculcate suitable ways of exploiting indigenous resources has led to the reinforcement of the colonial false consciousness making the people of helpless and believe in the colonially designed. The apparent psychology of dependence on India has made them think dependent and structurally deprived the people of Manipur from making its own process of development. The state of affairs has degraded to such a level that despite Manipur’s location in a prosperous geopolitical international borderland has not been able to harness any significant gain.
The prolonged internalization of the belief that only the imports from India feed Manipur has result prevented the effective usage of National Highway 37 as a route for Manipur’s economic prosperity. The state government has for long failed to envision a policy that can positively deal with the potential of a hugely populated Barak Valley with an approximate population of 45 lacs as a potential export market for Manipur through Jiribam as an economic gateway. On the other hand, our neighbouring country Myanmar is known for its rich agrarian produces and precious minerals and resources. An effective trade system with Myanmar through Manipur’s border town Moreh can boost up WESEA into a regional market plaza has been never understood by those who are in the helm of affairs.
Efficient system of transportation is a major condition for the growth of trade and commerce and is the backbone of any country’s national development which the government in the state has not been able to realize the need for a critical perspective. The previous and the current government has consistently evidenced their lack of vision in this regard. The ongoing propaganda of the Government of India to project Act East Policy as anathema to develop trade in WESEA is a mirage. The people of Manipur should never be belied by such a befooling such false promise that is never meant to be realised. If India was really interested in actual development of Manipur mentioned as their North East State in WESEA, it should have abandoned her Geopolitical outlook on WESEA. India could have involved itself in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to improve regional trade with China.
It is well noted fact that as a result of BRI, the railway services that connects China – Laos which commenced construction from 2016 and completed on December 2021, has a whopping business of US Doller 1.45 billion in worth, after nine months of being in operation that simultaneously improving the economy of the people living in the border areas of this two countries. The Look East Policy of India which began in 1991 which has been presently rechristened as Act East Policy has been a shaky project. The strategic geopolitical reductionism of India is well reflected in the Indian External Affairs Minister, S. Jaishanker’s statement on 22 August 2022 in Asuncion that the future of Asia is linked to the development of India China relations. Such a vision of India needs to be studied.
On the other hand, the people of Manipur need to understand the significance of fertile wetlands, agrarian spaces, and hills which are naturally endowed with avenues for livelihood. Not only the Government but also the people of the land need to wake up and seriously contribute to full utilization of such a potential our economy. Such a realization is to be a major forward step in the development of the state. The present pursuit of the government to explore the potential of tourism in the state can be realised only when potential tourist spots and lakes are fully developed. There is a need to develop ‘Water Parks’ by converting wetlands and water reservoirs for sight-seeing of the local tourist. Progress in this aspect can attract foreign tourist through a proper planning and development of historically important sites.
A tragedy of Manipur is the excessive internalization of parasitism and dependence on India. Not only this, but the people of Manipur are also increasingly becoming reliant on a grant-in-aid subservient economy. Such devaluation in the form of economic subservience is sign of continuous relegation of the rich heritage left by our ancestors. The devaluation has become such a serious trend that people are increasingly succumbing to the allurement and dictates of the class of people in the helm of affairs. Furthermore, in the name of the Constitution the subservient mentality has become so entrenched that some sections of our society have begun to invoke constitutional provisions to acquire new status. If the trend continues, our peoplehood is to surely convert people into perennially dependent community who would not be able to walk anymore without a support. Continuous disrespect to our selfhood and national dignity has been denigrated with the ever-increasing number of people who are hell bent on acquiring the power at any cost thereby inducing a state of brutal electioneering and social fragmentation. The situation has so worsened that it has converted Manipur into a den of corruption and drug trafficking.
The situation is becoming bad to worse with the growing ethnicization of social relations in Manipur. A section of hill dwellers of Manipur is in connivance with neighboring ethnic forces to disintegrate Manipur causing enormous disharmony. However, one must remember that disturbing the integrity of a nation is prohibited under the provisions of UN General Assembly Resolution of December 14, 1960. In the spirit of UN Resolution, the Government of India is expected not to interfere with the integrity and social harmony of Manipur. The irony is that India has a sham dealt with the political issues of Mizos and Nagas. Therefore, every fellow countryman of Manipur is being called upon not to indulge in suicidal claims in the name of ethnic rights by ensuring a collective imagination for independence and peace.
Towards the conclusion, the ongoing struggle in Manipur is the manifestation and product of the inherent conflict between Manipur and India. Until and unless the situation of Indian colonialism is not overthrown the indigenous liberation struggle is to continue. The revolutionary movements in Manipur are well positioned with enough striking power and foundation for the pursuit of the movement. Therefore, the propaganda of the Government that the conflict situation in Manipur be placed under a permanent settlement by 2024 is nothing less than threat issued to the people. The adversary government must realize that the ongoing struggle of Manipuri people is a historical responsibility and rightful cause. One must be aware of the pretentious revolutionary forces that is poised to malign the true revolutionary forces. The reported surrendering of armed revolutionaries is nothing but a systematic process to preach the mainstream ideology of the colonial state. Because the real image of true revolutionary movement is to be written by those who are sacrificing their lives and continuously fighting the imperial regime. Similar trajectory has been seen unfailingly in the revolutionary courses of the world.
The same historicity must be acknowledged by the present Government in Manipur and should not meddle in the conflict between Manipur and India. Furthermore, it should not act like the actual adversary party in the conflict. In comparison with India, our people should never misjudge the potential of the revolutionaries and deviate from discouraging our revolutionaries that shall dissuade the movement. The people of Manipur shall have to show the triumph vision together for the strength of the revolutionary movement and actions taken up by the revolutionary needs to be properly acknowledged and respected with a sense of mutuality. Such a collective mutualism and cooperation is needed more in a society where a liberation movement is in progress, the press release added.