Home » Uprooting Manipur’s sovereign status in 1949 by India has been the cause for the armed liberation struggle: Irengbam Chaoren

Uprooting Manipur’s sovereign status in 1949 by India has been the cause for the armed liberation struggle: Irengbam Chaoren

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Imphal, Sept 24: Proscribed group People’s Revolutionary Army (PLA) the army wing of the Revolutionary People’s Front (RPF) is observing its 39th Raising Day on September 25. President of RPF, Irengbam Chaoren, in his message in connection with the observance recounted the history of the erstwhile state and its present status. The president of the outfit blamed the annexation of Manipur by India in 1949 as the root of the armed struggle in this region. “The uprooting Manipur’s sovereign status in 1949 by India has been the fundamental moot point and cause for the armed liberation struggle”, the statement said. It further said that the retreat of British imperialism in 1947 automatically led to Manipur’s reversion to its age old independent status. “On 15 October 1949 India again forcefully merged Manipur within its fold while India unilaterally abrogating the then Manipur’s constitutional and republican government. The annexation of Manipur in 1949 marked the beginning of India’s renewed colonization of Manipur. India’s annexation of Manipur is a blatant violation of international norms on respecting the sovereignty of States”, the statement added. Recounting the historical facts, the statement said that Manipur’s existence as an independent Kingdom State for ages is neither a heresy nor a folklore but a facticity of history. The facticity of possessing indigenous language, script, belief system, culture and arts, sense of a maturing boundary with a history of established military power with administrative institutions are neither alien nor unknown to the Manipuri worldview. The neighboring powers such as Ava, today’s Myanmar, had historically accepted Manipur’s presence in the Western South East Asian political theatre. The Manipuri soldiers marked their power and might by penetrating upto Kaunghmudaw Pagoda, the then Capital of Ava with 7 edges of sword inscripted on Pagoda’s door. The outreach of Manipuri soldiers clearly implicates the courage and a national sense with which our forefathers stood firmly. The statement added, the memories of the battle of Khongjom fought during the Anglo-Manipur war of 1891 exemplifies the fact of our national being that is rooted in the love for freedom and independence. The aspiration of the people for independence is not a mere historical heresy but an established ethos that defines Manipur. Under the garb of India’s pretentious democracy, time tested morale and national sensibility of the Manipuri people have been severely eroded. The civilizational symbiosis between the hill dwellers and valley dwellers in the State for more than two thousand years has practical foundations on which it is built upon. The symbiosis has always stood firm against the powerful exogenous onslaught on its independence. Inspite of a short occupation of Manipur by the Burmese, the ‘Treaty of Yandaboo’ of 1826 restored the independence of Manipur. The British’s association with Manipur as a friendly ally did not last long due to treacherous colonial conspiracies of the British. The people of Manipur did not find it difficult to sense the colonial ambitions of the British. There was no dearth of national aspiration among the Manipuris whose valour to protect and preserve Manipur’s political freedom led to the Anglo-Manipuri war of 1891. The defeat in the 1891 war resulted in the colonization of Manipur. There is no denying the fact that each one of us have been incessantly contributing towards the collective cause from multiple fronts. The peasants, the workers and the daily wage earners have never shied away from their basic struggle for survival and support for the downtrodden masses. The endeavours of the artists and sports persons to show the world their worth have reaffirmed the inspirational Manipuri national pride The Mothers and sisters, fellow countrymen and friends, and the youth and students have proven records of being an interventionist and a participant role on the fast degrading morale, culture and political malaise that confront our society today with a sense of deep anxiety and concern for a better future. The longing for a better tomorrow is closely intertwined with the question of liberation struggle. It is a great task before all of us that all the countrymen realize the needful question of liberation and join hands together in the similar direction of independence. Only a mass movement can ultimately ensure the restoration of Manipur’s lost independence. Till date only a handful armed revolutionary soldiers have taken the responsibility and traded on the path liberating Manipur with an ambition to place itself in the galaxy of prosperous sovereign independent nation-states. However, the restoration of Manipur’s independent status is ought to be a collective responsibility of every Manipuri. Waging a revolutionary war against a numerically advantaged enemy has been an enormous challenge since the revolutionary army is constituted of a smaller size and strength. Such a proposition has affected the effectiveness and impact of our revolutionary struggle. In addition, the reactionary and counterrevolutionary activities of the native police personnel have equally come as a bigger stumbling block to the revolutionary struggle. Their excessive indulgence in the suppression of our revolutionary aspirations has forced numerous patriots of the society, whose commitment are most significant towards serving the nation, to take refuge in foreign land. The reactionary attitude of the police personnel in the long run is to surely affect the future of Manipuri society. RPF consider the question of Manipur’s independence and liberation as the most crucial question among other questions. RPF believes that liberation is the lone option to ensure a dignified existence of the Manipuris. Today, our people are made to think as if they cannot survive without the grant-in-aid support system of India which is nothing but a colonial orchestration developed in the course of prolonged Indian colonization. Rampant violation of human rights, deprivation of justice and infusion of communal distrust amongst us has come to constitute the standing pillars of India’s colonialism. The colonial designs have purposefully frustrated our prospective youths with abundant distractions through easier access to drugs, alien culture and sustained economic disempowerment. Thus, reconstruction of Manipuri society shall never be possible as long as India colonialism continues to dictate over our lives and people. The world has for ages lived through traditions of emergent collective selfhood which normally transform into distinct political bodies having its own culture, polity, territoriality and sovereignty. Manipur’s emergence into a self-sustained political and modern constitutional society is no more unheard. Manipur’s tragic loss of its independence at the hands of India in 1949 is growingly acknowledged by the world community as a violation of international norms and jurisprudences. This is an opportune moment for all of us to stand up together and concretely raise our historical right to selfdetermination and its implementation. The time is ripe to unmask the puppet regime in the state constituted by our fellow Manipuris whose fundamental role has been to implant the colonial slave-master makebeliefs under the garb of developmentalism and progress. It would be an utter misjudgement on our part to delay the cognition of such a colonial reality. The propagandist developmentalism, investments and policy calls are the part of colonial apparatus which is nothing less than mirage that does not exists at all in actuality. It must be our historical responsibility to stop the colonial forces from indulging into playing with the aspirations of our people which otherwise would result into a long term parasitism of our future generations on the alien power. There is increasing need to prepare ourselves to be able grapple with the new found trends and culture at the global terrain. What should be the basis for our exposure to such global winds of change is hardly going to be a simplified equation. A careful, cautious and protective approach for our economy and society has to be worked out without any further delay. In the wake of capitalist of onslaught all across the globe, to work out a protective shield on the one hand and participation in the modern development roadmap on the other hand is to be carefully done as the onus lies with us. Instead of showing a plain apathy to globalization and liberalization, there is a call for critical relocation of Manipur’s geo-strategic and economic centrality as it being located at the connect point between (Western) South East Asia and South Asian Economies. The strategic location of Manipur is added advantage for us to salvage our own sense of economic growth and planning. The emergence of Singapore as a great economy should be a referral case in point for us. No Manipuri should continue to live with the false conception that Manipur would be unsustainable if it is independent. We must remind ourselves that 21st Century is a century of the Asians. The concept of trilateral highway that is expected to pass through Manipur must come as an opportunity for us to re-associate with the Asian powers for our economic growth and political recognition. The national intellectuals of Manipur have a significant role to play to make the people acquaint with the centrality of Manipur in the growing trading prospects in the region. China’s participation in the world economy as initiated by Deng Xioping in the 1970s provided a much needed economic leverage to the Chinese people. A distinctive feature of Chinese readiness to participate in the world economy was its careful preparation to sustain collective principle based on Chinese growth. Today, the China is the second largest economy in the world. Unlike China, Manipur not being an independent nation, our perception about Act East Policy that has significantly abrogated the notion of being a landlocked region traditionally needs to be rather cautious and multi-layered against the backdrop of potential dangers it entails. The current leadership who wields the power of the State should realize the situation without any further delay, if they possess an iota of national sense in their conscience. An additional responsibility is to check and stop the systematic intrusion of outsiders with a legal measure who are just on the verge of numerically subduing the indigenous communities. The government of India must be held responsible for such a conspiracy to wipe out the indigenous populace. Before the things get out of our control, the Indian Outsiders who have intruded into Manipur through dubious mechanisms despite strong resistance from our people needs a stringent regulation of their movement and settlement. To allow the incessant influx of Indians to have permanent settlement in Manipur has already proved futile in terms of demographic and economic identity of the land. The situation is evident for a society where maintaining a small family that tally with a self sufficient economy is a tradition. Our land being a tiny state with historically distinct conditions and disconnected from the Indians reserves the right to exist independent. The impact of population influx must be perceived as a common problem rather than community specific. The severity of foreign population in our land is a long term challenge that both the hills and valleys must be come together to work an amicable approach and policy. The anxiety and insecurity, as raised by the valley dwellers, is genuine for which all should seriously ponder upon collectively. The world is today facing a new challenge of confrontation between indigenous communities and outsiders. The United States of America and Myanmar have been recently engulfed in a similar situation. In US while shooting a man of Indian origin reportedly shouted “Get out of my Country” imply the dynamics of the anxieties felt by the original settlers of US. The situation in Myanmar is even graver. The pitching of Budhist Myanmaris and Rohingyas in Rakhine state is replete with similar indigenous vs outsider conflict. The Rohingya’s being the migrants from Bangladesh and India never had the support of the indigenous Myanmaris. The recent claim “Rakhine for Rohingya” have not gone down well with the Myanmaris which is the triggering factor for the present impasse in Myanmar. The fate of the Tripuris becoming a minority is a wellknown case. One must be reminded of how the indigenous Tripuris are now displaced with a constitutional conspiracy called Scheduled Tribe Reservation. The proposition of outsiders taking control of the political power in the state of Manipur would be equally futile for the hills and valley. The ongoing struggle for enacting a regulating law for the outsiders in Manipur is an urgent issue that the hill people should support without any apprehension. Chaoren further said that the historical facts indicate to the point that the oppressed existence of the Manipuris is not something that is ought to be permanent. There shall be a time when the undercurrent aspirations and love for independence would mature into moment of breaking the shackles of India’s colonialism. India’s illegitimate occupation of its frontiers and fast failing intercountry relations particularly with its neighbours have been indicating the fragility of India’s control over its frontiers. The explosion of people’s aspirations and hostile neighbours is to surely culminate into an opportunity for Manipur’s liberation. There is a need for working out on the nature and systems of governance that would uphold the collective sensibility of the peoples in Manipur. With this perspective in mind, it would be in the fitness of things to not to divulge our collective energy by raising unnecessary movements on short-sighted communal demands as genuine alternatives for the people. Such movements are tantamount to absence of self respect, Indianisation and reproduction of creamy layered Manipuri Indians. Understanding such a potential danger would be a big contribution to the strengthening of the ongoing armed struggle. Recalling that prior to 1949 Manipur was never a full-fledged part of India, the same political destiny is awaiting us in near future too. “RFP is committed to wage the liberation war in association with the like-minded organizations. RPF’s belief in united struggle has today culminated in the unified armed struggle among the parties. The victory of the unified struggle over India’s colonialism is affirmed as long as we remain united, no matter how powerful is India. At present we may be a small force, but we shall blossom into a stronger force comparable to enemy India. In the near about 40 years of armed struggle India’s oppressive counter-liberation activities have never been able to shake up the foundations of our liberation project. The sacrifices of the ongoing struggle are to lay the ground for a glorious independent future of the people in Manipur. The spirit of sacrifice is the pride that RPF takes forward to rejuvenate the being of a Manipuri”, the statement added

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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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