By Our Roving Editor
Along Indo Myanmar Border : Irengbam Chaoren, the president of the Revolutionary Front of Manipur(RPF) while addressing the 39 th Raising day in the deep jungles along the Indo -Myanmar border on Monday reiterated that Manipur is an independent Kingdom .
He said that 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.
Chaoren 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 establishedmilitary power with administrative institutions are neither alien nor unknown to the Manipuri worldview.
He added that the neighbouring powers such as Ava or 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.
He cited that t he 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. "Our aspiration for independence is not a mere historical heresy but an established ethos that defines Manipur", he added
He blamed the India’s pretentious democracy, time tested morale for which the national sensibility of the Manipuri people have been severely eroded.
In his speech Irengbam Chaoren said that 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. He added that there is 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.
While addressing his comadres Chaoren said that the defeat in the 1891 war resulted in the colonization of Manipur.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."he reminded
He said that India’s annexation of Manipur is a blatant violation of international norms on respecting thensovereignty of States. The uprooting Manipur’s sovereign status in 1949 by India has been the fundamental moot point and cause for the armed liberation struggle. "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 endeavors of the artists and sports persons to show the worldtheir 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."he commented
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.
He said that till date only a handful armed revolutionary soldiers have taken the responsibility andtraded 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.
Talking of the drawback of their struggle he said that 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 counter-revolutionary activities of the native police personnel have equally come as a bigger stumbling block to the revolutionary struggle.
He said that their excessive indulgence in the suppression of our revolutionary aspirations has forcednumerous 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.
Chaoren said that 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 grantin-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 them has come to constitute the standing pillars of India’s colonialism. The colonial designs have purposefully frustrated the 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.
He said that 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 self-determination and its implementation.
He said that time has come 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 misjudgment 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", he opined.
The RPF president said that 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.
He reminded "that there is an 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".
He reiterated that 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. Thestrategic 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.
He said that 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. He called uon the national intellectuals of Manipur to play to a significant role to make the people acquaint with the centrality of Manipur in the growing trading prospects in the region.
He said that 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.
He warned that 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 selfsufficient 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 allshould seriously ponder upon collectively, he added.
He said that the world is today facing a new challenge of confrontation between indigenous communities and outsiders. The United States of America and Myanmar have been recentlyengulfed 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.
He said that 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.