Press Release – Irabot Day Invitation, Delhi

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To,

The Editor,

Subject: Eikhoina sinjaba Irabot Day gi thouram asigi invitation or cherol asibu adomgi eekhai khumnaningai oirba chefong / online news ta happinaba haijaba.     Dear Editor,   Ahanbamaktada adomgi toubimal khangbabu eekai khumanajari. Mathakki subject asiga mari leinana wafam khara thamjari madudi, lalkliba 30 September asida Delhida Irabot Day ga mari leinana thouram amakhak pangthokchanaba eikhoina hotnajari. Thouram asigi nunggi oiba wakhallon amasung pandam khudingmak invitation asida eejari (attach toujari). Adomgi chefongna / online news na invitation asibu cover toubiduna sinjagadouriba thouram asigi wafambu meeyamda youhanbirabadi thouram asi mapung fagani haina khanjei. Masina maram oiraga invitation asibu cover toubinaba Irabot Day Obsevation Committee Delhi gi maikaidagi nollukpaga loinana adomgi mafamda subject asi thamjari. Adomgi toubimalbu hnna hnna eekai khumnajari.  Thanking you

Nollukchariba,

Malem Ningthouja

Irabot Day Observation Committee, Delhi

22 September 2010

Hijam Irabot(30 September 1896- 26 September 1951)(Courtesy: Manipur Archives)

Annexure

Irabot Day

How do we carry forward the democratic movement in Manipur towards development, peace and unity!

Thursday, 30 September 2010,

Venue: Room No 22, Arts Faculty, University of Delhi

Time: From 1.30 p.m. to 5 pm

Dear friends,

30 September has been widely recognised and observed as IRABOT DAY in Manipur to commemorate the birthday of comrade Hijam Irabot (30 September 1896- 26 September 1951).

Comrade Irabot, who had a humble origin as a destitute orphan, was a leading figure of the social reform movement and political agitations in Manipur in the 1930s and 1940s. He was not lured by the prospect of royal prerogatives and official facilities including the prestigious post of membership to the Sadar Panchayat Court that were being offered to him for having married a princess. He resigned from a government job and fought against the various forms of oppression under feudalism and British colonial rule. He endeavoured towards the promotion of cultural identity, sports, literature and journalism, and he was instrumental in the formation of reform organizations, students’ federation, peasant union, women’s organization and progressive party. By 1943 he was a confirmed communist and during his six years political exile till late 1946 he was politically active in parts of Assam. He was elected to the Manipur Assembly in 1948. Because of the extensive popular support for him, he was considered a threat to the ruling class who subsequently declared him a terrorist on 21 September 1948 before the formal inauguration of the Assembly. He went underground, carried out an armed struggle and died in the jungle in 1951.

Comrade Irabot spearheaded the movement to establish a Manipur that would be free from subjugation, oppression and exploitation. In the decades after 1951, Irabot’s revolutionary line has not been encouraged nor his ideology adequately studied or promoted; although his works in the reform movement, anti-colonial struggle and democratic movement had been widely honoured and commemorated. There has been a lull, if not complete discontinuation, of the revolutionary initiatives that Irabot had taken up. The discontinuation is not an indication of the absence of the material premise for the revolutionary movement to carry on in Manipur. The discontinuation is largely the combined result of the deliberate refraining from adopting the ideological framework of historical materialism to comprehensively address the conditions of Manipur, widespread ideological disillusionment generated by the left wing revisionists and the extensive counter-revolutionary works carried out by the right-wing opportunists.

The subsequent emergence of several liberation organisations would fully explain that since the time of Irabot until today the colonial oppression remains. However, most of the militant organisations remained ideologically inclined towards right-wing nationalism; they have adopted a racial approach to construing nationhood that has been gradually perverted into chauvinism and the perpetuation of communalism, largely uncritical of the political economy, and indifferent to the scientific interpretation on the national question in the colonial and semi-colonial conditions. To add further complication to the situation, several militant organisations using the cloak of revolution have been carrying out forced extortion from the common people, human rights violations and individual terrorism, thereby making the people confused between what is revolutionary and reactionary activity. In the overall scenario, as a result of the absence of a uniting progressive ideology and common political line among the oppressed peoples, the ruling class could play without restraint on the sensational issues of communalism, territorial questions, various forms of repressive and terror tactics, and other divisive tactics to promote sectarianism among the population and to divert attention away from the genuine democratic questions. The political process, therefore, remains anarchical and confusing to many and the revolution is delayed.

Against this backdrop, we are organising a programme on 30 September not only to commemorate the achievement of comrade Irabot and his political works, but also to have discussion focusing on the prevailing conditions in Manipur. We expect to have a discussion based on the scientific perspective to carry forward the movement towards development, peace and unity in Manipur and beyond. We, therefore, invite you to kindly attend the programme and share your perspective. Your kind presence is highly solicited.

Sd/-

Malem Ningthouja

Irabot Day Observation Committee, Delhi

RSVP: +  91 98 999 25345 & mningthouja[@]yahoo.com

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