THOUBAL, Jun 12: The Coalition for Indigenes’ Rights Campaign (CIRCA), Manipur along with Cherapur Youth Development Club and Public Youth Development Club, Khangabok held a public discussion at Khangabok Part-III Khunou Leikai community hall, Thoubal district today.
Speaking at the gathering, cultural activist Ningthouja Lancha said that Manipur was merged into the Indian Union on Sept 21, 1949. Maharaj Bodhachandra was forced to sign the merger agreement with the promise of taking control over only three subjects – Defence, External Affairs and Communication.He questioned if the present unrest and turmoil in the State are outcomes of the Government of India’s promise of bringing development to the State. Ningthouja Lancha also asked how far Korea, which got independent along with Manipur, fares well in terms of development. “How far has East Timor, which became independent long after Manipur got, reached?”, he asked. The present unrest over the issues of ILPS, ST demand and AFSPA could have been averted had Manipur’s independence which was declared on Aug 14, 1947 been preserved, he said.
“This does not mean that we want separation from India, but let the people rule their own land,” he said. The idea of protecting the integrity of India and Manipur at the same time is diametrically opposite. It is like mixing water with oil. He categorically asked whether the permission or approval of President Pranab Mukherjee is necessary in order to put up a fence to prevent entry of ‘outsiders’ in one’s compound. As such, it is pertinent to ponder over the necessity to retain the pre-merger status.
Convener of CIRCA Thokchom Samarendro called upon the people to observe Manipur’s independence Day on August 14 at their respective localities by raising Pakhangba’s flag.
Keithellakpam London, member of CIRCA also spoke during the programme while Ningthoujam Chaonu, senior citizen of Khangabok and Meira paibi leader Laishram Madhabi Devi were the presidium members.