CIRCA shares thoughts on Manipur I-Day

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IMPHAL, Aug 13 : The Coalition of Indigenes’ Rights Campaign (CIRCA) Manipur has categorically stated that the demand for restoration of Manipur pre-merger status does not necessarily mean restoration of the political status enjoyed by Manipur before its merger with the Indian Union.
Yet, all the political and socio-economic issues plaguing contemporary Manipur have their genesis in the historical events that took place  between 1947 and 1949.
If viewed from its outward appearance, the demand for pre-merger political status is about redefining the India-Manipur relationship based on the Instrument of Accession (IOA) signed between the king of Manipur and the Dominion of India on August 11, 1947 which says that the Dominion of India should have authority over Manipur only in three areas namely defence, external affairs and communication.
If viewed from the intrinsic perspective, the demand is about re-establishment of the  Manipur Constitution Act 1947, conveyed a press release issued by CIRCA convenor Th Somarendro.
Manipur, comprising of both the hills and the valley, has a distinct history and it was an independent Nation throughout history.
Even after the defeat of Manipur in the Anglo-Manipur War of 1891, Manipur was not merged into the British empire but it was given the status of a protected State. This testified that Manipur was never a colony of the British empire.
After the Indian Independence Act 1947 came into effect, two dominions namely India and Pakistan were formed out of British India on August 15, 1947. Under Section 7(1) of the Indian Independence Act, more than 200 princely States were granted independence.
In the meantime, Manipur was granted independence on August 14, 1947, CIRCA reminded while asserting that observation of August 14 as independence day can define the distinct history of Manipur.
A Nation/country without history is destined to face extermination and the history of Manipur is now becoming a contested one. With a view to vindicate their political movements, different communities have started writing their own histories. These ethno-exclusive political movements and histories have been challenging the collective history of Manipur.
Given these facts, there is a growing need to retain the history of Manipur in its original, undistorted form. People need to remember that Manipur was an independent kingdom before its merger with the Indian Union. Observation of Manipur Independence Day would go a long way in endorsing this historical fact, it asserted.
All the existing political and socio-economic issues such as ethnic conflicts, threats on territorial integrity, continued imposition of AFSPA, influx, forfeiture of indigenous peoples’ rights to natural resources etc are all ramifications of the past when Manipur was an occupied Nation.
The conflict between the Government of India and the armed resistance groups of Manipur was one outcome of the sudden transformation of Manipur’s political system. All parties need to understand the political history of Manipur in order to resolve this conflict.
Understanding the collective history of Manipur would also be a harbinger towards establishing an egalitarian society where justice prevails for all. This can also sow the seeds of a common future, it asserted.

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