CorCom pays tribute to Hijam Irabot

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The Coordination Committee, CorCom, a conglomerate of different underground outfits has extended revolutionary salute to the legendary revolutionary figure, Lamyanba Hijam Irabot on his 65th death anniversary and as well as 120th birthday.

According to a release signed by its media coordinator Ksh Yoiheiba, the legend Hijam Irabot has been a harbinger of the on-going armed revolutionary struggle, who sacrificed his life to bring about a collective awakening of the people. He is a figure not only for Manipur but also for the WESEA region, it said.

The statement continued that it has become more pertinent in the present juncture to ponder upon the life and work of Irabot. His struggle against the atrocities of the then kings of Manipur and the colonial British who supported the regime is worth commending, it said.

It recalled the Pungdongbam incident, which took place on September 21, 1948 and the subsequent armed struggle against the autocratic rule of the king launched under the leadership of Irabot.  There was a shift in the armed movement after India’s annexation of Manipur on October 15, 1949; Irabot was ‘a pain in the neck’ to the colonial masters of India, and India had become Irabot’s enemy, it said.

It maintained that in October 1948, Manipur Communist Party was formed, which took a resolution to establish a socialist republic in Manipur. During the period of 1949-51, Irabot led an armed struggle against India; he even reached out to Burma in the year 1953, which neither the then Chief Commissioner of Manipur nor the people were aware of, it added.

It highlighted that in 1948-49 when the Communist Party of India, in tandem with the Russian model attempted to launch armed struggle against the then Nehru led government, it failed and created differences within the CPI party. The ripple effect of the differences was also felt within Manipur Communist Party as well, particularly on the line of joining parliamentary form of struggle by disbanding of armed movement, it said.

Within this background, it is important to understand the differences on the party line between Irabot and the then leaders of Communist Party of India, particularly during the February 1948 international youth and student conference which was held in Calcutta, it said. A few days after the said conference, it was followed by a CPI conference in which Irabot also took part representing Assam provincial committee. It may also be noted that in the conference, almost all the communist parties of South East Asia decided to launch armed struggle, it added.

However, Irabot did not hastily followed the decision as he saw the dissimilarity of the objective condition of India and Manipur in those time, moreover he was not convinced to adopt the Russian model, it said, adding that he was a believer of following the line of ‘National Communism’ of Marshal Tito of Yugoslavia.

It said it would be wrong to say that Irabot did not express any word against India’s annexation of Manipur. There are accounts of Irabot throwing away his pen in anger when he heard the news of Bodhochandra signing the ‘merger agreement’, it said.

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