Lamyanba Hijam Irabot’s letter to the Manipur Assembly dated October 18, 1948 says “Today is the first meeting of the Assembly which the people of Manipur have long been demanding and eagerly longing.”
“This is also the first day of Manipur to determine her fortune, and bring peace and prosperity by the people’s representatives of both the Hills and the Valley of the state. This day would become a new chapter in the national history of Manipur; and its enthusiastic impression would be an indelible mark in our modern Puyas,” the letter continued.
The day October 18 will be observed as the Manipur National Day commemorating the first Assembly sitting of independent Manipur after the British left. The day, to be organised by the Coalition for Indigene’s Rights, CIRCA, will be held at the Royal Palace.
India held its first election in 1952 but Manipur had already conducted its Assembly in 1948 under the Manipur Assembly Act 1947. Though Manipur was under the dominion of India, its internal administration was independently carried out and in South East Asia, Manipur was first to have its constituency as Manipur Constituency Act 1947 and became a democratic state.
According to documented evidences, the library building of present day Johnstone Higher Secondary School is the place where Assembly was held when Manipur was still recognised as Territorial Council of 1952.
The said building was recently renovated with consent from the state Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh.
CIRCA first observed the day last year as the Manipur National Day -2016.
Committee of Civil Societies Kangleipak (CCSK) is also observing the day as ‘Manipurgee Puwarida Meeyamgee Leingak Leiba Numit’ as the Classic Grande, Imperial hall, Chingmeirong.
Source: Imphal Free Press