IMPHAL, February 24: RPF president Irengbam Chaoren has sent his message to the people on the 35th Foundation Day (Independence Demand Day).
Saluting the “martyrs” who have laid down their lives in the movement, the message said, “Our history testifies Manipur was a self-reliant independent political entity …”
It said “The onus that lies with the people of Manipur is to be consolidated and enhanced further as the global opinion is wrapped in deliberate denial diplomacy towards India’s colonial ambitions in our region.”
The message further read, “In addition, the ‘peace-talks and ceasefire’ which are often term as ‘dialogue’ between armed groups and Indian Government have been used as an instrument to shield their hidden agenda to confuse the oppressed masses in the name of peace and prosperity in the region.
“Therefore, the time is ripe to bring home a conclusive understanding that the tall claims of ushering in peace in the State of Manipur would nowhere result in securing our complete freedom and independence,” the statement said.
“It is an unmasked truth that India’s design to deal with the people’s struggle has been following two policies,” it said while elaborating “On the one hand, they honk of peace-talks and dialogue, and on the other hand, they also blatantly increase militarization of the region.”
“This twin process is a complete story of India’s long-term strategy to subjugate and wipe out the revolutionary movement of Manipuris. One of the glaring examples is the deceitful trapping of several armed organisations which were once on a collective path to liberate our region in the name of peace-talks.”
“There must be no confusion that stronger and sustained armed struggle can only ensure our independence for which we need to prepare ourselves for a massive armed movement with higher knowledge of people’s war strategies,” it continued.
“The complexity of our lived world under the colonial circumstances and conditions has increased over the years as new forms and strategies of occupation have been seeping in.”
The message further said that “May it be economy, culture or technology, all have continuously affected our revolutionary realities. The impact is so extensive that it has jeopardized inter-community affinities and displaced our organicity.”
“On this very auspicious day, let us remind ourselves that armed struggle of the Manipuris is not about seeking ‘secession’ from India but it is about wholesome independence and liberation that is impossible under any circumstances of Indian rule. We acknowledge the unending support that is being rendered by the people of Manipur.”
“Critical responses from the people which are being today lodged against the revolutionary movements in Manipur are considered integral to the success of the movement. However, apprehension and distrust amongst people often become a reality and commonplace in the history of challenges confronted by revolutionaries of the world in all stages of history since there are implicit and explicit mechanisms to malign and subdue revolutionaries.”
“Colonial regimes share common characteristics everywhere.”
“The lineage is well seen in what was seeded during British imperial governance as it devised the territoriality and polity of Manipuri people communally. The impact was so extensive that it dismantled and cocooned the shared lineages of the colonized Manipuris.”
India has always attempted to depict the struggle in a wrong light before the world and the support and complacency shown by the electoral class is naturally poised to derail our revolutionary struggle, it said.
“The degree of indoctrination has reached such a point where colonial apparatuses begin to thrive internally through native agents.”
The onset of economic decline of Manipuris began immediately after the Anglo-Manipuri War of 1891, it said before continuing, “The British imperialism started to produce a dependent economy by uprooting agriculture and dismantling all productive bases.”
“The imperial encounter proved very costly for the Manipuris as hill areas were kept under their control along with the destruction of sites where salt was found abundantly.”
Not only this, in the wake of World War II, Manipuris were made bonded war labourers, it asserted.
“The present condition as experienced after India’s annexation of Manipur is no different from what was faced during the British imperialism.”
Underdevelopment of Manipur in particular and what India calls ‘North East India’ in general are justified in the name of region’s geography and poor connectivity with outside world, the statement said.
The region is yet to witness any substantial growth in terms of establishing manufacturing units, instead, Manipur’s hydro-electric sources are exploited at the behest of private firms and Government of India while the rightful Manipuris are denied any benefit from these hydroelectric projects, it continued.
“Several small and large dams have been commissioned to extract maximum profits from water resources of Manipur which has adversely affected our ecology and environment.”
“Until recently, the North East was a region identified with natural handicaps whereas today it has been rather termed “a region with full of opportunity”. This is perhaps for the main reason that India could fulfill its capitalist interest by opening itself to South East Asian countries.”
However, the capitalist inroad into the region is not at all devoid of India’s military approach to counter armed struggles in the region, it contended.
“If the people are not awakened to defend ourselves, the time is not far when the Look East Policy would become nothing more than a passage and transit for trafficking drugs and dubious route for trading. There is no doubt that India has no vision and commitment to develop North East or Manipur.” “India is interested in securing its economic and political needs by appeasing its neighbours which can be seen in the recent border fencing fiasco. The border fencing conducted in the Indo-Myanmar border areas under the aegis of Home Ministry of India did not show any commitment to protect Manipur’s territoriality.”
“The list of colonial India’s overt and covert attempts to subjugate the people of Manipur is too long to be conclusive. In the name of Military Civic Action Programmes, full scale attempt has been made to diffuse people’s collective aspirations by unjustly luring women, orphans and children mainly those who belong to weaker strata of our society. Militarization of civil spaces has become a reality for Manipuris today.”
“It is a matter of serious concern to see people from some quarters of media fraternity positively responding to government’s call to generate a better relationship between media and police. If we fail to understand the autonomy and freedom of media, media shall too become one among many endangered sites of our Manipuri life world.”
“It would be sheer waste of time to look for a solution within the ambit of India’s Constitution. As long as our political practices are confined to India’s constitutional paradigm, our mandates will continue to be divided, ethnicised, and animosity rampant.”
“The ills of drug trafficking, corruption, crime against women, ever-increasing poverty, racism, militarization of our civic life are all consequences of India’s colonialism. The growing class distinction is, thus, becoming a reality and it is further compounded through a systematic encouragement of corruption and bribery which is a long term strategy to subjugate our society.”
“Last but not the least, it is a historic moment for all the revolutionary forces in Manipur that our movements have come together to fight united in the recent times.”