CCSK celebrates 1948 birth of democracy in Manipur

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The Committee of Civil Societies Kangleipak, CCSK Manipur today observed the “Manipurgee Puwarida Meeyamgee Leingak Leiba Numit” commemorating October 18, 1948 the first Manipur State Assembly sitting which marked the beginning of democracy in Manipur.

The observance function was held at Imperial Hall of Classic Grande, Chingmeirong chaired by CCSK president Arjun Tenheiba and associate professor of department of political science, Modern College Haobam Indrakumar, professor (retd) of MU N Joykumar, post doctorate fellow MU K Muktasana and senior journalist K Madhumangol as resource persons.

Delivering the keynote address, CCSK general secretary Jitendra Ningomba said since the time of Nongda Lairen Pakhangba in 33 AD, the successive kings of Manipur had broadened the boundary of the nation state in different stages of the history thereby forming a united common identity through the unification of various ethnic communities which were earlier divided.

The kings introduced various political, socio-cultural and economic policies towards the formation of a powerful nation state, he said, and added however, despite all the historical glory of Manipur as a sovereign nation state, the defeat in the Anglo-Manipur war in 1891 brought it under the British rule for the next 56 years.

Manipur achieved independence only on August 14, 1947 ushering in a beginning of democracy replacing monarchy, he said.

Today the time has come for all of us to realise the importance and significance of knowing and remembering the history of Manipur and work together for the common cause of the motherland ending mistrust and enmity amongst the groups, he added.

He further said the observance will mark the acknowldgement of the legacy of the forefathers who in their times dreamt of Manipur as a democratic republic. The observation of the day will remind today’s generation of the forefathers sacrificial spirit and national pride which in turn will act as a guide in the reconstruction of the deteriorating spirit of a nation state, he said.

Speaking at the function Indrakumar said in the history of Manipur October 18, 1948 is a red-letter day because on this day the first Manipur State Assembly sitting was convened following democratic elections in the then independent nation state.

Irrespective of whether Manipur remains merged in India or become independent, we should exercise our civil liberty as a legacy from this day in every field including work, culture and communal harmony, he added.

In his lecture Joykumar also said during that time the king was just a nominal head in a constitutional monarchy like political set up while the entire administration was through the representatives of the people.

In his presidential address, Arjun said the then Indian leaders gave the nomenclature ‘state assembly’ instead of ‘parliament’ but people of Manipur were unaware of the differences between these new political terms introduced then and they were hoodwinked into merging with the Indian union even after getting independence from the British.

As such the controversy over the then naming of the people’s council as ‘state assembly’ instead of ‘parliament’ of a sovereign nation state will remain forever, despite the fact that Maharaja Budhachandra proclaimed Manipur as a republic after it emerged from the British yoke, he added.

Source: Imphal Free Press

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