CorCom states stand on Irabot anniversaries
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, September 25 2013: Calling upon the people for en-masse observance of Lamyanba Irabot's 117th birth anniversary that falls on September 30 and 62nd death anniversary tomorrow, Coordination Committee (CorCom) of KCP, KYKL, PREPAK, PREPAK (Pro), RPF and UNLF attributed present-day Manipur's classless society to irabot's relentless pursuit for socio-economic equality of all.

Highlighting that from his youthful days Irabot initiated campaigns for betterment of the student community followed by taking the leading role in eliminating religious discrimination, CorCom media coordinator H Poirei said formation of Nikhil Hindu Manipuri Mahasabha on May 30, 1934 by the pioneer figure dealt a severe blow to religious atrocities committed by the then powerful Brahma Sabha, advocate of Hindu Vaishnavism religion.

While the second and third Mahasabha congregations held respectively at Silchar Tarapur of Cachar district from January 26 to 30, 1936 and Mandalay (Burma/Myanmar) from February 28 to March 2, 1937 were aimed at uniting Manipuris scattered in these places, the fourth Mahasabha at Chinga on December 29-30, 1938 adopted a number of resolutions, including deletion of 'Hindu' from 'Nikhil Hindu Manipuri Mahasabha' and eventual declaration of the Mahasabha as a political outfit.

In addition to the fourth Mahasabha resolving to work for promoting system of governance based on election of the people's representatives, upholding principle of universal adult franchise, demand release of Rani Gaidillu from jail, establish panchayat system in the villages, eradicate social discrimination, develop irrigation network, education for all, etc., transforming the Mahasabha into a political organisation also led to the framing of political, social and economic policies, the CorCom noted in a statement issued today.

Consequent to an order issued by ARH McDonald, the then president of Manipur State Government on March 21, 1939 prohibiting Government employees from joining political parties all the Government employee members left the Mahasabha compared to Irabot relinquishing membership from Sadar Panchayat to concentrate on strengthening organisational matters of Mahasabha.

Hailing Irabot's undying spirit to uphold interest of the masses above all and stating that the pioneer leader led various people's movements often leading to confrontations with the british imperialists, repressive administration by the then Manipuri kings and strongly opposing diktats of wealthy agricultural land owners, Poirei noted Irabot leading the revolt against the powerful British imperialists as the most significant.

Even though a Manipur Government was in place at that time, the British imperialists used to intervene and diktat terms, he explained.

Regarding events leading to the start of Nupilan (December 12, 1939), the CorCom media coordinator said movement by the Manipuri womenfolk was not only protestation against the artificial scarcity of food-grain (rice) but undoubtedly marked the start of the revolutionary movement in Manipur as the protestors' raised demand for the British rulers to leave Manipur with further assertion that the people could rule 'our own land' .

As the movement raged, Irabot set-up Manipur Praja Sammelini on January 7, 1940 to sustain the momentum for which he was imprisoned for three years, including confinement at Sylhet Jail as the then Government considered his presence in Manipur as a potential threat.

Inspite of his release from the jail on March 20, 1943 Irabot was barred from returning to manipur, continued Poirei reminding that due frequent association with Communist inmates at the Sylhet facility, irabot was impressed by principle of Communism.

With Irabot sustaining his campaign against the british rule after taking solace at Silchar, the British Government issued an arrest warrant compelling him to become an underground activist and subsequently launch 'Cachar Jila Krishak Sabha' .

But the time he served another jail term till the fag-end of 1944, the British Government was concentrating on forming North Eastern Frontier Province covering northern Sadiya hill range of Assam, Naga hills, hills of Manipur, Lushai hills (Mizoram) and Arakan and Chin hills of present-day Myanmar.

With Irabot's campaign denting the single administration plan of the British Government, the world's most powerful nation officially left Manipur on the intervening night of August 14 and 15 in 1947 thereby Manipur regaining its independent status, elaborated Poirei.

Independent Manipur conducted its first assembly election in phased manner between June 11 to 27, 1948 with Irabot elected from Utlou kendra on Krishak Sabha ticket.

Despite irabot having contested in the 1945 Assembly election as a Communist party nominee he decided to join the Manipur assembly fray on Krishak Sabha ticket.

Inspite of getting the mandate of Utlou kendra electorates irabot did not attend a single session of the assembly as conspiracy by India and manipur Government forced him to go underground yet again, Poirei maintained while expressing that Irabot not getting a chance to represent the people in the assembly could not be considered as a setback for he had already achieved his goal for a people's Government in Manipur rather than a regime under the princes.

Taking advantage of Manipur passing through a critical transition period, Government of India's policy as well as endeavour of Indian national Congress to form Purbanchal Pradesh by amalgamating Manipur, Tripura and Cachar were noticed by the people resulting in the Manipur Krishak Sabha and Manipur Praja Sangha to convene a public meeting at MDU on September 21, 1948 for a collective resolution against Purbanchal Pradesh.

With the meeting expectedly attracting huge response and people from various directions headed towards MDU, police were deployed at Pungdongbam to barricade people coming from the northern direction.

As confrontation broke out between the people and the police leading to a number of deaths and injuries, Irabot decided to return to his underground life even as all organisations connected with him were banned by the government.

Following follow-up events the Purbanchal pradesh plan could not materialise, said Poirei and construing that there would be no trace of Manipur today had the Purbanchal pradesh goal of Government of India fructified.

That intense pressure and charges led to concession that his ideology and policy were unviable could be confirmed from the activities Irabot sustained during his underground days.

Disbanding Manipur Communist Party, a district organising committee on August 23, 1948, to form Manipur level 'Manipur Communist party' (MCP) on october 29, 1948 with himself as the president also resulted in many of his close associates to distancing from him due to ideological differences.

However, it became evident that those who differed with irabot principle were actually those who not only abhorred 'revolutionary principle' but willing trader of Manipur's interest.

irabot was exasperated to hear that Manipur had been forcibly merged with the indian union on october 15, 1959 and the sordid event could have demoralised him to give up revolutionary campaign, expressed Poirei asserting that instead of accepting defeat the merger of Manipur spurred irabot to intensify revolutionary movement by forming Red Guard Council, MCP's armed wing.

Even as village guards were formed to intensify the armed movement, irabot left for Burma in May first week 1950 to seek assistance of Burma Communist Party for launching 'democratic revolution' in Manipur, he informed.

Inspite of being initially taken aback upon realising that Burma Communist party had split into Communist party of burma, Burma Communist party and Peoples Comrade party, the latter also known as 'Red Flag Communist, Irabot convinced leaders of the three Communist groups in forming United Front under a specific agreement.

Irabot also convinced United Front leaders to help in the revolutionary campaign in Manipur but his goal could not materialise as typhoid claimed Irabot at Tangbo village of Burma on September 26, 1951 .

Stating that Irabot's activities testify his unwavering spirit and commitment to establish an egalitarian society, oppose rule by aliens, promote socio-political equality and eradicate religious discrimination, CorCom also affirmed that Irabot's belief in 'revolutionary politics' is also a reminder that politics is a necessity to help the common people while 'revolutionary politics' is inevitable to enable the people taste the fruit of politics.

As Manipur is a fit case for sustaining revolutionary movement Manipuris can claim to be respectful of irabot and morally obligated to him when there is inert urge and willingness to make the ongoing revolutionary movement a successful one, said Poirei.

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