TODAY -

Many revisit, debate IOA
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, August 11 2017: A one day discussion programme on Instrument of Accession (IOA), Manipur, August 11,1947 was held today at Manipur Press Club under the aegis of the All Manipur Youth Protection Committee (AMYPCO) .

AMYPCO president Arjun Telheiba, KAWWA president AK Memcha Devi, CHITUWA president Maibam Pumimashi Leima, HRDM chairman Joy Chingakham and UNACSU president Jitendra Ningomba attended the event as the presidium members.

Dr H Indrakumar and retired CSSEIP, MU, Th Bharat were also present as special guests at the event.

Dr H Indrakumar said that the Instrument of Accession (IOA) was a powerful mechanism by means of which India had hammered out to concretize a solid foundation of a Union of India.

It paved the way for Standstill Agreement as well as Merger Agreement.

When the British paramountcy lapsed, India and Manipur had drafted and enacted quite different Constitutions of their own.

However, the Hindu dominated Indian leadership pattern had to integrate the Hinduised areas or princely States into their scheme of thinking like Kashmir and Manipur leaving aside Buddhist dominated Bhutan, Sikkim and Burma although Sikkim merged into the Indian Union much later, Dr Indrakumar said.

When the IOA appeared suddenly after the Manipur Constitution Act, 1947 was finalised, Manipuri leaders pathetically chose to concede to it.

They should have postponed it for a longer period to refer to the people because the Manipur Constitution had laid down rules for general elections.

Moreover, the ruler, at that time, was a nominal executive since the representatives of the people formed a House of the people, Dr Indrakumar added.

Thiyam Bharat said that the signing of IOA and Standstill Agreement on August 11, 1947 may be seen as a precursor to the Merger Agreement.

Since Defence, External Affairs and Communications are the backbone of any country and if these three subjects are given away then it is tantamount to be part of any dominion of any country without involving a war.

By signing the two agreements, the Maharaja and the people of Manipur might have believed that Manipur would be able to develop itself.

But today, Manipur State has completed 70 years after signing the two agreements but the pace of development in terms of standard of ljving is disappointing, he rued.

Even though the IOA was signed by the king of Manipur, its validity from the perspective of international laws remains highly debatable, remarked Advocate Aijun.

A public conference jointly organised by MSSA, MURC, FINS and CLK on January 13, 1996 adopted a resolution which says that both the IOA and Standstill Agreement had been rendered null and void once the Manipur Constitution came into effect.

Even though Manipur was brought under indirect British rule after the defeat of Manipur in the Anglo-Manipur War of 1891, it was never included in the map of British India.

In another word, Manipur remained separate from India throughout history, he added.


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