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Manipur was never a British colony: MSC
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, December 07 2019: The Manipur State Council (Government-in-exile) has categorically stated that Manipur was never a colony of the British empire whereas British India was a colony of the British empire which was later bifurcated into India and Pakistan.

According to a statement issued by the MSC Minister of Foreign Affairs and Defence Narengbam Samarjit, the Government of India Act 1935 says that Manipur was never a British colony.

When Manipur was a part of the British Indian Empire (Empire of India), the external sovereignty/suzerainty of the Manipur State was exercised by the Empire of India while the internal sovereignty was exercised by the Manipur State.

After Manipur State was excluded from the Empire of India, it ceased to exist as an Indian State, Samarjit said.

Manipur was called Manipur State because it had not lost its internal sovereignty.

After the British empire conquered Manipur subsequent upon the Anglo-Manipur War of 1891, the British empire did not annex Manipur and it was never reduced to the status of a colony.

A colony can never be called a State because the term State automatically disappears once a State is conquered and annexed by an imperial power, it asserted.

After Manipur State was excluded from the Empire of India by an order issued by 'His Majesty' on December 27, 1946 under Section 91(2) of the Government of India Act 1935, Manipur State cannot be taken within the Empire of India again until the exclusion order is revoked under the Section 3(a) of the India (Consequential Provision) Act 1949.Manipur being an excluded area/State, the Standstill Agreement, the Instrument of Accession and the Manipur Merger Agreement do not have any bearing on the State of Manipur, Samarjit contended.

The Standstill Agreement and the Instrument of Accession could be applied to only those Indian States which had not been excluded from the Empire of India.

Whereas Manipur State was excluded from the Empire of India, Naga Hills, Lushai Hills and Chin Hills were excluded from Assam Province.

That was why, the British rulers enacted the Inner Line Permit System (ILPS) to protect these tribal areas.

Indians could travel freely up to Assam as it was a province of the British India but if they must travel farther to Naga Hills or Lushai Hills, they must obtain Inner Line Permit.

On the other hand, Manipur achieved independence from the British Empire on August 14, 1947 .

As such, if an Indian must go to Manipur, he/she must follow a permit system as is done in Nepal today.

If people belonging to different nationalities other than Indians wish to visit Manipur, they must possess passports.

There was no Inner Line Permit System in Manipur but there was the Manipur State Naturalisation Act 1947, Samarjit asserted.

If any Indian wished to stay back and become a citizen of Manipur after the Manipur State was excluded from the Empire of India, he/she must have obtained Naturalisation Certificate under the Manipur State Naturalisation Act 1947, he added.


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