TODAY -

Dr Lokendra speaks on Naga struggle
Source: The Sangai Express / Newmai News Network

Dimapur, November 07 2015 : Delivering a speech at the opening ceremony of the Naga Archives and Research Center (NARC) on Saturday at Toulazouma, Dimapur, Dr Lokendra Aram-bam from Manipur University delivered a fascinating insight into how Manipur provides a very critical subtext to the Naga political struggle.

According to Dr Lokendra Arambam, Angami Zapu Phizo, in his urge to secure more support for his peoples' struggles was learnt to have visited Imphal, and met the Manipur Chief Minister Maharaj Kumar Priyobarta, to discuss the possibility of a common endeavour to fight against the Indian state.

Phizo was anguished by the Mani-pur peoples' response and their inability to fraternize with the precious cause, he said.

The period indeed was one of the most critical periods in Manipur's modern history.

Dr Lokendra Arambam stated that the people, after 56 years of British protection and rule was struggling in the wake of the end of the devastating second world war to retrieve the vestiges of their ancient legacies of hills and plains unity, give themselves a proper democratic constitution, respecting human rights and adult suffrage, adapting to the realities of pluralism, engaging with double representation in single consti- tuencies of separate communities, and also being aware of outsiders and their impact on the socio-economic anxieties of the emerging population.

He said tat three important constitutional measures were adopted, namely the Manipur State Constitution Act of 1947, the Manipur Hill Peoples (Administration) Regulations of 1947, and the Manipur Naturalization Act of 1947.These three measures reflected the restoration of the recovered nation status of the pre-colonial Asiatic state, becoming a constitutional monarchy with democracy as its working principle of governance, and taking care of decentralized empowerment of hill population with admixture of customary laws with more precious inputs from Indian legal systems introduced under British colonial rule (1891-1947).He said that it also saw to the context of migrant populations like Indians and Nepalis etc.

as foreigners, if they could be assimilated and absorbed in the social structure like in the pre-colonial past.

He stated that the equilibrium of the polity was destroyed through forced integration into India in 1949, and the new Dominion of India rapidly suppressing the peoples' risings for a socialist republic under the leadership of the revolutionary communist leader Hijam Irabot (1949-1951) .

"The Naga independence struggle could be hastened from a priori thesis of the Nagas not being Indians before, while that of the Meetei was after long period of Indianization, which was countered by a conscious effort of de-Indianization, and the new struggles that emerged after the forcible integration into India in 1949 and the suppression of the peasants armed movement under Irabot was based on the principles of self-determination being absorbed by young generations, and aware of the possibility of a Pan-Mongoloid unity," Dr Lokendra Arambam added.

According to him, the new generation of armed opposition groups which emerged amidst the valley population in the sixties sought a new kind of Pan-Mongoloid collective, transcending ethnic considerations on struggle, yet respecting identities and gestured cooperation to the NNC, which was then at the forefront of the struggle.

The Founder of the United National Liberation Front, formed in 1964, late Arambam Somorendra, in his efforts to seek understanding and collective endeavour made a trip to Kohima early in August 1968 to meet General Kaito and General Mowu Angami.

It seems General Mowu Angami had left for China, and General Kaito was just recently assassinated, and he returned, a little disappointed," he further said.

"However, the post-Shillong Accord scenario of mutual antagonism amidst the stalwarts of the struggle, and violent repression by the Indian army resulted to intense dislocation and displacements amongst the hill populations of Manipur, and the valley community of the Meetei rendered yeomen service to hide the then stalwarts of the NNC in the suburban households of Imphal, providing hospitality and infrastructural support to printing of leaflets and propaganda materials etc.

for the cause.

Names now famous in the NSCN (IM) hierarchy, Angelus Shimray, Raising, Livingstone, V.Atem and others were mentioned who were sheltered in the Meitei homes in these critical period," narrated Dr Lokendra Arambam.


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