TODAY -

Irabot's letter to the Manipur Assembly
- 18 October 1948 -

"Irabot Day Observation Committee Delhi" *





Today is the first meeting of the Assembly which the people of Manipur have long been demanding and eagerly longing. This is also the first day of Manipur to determine her fortune, and bring peace and prosperity by the people's representatives of both the Hills and the Valley of the state. This day would become a new chapter in the national history of Manipur; and its enthusiastic impression would be an indelible mark in our modern Puyas.

On such a happy occasion, I feel sad and much depressed to realize that, there has not been any representative of Mao area, and the inability of the elected members of the Assembly who, of course, belong to the Manipur Krishak Sabha to attend the first sitting because of their confinement in the State Jail, and the warrants issued against them by the Manipur State Council.

Responsible Government is the only demand of all the people in Manipur. But at the time of the formation of Constitution Making Committee, Mr. Pearson had, in his own self-interest, appointed the valley members and the Hills representatives in an unofficial manner. This form of Responsible Government is nothing but the concocted result of the Constitution Making Committee which produced a well planned Pearson's Constitution Act.

There is no provision of the civil rights of the Manipuri people in this constitution. There is no way out to see an actual Responsible Government without some amendments or commissions to the full text of the constitution. Nobody has the official authority except the Assembly if the Acts are to be amended for the benefit of the people.

During the interim period of Mr. Pearson's Night-Ministers there have occurred in Manipur Satyagrahas on the scandals of the Dominion flag, Gandhi Caps, amusement Tax, war compensation etc. The Mizos have played their roles; and in the revolutionary movement of the Mao Nagas three people have been killed during the encounter of Mr. Daiho's arrest. These incidents have been very clearly revealed by the Secretary of the Naga National Council (Kohima) in the Assam Tribune. We must realize this to be a very critical situation of Manipur in her transitional period of political development.

Some treacherous people have instigated the state authorities by supplying false information against the Manipur Krishak Sabha, which is itself a peaceful body, and as a consequence, the Sabha has been declared an unlawful organization. Inspite of repeated requests to constitute an impartial Enquiry Committee to investigate the Pungdongbam incident, the State authorities have turned deaf ears to it. A huge number of innocent peasants have been arrested and put in the jail without any trial.

These peasants have been arrested and put in the Jail without any trial. These peasants have also been beatern up mercilessly and soaked in water for a complete night. The lathi charge on the unarmed public and the firing by the police are the evidences of an anti-democratic attitude of the government which have very responsibly welcomed a Fascist ruling and a Police Raj only to bring bad omen and upheaval in the country.

The elected members of the Assembly who all wish to sacrifice for their mother country are hereby requested to discuss all these problems and bring an amicable solution in order to make a Golden Manipur. Please make the oath to suppress the Fascist leaning so that once again democracy can be deeply rooted in the limelight of a pure responsible Government.

In the first meeting of the Assembly top priority is kept on the passing of the Manipur State Legislative Assembly Rules, but these rules are framed according to the Constitution Act. Please do not take any available Rules in the light of your convenience ľas there is shortage of provisions in the constitution, some deficiencies may, of course, come up.

Next to it is the formation of the Cabinet of Ministers. But since there is a lack of clause on the formation of a cabinet by a leader of the majority party, it has to be appointed. I humbly appeal to all the members, that appointment of ministers is a very serious matter and if any defect has been committed by mistake, nothing could be done by the Ministers concerned for a satisfaction to the Public's desire.

So please do not consider about a particular man of a political party; and instead, a criteria can be made on the behavior, moral character, and administrative experience of the man whom the Assembly wish to appoint as minister. Over and above this, the social conditions of Manipur should not be over-looked. A Plan to develop the mines and ores, the downtroddens and the underdogs of the society has to be taken up.

Like other nations of the world we should preserve our ancient religion and the long stream of cultural traditions along with a sense of civic rights granted democratically. The majority of the Manipuri public are the peasant class and in order to save their existence land revenues may kindly be reduced, arrangements be made to give land to landless people, to facilitate the peasants who often find inconvenience in their livelihood by making considerate Laws and to bring a peaceful harmony between the Hill people and the plainsmen, so that a Golden Manipur may come into existence. May God bless the new Assembly and our country? This will be my last humble appeal to you all."

Note: Irabot could not join the first opening session of the Manipur Legislative Assembly on the 18th October 1948. But he had somehow managed to circulate a handwritten letter to the Assembly members as his last message. Unfortunately this letter had not been read out nor was it mentioned about in the Assembly.



Note: This article was written as part of a Souvenir released on Irabot Day Observation, Delhi on September 30 2010. You can read the entire Sourvenir here (PDF - 132 KB).




* The Irabot Day Observation Committee Delhi sent this article/souvenir to e-pao.net . The sender can be contacted at mningthouja(at)yahoo(dot)com
This article was webcasted on October 12, 2010.


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