TODAY -

Constituent Assembly Of India & North East Frontier Agency
- Part 1 -

Dr. Karam Manimohan Singh *



The first issue of Irabot's weekly journal Anouba Jug was produced on Sunday, the 13th April, 1947. It was a handwritten cyclostyled journal having 8 (eight) pages. Due to lack of a proper technical skill the result was not of a good quality and sometimes the handwritten print was found illegible. Also backed up by a great deficiency in the arts of journalism the paper did not have a good scope of reading public and so it could not last long. But the quality of the paper was that it contained the most challenging news of the political situation and a healthy criticism on the Government policy in its Editorial columns.

In the first issue of the journal Irabot wrote an article under the heading Manipur State Constitution-Making Committee:
As a matter of fact, most of the Manipuri subjects do not realize the manner in which the Constitution-Making Committee was formed. They requested to postpone the election for a few days more, but the State authorities in a most undemocratic way and without heading to the public demand had assembled in camera, and immediately formed the Committee. Also in the manner of formation, there was no mention of the responsibility for voting rights, no representative of the minority section, no applied rules of general elections. Members of the Committee had been selected on the 20th January 1947, and His Highness's announcement on the formation of the Committee was addressed on the 10th March, 1947.

This Committee has been playing double roles by overriding the existing democratic principles. Moreover, the Manipur State Congress have joined hands with the Committee would have the right to give administrative advice to His Highness the Maharaja; but now the Maharaja has confessed in his royal declaration that the Committee would suggest administrative advice to the State Darbar only.

It is not the proper time to realise the great loss of our national democratic rights, but the people will one day clearly understand their past mistakes when the proposed resolutions of the Committee have been approved by the Governor of Assam and the Governor General of India.

The Committee had their meetings consecutively on the 24th, 25th, 27th and 29th of March, 1947. Some candidates of the Manipur State Congress expressly announced that all resolutions adopted by the Committee and their meetings held at the Maharaja's Darbar Hall would be made public. Now it has been proved to be apparently a Private Council in the State Darbar Hall giving no permission of entrance even to the Press-men. The Manipur Praja Sangha in this connection openly express that the Committee is not an assembly of the Legislative Members, but a soft cover to throw dust in the peoples' eyes.

The committee held their meetings for 4 days, but still the Government Representatives or the Congress candidates have not revealed the proceedings so far. Dr. Leiren Singh editor of the Bhagyavati Patrika, who is also a member in the Committee has not published the resolutions in his paper too.

The Manipur Praja Sangha held their 3rd Session on the 16th and 17th of March, 1947, at Khurai under the President ship of Irabot. Some 230 representatives' and people from distant areas of the State and members of Sangha nearly amounting to over one thousand attended the Session. In his presidential speech Irabot spoke on the political situation of Manipur in a comparative manner with the Indian scene. He also mentioned about the lack of a democratic principle in the formation of the Constitution-Making Committee, non-existence of a universal franchise in Manipur and the proposed move of a division between the Hills and the Valley.

Some of the resolutions adopted in the Session were as follows:
1. To reconsider the Indian States Grouping of the Khasi Hills, Tripura and Manipur which represent only one seat in the Indian Constituent Assembly, special arrangements could be made on Tripura and the Khasi States in order to facilitate Manipur to have one separate representative.

2. To move for an abolition of the undemocratic body of Constitution-Making Committee and, to join hands with the Congress leaders for a common demand of a full-fledged Legislative Assembly.

3. To reduce taxes on Loukhol etc.2

As to the background of the resolution No. 1, in January, 1946, Mr. C.G. Herbert, Secretary of the Chamber of Princes, had informed the Maharaja of Manipur that as a result of the Bill taken for the group in which the Manipur State was included, one Mr. G.S. Guha, Revenue Minister of Tripura, had been declared elected to the Committee of Ministers.3 Mr. Guha was to represent Mayurbhanj, Tripura, Manipur and Sikkim. When working as an Under Secretary in the Political Department, Government of Assam, sometime in 1930, Mr. Guha came in touch with the affairs of the Manipur State, and in 1934, he paid a visit to the State while working as a Judge in the Assam Valley Districts.

He retired as a Deputy Commissioner from Assam in December, 1945, and accepted the offer of the Tripura State to work as one of its Ministers. Again in November, 1946, Mr. Guha was invited by His Highness the Chancellor to discuss several matters in the Special Committee, as well as in the Committee of Ministers' about the selection of Members to the Constituent Assembly from the Indian States.

Ail of the Indian States had been allotted 93 Members based on population, one Member for each 10 lakhs of people, Sikkim, Manipur and Tripura could not, therefore, claim individual representation. It was thus suggested that these States along with the Khasi Hills State should among themselves select a representative.4

The Secretary to the Governor of Assam had strongly advised Maharaja Bodha Chandra to ask Mr. Guha to represent Manipur State and Depute Maharaja Kumar PriyaBrata as Adviser to Mr. Guha. The matter was of importance and great urgency because the Constituent Assembly of India had already begun. As the right of appointing a Member to the Constituent Assembly was based on a population of 10 lakhs, the only way for the Manipur State to participate in the Assembly was by combination with Tripura, Sikkim and the Khasi Hills State which Mr. Guha was representing. The Secretary wrote to the Maharaja of Manipur:
Unless this opportunity is taken, it will presumably not be possible for Your Highness's State to get any representation at all at the Constituent Assembly, a position which, in view of the probably great changes likely to occur in this country, might have regrettable consequences for the future of the Manipur State.

In accordance with this instruction from His Excellency the Agent to the Crown Representative, Maharaja Bodha Chandra had agreed to depute his brother Maharaj Kumar Priyabrata as Adviser to Mr. Guha so long as he was the representative of the Manipur State in the Constitutional Assembly matters.6 But Maharaja Bodha Chandra has strongly impressed on his brother to observe two important points in the discharge of his works as adviser to Mr. Guha. Firstly, he was to represent only such cases as were agreed upon between himself and the Maharajah. Secondly, each of the States of Tripura, Sikkim, Manipur and the Khasi Hills would have a chance of representing in the Constituent Assembly by turn for specified periods.7

In the last week of January, 1947, Maharaja BodhaChandra sent a letter to the Director of the Constitutional Affairs Secretariat, Chamber of Princes at New Delhi. He Stated that in view of the grave importance and the outstanding features of the Manipur State, he determined to appoint additional Advisers (at least2) who were well conversant with the gradual political and historical development of Manipur, the matters concerning the Hill tribes and the valley people, and the existing day-today political problems. The grounds on which Maharaja Bodha Chandra expressed his desire to have a separate representative of the Manipur State on the Constituent Assembly were as follows.

(a) It was not quite safe to have a representative who would mainly depend upon information's supplied by the Advisers without having full, personal and local knowledge of the matters he was dealing with.

(b) The representative for the Manipur State should for all practical purposes be a person, whether official, who was well conversant with, and experience in the Eastern Frontier problems which were of major importance to the coming Commonwealth of United India. And even this representative would have to be assisted by a special Advisory Committee consisting of the representatives of diverse Hill tribes and the valley people.

(c) With regard to the method of selection of representative, as there was no elected legislature in Manipur, Maharaja Bodha Chandra expressed his desire to reserve the power of special reference to the Darbar and public bodies competent to advise him where necessary and this would be subject to change of personal and demanded by circumstances from time to time.

Further the idea of a formation of common panel, or popular bodies, or an electoral college for the selection of representative of the proposed group of Eastern States was quite impractical and, moreover, there were difficulties of communications, geographical positions and diversity of political and social ideas. There were different sentiments of diverse tribes speaking different languages in each of the States especially in Manipur, and a total absence of affinity and collaboration in the political development among the proposed groups of the Eastern States.

(To be contd...)


* Dr. Karam Manimohan Singh wrote this article for Imphal Times
This article was posted on 26 October, 2018 .


* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Mera Chaorel Houba @ Kangla #2 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 02 Oct : Govt of Manipur
  • Chingangbam Ranju: Gold in Skateboarding
  • Clean India Campaign 2022 at MU
  • Prof without a PhD
  • Bio-security to prevent diseases in livestock
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • Befitting response from 'unwanted' parents
  • Stand of STDCM & WMC : ST demand
  • Lamyanba Irawat Birth Anniv #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 01 Oct : Govt of Manipur
  • North East cheers for now
  • Loving Her :: Poem
  • Revoke Show Cause Notice to Dr Sanatomba
  • This Gujarat Model is worth replicating
  • The age-old art of Chola bronze statues
  • Laklaroi Amuk Hanna Yeningtha #2 : Gallery
  • October Calendar for Year 2022 : Tools
  • Old Lambulane, was a trend setting locality
  • Agniveer recruitment rally at Mizoram
  • Prevention of parasitism in livestock #3
  • The ground zero of gratitude
  • Eye makeup products every girl should have
  • Another statewide observance of Irabot Day
  • Saluting the Lamyanba : Respecting dissent
  • How does the full moon make waves...
  • COVID-19 Status 29 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Legalising production & sale of liquor
  • RKCS Children's Painting Competition
  • Online Essay Competition
  • Significance of World Heart Day 2022
  • A kind of feeling :: Poem
  • Free rice and plight of state's farmers
  • Lifting prohibition after 3 decades
  • Linthoi Chanambam : First Judo Gold Medalist
  • COVID-19 Status 28 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2022 #4: Gallery
  • Sore Admiration :: Poem
  • Accountant Assistant @ Amber & Arthur
  • World Heart Day 2022
  • Indo-Naga Talks (2012-) :: News Timeline
  • Plastic menace: Time over for warning
  • Promoting cycling in Imphal
  • Mera Chaorel Houba @ Kangla #1 :: Gallery
  • Tripura Fashion Week @ Agartala :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 27 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • ST status demands in India #2
  • Socio-cultural tourism in NE India
  • Investigation against CRPF Personal
  • Backache in diabetics: Never ignore it
  • 'Poison' liquor still favourite for commoners
  • What has happened to the ban on SUP ?
  • Maibi Jagoi @ Thangjing Haraoba :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 26 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Lamyanba Irabot Ningsing Tha : Plantation
  • World Pharmacists Day 2022
  • Workshop of Wildlife Crime Prevention
  • Genius is knowing when to stop !
  • Naga final pact as Nagaland polls near
  • Lifting prohibition : Talk of the day
  • Tarpon Chaklen Katpa @ Andro #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 25 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Lamyanba Irabot Ningsing Tha : Fingerlings
  • Tripura Fashion Week in Agartala
  • World River Day & our environment
  • Nubank : banking industry in Brazil
  • Opposition parties struggling to dent BJP
  • From High Court to Supreme Court ?
  • Lokchao Bridge @ NH 102 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 24 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • What were Phizo's last words to Khodao?
  • Priyadarshini, Priyanka: Everest Taekwondo
  • I swear :: Poem
  • Incomplete lifting of prohibition
  • Prevention of parasitism in livestock #2
  • Wakhal Eronba- Sumang Leela #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 23 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Arbin Tonjam: best designer - Miss Manipur
  • Lamyanba Irabot Ningsing Tha at Ithing
  • Ferry to Ganges :: Poem
  • Making public health messaging entertaining
  • Student schooling order exposes fault...
  • Discipline : The common thread
  • Camping @ Shirui Lily Fest #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 22 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Youth : An idea can change the world
  • Perceived class conflict triggers friction ...
  • The tale of a forgotten diary
  • Face Redness- How to get rid of it
  • CADA - Govt on collision course
  • Inching towards a final pact ?
  • Border Pillar Inspection @Kamjong :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 21 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Strange bed fellows attempting to cohabit
  • Training for entrepreneur in Food Processing
  • Recalling Alzheimer once again !
  • New Education Policy : The CUET rigmarole
  • Liquor for better health! Indigestible
  • Now focus on ST demand
  • Byron Aihara - A True Lover of Manipur
  • International Day of Peace 2022
  • Human Capital Formation, need of the hour
  • Prevention is better than cure !!
  • Prevention of parasitism in livestock #1
  • Security Conference at Tamenglong
  • Concrete action must follow 'CM Da Haisi'
  • Tag of a dry State for the last 30 years
  • Pungyam Yeiba Fest @Singjamei :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 19 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • National Bamboo Innovation Challenge
  • International Day of Peace & environment
  • Lamyanba Irabot Ningsing Tha: Social Service
  • World Bamboo Day celebrated
  • Domestic capitalists unwilling to trust & invest
  • Street food vogue boon for youth
  • Sit-ins demanding inclusion in ST list
  • Down Memory Lane: My Years with MSAD #3
  • COVID-19 Status 18 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Licypriya to attend UN General Assembly
  • Screenwriters invited to 6-month screenlab
  • An ideal civil servant
  • Tripura Fashion Week in Agartala
  • Opposition parties struggling to dent BJP
  • Taking the customer for granted
  • Miss Manipur 2022 #2 :: Gallery
  • Irabot Ningsing Tha : Jagoi Competition
  • Bringing drug users to mainstream society
  • Namo Birthday special: India matters globally
  • Criticizes village occupation in Ukhrul
  • Use of local agri wastes as substrate
  • Jiribam Keithel [15 June] #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 16 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Boeing University Innovation Leadership
  • ST status demands in India #1
  • Literacy enhancement as a career choice
  • Agniveer recruitment rally at Assam
  • Ignoring the perfect solution to everything
  • Eyeing to end insurgency in next 5 years
  • Laklaroi Amuk Hanna Yeningtha #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 15 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Manipuri Muslim (Pangal) Historical Society
  • 7th election: NE Student Org, Jalandhar
  • Macnivil releases new song: Price they'll pay
  • Youth advocating for sexual health & rights
  • Engineers : The backbone of any Nation
  • IBSD celebrated Hindi Diwas
  • Who is at fault for shrinking roads?
  • After 25 years of negotiations
  • Heikru Hidongba @Bijoy Govinda #2: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 14 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Joint Accordant by NSCN/GPRN & NNPGs
  • In search of Khubak Ishei
  • Lamyanba Irabot Ningsing Tha at Bishnupur
  • Beauty benefits of Amla
  • STDCM sets sight on bandh to draw Govt
  • The unplanned city of Imphal Concrete jungle
  • Down Memory Lane: My Years with MSAD #2
  • COVID-19 Status 13 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Constitution & flag still dogs settlement
  • Churachandpur - The chaos and mess !
  • Rice Afrika is using tech to increase rice
  • Voluntary Blood Donation: An act of solidarity
  • Nagaland desperate for solution to Naga issue
  • Final solution likely very soon: Note key word
  • Miss Manipur 2022 #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 12 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Is there a need for another Nupi Lan ?
  • Consultation: Development at Lairouching
  • Bullying : Losing of children's dignity
  • Social Entrepreneur, social currency they earn
  • AMSU in dire need of support of CSOs
  • Mum on the points of JCILPS, STDCM
  • 57th Hunger Marchers' Day #3 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 11 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • 1st Anniv: The Keithel Store Pune :: Gallery
  • Beyond Teachers' Day
  • On farm production of Mycorrhizae
  • Onam and the legend behind it
  • COVID-19 Status 10 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Fake voters testify official nepotism
  • From 1999 to 2022 : TSE is now 23
  • Yaoshang Thabal Competition #3 :: Gallery
  • Kholao Deben went with the Queen
  • Imaginary grudge severs human relations
  • A Phenomenally Him :: Poem
  • Bharat Jodo Yatra: Last ditch effort...
  • Special Lok Adalat for Imphal & Bishnupur
  • Pineapple Fest @Bunglon, CCpur :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 09 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Tarpon: Annual offerings to the dead by living
  • Book review: Aeromycology over Kachai lemon
  • On saying Hello
  • Himalayan Day celebrated at IBSD, Imphal
  • Get rid of strawberry legs at home
  • Manipuri driver primary source of 'Loyalty tax'
  • The 'tax-extortion' argument
  • Down Memory Lane: My Years with MSAD #1
  • COVID-19 Status 08 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • [Jobs] Biotechnology ignition grant for NE
  • 1st Anniversary of The Keithel Store Pune
  • International Literacy Day & our Environment
  • 1 Lakh Hand Sanitizer Bottles handed over
  • Pinning hope on Sangai fest to draw tourists
  • Points to study from Mizoram
  • Heikru Hidongba @Bijoy Govinda #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 07 Sept : Govt of Manipur
  • Schedule Tribe Demand, Recent cries
  • Intricacies of core issue in Naga insurgency
  • On Poiroukhongjin High School issue
  • Celebrating International Literacy Day, 2022
  • Condemn physical assault on women vendor
  • Scoundrel official undermining essence of ILP
  • Is the ban on SUP effective ?
  • Ayekpam Shyamsunder's life & works
  • Book release: 'Osman Thambal' at Imphal
  • World Sexual Health Day celebrated in NE
  • Manipur Tech Univ: top at India Hackathon
  • Insomnia :: Poem
  • Change - Inside Out!
  • Biological control in agriculture #2
  • Nearest-to-home posting of teachers policy
  • Addressing shortage of teachers
  • Ibudhou Thangjing Haraoba #6 :: Gallery
  • Ancient Manipur kingdom and Brahmanism
  • Teachers' role in multicultural North East
  • Regarding closing 34 Assam govt schools
  • mPharma is revolutioning access to medicine
  • Asking to believe as we receive
  • 10 years of TPC: Success collectively shared
  • Significance of observing Teachers' Day
  • Krishna Janma @ ISKCON :: Gallery
  • Growing support globally to end HIV medicine
  • Teachers' Day & My Rumbling Thoughts
  • Soibam Bindeshori : Indian Prime Icon Award
  • Can't public figures drink & dance
  • Climate emergency
  • Jumping ship trademark of state's politicians
  • Switching side from JD (U) to BJP
  • Sit-in for Meetei ST @ Kongba :: Gallery
  • Meira Rally against Drug Traffic #2 :: Gallery
  • 57th Hunger Marchers' Day #2 :: Gallery
  • Reception of Linthoi Chanambam :: Gallery
  • Jiribam Train station [15 Jun] :: Gallery
  • Haipou Jadonang - Martyr Day :: Gallery
  • 13 August observed by CSOs :: Gallery
  • Mirabai Chanu: gold @ Commonwealth Game
  • Rules of English Pronunciation : Download
  • Sub-Syllables in English : Book Download