Manipur's 1950 Revolution Revisited
- Part 3 -

By Professor Naorem Sanajaoba *

The tactical manual- 'Course for the Cadres of the Shock Brigade' circulated by the CPI headquarter and seized by the government of India in 1950 had provided the elaborate instructions, which had been intended to reach the RGC command. The excerpts are:


1. This Shock Brigade cadres' course is meant only for the cadres of the Shock Brigade.
2. This cadres' course is made, basing on the guerrilla principles and tactics as enunciated by Mao (sic.Tse Tung)
3. Everyday practical exercises on silent killing, night games on the last two days-one party attacking a police station…
5. The weapons dealt with here are the rifle, shotguns and … handbombs. …

The guerilla activities mean the raiding of the police station, zamindar or jotedar's houses; ambushing police parties to annihilate and collect arms from them...
— The basic unit of a guerrilla force ,or the shock brigade as we call it, will consist of five Or ten cadres including the leader.


There shouldn't be any particular badge or dress for the cadres, because...

RAID... CONCRETE TARGETS FOR RAIDING (...precise instructions to follow in details)

The full text of the manual has been exhaustive and hence, the basic excerpts only are highlighted while revisiting the memorylane of the communist terrorists of the 1950. A bulk of Mao's literature brought by air by a Manipuri student from Kolkata had been confiscated by the police.

Manipuri hillmen constructed guns from water pipes to provide for the equipments. Ex M.P. Ng. Muhindra, N.Binoy and Th.Boro imparted training to the members of the RGC at Keibi hillock. Interestingly, they called grenade as mukphu, bullets as kolom machin so and so forth. Irabot's code name changed annually. The supremo had sent from Burma, four guns, a type writer and gold bar. The RGC camps had been opened at Keibi, Modaipok, north and south Jiri. Kamong,Andro and Heirok as the strategic point. The RGC had created the revolutionary mechanism; however, the armed movement could not succeed in 1950.


The party supremo afoji and the MCP had given more emphasis on the Manipur revolution in conformity with the CPSU guidelines, CPI mandate than on the issue of Manipur annexation. Official records available till date do not reveal tangible MCP's official vindication of Manipur national question during and immediate after the MCP 's aborted revolution.

One need not reiterate the immense ideological thrust given by the leftists from Marx down to Lenin down to Stalin, and then to Gorbachev, to the need for addressing national questions along with the colonial and economic questions. They did never encourage return of the nations to re-tribalisation, but established nations and nationalities could not be left to the cold unattended.

The CPSU had been consistent in directly fraternalising national liberation movements in a large number of colonial situations, particularly in the third world. The historic de-colonisation UN, GA resolution no. 1514 of 1960 had been proposed by the USSR and seconded by India. CPSU's fraternal party- CPI had espoused right of people to self-determination till 1951; CPI member Somnath Lahiri espoused right to secession of constituent states of India in the constituent assembly. How had the CPI chosen duplicity towards Manipur national question was enigmatic till 1953 and even beyond.

It would be pertinent to cite that the CPI actively supported the right to self determination of Pakistan.

MCP was no t honoured as a separate unit like Assam unit of the CPI, as it had been calculatively insubordinated to the inferior status of D.O.C.(District Organising Committee) by the CPI of mainland India, possibly as a logical sequel to the disputed Indian annexation of sovereign Manipur.

The mainla nd CPI, unlike the CPSU had been showing its colonial behaviour even to MCP. The RGC that struggled for the emancipation of the exploited in Manipur was not sponsoring the armed struggle with a view to undoing the disputed Manipur annexation.

The de- an nexation agenda is invariably the interwoven, clearly worked out contribution of the post-MCP gen-next and their organized rebellion or insurgency, which the government of India is yet to fully address to as on to-day . They wish to plough the political field with a re-set national agenda, that the MCP missed out for one reason or another.

Certain issues like "Purnadayitaysheel shashan" and "Swadhin Bharatkee Manungda Swadhin Manipur" of a 1946 civil society resolution had created more confusion than necessary. The first political demand of the left-oriented party had never transcended the accepted Indian question and it had been a domestic Indian political arrangement. Purbanchal matter or its repudiation whatsoever was absolutely India's domestic, internal affair.

These petty matters, inflated as much as one can for diversionary purposes, do in no way distract the people and the movements from the major annexation imbroglio. The CPI demand was for a full responsible government within India, not a fair correction of the unfortunate annexation blunder. Some leaders thrive on and capitalize at someone's big blunder, and the victim's agonizing pain. The beauty of oppression lies in the loss of vision and sensibilities.

Barring the Praja Mandal & Nikhil Manipuri Mahashbha meeting resolution, dated 5-4-1946 which, for records's sake, asked for independent Manipur inside independent India, holding plebiscite to decide the possible integration of Manipur with another Indian province, the MCP or its frontal organization did not ask for sovereign status of Manipur.

The two major components are "within India" and "integration with another province within India." In the broadest sense of the term, it was made out to be intra- Indian political affair. No activist movement advanced or pursued the resolution at all. However, the revolutionary élan survived on the Manipur soil (for want of space, see the author's articles published in the Freedom daily 'Meetei State Committee', dt. 13 and 20 July, 1996; 'Buffer state ultimatum,' dt. 2 August,1996...)

The RGC ha d never taken cognizance of even this resolution in private. Manipuri gen-next evaluated the afoji's benchmarks without any inhibition. Edit-page of Resistance weekly,25 September,1979 'Why Irabat failed' finds fault:"— Irabat underestimated the national contradiction between ... people of this region (sic.NE region comprising seven states) and the Indians." and "Irabat failed to understand the enveloping Indian colonialism".


A major political consequence of the aborted MCP revolution led by the RGC in 1950 could be located in the resurgent armed struggle that took care of Manipur national question, unambiguously addressed by the enlightened and highly informed critical gen-next. Surrenderees of the MCP had to join CPI. Charges of mutual betrayal and treachery had also been vigorously traded off between and among the ex MCP revolutionaries. One called the other as betrayer and the down the memory lane, the relic survives.

Another important informant confided to the author that the afoji had been betrayed .Confirmations are being sought in more details. It might have been a vulgar tirade or, a bitter truth .The author keeps the statement open-ended. The relics of the trade off continued for long time. In 1952 election, the CPI had contested thereby keeping aside their revolutionary past like a mistaken romantic adventure.

The political by-products had been transformation of the red guards and the political supremo into the CPI in India-administered Manipur, eventual breakup of the CPM on the one hand, and the involvement of some of the middle ranking MCP activists (not RGC command) initiating the Meetei state committee armed struggle in 1960s with very much ambiguous confederal political arrangement with the Nagaland independence movement, under the leadership of Wangkhei Tomba (Tomba's diary had been recovered partially in 2007, some parts had been badly soiled), the grand initiative of Longjam Manimohon and Laishram Kanhai of the MCP in hatching after four prepcom. meetings held at the house of Ninghthemmacha Priyogopalsana at the very outset, the United National Liberation Front, among others, and the eventual ripening of the Manipur review committee of mid-1960s to an hierarchical set- up incorporating young blood of that age.

Political assassinations like that of comrade Thokchom Bira due to the lingering post- MCP confusion and also due to complete lack of transparency in the working of the party had unfortunately occurred in Imphal decades after. Subsequently thereafter, the next phase of guerrilla war of the PLA (Eastern Region till 1990) and PREPAK took place in the valley in 1978-79 in operation day break, supposedly, heavier in tone, ideology and texture than that of the aborted 1950 MCP revolution, to be followed by the MPA guerrilla offensives thirteen years subsequently thereafter. The rest is the recent story vividly unfolding frame after frame ,before our own vision and sensibilities.


The red guards revolution in 1950-1951 left a profound, indelible impact on informed Manipuri world view and onward progression of a composite, egalitarian history of the ancient Asian state. The colonial world view thrust from the top upon an unwilling Manipuri generation by way of mistaken political postulations of the administering power may not hold the future destiny of a people, committed to proven egalitarianism and equal friendly, national relationship in the community of nations. The MCP revolution remains a pathfinder in a re-defined, better articulated political landscape in the twentyfirst century.

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).

Source: Sent by the Authour via internet from his e-mail on Saturday, September 20, 2008, at 7:56 AM.

This article was widely published in several online journals and print journals.

* * The Irabot Day Observation Committee Delhi sent this article/souvenir to . The sender can be contacted at mningthouja(at)yahoo(dot)com
This article was webcasted on December 14, 2010.

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