Manipur in a state of seize : Letter to PM

Manipur Watch Initiative *

ILP : Day -2 : 38-hour bandh by JAC constituted against death of Sapam Robinhood :: July 29 2015
ILP : 38-hour bandh by JAC constituted against death of Sapam Robinhood on July 29 2015 :: Pix - Shankar Khangembam

Manipur Watch Initiative
Office : Singjamei Super Market Manaak, Imphal

Shri Narendra Modi
The Hon'ble Prime Minister of India

Subect : Manipur in a state of seize ---- Invited immediate attention


1. Manipur, the 21st State of India was once an ancient kingdom in Southeast Asia. Its territory in the east was extended upto the Ningthi Turel, the present Chindwin river of Myanmar. Many wars were fought between Ava (Upper Myanmar) and Manipur; and their last war of seven years from 1819 to 1826 gave the British their much awaited foothold in that part of the world which had ultimately resulted in the 1891 Anglo-Manipuri war --- where British India and British Ava combined, attacked Manipur and defeated the Manipuris. Consequently they brought Manipur under its controls as a native state, untill they left the Indian sub-continent on August 14/15, 1947.

2. Manipur became independent on August 14, 1947. However, its independence was short-lived. On October 15, 1949 Manipur became a part of India --- the sovereign state of Manipur was downgraded to a part-C state of India by the alleged forced Merger Agreement of 1949, allegedly keeping the Maharaja of Manipur under house arrest in Shillong, then capital of undivided Assam, until he signed the Agreement.

3. The Manipur Merger Agreement have been intensely contested by the militant organizations who have been waging war against India to regain independence of Manipur.

4. Presently, Manipur is on the boil on the issue of an imminent threat to its own indigenous population. The people have been demanding the state government to find ways and means to check the influx of migrants --- both illegal immigrants mainly from Nepal and Bangladesh and economic migrants from the big states of India ---- into Manipur, so that its small indigenous population of 20 lakhs may not be reduced to a minority like in case of Sikkim and Tripura, etc.

5. The people have been continuously demanding Inner Line Permit System (ILPS) as a means to protect themselves. Since last July 8, life in Manipur has been topsy-turvy. All the school and colleges in Imphal and greater Imphal areas were closed by the government. The protest marches and the street fights between the police and protestors protesting against the government's ridiculous and absurd behavior in dealing with the issue has enraged the public and crippled day to day life. This has thrown our life into disarray.

6. The fact of the matter is ----
i) Population of indigenous scheduled tribes : 7,70,782
ii) Population of indigenous non-scheduled tribes : 12,46,486
iii) Population of migrants : 7,04,488
Total population of Manipur : 27,21,756
Percentage of migrants : 25.8%

7. This demographics is disturbing. Because just before the merger of Manipur into India, except a few businessmen and some menial workers that could probably run into a hundred or so, there was no migrant settlement, except in the border town of Jiribam.

8. In a period of about six decades after the merger, the migrant population have astonishingly multiplied and constituted a quarter of the population of Manipur. And the influx is continuing unchecked. The problem could become more acute with the commission of the railways upto Imphal targeted in the year 2017. If this trend of influx goes unchecked, it would destroy the very socio-political fabric of Manipur. No state in India or no country in the world would allow such a condition to prevail. This calls for an immediate attention of the state government and the Centre as well.

9. Surprisingly, what is intriguing is the fact that the national media --- both print and electronic, without any exception have purposefully blackout this burning issue engulfing Manipur for the last 4 weeks. This is unhealthy in democracy. National media may correct themselves.

10. Sir, it is understood that you are aware of what is happening in Manipur through the daily intelligence reports placed on your table. Does it not touch your heart seeing the vulnerability and plight of the people of this easternmost state of Manipur having a population much less than the population of your own town of Vadodara in your westernmost state of Gujarat ?

11. Though the indigenous/native population of Manipur constitutes just 0.16 percent of the 125 crore people of India, it has contributed remarkably in sports and arts. We believe, the native people of Manipur do deserve a fair deal from the government of India.

12. Sir, the state leadership led by Chief Minister O. Ibobi Singh has mishandled the entire issue and misled the public right from the beginning --- from passing a bill in the Assembly and then withdrawing it forthwith, telling the people that they would frame another bill to protect the indigenous population within the framework of the Constitution.

13. Sir, the question of survival of the indigenous people of Manipur that have been threatened by the influx of migrants cannot be a mere question of constitutionality. The indigenous population cannot be sacrificed at the altar of the Constitution. If the very people for which the constitution stands for are to perish because the constitution do not provide provisions to protect themselves, then the Indian Constitution has to be amended.

What is required, if we may suggest, is first to take a political decision to protect the indigenous/native people. If required, a dialogue among the national political parties and regional parties may be initiated by the centre; and we truly believe the people of Manipur would be happy to participate and co-operate with you. Eagerly looking forward for appropriate actions sooner from your end.

With Highest Regards,

Imphal, 3rd August, 2015

Yours faithfully,
( Heikrujam Nabashyam )

Copy with high regards to:
1) His Excellency
The Governor of Manipur
2) The Hon'ble Chief Minister of Manipur

* Manipur Watch Initiative wrote this article for
The writer can be contacted nheikrujua(aT)gmail(doT)com
This article was posted on August 04, 2015.

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