TODAY -

Rajya Sabha adjourned without Citizenship Amendment Bill being tabled
What to do now ?
- Part 3 -

Dr. Khomdon Lisam *

 Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016 : Blockade at Indo-Burma Road (Moirangkom - Canchipur) :: 7th February 2019
Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016 : Blockade at Indo-Burma Road on 7th February 2019 :: Pix - Shankar Khangembam



Struggle of MANPAC

Organising a democratic struggle involving lakhs of people in hills and valley is not a mean job We congratulate and thank convenor Yumanamacha Dilip Kumar and hundreds of Civil Societys, Student Bodies, Meira Paibees and Women Groups from hills and valley districts, thousands of volunteers of MANPAC (Manipur People Against Citizenship Amendment Bill -2016) for organising such peoples mass movement successfully.

We appeal to MANPAC to continue to maintain the struggle till the wishes of the Chief Manipur of getting assent of the President of India on the Manipur People Bill-2018 and inserting of an " Exclusion Clause " in the Bill to exclude Manipur from the Citizen (Amendment ) Bill-2016 are fulfilled. The wishes of the Chief Minister, wishes of the people and the mission of the MANPAC are the same.

Yumanamacha Dilip Kumar, Convenor MANPAC, after hearing the declaration of Amit Shah on 17 Febraury said on 20 February, 2019 that the MANPAC will not allow implementation of the CAB under any circumstances . He also said that MANPAC has taken a decision to organise a Conclave for the Civil Societies of the North Eastern region and he will initiate the campaign for organising the North East Conclave with effect from 25 February, 2019.

A strong and firm decision will be taken in the North East Conclave to oppose the CAB in all forms and at all levels. The MANPAC anticipates that it will be a long drawn war.

Declaration of Amit Shah on 17 February, 2019

When normalcy returns to the North East after adjournment of the Rajya Sabha on13 February, 2019, Amit Shah, BJP President declared an open war on 17 February, 2019 between BJP and the North Eastern States by saying that the CAB will be included in the Election Manifesto of the BJP for the Lok Sabha Election-2019. He also said that CAB will be passed by both the houses of Indian Parliament and will be implemented.

Narendra Modi and BJP Government will return to power after the Lok Sabha election. He also said –The equation in the Rajya Sabha will change after the Lok Sabha polls when we can pass the CAB easily. The CAB is our national commitment and we will fulfill it," Shah said.

He did not mention that CAB will not nullify the Assam Accord, will provide a special exclusion clause for Manipur and the other North East States to protect the indigenous people of North East. This is a warning signal to all North Eastern States that the CAB will be implemented forcibly by hook or by crook in the North Eastern states. This statement contradicts the statement of our Chief Minister that he is elected by the people and will be bound by the wishes of the people of Manipur.

Our Chief Minister as Champion of Changes

Our Chief Minister introduced many innovative changes with massive response from the people . To mention a few, "Hill Leaders Day", "Meeyamgi Numit" and we have seen hundreds of people turned up to air their grievances personally to Chief Minister N Biren Singh at CM's Secretariat . This may be life time experiences for thousands of people to talk directly face to face with a Chief Minister. He also introduced "Go to Villages" mission.

He is the first Chief Minister of Manipur to have introduced such innovative ideas. He has also introduced many welfare schemes for the poor and sick people of Manipur. As a result, the people of Manipur no longer faced Economic Blockade, Strikes, Bandhs, Sit-In protests in Manipur.

The present crisis is the making of the Government of India. He and his ministers were given red-carpet and warm welcomes in the hill districts. This is no mean achievement. He is a symbol of change. Let him work peacefully for the peace and development of Manipur. Recently , he was awarded the " Champion of Change Award " by the Vice President of India. Our Chief Minister has got the determination and conviction to save democracy and to save Manipur.

What to do now

Meiteis do not have constitutional safeguard as of today. Considering the proud history of Manipur as a Sovereign Kingdom for more than 2000 years, recognising the series of blunders the Government of India has committed against Manipur during the last 70 years and recognising the various demands of the ethnic groups, dangers of the Citizenship Amendment Bill -2016, our Chief Minister may kindly consider to initiate the following actions for bringing peace and development in the State :-

o Identification of the natives or the indigenous people of Manipur ( definition of natives or the indigenous people ) as mentioned in the Manipur People Bill-2018 based on seven Yek Salai.

o Implementation of Foreigners Act-1946 to identify the foreigners and send them to their homes

o Withdrawal of the Manipur Peoples Bill-2018, redrafting it by incorporating the points mentioned above and resubmission to the Governor of Manipur and getting assent from the President of India.

o To urge the Prime Minister and Home Minister to insert the Exclusion Clauses for the small states of North East India including Manipur in the Citizenship Amendment Bill-2016

o To urge the Government of India to cancel the Foreigners (Amendment) Order, 2015 with immediate effect.

o To form a Political Conclave with other North East States to build up an united approach to insert an Exclusion Clause in the current Citizenship Amendment Bill-2016 and make the Assam Accord-1985 effective. Can India exist without North East States ?

o To demand for Greater Autonomy of Manipur under the Government of India. The Greater Autonomy may include –amendment of Article -3 of Indian Constitution, amendment of Article 371 ( C ) for bringing equality of all ethnic tribes, declaration of Manipur as a Hill State, increase in the strength of the Manipur Legislative Assembly, Establishment of an Upper House, increase in the no. of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs to make it viable, lifting of Armed Forces Special Power Act-1958 (AFSPA) from Manipur.

If this is not agreeable to the Government of India, then our Chief Minister may request the Government of India to grant us the Pre-Merger Political Status based on Instrument of Accession signed by Maharajah Bodhchandra on 11 August, 1947 and accepted by the Governor General on 16 August, 1947. If this is still not agreeable to the Government of India, the we can think of revival of the Manipur State Constitution Act-1947 with the blessing of the Queen of United Kingdom (UK) and other friendly countries.

Manipur had it's own constitution entitled Manipur State Constitution Act-1947 adopted on 26 July, 1947. The Indian Parliament or any other authority has not repealed this Manipur State Constitution Act-1947 is therefore a living constitution . We have every right to revive this constitution. We can take up this case legally with the Queen of U.K. This is the action for today, tomorrow may be too late.

o For this to happen, the people of Manipur have to stand united like one man. Let us stop blaming each other . Let us stop working for a particular ethnic group. Let us join hands and unitedly work for Manipur. Men united is invincible.

o Demand for giving compensation for the loss of Kabow Valley ( roughly 7000 Square km)

Which was gifted away to Burma (Myanmar) without the approval of the Indian Parliament and the Manipur Government. The estimated current price may be 32 lakh Crores. It may be payable by the Government of India within 50 years @ Rs. 64000 Crores per year. A fully determined CM with conviction can do it.

Lastly, Our Chief Minister may kindly forgive the journalists, students and innocent young people who protested against the Bill and release them without any condition quickly. What they did is not sedition. They are not traitors.

The state government irrespective of political party had arrested many innocent people in the past under the National Security Act-1947 and allowing people who deserve to be jailed under National Security Act to roam freely. This action will not solve any problem but definitely will damage the good reputation of the Chief Minister and the Government..

Concluded ....


* Dr. Khomdon Lisam wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer was Former Medical Superintendent, JNIMS, Ex-Consultant, NACO & Ex-Project Director (MACS)
The writer may be contacted at khomdon(DOT)lisam(AT)yahoo(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on March 02 2019.



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