TODAY -

Bodh Chandra, his advisors and Manipur Darbar (Merger Series - III)

Dr Th Suresh Singh *



While analysing Manipur Merger Agreement and how we lost internal autonomy, one has to scrutinise closely the role of Manipur Darbar and Private Secretary S. Gaurahari. In respect of Manpur Darbar, one also needs to minutely scrutinise role of Priya Batra, the 1st Manipuri Chief Minister (not 1st Chief Minister of Manipur) and 1st and only Prime Minister of Manipur.

With his academic background and official influence, I at least expected him to have utmost effect on his brother king. Atlas, that is not so. With the various write ups available, it is for sure that he had a limited influence on his brother king.

It is proved by various orders issued by the king from time to time in respect of Manipur Darbar and other day to day administrative procedures. That the Maharaja had a hate and love relationship with Manipur Darbar is for sure.

Similarly, one has to scrutinise the role of private secretary Gaurahari in those day to day administration and in the signing of the merger agreement. I don’t want to be a pessimist and give a –ve assessment for both of these 2 respected individuals. I would have wanted to interview them from a close angle.

But unfortunately by the time I took interest in Manipur history, these 2 gentlemen had gone forever. However, there are many circumstantial evidences left; hence, I can have a holistic view of their roles.

By the end of World War II and with imminent British departure on the table, Manipur showed a lot of political hot steam in its clear sky. The return of Irabot in early 1945 forced formation of 3 distinct openly declared political parties in Manipur for the 1st time. These were: rural-based Manipur Krishik Sabha (MKS), urban-based Manipur Praja Sanga (MPS) and urban-elite based Manipur State Congress (MSC).

Though mass-based political struggle started in latter part of Churachand’s reign, it became formalised during Bodh Chandra’s reign. The stage is now set for intense political struggle. This is seen by various acts of omissions and commissions executed by Bodh Chandra as seen below :

i) On 20/06/1947, Manipur State Darbar was dissolved and instituted a form of Government known as His Highness the Maharaja in Council. The council means the council of ministers. Pearson became the 1st chief Minister with another 5 Council of Ministers. Most Darbar Members became members of the new Council

ii) after its formation, the said His Highness the Maharaja in Council was dissolved on 13/08/1947

iii) next day, 14/08/1947, an Interim Council was formed with a 7 member. M.K.Priya Brata became 1st Manipuri Chief Minister but 2nd of the lot. Both PA Steward and Pearson was present in the swearing in ceremony at Palace Darbar Hall where the Maharaja administered the oath to the ministers

iv) though the 1st election was held in June-July 1948, its swearing in ceremony was done only after 3 months i.e. on 18/10/1948 at Palace Darbar Hall. Priya Brata again became the 1st Chief Minister of this elected Assembly and T.C Tiankham became the 1st Speaker.

Thus at this critical juncture of our history, the Maharaja was unable to take a clear stand on important issues. With many selfish political pressures coming up there in, he was unable to bring a consensus for a common cause of the Motherland. His inner conflict becoming all the more prominent with more pressure piling up from pseudo-politicians.

Had he worked for a common cause to preserve our internal autonomy by consulting all stakeholders, we could have achieved something. Instead, he was playing British’s “Divide and Rule” policy. Hence, it is natural that he failed utterly.

It is here that we require an in-depth analysis of the role of Darbar Members and his advisors. Among the Darbar Members, the blunt of criticism has to be borne by Priya Brata by virtue of his stature and of being the younger brother of the king. Among the Advisors, Gaurahari has to bear the blunt of criticism as he was the Private Secretary to the Maharaja.

Without any bad intention, your Opinion Maker has to state that both these respected gentlemen had utterly failed at this critical juncture. Of course, one also has to blame our selfish politicians of that time. But then, a selfless leader is one who took correct and bold decisions at critical time in common interest. Bodh Chandra was not one among them.

Younger historians of the present lot and future historians will not be kind to Maharaj Bodh Chandra, Darbar Members and P/S Gaurahari while analysing how Manipur lost internal autonomy and subsequent freedom and Kabaw Valley. In doing so, one has to see the whole spectrum and not only the Merger Agreement saga.

What I am trying to emphasise is that the period of critical review is to be from the time British left Manipur till the state merged to the Dominion of India ( i.e. from 15/08/1947 – 14/10/1949). This is important for our future historical perspective and to keep Manipur’s history in a proper basket.


* Dr Th Suresh Singh wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is Ex-Director, Health & WHO Fellow
This article was posted on October 27, 2017.


* 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
  • Historical Evaluation of Puya Meithaba #4
  • MU: Student/police clash -10 Oct #2: Gallery
  • X-Jam -Extreme Sports & Music festival
  • Urban Local Govt in Mizoram :: Book
  • 3 perspectives in context of present Manipur
  • Figures in the Shadows :: Poem
  • To UNC, Zomi Council, Hmar Inpui on ST
  • HC acted in good faith for MU
  • Jarnail Singh @ MU : Gallery
  • Chawailokpa, Chaong, Charaibi :: eMing
  • Heikru Hidongba #3 : Gallery
  • The undeniable subtlety of Atingkok
  • Kuki Black Day: desperation to Nagas #1
  • Let me shower moonlight :: Poem
  • On allegations issued by NPF : NDPP
  • Challenges to the digital dreams
  • Eyes now on K Yugindro
  • Lamyanba Irabot- March Past #3: Gallery
  • Death Anniv - Bhagyachandra #2 : Gallery
  • Meetei Tribe wont grab land of Hill Tribes
  • Making a tangible difference
  • Contradicted journey of IPC Section 377
  • Free open defecation & open pee
  • Act East & Importance of Myanmar & NE
  • Vacancies at Multimind Software
  • Waiting for "Sorry"
  • Out Yugindro in Jarnail Singh
  • Mera Chaorel Houba #1 : Gallery
  • AMAND Pune: Cultural evening : Gallery
  • Management Convergence at Mizoram Univ
  • Observation of World Mental Health Day
  • Cry of a Dying River - 49 :: Poem
  • Buddhism is free from compulsion...
  • 7th AGM / Cultural evening of AMAND, Pune
  • Forsaken farmers - food for thought
  • Second police raid at MU
  • NESO opposes Indo-Nepal Treaty in NE
  • British Council, NEC sign MoU
  • MU: Student/police clash -10 Oct #1: Gallery
  • Death Anniv - Bhagyachandra #1 : Gallery
  • Anglo-Kuki War 1917-1919
  • University :: Poem
  • Remembering class boycott 2009-2010
  • Hair stylist as career option #2
  • Training of Trainers on Gender Justice
  • Manipur University fresh violence by police
  • MU Crisis- admissions and omissions
  • Issues besetting State before LS polls
  • Langban Heitha Leithaba #2 : Gallery
  • Sizo Festival @Saikot : Gallery
  • Opening of Moreh-Tamu Border Gate
  • Forest Cover of Nagaland :: Book Review
  • Ingocha Chingtham: Cycling from Mumbai ..
  • Blood Transfusion service- future in Manipur
  • IT Enabled Employment Generating Course
  • NDPP condemns statement of NPF
  • Beyond the reality
  • Need for MUTA to approach Court
  • Kang Tournament @Kongba #2: Gallery
  • Elangbam Sonamani : Sahityaratna 2017
  • Celebrating the rights of wildlife- Are we
  • The sky's gone wonderful :: Poem
  • Communal Harmony and Integration
  • Opportunity for India in Indo-Pacific Region
  • To be a good man
  • Education : Why no private players here ?
  • Tarpon Sonba : Gallery
  • mtM :: Seireng
  • MN Singh promoted as IG of CBI felicitated
  • Loktak from different perspectives #2
  • The Killing Fields 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • The Journey of Happiness :: Poem
  • A personal discourse of Manipuri people
  • Improper use of loud speakers in Manipur
  • Art Exhibition @Art College #3: Gallery
  • Sudip Kongbrailatpam -recording engineer
  • Dismantled 9th times & safer in 10th times
  • Remembering Irawat: Are we following ..
  • State Level Archery Championship 2018
  • Stop religious encroachment at Kangla
  • Navratri (festival) make up
  • khongjang changsinnaba sem sarey : ST
  • MU crisis: Emerging questions
  • Lining up five days blockade
  • Dhol Chollom @Sangai Fest: Gallery
  • A Road Trip to Myanmar #2
  • Maroi napakpi in Manipuri dishes
  • National Integration Tour Team
  • Cry of a Dying River - 48 :: Poem
  • Ending antimicobial resistance to #endTB
  • Condoles death of Pu Kaikhokam Kipgen
  • Rejoinder to NDPP (5th Oct) : NPF
  • Responsibility required - not restriction
  • After Thuingaleng Muivah who ?
  • Paddy dry up due to deficit rainfall
  • Lamyanba Irabot- March Past #2: Gallery
  • Binalakshmi Nepram : RAW in WAR Award
  • Agribusiness & Carbon Management : Book
  • Is Gandhi (ian) relevant today ?
  • Guidelines for Hostels for Children
  • ATM based frauds : Router compromise
  • 'Rio's announcement as just mockery'
  • Training Program on Mushroom Cultivation
  • 'Chadong' - the victim of development
  • Poles apart : Pandey and Singh
  • Manipuri Diaspora in Myanmar #2
  • Why has Egg become Danger for Manipur?
  • Speech by Atif Anik on Irabot Day 2018
  • Wounded tree :: Poem
  • Hair stylist as career option
  • Synopsis of Sizo Festival 2018
  • Traffic regulation still a Flop show
  • In the evening of his life : Th Muivah
  • Langban Heitha Leithaba : Gallery
  • World Bamboo Day #2: Gallery
  • Where have all the lights gone ?
  • Mahatma and non-violence
  • Detention of students/professors of MU
  • Gandhi Jayenti at Itanagar
  • IBSD cleans Imphal City
  • MU: Abide by wisdom of Sr citizens
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Power of humility
  • Ghost of Pandey : Four teachers suspended
  • Lamyanba Irabot- March Past #1: Gallery
  • October Calendar for Year 2018 :: Tools
  • Looking at Loktak from perspectives #1
  • Morning - a Haiku :: Poem
  • R&V Art House curates 'Land of Polo'
  • Show for football fans at NEUFC Fan Park
  • Indigenous People: Stand against Fascist
  • Clarification on Tamei Residential School
  • Organic Farming Tour to Sikkim
  • System error- or is this real democracy
  • Autonomy for Naga- Stakeholders on board
  • Th. Muivah hospitalized
  • Lamyanba Irabot- Floral Tribute #1: Gallery
  • Choidev Chongba @Kang Fest : Gallery
  • A Road Trip to Myanmar #1
  • The day after Sahnit-Ni
  • Cry of a Dying River - 47 :: Poem
  • Observation of World Alzheimer's Day
  • Benefits of almond oil for the hair
  • NEUFC Fan to host musical performances
  • ..but Irabot may still shed tears in heaven
  • Heikru Hidongba #2 : Gallery
  • Lamyanba Hijam Irabot :: Read all about
  • Tingmila Doungel : Manipuri Boxer
  • Tarpon: Annual offerings to dead by living
  • Manipur: Past & Present (Vol.2) :: Book
  • Genesis of Naga-Kuki clash in early nineties
  • 9th Children's Cultural Meet 2018
  • Parakram Diwas : 2nd Anniversary
  • International Visitors Leadership Program
  • He calls state Govt as unrecognized..
  • Tough stand of Govt noted
  • Historical Evaluation of Puya Meithaba #3
  • MU: General Srtike [27 Sep] #2 :: Gallery
  • Tribute to Oja Nandiram with 'In Memoriam'
  • The resurgence of Hijam Irabot
  • Love for post of MU vice-chancellor
  • Condemns arrests of MU student/teachers
  • Spot Enquiry by MCPCR Team
  • Seriousness with sincerity matters
  • 48 hours bandh on, then what ?
  • MU: General Srtike [27 Sep] #1 :: Gallery
  • Hijam Irabot - Our 'Icon of Revolution'
  • Food preparation among Zeliangrong
  • Is it the final countdown to #endTB?
  • Let's give time a chance :: Poem
  • If Buddhism Is Not A Religion Or Philosophy
  • Using false identity to mislead
  • In response to CM's appeal
  • CM's call against bandh
  • MU: Hunger Strike[25 Sep] :: Gallery
  • Irabot's letter to Assembly :: 18 Oct 1948
  • SC Case on Killings Must be Complied
  • How we lost internal autonomy: Mountbatten
  • The flute player :: Poem
  • Biodiversity for Everyone's Life : Video
  • DU protest against attack on MU Community
  • Unfolding dirtiest of the dirty game
  • Net down since September 21
  • MU: Students protest[25 Sep] :: Gallery
  • Art Exhibition by R & V Art House
  • My name is Kom, Mary Kom - II
  • Electrology as career option
  • When Autumn Came :: Poem
  • Against 48 hrs bandh: Thadou Students
  • Leadership / Media seminar at Dimapur
  • Demise of a dream
  • Traffic menace: Ring road, flyover promise
  • Ringui Village, Ukhrul :: Gallery: Gallery
  • Front Page Photo 2018 #4: Gallery
  • Autonomy on a leash
  • Manipur: Past & Present (Vol.1) :: Book
  • World Bamboo Day #1: Gallery
  • 45th AMWJU Foundation day : Gallery
  • Lai Lik Lei & their debut "Esei"
  • Tuilha Kol waterfall #2: Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Rally against Mob Lynching #2: Gallery
  • Krishna Janma @Mahabali #2 : Gallery
  • Felicitation of Sportsperson: Gallery
  • Martyrdom of Haipou Jadonang #3: Gallery
  • Kuki Black Day @CCpur : Gallery
  • Sit-In: Naga Peace Talk #2 : Gallery
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Jangou Rah : eRang Classic
  • Manglandasu Nang - OST :: e-pao Radio
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS