The idea of Manipur survives as long as the hills and valley stand united

M Asnikumar Singh *

The 'idea' ignited MTF mind and it started wandering in different directions in quest of a real 'Manipur'- historical, geographical, political, cultural, traditional , racial and other manifestations.

At this crucial juncture the "idea of Manipur" must be solidly reaffirmed for the generations to come. So today MTF is conducting a discourse on Idea of Manipur by inviting a small group of intellectual of state belong to different community of state with a true intention to take forward the idea of Manipur in the future.

'Manipur' as a title (nomenclature) has been referred to our land, since the time of Pamheiba or Garibaniwaz (King) in the beginning of the 18th century . Before that the land had been indigenously known by many local names . However the Burmese remembered us as Kathe; the Chinese & Shans called us Kase; Ahoms identified us as Makeli or Moglai.

State formation and Kingship started in the beginning of the first century AD. We have a recorded history since Circa 33 AD.In the same year the coronation of the first king Pakhangba took place at Kangla and the ceremony was attended by almost all the clan/tribe chiefs of both hills and valley.

They together witnessed the game of Sagol Kangjei ( polo) just after the coronation ceremony ('Cheitharol Kumbaba' and 'Manipur Past & Present' Vol -1).

We are not very sure about the dates of the pre-historic period of Manipur; but historians opine that our civilization is about 3000 years old in the hills and approx. 2500 years old in the valley. Makhel a primordial place at Mao is now recognised as the legendary place of common origin of oldest ethnic families of the land.

Today Manipur is the home of 37 ethnic groups . Manipuri language is the lingua-franca (communication language) of the people of Manipur. There are more than 35 living dialects in the State. Each ethnic group is proud of its dialect. Authorities have great difficulty to accommodate the dialects as medium of education, broadcasting, publication etc.

Racially we are predominantly Mongoloids. Our present population is about 3.2 million. The theory of Indo-Aryan or Tibeto-Burman origin still remains a polemic issue among scholars and historians. To me Manipur is a melting pot of many ethnic groups . Historical reasons like migration, amalgamation and settlement greatly influenced the people in terms of their cultural and material advancement .

At present the geographical area of Manipur is about 22,327 sq. km. It is a hilly region with a plateau having an altitude of about 2500 ft above the sea level. Manipur is surrounded by Nagaland in the north, Myanmar in the east , Mizoram in the south, and Assam in the west.

In the past the geographical area of Manipur fluctuated from time to time depending on the military might and capability of our erstwhile rulers. The Kingdom of Manipur had the largest geographical extent during Garibniwaz Maharaj whose area of influence and control extended beyond Chindwin river (Ningthi ) in the east and beyond Brahmaputra in the south-west.

In modern period the present political boundary of Manipur was more or less recognized as early as 1826 (Treaty of Yandabo )and then in 1891(Anglo- Manipuri war) ; by 1947 (Independence Act ) and 1949( Merger with India) Manipur as a geo-political entity was well established.

Manipur got political emancipation from British Raj in August 1947. With the enactment of the Manipur State Constitution Act ,1947 by the then King, Maharaj Bodh Chandra , the election of the Manipur Assembly (Parliament ) was held in July 1948 on the basis of adult franchise, the first of its kind in entire sub-continent.

In all 52 Members were elected for a period of three years. It was a unicameral legislature. The law making and policy framing authority of the legislature was subject to the assent of the Maharaj. That was a kind of Constitutional Monarchy.

However Manipur got merged with the Dominion of India on 15 Oct 1949. With the application of the Constitution of India on 26 Jan, 1950 Manipur became a 'Part C' State of India. The Union Territories(laws) Act 1950 came into force in April and Chief Commissioner became the Administrator of Manipur.

A council of advisors with five members, three from the valley and 2 from the hills was constituted to assist the Administrator and this arrangement continued till the election of the Territorial Council in 1957. The same year, under the Union Territories Act 1956, election of 30 members of the Territorial Council was held.

Manipur had a Legislative Assembly consisting of 30 elected members under the Union Territories Act 1963. There was a Council of Ministers to aid and advise the Administrator. The Assembly had the power to make laws with respect to all subjects enumerated in the State list and Concurrent list in the 7th Schedule of the Constitution in so far as any such matters are applicable in relation to the Union Territories.

Immediately after the declaration of Statehood in January 1972, election of the Legislative Assembly of the State of Manipur was held in February. Today we have 60 Assembly constituencies.

The "idea of Manipur" survives as long as the hill and valley stands united and people living together; no power on earth can dismantle us as we stand as one people (37 ethnic groups). Valley hegemony is the thing of the past.

Deep down any individual of a sound mind realises that there is no point whatsoever in getting swindled by communal tensions, which has destroyed many great societies in the past. There’s also a saying, ‘one who doesn’t learn from history is bound to repeat it’.

The only road ahead is a coming together; both physically and intellectually of all the communities to create a better and positive Manipur which embodies the true essence of Manipuri identity; an identity of mutual respect, harmony and positivity.

Let us endure with the idea of Manipur.

* M Asnikumar Singh wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is Secretary, Manipur Thinkers Forum (MTF)
This article was webcasted on November 04 , 2019.

* 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 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.

  • CAB protest - Nov 18 : Gallery
  • Children's Day @CM Bungalow : Gallery
  • Why CAB is being opposed in North East
  • Meeteis' paradox
  • A Vision :: Poem
  • NE development: Lean on regional planning
  • Sand War- deadly war against mother Earth
  • From 'ahead of final pact' to CAB
  • Can Meitei, Naga & Kuki jointly resist CAB?
  • Mera Houchongba @Kangla #4: Gallery
  • Ningol Chakouba Fish Fair #2: Gallery
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand : Timeline
  • History - from Obscurity to Visibility ?
  • Manipur State Journalist Awards, 2019
  • Was it a Hindu Day in Assam book season
  • Kerala's multi-layered approach to #endTB
  • Being vegetarian can fight climate change
  • Let the rivers flow uninterrupted
  • Cry of a Dying River : 100 Poems
  • Aronlinamba, Namlalung : eMing
  • MANITEX & the poor fate of weavers
  • Anecdote, Fable & Refugee Blues : Poem
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • What is pollution doing to your skin
  • Dispensation in Nagaland is rudderless
  • Resistance to CAB may fail
  • Culturals @ Shirui Fest #2: Gallery
  • Gender, Power in South Asia :: Book Rvw
  • Stop Burning of Hay- uplift Rural Economy
  • Disoriented mind :: Poem
  • What is all about a flag ?
  • Cannabis plant : Myths and facts
  • Need to be on guard against rumours
  • Smart city or smart earning...
  • Ningol Chakouba @ Pune : Gallery
  • Khumang: Conference- Science for Society
  • 7th NE Students Sports Meet at Jalandhar
  • Ningol Chakouba at Pune :: Report
  • Hospitality at One Horn Nation
  • Henjunaha , masculinity redefined
  • World Diabetes Day 2019
  • Tension filled days for over 2 weeks
  • Subdued voice
  • Rani Hingchabi :: Funga Wari
  • Miss Kut @Imphal #3 : Gallery
  • Rejoinder to Lamcha Chongloi's piece
  • Salt brines : Source of Meitei Thum
  • Hibernating animals and climate variable
  • Combined Defence Services Exam (I) 2020
  • Rare good news : NMA reaching out
  • Forgotten pledge - a reminder
  • Children from Noney #1: Gallery
  • 7 NE entrepreneurs wins National Awards
  • Identity of Pangal in Manipur: Counter-points
  • Recharging the World with Li-ion Battery
  • Achoubi in Love, Bloody Phanek : Southasia
  • When the man is silent :: Poem
  • Chekshin Meepham at Kakching
  • Arrested, released, 'escorted' to Delhi
  • CM has every reason to believe..not public
  • Ema Keithel (Khwairamband) #2: Gallery
  • Argentina hosts Manipur Cup (Polo)
  • Birth celebration of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji
  • Chin Orgs demand release of U Hawi Tin
  • The Killing Fields 2013-19 : News Timeline
  • Refresher course in Khasi subject at NEHU
  • Process of closing offices in Nagaland
  • HM assurance to GOM..only means left?
  • Meira Rally [10 Nov] : Gallery
  • Religious evolution among Meiteis
  • Manipur's Identity & Political Ingenuity
  • Cry of a Dying River - 100 :: Poem
  • NEC Tamchon Football at Delhi
  • Soma Laishram at Northeast Festival 2019
  • Respecting stand of the Supreme Court
  • Kut : State level @Imphal #2: Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Nazareth @ Shirock #2 : Gallery
  • Ningol Chakkouba : A beautiful tradition
  • Cost of inaction to treat TB is high
  • Cross & Flag: Christianity at Risk
  • Lithium Ion batteries & Nobel Prize
  • New India & the ticking time bomb
  • Naga can trust on preamble with GoI
  • Thanga Ningol to mapam #2 : Gallery
  • Lungpuiga Remei : Natyabhusan
  • The Fate of Peepal Tree
  • Manipur: Context & Structural Violence
  • International Day of Radiology
  • That peaceful moment :: Poem
  • OCCE 2020 : Conference at TISS Mumbai
  • Manipur : Natl School Games Football
  • NPF camping at New Delhi
  • Mature statement of Kho John
  • Civility matters; but is in the cross road
  • Alert Rally at Khumbong : Gallery
  • Miss Kut @Imphal #2 : Gallery
  • Carbon Neutral Journey through e-mobility
  • What FA of IM and Govt of India says?
  • Imphal-Mandalay flight service
  • Nutrients for good skin & hair health
  • Th Muivah central to it all
  • Translate those 'taken' into action
  • Mera Houchongba @Kangla #3: Gallery
  • World Tourism Day @Noney #5 : Gallery
  • There is nothing either good or bad ..
  • Food Wastage and its Impacts
  • Final Indo-Naga Peace Accord & beyond
  • Career options in Labour Studies
  • Assam CM inaugurate Don Bosco College
  • The great October 31 bluff ?
  • Blasts in Imphal: Do that have an agenda
  • Ningol Chakkouba @ Korea : Gallery
  • Ningol Chakkouba @ Mysore #2 : Gallery
  • Ningol Chakouba & Kut at Korea
  • Are Nagas ready to face hostile Neighbour
  • Case of 'Choudhury" among Pangal
  • Frontline champions lead fight to #endTB
  • How do you define Manipur's interest
  • Junior Accountant @ MaolKeki Foundation
  • Accord: Greater autonomy, the last word?
  • What if it turns out to be 'Godot'
  • Hinduism in Manipur #4
  • Kut : State level @Imphal #1: Gallery
  • Controversies of 1200 MW Teesta III HEP
  • Seminar on Rural Transformation in NE
  • Licypriya: solution to curb air pollution
  • Cannabis - A new beginning
  • Khwairamband By Night :: Poem
  • Requirements @ Birla Emporiums, Khurai
  • Of AEP, gateway and redundancy
  • Political Rumors
  • Thanga Ningol to mapam #1 : Gallery
  • The Hand that Rocks :: Poem
  • As long as hills & valley stand united
  • Indo-Naga talks: Praying for a happy ending
  • Meiraba Luwang clinche Korea Junior Open
  • Wander Nagaland : Enterprise launched
  • NH7 Weekender 2019 : Day 2 Report
  • Vigilance Awareness Week at ADBU
  • Military build-up: Something is not right
  • Manipur accounted for 50% of NE violence
  • Chingda Satpi Engellei #3 :: eRang
  • Banana Fest @ Noney #1 : Gallery
  • Biren can make a difference in Naga deal
  • CM interact with Social Media : Gallery
  • Medical lab : A building block of trust
  • NH7 Weekender begins in Meghalaya
  • Tracking black money
  • Miss Kut @Imphal #1 : Gallery
  • Sintha Leppa [Oct 31] : Gallery
  • Yubu and Lai Haraoba
  • Demilitarize educational institutions
  • Did Mongoloid drive out Assam inhabitant
  • A kind being :: Poem
  • Transgression of suppressed sexuality
  • Rejoinder to NDPP :: NPF [Nov 1]
  • One day after Oct 31: Time to look ahead
  • Bridge the trust to restore peace
  • Ningol Chakkouba @ Mysore #1 : Gallery
  • Cheksine Khongchat [Oct 31] #1 : Gallery
  • November Calendar for Year 2019 : Tools
  • Kut: Celebration of nature's gift
  • Cry of a Dying River - 99 :: Poem
  • Kut Festival of Kuki-Chin-Mizo : Articles
  • Forgetting TB prevention is better than cure
  • Understanding Ishan Uday Scholarship
  • Miltary should be removed from College
  • Rejoinder to Kuki Chief Association
  • Date with Oct 31 : Of misleading headings
  • Final agreement- a mere mistake will ...
  • Modi's promise for Naga takes final step
  • NESO to stage protests against CAB
  • Centre may extend Naga pact deadline
  • Ningol Chakkouba by Journalists : Gallery
  • Alert Rally- Peace Talks- Oct 30: Gallery
  • ASEAN Peoples Forum: Lesson for Manipur
  • Hope Modi will able to resolve Naga Issue
  • 'Serious concern for unarmed civilians'
  • "Sunday Closed Law" & the aftermath
  • Thadou Inpi met with Mathur
  • NPF Legislature Party clarify
  • Pregnancy Care Practice : Book
  • Kicking up issues at this point
  • A Clandestine announcement or....
  • Ningol to her mapam lamdam : Gallery
  • Chakkouba Nga Mela #1: Gallery
  • Raju Bista at Ningol Chakouba Delhi
  • The bone of contention - Two Entities
  • Response to Govt Recommendations
  • Competing Claims Along India-Myanmar
  • 'Great October March 2019' at Odisha
  • From shared sovereignty to what ?
  • ...Manipur is the only option, Avakarar
  • Khehoi camp training Kuki to fight Naga: IM
  • Social significance of Ningol Chakkouba
  • Ningol Chakouba :: Flash Presentation
  • Sangai Festival: Cultural Program: Gallery
  • The poppy charms in Manipur hills
  • Fuska my umpteen desires
  • PANE Programme in PANDU College
  • Ani Thokpi culture: Two Ningol Chakkouba
  • The 'facts' is to decide the 'fate'
  • October 31 deadline stands: Ravi
  • NNPGs clarifies on Naga flag & constitution
  • Ningol Chakkouba Shopping #1: Gallery
  • Alert Rally- Peace Talks- Oct 26: Gallery
  • Maiba-Maibi Local Healers in Manipur
  • Will PM allow talks beyond 31 Oct
  • Licypriya meet landslide victims of Odisha
  • Everyone must maintain peace
  • The right one just for me :: Poem
  • Kakching District STDCM branch semkhre
  • Final pact sans NSCN (IM) ?
  • Ema Keithel #1 : Gallery
  • Cry of a Dying River - 98 :: Poem
  • Bioinformatics, computational & biology
  • Ningol Chakkouba Thabal at Bangalore
  • Jessica Akoijam in Miss United Nations
  • NEC Tamchon Football Tournament
  • Bor khoiramba @Hiyangthang #3 : Gallery
  • Ningol Chakouba : A message
  • Churachand Kang Tournament #1 : Gallery
  • Talui in Ukhrul #2 : Gallery
  • Hiyang Tanaba @Lamlai #2: Gallery
  • Akhunba Takhellei #1 :: eRang
  • 123rd Lamyanba Irabot #3 : Gallery
  • Bor khoiramba @Hiyangthang #2 : Gallery
  • Ibudhou Thangjing Haraoba #5 : Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2019 #4: Gallery
  • Tolloi, Ukhrul :: 360 Panorama View