TODAY -

Locate Manipur in India's Politics

Seram Neken *

Rishang Keishing : Chief Ministers of Manipur
Rishang Keishing : Chief Ministers of Manipur from
27 November to 1980 to 28 February 1981
19 June 1981 to 04 January 1985
04 January 1985 to 04 March 1988
14 December 1994 to 24 February 1995
25 February 1995 to 15 December 1997



"Although Manipur dominates the nation in games and sports, the state is yet to gain due importance in mainland politics. While the whole world identifies India with the rich art and cultural heritage of Manipur, national political parties of India seem to ignore the state's politicians in handling national issues. The Congress Party in Manipur has neither claimed a ministerial berth nor has it been desperate in not considering a position in the recently effected reshuffle of Manmohan Singh led Union ministry. The reach of Manipur politicians is apparently limited to this hilly state. It is now time for our politicians to widen their perspectives and endeavour to dominate national mainland politics"

Performance of the Congress Party in Manipur during the last six decades of India's republic is satisfactory enough to award a ministerial berth to its members of Parliament. The state has produced capable MPs who can become union ministers. However, none from the border state has been considered for a ministerial berth in the two editions of UPA government. Congress party has been in power in the state for the last three tenures. Out of the sixty MLAs in state legislature at present, 42 belong to the Congress party. All the three MPs of Manipur- two of Lok Sabha and one of Rajya Sabha are Congressmen who deserve to become ministers in Congress led Government of India.

The Congress Party, as per election outcome, has been maintaining its popularity in Manipur for most of the time since independence and the state's merger into the Indian Union. In the first, second, third, seventh, tenth and fourteenth Lok Sabha elections, Congress party got one seat each out of the two Lok Sabha seats of Manipur, while the party managed to get all two seats of lower house in the fifth, sixth, eighth, ninth and eleventh Lok Sabhas. Indian National Congress (INC) held the lone Rajya Sabha seat of Manipur for almost 46 years (from 1954 to 1978, from 1984 to 1990 and from 1996 to date). At present all three MPs (two in Lok Sabha and one of Rajya Sabha) belong to Indian National Congress.

Veteran Congressman Rishang Keishing is a rare personality who is politically well-acquainted and experienced. Indian National Congress might have acknowledged his contribution to Indian politics by honouring the 92-year-old Rajya Sabha member from Manipur with a ministerial berth. Keishing was a member of the first Lok Sabha and is the lone surviving leader, who continues to be a MP. The MP from Manipur initiated the discussion in the Rajya Sabha when it recently celebrated the Golden Jubilee of Indian parliament.

The veteran politician born in 1920 was elected to Parliament as a Member of First Lok Sabha in 1952-1957 and 1957-61. Rishang Keishing, who completed his graduation in 1949 from St Paul's Cathedral College in Kolkata, entered politics as a fire brand socialist with Jaiprakash Narayan's Socialist Party and won his first Lok Sabha seat of Outer Manipur in 1952. He came back to the third Lok Sabha in 1962, once again from the Socialist Party.

He was the Chief Minister of Manipur thrice, from November 1980 to February 1981, from June 1981 to 1988 and from 1994-97. Later, he was elected Rajya Sabha member in 2002 for the first time, and in 2008 at the age of 88 for the second time. Rishang is presently the Members of Committee on Food, Civil Supplies and Public Distribution; Committee on Commerce; Court of the North-Eastern Hill University; Committee on Home Affairs; Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Shipping, Road Transport and Highways and Committee on Public Undertakings.

Dr. Thokchom Meinya Singh, present MP from Inner Manipur Parliamentary constituency, is a well qualified congressman elected for two consecutive terms. A former minister in state government before election to Lok Sabha, Shri Meinya also deserves to get a ministerial berth in Union government. However, the national leaders of Congress Party seem to have neglected Manipur in considering for ministership.

The strategic position Manipur holds and unique contributions it makes in sports and arts are satisfactory enough to pay importance to this border state. Both the people's talents as well as stronghold of the Congress party have considerable contributions to India's political and cultural arena. But, it is questionable whether Manipur politicians are unfit to be union ministers? Very young and inexperienced MPs have been upgraded to ministerial positions in the last reshuffle, while veteran leaders devoted to party politics for lifetime have been neglected for unknown reasons.

Is Indian politics based on heredity? Are lifetime contributions made by experienced Manipur leaders like Rishang Keishing not counted for they are not born in Gandhi families? Is it because their fathers and fore-fathers have not been in Indian political hierarchy?

During the last 65 years of independence, Manipur's loyalty to the Congress Party has been great in contrast to states like West Bengal, which believes in communism. It is questionable why Manipur has been left out of the congress ministry? National party's neglecting Manipur will further widen the existing gap between the north easterners and the mainland Indians. Are the state leaders in Congress party complacent with the treatment meted out to them?




* Seram Neken wrote this article for Hueiyen Lanpao (English Edition) as part of "The voiceless speaks"
This article was webcasted on November 12 2012.


* 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!
  • Appeal about arbitrary arrest of Sharmila
  • Lesson to be learnt
  • Idea of Manipur as a geo-political reality
  • Exposition of Reservation Norms in MU
  • Impact of ILP movement on students
  • Pineapple Queen Contest #1: Gallery
  • Sharmila @Ima Keithel #2: Gallery
  • Birth Of Students' Force in Manipur
  • Significance of Martyrs' Day
  • An unimportant incident can make your day
  • Candle light vigil for Palestine
  • Pengba's Haircut
  • ILP: Checking Bakery : Gallery
  • Pursuing fake killers
  • Sino-Indian rivalry
  • Manipuri- a Classical Language ?
  • Human Rights Enforcement in Northeast
  • Inner Line Permit
  • My Girl Friend : Poem
  • Sadar Hills Movement & Its Impact #2
  • Meira Katpa #2 @13 August : Gallery
  • Can Modi have guts to remove AFSPA?
  • Interview with The Dirty Strikes
  • 3D visualisers @StudioCHANDI
  • BJP demands Cong to take call on AFSPA
  • Political vendetta
  • North East & systematic failures
  • Religious movement of Haipou Jadonang #1
  • Walking By Faith, Not By Emotions
  • Jeangam, Kalanbung, Gaikhuanlung : eMing
  • Imphal Flood @Cheirap : Gallery
  • ILP: Protest by Transgender : Gallery
  • Interview with 'ReCycle'
  • Towards a better Manipur
  • ST/SC student assistance schemes
  • Leiyisigee Wangmada - Premier at BOAT
  • India Cornering Nagas into submission?
  • Judges' reports reveal AFSPA scars
  • Thank you SMS's and split mandate
  • Dzuko Valley landscape #1: Gallery
  • Chayetpa Tomnao- Red Carpet : Gallery
  • Interview with Dr. George Haokip
  • Sharmila Re-arrest Fiasco
  • Tale of 2 State Bhawan & House
  • Takhelambam Sibaraj :Apartment Award
  • Flash floods @Imphal #2: Gallery
  • ILP : Ima @Raj Bhavan #2: Gallery
  • Jobs @KanglaSolutions
  • Travel and Tourism Fair, Ahmedabad
  • Netherlands Fellowship Programme
  • Naga peace talks to resume soon
  • Much ado about Sharmila
  • The Reason : Poem
  • Leiyisigee Wangmada #1 : eRang
  • Govt na meeyambu namthak toubani
  • Will illegal migrants outnumber NE people
  • Flash floods @GP College: Gallery
  • ILP : Ima @Raj Bhavan #1: Gallery
  • ILP : AutoRicksaw protest : Gallery
  • FC Khanglai Squad For Manipur League
  • ADB project: Thoubal to Kasom Khullen
  • Scheduled Castes Students Scholarship
  • SSSC condemns Sharmila's re-arrest
  • CSCHR distressed on Sharmila re-arrest
  • 'Sharmila's re-arrest a mockery'
  • Flash floods @Imphal #1: Gallery
  • State Level Quiz Competition
  • Signature campaign on ILP at Delhi
  • Manipur get separate IAS, IPS cadres
  • 7 from NE bag Sahitya Akademi award
  • NE for higher allocation of funds
  • UN body appeal for AFSPA repeal
  • The re-arrest
  • Cap on doctors' fee
  • Irom Sharmila re-arrested: Gallery
  • Indian Culture : Manipuri Music #3
  • First Christian Convert among Zeliangrong
  • Encountering With A Super Cop
  • ILPS in Manipur- Our birthright
  • ILP: Protest @Kakwa #1: Gallery
  • Natwar Singh And Mani Shankar Aiyar
  • he siHgrE ..? :: Seireng
  • Martyrs' Day at Mao Gate
  • Delhi tops in discrimination against NE
  • With or without Sharmila
  • Manipur in midst of divisive forces
  • Sharmila released from jail #2: Gallery
  • Sadar Hills Movement & Its Impact #1
  • Tamenglong #8: Wallpaper Download
  • I-Day @MR Ground #3: Gallery
  • Feeding Genre Of News-starved Children
  • Nirupan of Shri Madan Mohan, Anuprabhu
  • Beside the Statue of Martyr : Poem
  • Training for NE reps. in Delhi Police
  • RN Ravi as interlocutor- request for review
  • 'welcomes historic, far-sighted judgement'
  • Accountant @Technodata, Imphal
  • Siemens Scholarship for Engg students
  • Sharmila released from jail #1: Gallery
  • Proving the skeptics right
  • Landlocked Manipur & highway blockades
  • Rengdi Lem (Zeliangrong) #1 :: Ooba
  • Pukhrambam Dhanajit : Akademi Award
  • 13 August @BT Park : Gallery
  • 1st Manipuri Dance Tour of Australia, 1951
  • A Fantasy World.. : Poem
  • Manipulation of Thadou Certificate issuance
  • Manipur's political dissent into prominence
  • Prisoner of Conscience Irom Sharmila
  • Fragrances From North East: Film Fest
  • Medi-chopper service in NE
  • Interior designers @StudioCHANDI
  • Reqts @CloudZack Tech, Imphal
  • Reqts @Sky Hospital, Imphal
  • 13 August @Bengaluru : Gallery
  • Patriot's Day function at Bengaluru
  • Centre snubs Nagaland
  • Victory of Irom Sharmila
  • Freedom from AFSPA & nose feeding
  • NE women harassed by landlord in Delhi
  • NTC launches 'poster campaign'
  • NE CMs' meet to decide roadmap
  • ILP: Manipur BJP seeks white paper
  • Krishna Jarma @Mahabali : Gallery
  • For keeping 'Home' clean
  • Peace talk, surrender & rehabilitation
  • Meira Katpa at BT Park: Gallery
  • Role Of Family In Education
  • 13 August @Kangla: Gallery
  • I-Day @MR Ground #2: Gallery
  • The Dark Saga : Poem
  • The curious case of Maram assault
  • Zero tolerance, AFSPA & fake encounters
  • Longjam Tombi : Veteran Sportsperson
  • RIST Talk @MU
  • Healthcare Course at JCRE
  • Short Term Courses In Hotel Management
  • FC Khanglai Rope In I-League Players
  • Leiyisigi Wangmada: Credits :: eRang
  • Welcome To The North East : Video
  • "To Be Bboy" Vol. II - Video Release
  • Documentary film workshop @Tamei
  • Pebam Chittaranjan death anniv: Gallery
  • Sushila Likmabam : Judo - Profile
  • I-Day @CORCOM Strike : Gallery
  • I-Day @Raj Bhavan: Gallery
  • ILP: CC Hr. Sec Students : Gallery
  • Applicability Of UN Watercourse Treaty
  • NIT Manipur Foundation Day
  • Delhi students discover asteroids
  • CWG medalists @Airport: Gallery
  • Passengers stranded at Golaghat
  • Medical Transcription @DBN
  • Lal Dena talks on NE experiences
  • Conference: Sustainable urbanization
  • Loktak & Manipuri Lifeworld: Book
  • Aruba :: E-pao Radio
  • Govt & Manipur University Behaviour
  • 13 August @Pune : Gallery
  • Patriots' Day at Pune
  • Tech Support @Technodata, Imphal
  • Positions reqts at JNU
  • 13 August Drama : Gallery
  • ILP: Meira paibees @Paona: Gallery
  • Indian Culture : Manipuri Music #2
  • Manipuri's exemplary love of sports
  • ILP: Students rally @Kongpal #2 :Gallery
  • Patriots' Day Observation #1 :Gallery
  • Felicitation of CWG 2014 :Gallery
  • Jhulon Festival at Kwakeithel :Gallery
  • Chayetpaa Tomnao #3 :: eRang
  • Ethnic dances Leimatak :Gallery
  • Lush green field of Lamshang :Gallery
  • Leimatak bailey bridge :Gallery
  • Kang Shanaba Indigenous Game #2: Gallery
  • Nungsigi Ten :: Radio e-pao
  • Saphabi - Manipuri Movie :: eRang Classic
  • Sushila Nandeibam - Classics #1 : Radio
  • Ngangbam Shantikumar Interview
  • Thangal Folk song :: Ooba Video
  • Thokchom Bonium :: Profile by Daniel
  • Tamenglong #6: Wallpaper Download
  • MU Gate, Canchipur :: Panorama 360ø view
  • Pre-order Chingda Satpi for Mangka
  • SPONSORED ADS