TODAY -

Political and Economic Ramifications of Manipur Merger with India in 1949

Yumlembam Henba Singh *



“By common endeavour, we can raise the country to new greatness, while lack of unity will expose us to unexpected calamities…..”
- Sadar Patel’s letter to princely rulers, 1947

Sadar Patel’s earnest call eventually led to a ‘Union of States’ called India. Manipur we see today is incontestably the ultimate corollary of the merger with India in 1949. The once sovereign kingdom has been under the grasp of continued spasm of turmoil and unrest. The merger and henceforth implementation of the larger idea of India might have had generated vacuum in the eco-political scenario of the state and further to the society as well.

Merger of 1949

It is a well-known fact that the merger of Manipur was marred by both (a) procedural lapses and (b) substantive lapses. Maharaja Bodhachandra had signed the Merger Agreement on 21 st September 1949 under duress; to put in to force from 15th October 1949. Prior to this, an anti-monarchy movement had compelled the king to give way to an elected legislature.

The legislative body as well as the constitution were abolished unceremoniously upon the merger with India. Amid the opposition, Manipur was not given full statehood, instead made a Part-C state under a ‘Diwan’ appointed by the centre. Later on, it was upgraded to a Union Territory in 1956 .

Unsatisfied ,the secessionist movement gathered momentum to an armed revolution; only then Manipur was given full statehood in 1972 along with Tripura and Meghalaya. Consequences Contemporary situations and issues surrounding Manipur may be linked with the merger viz.
(a) insurgency and human rights violation ,
(b) framework agreement with NSCN (IM) and demand for territorial integrity,
(c) demand f r Inner Line Permit or
(d) Schedule Tribe demand by the Meitei.

The imposition of an alien constitution and its overarching authority over the state may have generated such unfavourable responses. The political atmosphere of the state undertook a drastic change under the Constitution of India. The Quasi-federal nature of the Constitution tantamount to over-centralisation by Delhi.

Fali S. Nariman in his book “The state of the nation”, 2013 has highlighted the contradiction of Article 1 with the Article 3 of the Constitution. While Article 1 defines “India, that is Bharat, shall be a union of states”, Article 3 empowers the Parliament to override the states in the matter of altering state boundaries, naming, merging or splitting states.

This is a clear example of encroachment in the federal character of the state. It is the centre-state relation and the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution of India (division of powers between the Union and the States) that shapes the political features of Manipur. The political scenario in the state has been such that it replicates the one in the centre.

There has been a lack of an offensive political agenda that strikes the heart of the people. Dominance of the centre can be seen in the complete overhaul of the once self-sufficient kingdom. The very economy of the state has been dictated by the centre leading to overdependency. The listing of subjects under the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution and the various government schemes or policies has rendered the state helpless.

The so called Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) and the government flagship schemes such as MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act), PMAY (Pradhan Mantri Awaj Yojana), NHM (National Health Mission), One Nation One Card, Motor Vehicles Act e tc . have become more enthusiastic. Numbers of the schemes have its inroad into the subject matter of the state reason being ‘national priorities’.

Such process acts as a deterrent to the selfrealisation of a small state like Manipur. Moreover, to capture political power in the states, naming the schemes PM Yojana is a shrewd agenda of the ruling power. The Union Government spending of nearly 12% of its annual budget on CSS; the allocation of funds to schemes and not to the states causes uncertainty in the stat e finance department.

Adding to this the 90:10 funding scheme have made the state more reliant on centre for its development . Even the Panchayat needs finance from the Union. Nevertheless the current regime legitimisation of GST (Goods and Services Tax) has made the condition worsened. The Union Government is yet to compensate states Rs 2.35 lakh crore GST shortfall in 2020-21.

It weakens the power of the state to collect local taxes and hence enfeebles its revenue generating power. A small state like Manipur with limited resources will obviously succumb to the injury of revenue loss. Similar systems have been in operation since Manipur was merged to the Union. Complaints of gross negligence by the centre to the state have been falling to deaf ears.

How will a state with no wherewithal to stand guard itself expect to have a strong political set up except to dance to the tunes of the centre? Unfortunately Manipur has not been able to come out of this “chakkravyu” yet. Questions are being asked whether Manipur has been under a neocolonial captive market of the centre.

To answer these questions Manipur need a robust political structure to withstand any pressure. If not merged Hypothetically speaking , Manipur have had the capacity to stand for itself. Example of small countries like Nepal and Bhutan with their sovereign power and well-founded foreign relations can be considered. Manipur could have mingled with the South-East Asian countries easily.

There is no denying the fact that the valley of Manipur is fertile enough for agriculture, particularly paddy to thrive. The 2000 years of self-sufficient Manipur before the merger is a clear indication. All we need is a little tweak in the policy according to the given period of time. Over and above Manipur is endowed with mineral resources like chromite and uranium or even oil and petroleum which can be optimised for state revenue generation.

Modern social issues such as the hill-valley divide and the identity crisis or ethnic polarisation could not have existed altogether. Prior to colonisation, harmony and prosperity existed in the kingdom of Manipur. The influx of nonresidents could have checked easily and peace prevailed among all the communities if an independent political decision was made.

Way forward

Given the backdrop, Manipur needs an agenda which is more on offensive and less on reaction. To break the chain of government-contract or political set up, Manipur needs an assertive inclusive policy supported by the people. It is high time for Manipur to recall the CPI programme in 1948 un der Hijam Irabot’s legacy of ‘right to self-determination’ if we are to survive in this dubious modern world.

Strengthening the primary sector especially agricultural production will be the pivotal step towards a selfsufficient Manipur. As the old adage says “the greatest thing in the world is to know how to be self-sufficient”. This can act as the stepping stone to free the state from the muss of over dependency.

Besides, the untapped natural resources can be utilised purposefully. Also Manipur has ample potential to grow in the field of tourism industry with the God gifted natural beauties. It has large possibilities to generate revenue if a well-documented plan follows. To consolidate the economic front, Manipur will need to adopt an inclusive sustainable political agenda.

A Centre-State paradigm reformation is the need of the hour to end the political quagmire. Also the state will require a greater amount of autonomy to make her self-decision. Centre’s control over its policy making decisions have been the main issue that hinders political outgrowth and ultimately dependence upon the centre.

The fate of crucial bills such as the ‘Manipur People’s Bill’ and the ‘Anti Lynching Bill’ which never gets the President assent are signs of centre’s play over the claim of larger interest of the nation. But a small state like Manipur needs to assert their rights and protect its own indigenous people to propel in this competitive world order.

The unsustainable and unreliable political set up running under the whims and fancies of the centre created a sense of loss of trust in the democratic institution. It can generate independent thinking and could boost revolutionary ideas as have been happening in the state. Therefore politics should focus more on governance with active people’s involvement in the decision making.

It will indeed take a lot of chutzpah for Manipur to stand up to the centre and demand for political autonomy. But it will be a risk worth taking.

Conclusion

The old aphorism ‘extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures’ is in fact imperative for Manipur. It is extraordinary because Manipur has been reeling in this precarious situation for so long and demands changes. The outmoded style of dominance by the centre if continued then Manipur will lose its footings.

Example from history of Manipur such as the ‘lallup’ system introduced during the reign of king Pakhangba will be a good consideration. The organizational set up , particularly, was exemplary as it did give political and economic stability and sustainability. Such a programme of over the top thinking is urgently required to come out of this shambles.

A democratic political set up with certain amount of autonomy should give some room for improvement. Because it is the real federal structures that will allow a small state like Manipur to stand on its decisions. The aim should be for long term single political demand with an accommodative approach keeping in mind the various communities and not merely waiting for the centre to chart our policies.

Rather an aggressive political voice should send to Delhi to assert the unarguable rights of Manipur. ‘Mikap thokpa ’ or consciousness both politically and economically should drive Manipur on its way to self determination.


(This write-up is one among the two 3rd prize winner of the on line essay competition organized by Imphal Times )


* Yumlembam Henba Singh wrote this article for Imphal Times
This article was webcasted on November 27 2020.



* 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
  • COVID-19 vaccination [Jan 16] #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 16 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Empowering women through sports
  • COVID-19 : Impact in Manipur :: News Timeline
  • Dzuko 'the Nagmani'
  • 3rd foundation day- National Sport University
  • Research & Publication Ethics Workshop
  • Living Legends of Manipur : Wall Calendar
  • Cong existence felt, will it survive?
  • Day light Thabal Chongba #3 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 15 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • School Fagathanshi @Leimapokpam: Gallery
  • The voice inside me :: Poem
  • Let's embrace youths self esteem
  • Gita - An antidote for life in Kali #2
  • Bedtime beauty hacks to look young
  • Menace on the roads of Imphal
  • Hill Valley bondage strengthened
  • Narcotic Drugs disposal @Lamlai #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 14 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Shachi Gurumayum honoured overseas Indian
  • Enthusiasm of LFCA's children
  • Energy Conservation Material Management
  • Commandant 12th Bn NDRF called on CM
  • Water education for sustainability
  • Postpone Public Hearing on Gender Policy
  • Students at the forefront
  • Fuelling the anger
  • COVID Vaccine arrived @ Airport : Gallery
  • Major (Dr) Laishram Jyotin, Ashoka Chakra
  • Mushroom training program at Langmeidong
  • 5 years of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana
  • Drugs ki lansu amani
  • 3rd State Level Jump Rope Championship
  • Vaccine and low count of infection
  • Human fails to learn lessons from Corona
  • My memories of Imphal from 1941 #13
  • COVID-19 Status 12 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Athing Mongbisu, Nemneikim: eMing
  • National Youth Day at Lilong Haoreibi
  • Face it all together: threat of pandemics
  • Majuli - India's only river island district
  • More of a question when, not should
  • Tungjoy re-visited
  • COVID-19 Status 11 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • COVID Vaccination Meeting with PM: Gallery
  • Fruits & Vegetables grown in North East #2
  • 18th BIG Call : Biotechnology Grant
  • Trade hate for love : Blissful 2021
  • Jump Rope (Judges & Referees) Exam
  • Connecting via Jiri
  • Dhanamanjuri University & its Identity Crisis
  • INA's Honour at the Battle of Imphal
  • COVID-19 Status 10 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Ima Keithel @ Kanglatongbi/Sekmai : Gallery
  • Aromatic Oil Extraction training at Huishu
  • Tulihal - Our sweet old local airport
  • Gita - An antidote for life in Kali #1
  • Training on Mushroom at Nagamapal
  • The call for new normal still stands
  • 187 Death Anniv- Maharaj Gambhir : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 09 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Biocontrol of Parthenium for biodiversity #2
  • A message from mother nature :: Poem
  • New year resolution & complication
  • NEP-2020 : A new Landscape in Education
  • Wildfire in Dzuko, Senapati #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 08 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Satyamala : Most Fortunate Manipuri Princess
  • Transforming economy of the kingdom of God
  • Events and celebration as career
  • How to protect your lips in winter
  • Poppy plantation & drug trafficking
  • We Continue To Strive Forward
  • Press Club Foundation Day : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 07 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Bereavement : Grief Reaction
  • Emergency Response System : Gallery
  • This world :: Poem
  • Bitter truth
  • Re-opening and rethinking border trade
  • My memories of Imphal from 1941 # 12
  • COVID-19 Status 06 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Fruits & Vegetables grown in North East #1
  • Life goes on !
  • Naga Rapper Macnivil - New Music Video
  • Awareness Prog with Women Commission
  • Farm Acts need of the hour
  • Imphal on eve of New Year 2021 #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 05 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Cold Storage @ Bishnupur Bazar : Gallery
  • Pronoia - The sociological antidote to corona
  • New Year 2021 :: Poem
  • Careers opportunity in Fashion Industry
  • Economic growth: A mirage so far
  • The law of Habit
  • Zeilad Lake in Tamenglong #1 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 04 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Biocontrol of Parthenium for biodiversity #1
  • Child Nutrition and their future
  • Guilt free self love - Not a sin!
  • 'Anguish over wild fire at Dziikou Valley'
  • Another message for another year
  • Lamphelpat: Victim of unplanned urbanisation
  • Politics and the War Against Drug
  • Ibudhou Marongkhong Haraoba #4 :: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 03 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn the Manipuri script
  • Linguistic Society of America 2020 to Manipur
  • Time for Modi-Shah duo to ink the final pact
  • Vanishing Lamphelpat calls for conservation
  • New Community Centre at Ningthoukhong
  • Disturbed Area status: An unwelcome gift
  • Paona Independence League of Burma #3
  • COVID-19 Status 02 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Presentation of Tourism in Manipur : Gallery
  • Manipur's super cops
  • The passing moment- clock of life :: Poem
  • Executive Committee of 2021-22 YMC
  • Take care of your hands this winter
  • RK Bhubonsana : Profile- Literature Awardee
  • COVID-19 Status 01 Jan : Govt of Manipur
  • Prayers to honourable Home Minister
  • Book Release of Cheerom Meihoubarol
  • Chronicling activity of Veterans in Manipur #2
  • Biswajit Basu as Director (Projects), NHPC
  • Imphal on eve of New Year 2021 #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 31 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • Downloadable Manipuri Calendar :: 2021
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2020 #6: Gallery
  • Bidding Goodbye 2020 with a toast of Corona
  • Let us not down NK Sanajaoba's Spirit
  • Dr Konika Khuraijam- SDP Achievers Award
  • One Day Adventure Programme at Lamdan
  • On stepping into a brand New Year
  • Welcome 2021: Will it be another happy days
  • Romita Yumnam is Mrs Jhansi 2020 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 30 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • Mrs Romita Yumnam crowned Mrs Jhansi 2020
  • Year's End - 2020 :: Poem
  • Bye - Bye 2020 :: Poem
  • Maya Kuki in top 25 in Mrs Universe 2020
  • 2020: Decisive for the BJP in Manipur
  • The other side of Amit Shah & Manipuri talent
  • My memories of Imphal from 1941 #11
  • COVID-19 Status 29 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • The cry of a disgruntled citizen
  • KVRSS Annual Research Awards 2020-21
  • Manage to reduce it
  • Life is a matter of choices
  • Painting Competition : Right to Information
  • New virus strain: The world is worried
  • Mayang Imphal Keithel #1 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 28 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • January Calendar for Year 2021 : Tools
  • Shanti Thokchom #43 : Trip to Grand Canyon
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • 2020 as the 'Year of Science'
  • Sampurna Raas Leela at Guwahati
  • Significant 2 hours delay in leaving lmphal
  • Biren will be Chief Ministerial candidate
  • Amit Shah @Imphal [Dec 27] : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 27 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • Organic cultivation of tomato
  • Xmas during pandemic - a time to reflect
  • Reviews of Loktak Downstream Project
  • Amit Shah: Man behind ILP in Manipur
  • S Lonphai, Henglep Sub-div, CCpur : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 26 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • Christmas greetings
  • Halls of Ivy - a lament :: Poem
  • Remembering Jesus- A lonely 'Carpenter'..
  • Beauty oils: The solution for dry winter skin
  • Of Manipur and HM visits
  • Works of Haobam Paban Kumar #2 : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 25 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • Pukhrambam Narjit : Asangbi Sanagi Medal
  • Community health work is work
  • Chronicling activity of Veterans in Manipur #1
  • What are friends for ?
  • Discontinuation of Traditional Elopement
  • Christmas Traditions :: Book
  • Lessons from COVID-19: Universal healthcare
  • Getting bronze medal in drinking
  • Manipur on the way to development
  • Towards Atmanirbhar Cities
  • NSCN (K) in talk mode
  • Still murky news from Manipur University
  • Paona Independence League of Burma #2
  • COVID-19 Status 23 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • Christmas 2020: Pandemic time Choice
  • Winter woods :: Poem
  • Cultivation practices of Soybean in Manipur
  • Laishram Mema honoured at Mumbai
  • Blow out the old, ring in the new
  • My memories of Imphal from 1941 #10
  • COVID-19 Status 22 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • School Fagathanshi Mission : Gallery
  • Yongchak: The Dying Bean in Manipur
  • Economy of using concrete transmission line
  • Careers opportunity in Journalism
  • The reality: Virus is still out there
  • Are we in the right direction
  • Khamba Thoibi Jagoi at JNMDA #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 21 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • 84 yrs recovers from C0VID-19 at Ukhrul
  • Azolla : A potential biofertiliser for rice
  • Rice water for winter beauty
  • Boring 2020
  • War on Drugs campaign : Drawing attention
  • War on Drugs: The uncheck loopholes
  • Cherry Blossom at Mao #1: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 20 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • CM visit to Senapati: Gallery
  • As the year comes to an end :: Poem
  • This too shall pass
  • A tribute
  • No test for incoming passengers
  • ILMDG's approach to preserve Ariba Pala
  • COVID-19 Status 19 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • Manipuri Filmmaker @ 51st Intl Film Fest India
  • Revisiting the life of Lamyanba NK Sanajaoba
  • 5 days skill development training program
  • Symposium on Combating COVID-19 : Day 3
  • The art of cleaning the dirt
  • Festive mood in CCpur for Xmas: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 18 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • Panti Neimei : Prayer for longevity
  • New species of lac insect found in Manipur
  • Community-led approaches pivotal to HIV
  • RIST Talk 47: Photoacoustic signal strength
  • Symposium on Combating COVID-19 : Day 2
  • High profile arrest, high profile acquittal
  • Attracting tourists: post COVID
  • Paona Independence League of Burma #1
  • COVID-19 Status 17 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • Irang bailey bridge @ Noney : Gallery
  • My Tryst with Preeclampsia, Again!
  • Adieu to a maverick IPS officer
  • Symposium on Combating COVID-19 : Day 1
  • Pradhan Mantri Matsya Sampada Yojana
  • Dry but ranks third in the country
  • The dirty game
  • Ningol Chakouba @ Thanga #2: Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 16 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • My memories of Imphal from 1941 #9
  • My mother :: Poem
  • Love who you are !
  • AR organizes Weapon Display for Students
  • COVID-19 highlights virtues of villages
  • From deadlock to 'imposed solution' ?
  • Persons with Disabilities [Dec 15] : Gallery
  • COVID-19 Status 15 Dec : Govt of Manipur
  • ADR Centres at 5 districts : Gallery
  • Works of Haobam Paban Kumar #1 : Gallery
  • State level Nupi Lan Day : Gallery
  • Langban Lam-Haiba @ Andro #2: Gallery
  • Ningol Chakouba @ Imphal #2 : Gallery
  • Sory Wahengbam - Actress Gallery :: eRang
  • COVID patient cast vote @Wangoi : Gallery
  • 'Zehara' - Manipuri Movie :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS