By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Aug 11: All Manipur Youth Protection Committee (AMYPCO) organised a one day discussion programme on 'Instrument of Accession Manipur' at the office of Committee of Civil Societies Kangleipak, New Checkon, Imphal Sunday.
Manipur Human Rights Commission Acting Chairperson Khaidem Mani, All Manipur Youth Protection Committee president L Shyam Khuman, Committee of Civil Societies, Kangleipak president Jiten Ningombam, NG College Political Science Assistant Professor Dr Maibam Mangoljao and Puwari Leeba Lup Imphal secretary W Pathou attended the event.
Speaking at the event, AMYPCO president L Shyam Khuman recalled that Manipur one was one of the many princely States which were ruled by the British for decades. Manipur lost its complete freedom in 1891. British ruled the State for 56 years till 1947, he said.
Manipur became independent on August 14, 1947 and on October 15, 1949, it was merged into India. The controversy around the signing of Instrument of Accession on August 11, 1947 is 'baffling' many, Shyam Khuman said.
It may be noted that many have been challenging the validity of the document King Bodhachandra signed on August 11, 1947 prior to independent of the Dominion of India.
Even if the legal document (Instrument of Accession) has the signature of the then King Bodhachandra or that of his Secretary, the questions remain when did the Dominion of India received the document and when did Manipur got the letter conveying acceptance of the Instrument of Accession signed," he said.
"What is every disappointing is that the copy of the Instrument of Accession sent by the King was accepted and signed by Mountbatten as Governor General of India on August 16, 1947. It is interesting to think how Mountbatten signed the document on August 16 as Governor General of India when India got its freedom on August 15, a day earlier," he said.
Whether the Instrument of Accession was signed with the agreement that India would only control and oversee the External Affairs, Defence and Communication sectors relating to Manipur, needs to be discussed, he added claiming that there is no provision in the document that surrenders or gives India complete control of sovereignty of Manipur.
The prevailing law and order situation and status of the State are direct and indirect 'results' of the numbers of documents that Manipur signed with the Dominion of India, he said emphasising that such documents including the Instrument of Accession, Merger Agreement etc were not deliberated upon minutely and closely by the people and authorities of the time.
"The Centre now has the power to withhold laws/ Bills passed in the State Assembly. What is the use of having a State Assembly when it cant enact even a popular Bill that aims at protecting its own people, culture, tradition and identity," Shyam said.
Many speakers too spoke at the event urging people to study the various facets of history that are impacting their lives and the State's socioeconomic and political aspirations.