Contd from previous issue
In educational qualifications, Sinam Krishnamohon was a Master of Arts (M.A.) and B.L. (law graduate) and he married Churachand Maharaj eldest daughter Maharaj Kumari Tamphasana in 1929 (just after passing B.A. or in the midst of prosecuting higher education is not known). As Sharma admits in his autobiography booklet, both he and Sinam Krishnamohon were ostracized by Churachand Maharaj for putting up their accommodation in a Muslim house during college days in Gauhati. However, the equation completely changed for S. Krishnamohon in 1929 when Churachand Maharaj offered the hand of his eldest daughter and most-liked issue to him for betrothal. S. Krishnamohon might have been ostracized, made outcaste and put through hell in 1925 but a complete reversal of fortune took place for him after four years when he became the chosen man ordained by fate, destined to marry Churachand Maharaj’s pampered, mollycoddled eldest royal daughter. Real life situations are indeed stranger than fiction. An outcast of 1925 completely transformed into most fortune favoured groom of twentieth century Manipur. When one marries a Sana-ebemma (royal daughter, that too the eldest and most favoured one), one can imagine the pomposity if, it was ever there, and the massive voluminous loads of dowry that would come calling accompanying the bride to the lucky groom. The complete turnaround and sheer upward reversal of fortune underwent and witnessed by S. Krishnamohon in short four years from 1925-29 will certainly be talked about with awe. In blood relations, S. Krishnamohon happened to a masen ibungo (junior brother-in-law) to Maharaja Bodh Chandra even though the latter was younger in age to him. Notwithstanding seniority in age, being His Highness’ masen ibungo imply junior status in customary and social mores’ pecking order. One can imagine the oddity and awkwardness of having to live under the spell of addressing Maharaja Bodh Chandra as Ebai Ibungo (brother-in-law) by Mr. Krishnamohon. And that perhaps explains why he would set on a collision course with Maharaja Bodh Chandra by going all the way to Delhi in July-August 1949 hobnobbing with A.I.C.C. leaders and openly taking part in August 3rd infamous, aborted Rupmahal meeting. Besides, S. Krishnamohon’s anti monarchist stand resembles shifting sand phenomenon. When he was made to function as Minister in the Interim Council for nearly fifteen months serving in the capacity as Finance Minister as one of the two nominees of Manipur State Congress, the other nominee being R.K. Bhubansana, during this period S. Krishnamohon had no qualms under Chief Minister Capt. M.K. Priya Brata and the overall monarchical dispensation presided over by Maharaja Bodh Chandra. In fact, induction of Sinam Krishnamohon and R.K. Bhubansana into the Interim Council on 14 August, 1947 became the flash point for a split to occur in the Manipur State Congress in to factions led by Potshangbam Tomal and Elangbam Tompok respectively. Inclusion and appointment of Sinam Krishnamohon and R.K. Bhubansana has been remarkably described as ‘a night in shame’ in strongly worded terms when historical review of the Manipur political scene is undertaken. And all the hue and cry, hullabaloo of sorts were raised in Yaiskul, Yumnam Leikai and Singjamei pockets of Imphal with Elangbam Tompok and his faction of camp followers crying hoarse over Sinam Krishnamohon-R.K. Bhubansana appointment as ministers holding finance and revenue portfolios from August-November 1947.
Still, Sinam Krishnamohon changed into a political chameleon turncoat in no time after he was dropped as Finance minister in November, 1948. Just nine months since his removal as minister, in the middle of 1949, he went to Delhi with Dwijamani Dev Sharma to hobnob and lobby for merger of Manipur into India (cited from Hijam Irabot Singh and Political Movements in Manipur by Karam Manimohan Singh, B.R. Publishing House, Delhi, 1989 Pg.347). The intriguing question remains as to why Sinam Krishnamohon decided to go to Delhi to press for abolition of monarchy and merger of Manipur into India. Did he go on his own volition or was he used by his close friend Dwijamani Dev Sharma to further his own agenda, dark deeds and diabolic, nefarious designs. It has been remarked: Sinam Krishnamohon ipang pangjabani, Dwijamani Dev Sharma-na aa-ohpa sabani, meaning thereby, Sinam Krishnamohon resembles the type and disposition characteristic of simple going man, while on the contrary, D.D. Sharma was a shrewd, clever Brahmin who always pose meddlesome, menacing nuisance to matters of State administration when he was active in political life. It is, therefore, not wrong to say clever witted M.A. Sanskrit Khwai Brahmin Congressman Mr. Sharma made use of his rather-dim-witted friend M.A./B.L. Manipur State Congress President in 1949 S. Krishnamohon, (Churachand Maharaj mamak-ibungo, Maharaja Bodh Chandra masen-ibungo brother-in-law — son-in-law to Churachand Maharaj, brother-in-law to Maharaja Bodh Chandra, by virtue of his marriage to princess M.K. Tamphasana who expired in early age). Sinam Krishnamohon appears to be quite malleable and ductile character; it is clear that he was used as a foil by Dwijamani Dev Sharma to push forward his own agenda.
Of mabai-ibungo Sinam Krishnamohon, Capt. M.K. Priya Brata remarked thus: Early when the P.L.A. (People’s Liberation Army, a banned insurgent outfit by Government of India) started its activity, I was visited by some armed youths who told (me) they were P.L.A. They wanted to know who (were) at the root of the Merger. They said they had met Sri S. Krishna Mohon. He is one of the first Manipuris to register as a Congress worker from Manipur, he was Minister in-Charge of Finance and Sri R.K. Bhubansana, the Congress President and the Revenue Minister in my Interim Council, the 14th August, 1947 to 15th October, 1948. They, the P.L.A. said that they were sore on the Merger’[See Reminiscences of the First and Last Chief Minister (Under Manipur State Constitution) by Maharajkumar Priyobrata, Manipur Past and Present, Volume 1 edited by Naorem Sanajaoba, Mittal Publication, Delhi 1988 Pg. 139, parenthesis and italics are added, not in the original publication]. As it emerges from a reading of the foregoing lines, Sinam Krishnamohon was an early Congressman in the Manipur political landscape, although it is not clear who registered himself in the Congress party earlier, Dwijamani Dev Sharma or S. Krishnamohon; two close friends but in most matters, Sharma takes the lead and the latter follows him because of age factor and Sharma being first M.A. albeit in Sanskrit.
Admittedly, there can be no reason to doubt that in their heart of hearts for both Maharaja Bodh Chandra and Capt. M.K. Priya Brata, the act of Sinam Krishnamohon cozying up with Dwijamani Dev Sharma and embarking on a journey all the way to Delhi to hobnob with the A.I.C.C. leadership must surely have been an ‘Et tu, Brute’ moment (to borrow the Latin sentence from William Shakespeare’s Julius Caeser that has encapsulated and accentuated act treacherous betrayal committed by close aides in the course of human history). In the eyes of both Maharaja Bodh Chandra and then Chief Minister Capt. M.K. Priya Brata, as emphasized elsewhere earlier, S. Krishnamohon happened to be their brother-in-law and against all odds, he was made Finance Minister, notwithstanding the Satyagraha agitation unleashed by Elangbam Tompok from August-November 1947. In all likelihood, S. Krishnamohon stayed as Finance Minister from 14 August, 1947 until the second week of November, 1948 when elected government was sworn into office by that time and Arambam Ibungotomcha, subsequently, took over as Finance Minister, consequent upon dissolution and lapse of the Interim Council. (Mention may be made here that Capt. M.K. Priya Brata while writing for Manipur Past and Present by late Naorem Sanajaoba, in the eighties, recounted that tenure of Interim Council terminated on 15 October, 1948 which seems erroneous. Interim Council’s tenure must have surely lasted until swearing in ceremony of the elected government which certainly happened in November, 1948 but the date of which cannot be confirmed and mentioned for the time being.)
The tenure of Finance Minister Arambam Ibungotomcha marks contrast to that of Sinam Krishnamohon. By and large, A. Ibungotomcha presented surplus budget on behalf of the second Capt. M.K. Priya Brata government on 7 June, 1949. Quoting from the budget speech, Mr. Ibungotomcha remarked thus: ‘Against this total receipt of Rs. 48,10,725 (Forty eight lakhs ten thousand seven hundred and twenty five only), we shall be having an expenditure of Rs. 48,00,846 (Forty eight lakhs eight hundred and forty six only) for the year’. That implies A. Ibungotomcha’s budget had a surplus excess of Rs. 9,879/- (Nine thousand eight hundred and seventy nine only) of revenue receipts over expenditure. On the contrary, S. Krishnamohon presented a rather disastrous budget circa 1948 which was stacked with flattery allocating extraneous amount for coercive functions of the state. Mr. Krishnamohon’s shoddy budget was rightly slammed and lambasted by the Resistance fortnightly in the seventies. To be Contd