Contd from previous issue
It is also amply clear from the foregoing words of the aforementioned the Hill MLA’s resolution that they were fundamentally opposed to idea of some valley based political parties like the Manipur State Congress masquerading and misrepresenting them as the voice of the entire people of Manipur. Take note of the following wordings of the Hill MLAs resolution: ‘While the Hill people of Manipur have shown tolerance and patience and extended open arms for the better understanding of the Hill people and the valley people, the Manipur State Congress have not only completely ignored the importance of the Hill people in Manipur State but have widened the gulf of misunderstanding and suspicions by their irresponsible speeches and publications without an iota of truth in it. The Manipur State Congress have even lowered the reputation of the Congress as a whole before the eyes of the Hill people who most unfortunately little knows and understand the principle of the Congress. It is therefore unequivocally declared that the Valley people of Manipur whose area is only 700 square miles, can have no right at all to speak for the Hill people of Manipur State who occupy more than 7000 square miles on the issue of integration or merger or any other matter which affects the primary interests of the Hill people’.(ibid.)
Through their strongly worded resolutions, the Hill MLAs clearly made known their deep sense of disapproval, anger, resentment, outrage and outright rejection of the sham political machinations indulged by the Manipur State Congress riding roughshod over the interests of the hill people in their quest for power. Without mincing any words, the Hill MLAs resolution reflects a scathing attack on the ignominious manipulations indulged by the Manipur State Congress to vilely misrepresent themselves as the voice of the entire people of Manipur when they were not. The Hill MLAs resolutions, therefore, clearly debunks, punctures and make hollow the Congress party tendency to disguise themselves as solely representing the pulse of the people of Manipur in its entirety which was certainly not the case. Nothing could be more damning for the Manipur State Congress party when the Hill MLAs castigated and berate them in the following words: ‘The Hill MLAs view with great concern at the subversive activity of the Manipur State Congress. It is most regrettable that the Working Committee of the Manipur State Congress, who claim themselves to be the leaders of the State should exhibit their absolute ignorance of the customs of the Hill people and the administration of the Hills and yet pretended to be their champions. While the Hill people of Manipur have shown tolerance and patience and extended open arms for the better understanding of the Hill people and the valley people, the Manipur State Congress have not only completely ignored the importance of the Hill people in Manipur State but have widened the gulf of misunderstanding and suspicions by their irresponsible speeches and publications without an iota of truth in it’.(ibid.)
As the Congress party unveiled diabolic designs to overthrow monarchy in Manipur by unveiling Quit Gaddi campaign, the ruling Praja Shanti party emerged as an effective countervailing force to thwart and neutralize the opposition Manipur State Congress party’s vile and nefarious machinations to subvert Manipur. On 10 July, 1949 a public meeting was organized by the Praja Shanti party at Yairipok Bazar, which was well attended by about 200 people drawn from various localities of Yairipok area. The meeting was presided over by Khumanthem Ibomacha. According to several speeches delivered in the meeting both by party leaders and participants, they expressed solidarity and support for the Maharaja of Manipur and the incumbent State Cabinet. They further clearly made known that any attempts made by Manipur State Congress by launching Satyagraha for removal of Gaddi would be firmly resisted by all possible non violent means.
Spirited nationalists as the Praja Shanti party was, they would make a series of moves wherever necessary to counter, frustrate and foil Manipur State Congress’ intrigues and ploy to destabilize Manipur. In the face of the stiff opposition from the Hill MLAs and determined resistance put up by the Praja Shanti party, there was very little the Manipur State Congress could do to carry forward their movement for merger of Manipur and removal of kingship. Odds were heavily stacked against them. Their agitation was gradually withering and showed signs of slackening. Amidst these circumstances, two leaders of the Manipur State Congress namely Sinam Krishnamohon, then President, Manipur State Congress and Dwijamani Dev Sharma went to Delhi in July, 1949 to lobby for merger and seek blessings in pursuit of their Quit Gaddi campaign (See Hijam Irabot Singh and Political Movements in Manipur by Karam Manimohan Singh, B.R. Publishing House, Delhi, 1989 Pg.347). Soon after their return from Delhi, Sinam Krishnamohon along with a host of self-styled Congress leaders organized a public meeting at the open field in front of the Rupmahal Theatre on 3 August, 1949. In the meeting, they made provocative statements according to which ‘they would declare the mandate of India Government as to the abolition of the Gaddi and integration of the State with written assurances from Dr. Pattavi Sitaramaya and Sardar Patel’ that left the public highly infuriated. Yet, they failed to produce any relevant papers as to reveal the assurances they have obtained from Delhi before the public when demanded.
Several hundreds of people turned up for the public meeting expecting that they would be hearing assurances against possible merger of Manipur. However, they were in for complete surprise and disappointment when they come to sense that the meeting they were attending was not at all a public meeting, but a Congress meeting organized with a hidden, undisclosed agenda to pronounce their avowed aim for merger of Manipur and removal of Maharaja from the gaddi. Duped by the State Congress leaders, the crowd who attended the meeting were naturally incensed as everything contrary to what they expected happened in the meeting. To make matters worse, the Congress leaders took photographs of the vast crowd in attendance morphing them as supporters for merger and abolition of gaddi. Sorely enraged at being taken for a ride by the Manipur State Congress leaders taking recourse to depraved chicanery and skulduggery of worst kind, a ruckus soon followed in the meeting venue. The people who gathered at the Rupmahal premises were sorely aghast at the unruly and undemocratic conduct of the Congress leaders who did not allow anybody from the audience to express their opinion and violently heckled scores of people who participated in the meeting ‘in wanton show of high handedness’.
To be contd