The Manipur government on Monday declared the book titled "The Complexity Called MANIPUR: Roots, Perceptions and Reality" authored by (L) Brig Sushil Kumar Sharma and published by Viva Books Private Ltd as ‘forfeited’, considering the book as "grossly misleading and scandalous".
There was a huge outcry against the controversial comments regarding the merger agreement of Manipur contained in the book from civil society organisations in the state and some of the organisations boycotted retired Professor of Manipur University Amar Yumnam, who was one of the supervisors of Brig Sharma's thesis.
The other supervisor of the thesis was Dr Sadananda Sahoo of School of Interdisciplinary and Trans-Disciplinary Studies of Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU).
An order issued by the principal secretary (Home) said, in the book, the author stated under the heading "Merger of Manipur with the Indian Union" that "The total area which the Manipur merger agreement covered was his territory of 700 square miles or 26,500 Paris/hectares. Not even a single inch of hill areas was covered under this agreement".
The history relating to "Manipur Merger Agreement" is a very sensitive and emotional subject for the native people of the state, it said, adding that the information may even amount to breach of peace and public tranquillity and maintenance of harmony between various communities residing in the state thereby impacting the national security and national integrity.
It explained that the information published in the book is contrary to the Gazette published in the year 1950 by the ministry of States (now ministry of Home Affairs), with the title "White Paper on Indian States".
The said publication of the ministry specifically reproduces the "Manipur Merger Agreement" at page No. 232 viz. Appendix XXXI and the said ministry publication further records at page No. 295 thereof, that during the time of merger vide Merger Agreement dated October 15, 1949, Manipur had 8,620 sq. miles of area and a total population of 5,12,000, it added.
Stating that further circulation of the said book containing grossly misleading, factually incorrect information and scandalous statement in connection with Merger of Manipur will create misunderstanding and communal tension between the communities residing in the valley areas and hill areas of the state which may escalate into violence which will affect public tranquillity and maintenance of harmony between various communities residing in the state and may impact the integrity of India, the order had declared the book forfeited.
It is worth mentioning that a CSO had even stormed the residence of Prof Amar Yumnam a couple of months back and demanded public apology for allegedly supervising the thesis of the book. They even sought the intervention of the Speaker of Manipur Legislative Assembly to expunge the distorted contents.