India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah repeatedly affirmed in their historic speeches in the Monsoon Session of Parliament 2023 that the “Nation is with Manipur”. Modi reaffirmed India is with Manipur in his historic speech of the 77th Independence Day of India, 2023. Expressing utmost happiness on the clear stance of both the Indian Parliament and the 77th Independence Day of India, 2023, it is time to know what Manipur is and why India has to stand for Manipur.
Requesting everyone’s attention to defining Manipur as such that, “Above all the anthologies of the British Empire, Manipur is an ancient country, recorded by the Perilplus of the Erythraean Sea (Manipur’s 1st Century trading with Greece); cited by famous Greek Geographer Ptolemy (2nd Century); mentioned in the Chinese records of Chang-Kien (2nd century); trodden by Sakya Dynasty in 550 BC; noted by Shan Chroniclers in 777 AD, identified by Arabian Historian Alberuni in 1030 AD; recorded in the Persian Chronicle as referring to the ‘Storia do Mogor’ edited by W Irvine, Vol.-II, P-90; recorded by the hands of Karl Marx (Notes on Indian History, 664-1858,P-123); and associating with its own sacred chronicle, the Cheitharol Kumpaba, maintaining records since 33AD till today.”
With prayer to everyone’s revisiting the historic Treaties and Agreements that Manipur entered as a Party under international obligations signifying the international status Manipur, that Treaty One: The Anglo-Manipuri Mutual Defence Treaty (The Verelst Treaty) that signed on the 14th September, 1762 AD which includes description about the British-Manipur relation as, “That the said Jai Singh will at all times fully consider every enemy to the said English as his own enemy and that the said English shall consider every enemy to the said Jai Singh as their enemy” (Clause 5).
Treaty two: The Treaty of Yandaboo that signed on the 28th February,1826 AD between the British and the King of Ava. Both the foreign powers recognised the King Gambir Singh of Manipur, the independence of Manipur and the territory of Manipur and it is contained therein, “ His Majesty the king of Ava renounces all claims upon and will abstain from all interference with, the principality of Assam…. with regard to Manipur, it is stipulated that, should Gumbheer Singh desire to return to that country, he shall be recognised as Rajah thereof”.
Treaty Three: The Anglo-Manipuri Treaty, 1833AD: signed between the Raja Gambir Singh and Mr. Geo.Gordon, Leut., Adjutant, Gambheer Singh’s Levy in presence of the British Commissioner, Mr. F.J. Grant. The treaty includes altogether 8(eight) points of agreement, and No.6 says, “ In the event of war with the Burmans(Burmese), if the troops be sent to Manipur either to protect the country or to advance beyond the Ningthee, the Rajah, at the requisition of the British Government, will provide hill porters to assist in transporting ammunition and baggage of such troops” and No 7 says, “In the event of anything happening on the eastern frontier of the British Territories, the Rajah, when required, shall assist the British Government with a portion of his troops”;
Treaty Four: The Kabaw Valley Agreement: signed on the 25th January,1834 which stated the handed over of the Kabaw valley of Manipur to Burma on certain conditions that the British had to pay Rs 500 per month to Manipur for letting Burma use the valley on lease until the Kabaw valley returns to Manipur. From the 5-points agreements, No.1 says, “The British Commissioner, Major Grant and Captain Pamberton, under the instruction from the right honourable, the Governor General in Council, agree to make over to the Woandauk Maha Mingyan Rajah and Tsarudangicks Myookyantheo, Commissioner appointed by the King of Ava, the towns of Tammao (Tumu), Khumba (Khambat), Surjail, and all other villages in the Kubo Valley, the Ungoching Hills and the strip of valley running between the eastern foot and western bank of the Ningtha Khyendan (Chindwin) river.” and No.2 says, “ The British Commissioner will withdraw the Munnipore Thanas now stationed within this tract of the country and make over immediate possession of it to the Burmese Commissioner on certain conditions.”
Treaty-Five: The Agreement Regarding Compensation for Kubo Valley, 1834: The agreement was signed in between Major F.J. Grant and the British Commissioners in Burma in presence of R.Boileu Pamberton, Captain (Langthabal Munnipore, the 25th January, 1834. No.1 says, “That it is the intention of the Supreme government to grant a monthly stipend of five hundred Sicca Rupees to the Rajah of Munnipore, to commence from the ninth day of January One Thousand Eight Hundred and Thirty Four, the date at which the transfer of Kubo (Kabaw Valley) took place, as shown in the Agreement mutually signed by the British and Burmese Commissioners.” and No 2 says, “It is to distinctly understood that should any circumstances hereafter arise by which the portion of territory lately made over to Ava reverts to Munnipore, the allowance now granted by the British Government will cease from the date of such reversion.”
Treaty Six: The Barak Agreement of August, 1874 AD stated about the Manipur-British relations with recognition of the international boundary of Manipur.
With request to all concerned to analyse at once the reason the Union of India needed the “Manipur Merger Agreement, 1949” to take over Manipur on understanding the important historical periods of Manipur as that, (1).33 AD to Early 20th Century:Sovereign State, (2). 1891-1946 AD: International Protectorate with interventions from the British administration, (3). 26th July,1947 AD: Autonomous State with adoption of the Manipur State Constitution Act-1947,(4). 11th August, 1947 AD: Associate State, Sovereign within Indian confederation with signed in the Standstill Agreement and the Instrument of Accession,(5). 14th August, 1947 AD:Sovereign State with lapses of British Administration, (6). 18th October, 1948: Sovereign State with Manipur Assembly(@ the Parliament) functions, (7). 15 October, 1949: Annexed State (Continuous State with suspended sovereignty), (8). 21 January,1972: Constituent State of India (a Continuous State within the Union of India).
With further requesting all to knowing the post-independence Acts that are safeguarding the status of Manipur, that (i). The Manipur State Constitution Act, 1947(Articles 2 & 3) , (ii). The Manipur State Hill Peoples Regulation Act(Administration), 1947, (iii). The Manipur Chief Courts Act, 1947. etc.
Thereby all led the architects of the Constitution of India to mark a niche in the the 1st Schedule of the Constitution as described in the Gazette of India (Extraordinary- Part-II, Section-1) No 60, New Delhi, Friday, October 19,1956: as “Manipur: The territory which immediately before the commencement of this constitution was being administered as if it were a chief commissioner’s province under the name of Manipur”. This is indicating that the Article 3 of the Constitution cannot be applied to Manipur because of its re-established boundary status, unlike to those of newly formed Nagaland and Mizoram, that had already been established before the commencement of the Constitution of India.
Discerning the facts that the Boundary of Manipur has been kept as an inviolable by not less than 20 internationally recognised Maps including the the Maps of Manipur(Munnipoor) in 1500, 1580, 1822 and 1856 ( Source: The Court of Ava in 1855: By - Captain Henry Yule, 1858); the Map of Manipur in 1870 (Source: Manipur Past and Present, Vol.-III, P-540); the Map of the North East part of Indian Empire, 1893, (Source: Constable’s Hand Atlas of India, London: By Archibald Constable and Sons, 1893). etc. etc.
The territorial integrity of Manipur has been strongly defended by the consensus of the Comity of Nations and the UN Charters as the State of Manipur had for long been existed before the constitutions of the United Nations in 1945 and India in 1950.
The Boundary of Manipur is further protected by the Manipur Merger Agreement, signed on the 21st September, 1949, between two Parties India and the Manipur state under international obligations, and that is now reflected in the 1st Schedule, and defined by the Article 363 of the Constitution of India, and these all signify the inapplicability of the Article 3 of the Constitution.
Violation of the Manipur Merger Agreement by one Party, is violation of both the International and National Laws including the UN Charters - that once the AGREEMENT is breached, the two Parties are only to find REVERSION, moving apart to their PRE-MERGER STATUS QUOs.
It is a strong believe that both the Prime Minister and the Home Minister of India clearly know the unique history and status of Manipur within the Union of India, and positioning selves that no chaos and no power can blow upon the wholesome (the territorial multi-ethnic identity) of Manipur. Perceived that based on the amalgam of unalterable aforementioned historical values, Narendra Modi ji as aficionado of Manipur history, strongly asserted in his historic speeches, in both the Monsoon Session of the 17th Lok Sabha, 2023 and the 77th Independence Day, 2023 that “The Nation(India) is with Manipur”.
(The views expressed are personal)