Manipur in Brief
Manipur, one of the occupied seven States in India’s North Eastern Region, is in deep social and political turmoil. The national liberation struggle to restore Manipuri sovereign independence and the massive counter-insurgency measures by the Indian State forces have resulted in a disturbing situation of armed conflict. Thousands of innocent peoples have been killed, hundreds have disappeared from custody, and many women have been raped by the Indian State forces in the process of ruthless counter-insurgency operations. The entire state is filled with personal tragedies of families who lost their sons & daughters, and with young men de-capacitated, maimed and psychologically shattered without renewable capacity for rehabilitation.
The impact of the armed conflict is severely felt by women and children. The states productive forces, particularly women, had been undermined resulting in deep urban and rural poverty, thereby adding to the cycle of violence. The states productive forces, particularly women, had been undermined resulting in deep urban and rural poverty, thereby adding to the cycle of violence. Under the so-called democratic system of India, corruption in public life had reached unprecedented depths and the body polity is rent apart, the division between the haves and have-nots had widened, and family unity and family values had been shattered through severe economic strain.
The state which was self-sufficient in history is now reduced to a position of critical dependence on India’s doles, and the State government of Manipur is unable to pay even the salaries for its employees regularly. Complete loss of initiative for economic growth keeping the State as a captive market for India had perpetuated a system of colonialism which is undermining the basic parameters for dignified living of its citizens. The people of Manipur want freedom and independence, and India wants to continue their colonial occupation. What is the cause for this conflict situation? Manipur, the small but beautiful home to more than thirty fraternal ethnic groups, is a historical State having a recorded history of more than 2000 years.
In her long history, Manipur never became a part of India. Manipur was a recognized Asiatic State when the British imperialists invaded and occupied it in 1891. The British Crown in its own wisdom, however, did not annex Manipur to their British Indian empire. After 56 years, when the British government de-colonized the Indian sub-continent in 1947, Manipur also regained her sovereign independence on 14 August 1947 despite the treaty relationship with the Dominion of India under the Instrument of Accession signed between the King and the Governor General of the British Indian government on 11 August 1947.
Under the terms of this treaty India was to look after the Foreign Affairs, Defense and Communications for Manipur while the King retained the full sovereign right to reject or accept any future constitution of India. Meanwhile, the King had already promulgated the first democratic constitution of Manipur in July 1947 known as the Manipur Constitution Act 1947. Under provisions of this constitution, the first ever democratic elections under universal franchise were held in Manipur in August 1948 to elect the first Manipur State Assembly having 54 members. The State Assembly was inaugurated by the King on 18 October 1948 thereby making the historic transition from absolute monarchy to democracy retaining the King as the customary and constitutional head of State.
Thus Manipur became the first country in South Asia to establish democracy when India was yet to adopt her own constitution. When Manipur was introducing democracy independently India was getting restless to discontinue the treaty relationship and annex Manipur within the Indian Union from strategic security considerations. So Manipur acquiring international personality as a sovereign democratic country was not palatable to India, particularly when the ruling alliance government of Manipur was openly opposed to the idea of Manipuri’s merger with India. To offset this development India hatched a conspiracy to make the King sign a treaty to merge Manipur with India. To this end they invited the King for consultation on some matter in September 1948.
On arrival at the venue of the meeting the Indian representative asked the King to put his signature on the already drafted document for merger. The King, completely taken by surprise, felt betrayed and refused to sign the document on the ground that he no longer had the constitutional authority to do so as a Council of Ministers is already functioning in Manipur. He asked for some time to consult his Council of Minister and left the meeting. But when he returned he found his residence surrounded by Indian military personnel. He was told that he was under house-arrest and was not allowed to contact even his Council of Ministers. After resisting for two days, the King gave signed the Manipur Merger Agreement on 21 September 1949.
Under terms of this agreement the Government of India announced the formal annexation of Manipur on 15 October 1949. The Manipur State Assembly and the Council of Ministers were also abolished on the same day by an executive order of the Indian government. The people of Manipur have never accepted the Indian annexation. Several public resolutions and a National Convention have declared the Manipur Merger Agreement null and void having no legal and constitutional legitimacy as it was done under duress and not ratified by the State Assembly. This is the crux of the problem and the very root cause of the present Manipur-India Politico-Military Conflict. Ever since day one, India has been using brute military force to suppress the legitimate aspirations of our people.
Today Manipur is highly militarized with 50,000 plus Indian military and Para-military forces deployed against the indigenous population of just about 1.6 million. This amounts to one Indian soldier for every fifty locals. The draconian law, Armed Forces Special Powers Act 1958 has been in force in Manipur for over fifty years now. This Act empowers and gives immunity even to a Non-Commissioned Officer of the Indian military forces to arrest or shoot to kill anybody on mere suspicion and such acts cannot be challenged in a court of law. This Act has emboldened the Indian State forces to commit summary executions, enforced disappearances, rapes and killings in fake encounters with impunity. In short, this Act has legalized Indian State Terrorism. Even so, taking advantage of being the largest democracy in the world, India has manipulated to present the state of affairs in Manipur as simple law and order problem. But in reality, Manipur is now under Indian martial law. So Kangleipak Communist Party (KCP) established in 1980 and its army wing Peoples Red Army to restore the sovereignty of Manipur and to establish a socialist Republic. We do not believe in empty theory.
We are Marxists. We believe that the heritage of classical Marxism, in all its fundamental features, adequately reflects the social processes taking place in today’s world. A correct approach to social phenomena is impossible without applying the method of historical materialism, the dialectic of the basis and the superstructure, the theory of proletarian revolution, proletarian internationalism. The legitimate transformation and generalization of the Marxism of Marx and Engels was Marxism-Leninism which explained the transition of the capitalist nations to the stage of socialist nation.In our times the legitimate transformation and generalization of the Marxism and Leninist is Marxism-Leninism-Maoism with its analysis of the superstructure as the factor which ultimately decides the success or failure of the construction of socialism.
Problems of History:
We believe that socialism which politically can be only the dictatorship of the working people under the leadership of proletariat is a necessary step towards a communist world — a world without inequality or dictatorship. We consider the Soviet Russia and the USSR under V. I. Lenin and J. V. Stalin (1917 — 1953) and China under Mao Zedong (1949 — 1976) models of carrying of such political system in south east Asia.As Maoists, we believe that the class struggle between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat continues to be waged under socialism and the principal arena of this struggle becomes the Communist Party leading the socialist construction.
The world today appears to us divided into three groups of countries: (1) countries of the Metropolis (the U$A, the Western European states, Japan, etc.); (2) comparatively rich and/or having a big military/industrial potential countries which hold an intermediate position ; (3) countries of the Third World, exploited by the former two groups of nations.
The revolutionary role of the proletariat in each of the above groups of countries is different. In the countries of the Metropolis the working class is bought off with the super profits gained from the exploitation of the Third Worlds and cannot, at the present stage, be considered a revolutionary force. The national contradiction is to be considered the principal one in the given group of countries, while the principal revolutionary forces there are the oppressed minority of the working class usually not belonging to the historically dominant national groups and the revolutionary intelligentsia.
In the semi-imperialist countries the proletariat as a whole potentially is the main motive force of socialist revolution, while the principal contradiction at this stage is the class one. However, due to the ambivalent socio-economic position of these countries the proletariat here is infected with nationalist and chauvinist ideology, harbors reformist illusions. The main ally of the proletariat in its struggle against the bourgeoisie here is the revolutionary petty bourgeoisie. In the Third World countries the struggle of the proletariat for its own rights is inseparable from the struggle of these nations for the true national independence. Here the natural allies of the proletariat are the petty bourgeoisie and the considerable part of the national bourgeoisie. The immediate task of the proletariat’s struggle here in many cases is not a socialist, but a bourgeois-democratic revolution, and the main method of this struggle, the strategy of the People’s War.
Strategy and Tactics
We believe that correct tactics flow from correct strategies, which flow from a correct ideological and political line. We believe that the fight against imperialism, capitalism and colonial ruler hand in hand with the fight against revisionism, chauvinism, and opportunism. Our goal is carrying out a socialist revolution and going on to build communism — a society excluding any form of oppression of one social group by another: class oppression, national oppression, gender oppression. The motive force of this revolution is the working class, while its conductor is an avant-garde disciplined revolutionary Communist Party, a Party with a system of democratic centralism.
The latter system includes organization, leadership, discipline and hierarchy. We believe that the ruling colonial, semi-colonial, imperialist and bourgeoisie will never give up its power without a fight. Putting an end to the bourgeois dictatorship is only possible by building public opinion to seize power through armed struggle. We believe, however, that any armed insurrection on the territory which we belongs will be inevitably crushed until an arising of objective conditions for its mass support of the potentially revolutionary strata of the population.
The building on the territory of South East Asia of an avant-garde disciplined revolutionary Communist party guided by the theory of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism is hindered by objective historical conditions resulting from the long years of rule of colonial Indian social-imperialist. We believe our principal tactical task to be revolutionary agitation and propaganda of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism among the proletariat and the intelligentsia. So we called all the revolutionary groups of the South East Asia. We are eager to have your comment.
With Revolutionary Salute, Comrade Malemnganba Meitei Publicity and Propaganda Kangleipak Communist Party Manipur, Eastern Himalayan Region.
[KCP is now known as MCP Manipur-Editor]