The CSOs’ conglomerate urged PM Modi that in order to mitigate the various challenges that Manipur has been facing, the proposal be considered in the larger interest of the state and the country.
Reiterating its demands for ‘Special Status for Manipur’ and amendments to the Constitution of India, the Coordinating committee on Manipur Integrity (COCOMI) has submitted a representation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 19.
In this regard a media briefing was held at the office of United Committee Manipur (UCM) at Lamphel, Imphal on Monday.
COCOMI co-ordinator L Ratankumar maintained that by consideration of these demands will correct the “historical blunder” the Government of India had inflicted on Manipur in the past leading to lack of trust and faith. It will also be a major peace building initiative in the overall scenario of the country, showing the larger heart of the Union Government to tackle problems in the remote corner of the country, he added.
The representation recounted the history of Manipur — from being an Asiatic kingdom to being under the British rule after 1891. It also detailed how Manipur was “controversially merged” to India in 1949.
Recalling the events between 1949 to 1972 — from Part C State to statehood, the representation maintained that as a consequence of these events, the statehood accorded to Manipur couldn’t meet the “aspiration of the people” and was rather insignificant and thereby literally “killed Manipur’s aged old Asiatic Power”.
“The post statehood period saw increased political movements with different methods, including armed struggles. The quest for past political and cultural glories, defending human rights, establishment of bicameral legislative system with an aim of providing proportional representation to minor, micro ethnic communities/tribes, a permit system to protect indigenous people self-guarding the territorial integrity were dominant in the public consciousness.”
The representation further said that it led to demand for amendment of Article 2 and 3 of Indian Constitution to ensure Manipur’s territorial integrity and asserted that the Government of India need to walk the extra mile to assuage the feelings of hurt and neglect.
“A new contour for reshaping the Centre-State relationship need to be put in place not only to meet the modern challenges but also to assuage the feeling of hurt of its citizens. A provision for Special Status for Manipur in the constitution and a provision in Article 3 that in respect of Manipur, any changes will be with the concurrence of the Manipur State Legislative Assembly will do wonders to restore the historical pride of the people of Manipur and will have a salutary effect on the various challenges which is cropping up and staying which are inimical to the inclusive development in the state,” COCOMI proposed.
The CSOs’ conglomerate also urged PM Modi that in order to mitigate the various challenges that Manipur has been facing, the proposal be considered in the larger interest of the state and the country. “It is our firm belief that strong states will automatically result into a strong nation,” it added.
COCOMI had met Union Home Minister Amit Shah on December 27, 2020 when he visited Manipur and had appraised its demand for granting ‘Special Status’ to Manipur as per the resolution of the ‘Public Convention for Special Status to Manipur’ held on December 26, 2020 at GM Hall, Imphal.