On the 18th October 1948, the first National Legislative body of State was inaugurated in Imphal by the then Maharaja of Manipur. This was the first time that such a legislative body was constituted after elections were held on the basis of Universal Adult Franchise in the entire South and South East Asia.
Delhi Meetei Co-Ordinating Committee (DMCC) observed the “75th Year of People’ s Unity & Democracy in Manipur” at Gandhi Peace Foundation, New Delhi on October 18, at 3.15 pm. This event was organised to mark the 75th year of the inauguration of the democratic form of government in Manipur. On the historic day of 18th October 1948, the first national legislative body of the state was inaugurated in Imphal by the then Maharaja of Manipur. This was the first time that such a legislative body was constituted after democratic elections were held on the basis of Universal Adult Franchise in the entire South and South East Asia.
As part of his key note address, Malem Ningthouja, spokesperson of DMCC, gave a broad outline of the history of the evolution of modern Manipur. The Diamond Jubilee Lecture, “We, the People: A Reflection on the Trajectory of Society and Polity in Manipur” delivered by Angomcha Bimol Akoijam, JNU underscored the transformation of the people of Manipur from subjects to citizens of a modern nation. This emergence of the idea of the people which celebrated inclusivity, equality and liberty articulated a new form of sovereignty. Addressing the relevance of the occasion to the present crisis of Manipur, he reiterated the dangers of not only exclusivist identity aspirations and the language of “imperial nostalgia” but of rewarding violence as a means to an end.
Rajendra Pal Gautam, Former Minister of Social Justice and Present MLA of Delhi Legislative Assembly, the Chief Guest of the event, spoke about the collective tragedy of Manipur at present and called for restoration of peace. Shri I. Hemochandra Singh, Former Speaker of Manipur Legislative Assembly, who was the Guest of Honour, bemoaned how the fabric of a composite society has now been shattered. He further emphasised that history is testament to how the Meiteis have been a very tolerant and accommodative community but that circumstances and conditions have stretched them beyond endurance. Finally, Seram Rojesh, Convenor, DMCC, reiterated the significance of the occasion and the commitment of DMCC to stay independent of all political affiliations while also welcoming alliances to help address the present crisis in Manipur.
Ranjana Longjam, core member of DMCC, was the Moderator and Hijam Rajen, Advisor of DMCC, proposed the Vote of Thanks.