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CorCom pays tributes to Lamyanba Irabot

IMPHAL: The CorCom has paid rich tributes to Lamyanba Hijam Irabot on the occasion of his 65th death anniversary (September 26) and 120th birth anniversary (September 30).  Lamyanba Hijam Irabot was the most prominent leader of the land who dedicated his life for a mass revolution in order to bring about a new Manipur (Kangleipak) while upholding the distinct identity of the land. Now the revolutionary movement spearheaded by Irabot has become the inevitable beacon of the ongoing revolutionary movements, said CorCom. The future of Manipur as envisaged by Hijam Irabot can be discerned by studying his ideas, exploits and struggles.

A statement issued by CorCom media coordinator Ksh Yoiheiba said that Irabot also spearheaded many unarmed mass movements against the exploitative and repressive practices of the monarchy and the British colonial rule. After the Pungdongbam Event of September 21, 1948, Irabot started an armed revolutionary movement with the objective of abolishing monarchy. In the meantime, Manipur was allegedly annexed by India on October 15, 1949 and this event completely changed the contexts and objectives of Irabot’s armed revolutionary movement. Not long after, India devised a number of strategies not only to suppress the armed revolutionary movement of Irabot but also to consolidate their rule over Manipur. Subsequently, India became the arch-enemy of Irabot’s revolutionary movement.

The Manipur Communist Party  adopted a resolution in October 1948 to establish a socialist republic in Manipur. With the primary objective of establishing an independent socialist republic in Manipur, Irabot waged an armed revolution (1949-51) against India. Irabot breathed his last on September 26, 1951 in Burma but his death was not known either to the people or the then Chief Commissioner’s administration. The Porompat Conference of the Manipur Communist Party (MCP) held in 1953 discussed whether the party should give up arms or not. But a group headed by MCP general secretary Lamabam Ibotombi rejected the proposal to give up arms and carry on the struggle through parliamentary means. As such, the armed revolution started by Irabot continued till 1955. A serious difference of opinion crept up between Irabot and Communist Party of India after the international youth conference held at Calcutta in February 1948.  A few days after the Calcutta conference, the Communist Party of India held a big conference The conference resolved that all Communist parties of South East Asia should wage armed revolutionary movements. Irabot attended the conference as a representative of Assam provincial committee.

There he met Burma Communist Party leader Thakin Than Tun. As Irabot saw the differences in the conditions of India and Manipur, the resolution of the Communist Party of India was not translated into action promptly. Irabot was also not in favour of adopting the Russian model. He had more faith in Marshal Tito’s National Communism of Yugoslavia. In line with his belief, MCP resolved on October 28, 1948 to establish a socialist republic in Manipur.  The MCP also reaffirmed the Calcutta resolution of the Communist Party of India and put Manipur among the South East Asian countries like Burma, Indonesia, Malaya, Singapore etc which were then waging National liberation struggles. The assumption that Irabot did not voice any word of objection against the merger of Manipur into the Indian Union is false. There are stories that he threw away a pen he was holding when he heard that Maharaj Bodhachandra had signed the Merger Agreement and Manipur had been merged into the Indian Union. However, as he was then living as a fugitive, he could not convey his opinions on the issue to the masses. Hijam Irabot was a genuine revolutionary leader of the masses who faced many challenging and crucial socio-political issues during his short life of just 55 years. Stating that the present generation of Manipuri people are standing at the cross-road of extinction and survival, the CorCom asserted that people ought to follow the ideals and principles of Irabot.

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