IMPHAL: The Manipur Naga People’s Front (MNPF) has contested the decision of the present king of Manipur Leisemba Sanajaoba to contest the lone Rajya Saba seat from the state as a BJP candidate, declaring it as a highly condemnable decision.
In a press release, the MNPF related that Manipur kingdom which had gone down from history of more than 2000 years with many defeats and victories in battles by many kings had never surrendered deliberately in the hands of other nation and even after Manipur joined the Indian union, the responsibilities in traditions, customs and rituals for the people of the state are all vested in the hands of the king.
“Leisemba Sanajaoba must be thinking that, if the descendants of the Scindias in Madhya Pradesh and the descendants of Maharaja Hari Singh of Jammu & Kashmir can become Minister, Chief Ministers and MPs why can’t he do. All the odd 500 to 600 princely state of India become Indian states by conquest or consent peacefully. In the case of Manipur, the agreement was made under duress … the people of Manipur started denouncing the merger agreement and the war against this is still continuing now. For Leisemba Sanajaoba to become an MP is degrading the status of the kingship. Why does he choose to become a rich servant rather than remain as a poor Master? If at all he wants to sell out his dignity as the king of Manipur, he should first abdicate the seat of the king and became an active worker of BJP and a servant of the Indian parliament,” the MNPF stated in the note. According to the militant organization if Leisemba Sanajaoba does not understand his position as the king of Manipur it would be a great blunder for the entire people of Manipur. The policy of the Indian government choosing the king of Manipur to contest for the MP seat as a BJP candidate is a process of political desensitization, it claimed.
It reminded that though the king of Manipur has lost much authority, unlike in other former princely sates, the institution of kingship remain powerful in the emotional sphere as a culture symbol of the erstwhile kingdom and command a substantial following among the people, and he continues to be the symbolic and spiritual head of many ritualistic traditions of Manipur kingdom.
The BJP’s move to enlist the kingdom of Manipur into its fold undermines the history of Manipur, the MNPF said and inferred that by choosing Leisemba Sanajaoba BJP wants to win over this emotional constituency. The party vision is that, with this move, it would be able to harness a great part of the new surge of energy which will drive the indigenous people’s movement in the state, it stated.