For many years now, 15 October has been observed as black day by under ground and outlawed organisations in Manipur, a North Eastern state. It was on 15th October 1949 when Maharaja BODHA CHANDRA SINGH ceded “full and exclusive authority, jurisdiction and powers for and in relation to the governance of the State” to Dominion Government of India through the Manipur Merger Agreement, signed on 21st September 1949.
Here is the complete transcript of the Manipur Merger agreement : –
Agreement made this twenty first day of September 1949 between the Governor General of India and his Highness, the Maharajah of Manipur.
Whereas in the best interests of the State of Manipur as well as of the Dominion of India it is desirable to provide for the administration of the said State by or under the authority of the Dominion Government.
IT IS HEREBY AGREED AS FOLLOWS :
His Highness the Maharajah of Manipur hereby cedes to the Dominion Government full and exclusive authority, jurisdiction and powers for and in relation to the governance of the State and agrees to transfer the administration of the State to the Dominion Government on the fifteenth day of October 1949 (there in after referred to as “the said day”).
As from the said day the Dominion Government will be competent to exercise the said powers, authority and jurisdiction in such manner and through such agency as it may think fit.
His Highness the Maharajah shall continue to enjoy the same personal rights, privileges, dignities, titles, authority over religious observances, customs, usages, rites and ceremonies and institutions in charge of the same in the State, which he would have enjoyed had this agreement not been made.
His highness the Maharajah shall with effect from the said day be entitled to receive for his lifetime from the revenue of the State annually for his Privy Purse the sum of Rupees three lakhs free of all taxes.
This amount is intended to cover all the expenses of the Ruler and his family, including expenses on account of his personal staff and armed guards, maintenance of his residences, marriages and other ceremonies, etc. and the allowances to the Ruler’s relations who on the date of execution of this agreement were in receipt of such allowances from the revenues of the State, and will neither be increased nor reduced for any reason whatsoever.
The Government of India undertake that the said sum of Rupees three lakhs shall be paid to His Highness the Maharajah in four equal installments in advances at the beginning of each quarter from the State treasury or at such other treasury as may be specified by the Government of India.
His Highness the Maharajah shall be entitled to the full ownership, use and enjoyment of all private properties (as distinct from State properties) belonging to him on the date of this agreement.
His Highness the Maharajah will furnish to the dominion Government before the first January 1950, an inventory of all the immovable property, securities and cash balance held by him as such private property.
If any dispute arises as to whether any item of property is the private property of his highness the Maharajah or State property, it shall be referred to a Judicial Officer qualified to be appointed as a High Court Judge, and the decision of that officer shall be final and binding on both parties.
Provided that his Highness the Maharajah’s right to the use of the residences known as “Redlands” and “Les Chatalettes” in Shillong, and the property in the town of Gauhati known as “Manipuri Basti” shall not be questioned.
All the members of His Highness’s family shall be entitled to all the personal rights, privileges, dignities and titles enjoyed by them whether within or outside the territories of the State, immediately before the 15th August, 1947.
The Dominion Government guarantees the succession, according to law and custom, to the gaddi of the State and to his highness, the Maharajah’s personal rights, privileges, dignities, titles, authority over religious observances, customs usages, rites and ceremonies and institutions in-charge of the same in the State.
No enquiry shall be made by or under the authority of the Government of India, and no proceedings shall lie in any Court in Manipur, against His highness the Maharajah whether in a personal capacity or otherwise in respect of anything done or omitted to be done by him or under his authority during the period of his administration of that State.
The Government of India hereby guarantees either the continuance in service of the permanent members of the Public Services of Manipur on conditions which will be not less advantageous than those on which they were serving before the date on which the administration of Manipur is made over to the Government of India or the payment of reasonable compensation.
The Government of India further guarantees the continuance of pensions and leave salaries sanctioned by His Highness the Maharajah to servants of the State who have retired or proceeded on leave preparatory to retirement, before the date on which the Administration of Manipur is made over to the Government of India.
The Government of India shall also undertake to make suitable provisions for the employment of Manipuris in the various branches of Public Services, and in every way encourage Manipuris to join them. They also under-take to preserve various laws, customs and conventions prevailing in the State pertaining to the social, economic and religious life of the people.
Except with the previous sanction of the Government of India no proceedings, civil or criminal, shall be instituted against any person in respect of any act done or purporting to be done in the execution of his duties as a servant of the State before the day on which the administration is made over to the Government of India.
In confirmation whereof Mr. Vapal Pangunni Menon, Adviser to the Government of India in the Ministry of States, has appended his signature on behalf and with the authority of the Governor General of India and His Highness Maharajah Bodhachandra Singh, Maharajah of Manipur has appended his signature on behalf of himself, his heirs and successors.
BODHA CHANDRA SINGH,
Maharajah of Manipur.
V.P. MENON, SRI PRAKASH
Adviser to the Government of India, Governor of Assam, Shillong
(Ministry of State) September 21, 1949.
And thus once a great nation of South East Asia became a tiny state in India who now a days seemed to be regularly troubled by ‘economic blockade‘ by Nagaland protesters! Also this tiny state has distinction of maximum number of insurgent groups in India. It produces finest sportsperson, Gandhian protester Irom Sharmila who will complete 10 years of hunger strike on 2nd November 2010.