Manipur Merger Agreement 1949

The state of Tripura was one of the ancient princely states of India. According to the Rajmala (the Chronicles of kings), Tripura was permanently ruled by up to 184 Tripuri kings with sovereign and independent status before it merged with the Indian Union in 1949, after the death of the last king in power, Bir Bikram Kishore Debbarman. His successor, Kirit Bikram Kishore Deb Barman, was thirteen years old at the time of the merger. King Bir Bikram Kishore Debbarman had died in 1947, after which a regency council was formed to run the administration under the chairmanship of Queen Kanchan Prava Devi, mother of Kirit Bikram Kishore Deb Barman. Another weakness of the merger treaty was that, knowingly or unknownly, the king had signed the treaty only for himself, his heirs and successors, and in part not on behalf of the people of Manipur or the people`s ministry. This fact has certainly left space for the people of Manipur to reject or approve its action, which has seriously affected the binding nature of this agreement. This revelation is remarkable because it runs counter to the general understanding that the Assembly had not recorded any form of protest or opposition to the merger agreement. In addition, this particular episode is gaining importance, as the assembly was the only sovereign authority to say anything about the issue of the merger. It can be seen that the Assembly functioned very well as on September 28, 1949, since it was not dissolved until October 15, 1949, although unconstitutional. The historic resolutions of the MSLA had from the outset rendered the merger agreement null and void.

According to the Manipur State Constitution Act of 1947, the State Assembly was the only supreme body that could make a decision on the issue of merger. However, the signing of the Merger Treaty subsequently led to a full usurpation of the democratic space. This is the main reason why the merger agreement remains essential to understanding the manipur conflict and uprisings. In this context, it is worth asserting that the dissolution of the Manipur State Legislature can be considered more important than the signing of the Merger Treaty. Indeed, it was the dissolution of the MSLA, not the signing of the merger treaty itself, that immediately usurped the democratic space of Manipur. Nevertheless, the dissolution of the MSLA itself can also be interpreted as a direct consequence of the merger contract. The signing of the merger treaty and the dissolution of the Manipur State Assembly should be seen as a single chain of events and not as separate events. This is where the central importance of the merger agreement lies in the investigation of conflicts and uprisings in Manipur. Therefore, the resolution of the current conflict should include recognition of the breaches committed in the guarantee of the merger agreement and the lack related to the dissolution of the Manipur State Assembly. The restoration of the democratic space that existed before 1949 will remain a key factor in bringing peace and normalcy to Manipur. The Maharaja shall have the right to full ownership, use and enjoyment of all private property (as opposed to public property) owned by him at the time of this Agreement. [1] Maharaja Bodhachandra Singh of Manipur and V.P.

Menon, representative of the Union Government, signed the Manipur Merger Agreement on 15 October 1949. . . .

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