Posers over Titular king’s political venture

IMPHAL, 16th Mar: Terming the decision of titular king of Manipur Leisemba Sanajaoba to contest the Rajya Sabha election on BJP ticket as reprehensible and unfortunate for the Manipuri society, HERICOUN, UKAL and Lainingthou Sanamahi Thougal Kanglup (LSTK) have jointly appealed to the titular king to withdraw his stand.
Addressing a joint press meet at the office premises of HERICOUN here on Monday, its president Longjam Ratan said that several organisations from different indigenous communities of the state are raising their voices of dissent against the titular king’s decision to join politics. The three bodies would like to remind that the king is not just another ordinary person and the royal palace has inseparable ties with the history, culture, religion and tradition of the state, Ratan said. It is indeed a living structure that keeps alive the thousands of years old civilisation of Manipur. So far, it has been playing the central role in upholding and promoting the indigenous religion, culture, and identity of the state. Everybody knows how King Bodhchandra was forced to sign the Merger Agreement under duress and retired home ministry official GK Pillai termed it as a grave mistake committed against Manipur while stressing the need for an apology to the people of Manipur by the Government of India. Till today, several experts are calling the merger agreement as a violation of rights, he said. Going to the upper house of the parliament by the titular king is a testimony of surrendering the long stand of opposing the historic blunder by the royal palace and an act of ratifying the merger agreement. As a head of culture and religion of the state, he should always choose the neutral position and not act in favour of any community or religion or group of people. The titular king himself had expressed his view on neutrality. However, joining BJP will make him member of a political party, which will debauch the neutrality of the royal palace. Joining politics will bring a dark shadow in the identity and credibility of the royal palace, he said and added that it will be a loss for the society.
Ratan further said that a king is no king without his people and he should have opened up to his people and scholars of the royal palace before taking the decision. HERICOUN, UKAL and LSTK take his decision as an unfortunate one that would be detrimental to the society and are appealing to the king to take back his decision. Though they have no right to oppose another person’s choice, they are making the appeal as they respect him and cherish the value of the royal palace, he said.
Regarding justification shared by some organisations or individuals over the matter, he said that they are thankful to the BJP government for extending helping hands to the king. But they do not want BJP to paint political colours to the royal palace in the name of helping. If the government truly wants to help, it could have extended assistance through other means instead of roping in the titular king to join the party. Taking political mileage of the king’s position is unacceptable, he said while urging all to join hands to save the future of Manipuri society.

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