NEFIS Press Release on 117th Birth Anniversary Celebrations of Comrade Irabot

October 6, 2013

Press-release by North-East Forum for International Solidarity (NEFIS)

NEFIS (North East Forum for International Solidarity) held the 117th birth anniversary celebrations of Comrade Irabot in Arts Faculty, Delhi University. Students, activists and intellectuals from various communities such as Naga, Meetei and Kuki participated. Comrade Hijam Irabot Singh (30 September 1896-26 September 1951), also known as Jana Neta Hijam Irabot, was a freedom fighter, politician and social activist from Manipur. He was one of the founder leaders of Communist movement in Manipur. He wrote journals and poetry, as well as plays in which he also acted. He was also a sportsman. He showed leadership against social injustices during the Second Nupilal, 1939. In the June/ July 1948 election to the Manipur Assembly, Irabot won from the Utlou Constituency. Irabot could not attend the first meeting of the Manipur Legislative Assembly held on 18 October 1948 because of the warrant against him. Irabot formed an underground Communist Party of Manipur on 29 October 1948 and carried out armed struggle against the government. He died on 26 September 1951 at the foothills of the Anggo Hills. His legacy continues to inspire revolutionaries not just in Manipur or what is known as north-east region of India but beyond. The celebrations involved reclaiming the revolutionary legacy of Comrade Irabot from sectarian organizations and emphasized his views on International Solidarity for which he worked throughout his life. NEFIS emphasized that with the students and the oppressed masses of the North East facing the same problems such as deterioration of traditional communitarian living, encroachment of corporations in their land holdings, environmental degradation, racism and lack of good educational opportunities due to the spread of the capitalist market in these regions. It is time that they break away from the bureaucratic and community oriented organizations which seek patronage from the same mainstream parties which perpetuate inequalities so that they can come together and fight for their common demands thereby carrying forward the real legacy of Comrade Irabot instead of fighting amongst themselves.

Chinglen Khumukcham
Thanglungmang Khongsai