The Manipur government on Monday banned a book that described the state’s merger with India, claiming that it contained “grossly misleading and scandalous content”, The Indian Express reported.
The book – titled The Complexity Called Manipur: Roots, Perceptions and Reality – was written by Sushil Kumar Sharma, a retired officer in the Central Reserve Police Force. It was based on Sharma’s PhD thesis.
The book had claimed that the princely state of Manipur comprised only 700 square miles, or 1,812.99 square kilometres, of the valley area when it merged with India. This would imply that the hill areas were not part of the state at the time, according to the book. The hill areas of Manipur are inhabited by the Nagas, Kukis and other tribal communities.
The order by the state home department said that the history of Manipur’s merger with India is a very sensitive subject for the residents of the state, the Imphal Free Press reported. It said that the statements in the book may lead to breach of peace among the communities in the state, and could impact national security and integrity.
The Manipur government added that the statements in the book are contrary to the Gazette published by the Ministry of States (now the Union home ministry) in 1950. It said that as per government records, Manipur’s area was recorded as 8,620 square miles, or 22,325.7 square kilometres, at the time of the merger on October 15, 1949.
Manipur was accorded the status of a Union Territory in 1956. It became a state in 1972 after the enactment of the North-Eastern Areas (Reorganisation) Act.