IMPHAL: The people of Manipur will not be able to read newspapers and news magazines from outside the state for one month, beginning from Sunday. The sole agent in the state for all newspapers and magazines published outside Manipur has been forced to shut shop for a month by the Kangleipak Students’ Association (KSA).
The Times of India reported on Sunday that the agent, M/s PC Jain and Co, was found stocking, displaying and selling copies of the Manipur General Knowledge written by R Gupta and published by Ramesh Publishing House, New Delhi, a book banned by the KSA. As a “form of punishment”, the KSA said it asked the agent’s shop to be shut down for one month.
The punishment came after some KSA activists raided two shops, M/s PC Jain and Co and its sister concern, M/s Jain Book Store, on Saturday, where they found several copies of the controversial book, Manipur General Knowledge. KSA activists took out these copies to the street and made a bonfire of them.
The publisher is reported to have issued an apology for the “inadvertent mistakes” contained in the book. KSA activists say the book distorts the history of Manipur and hurts the religious sentiments of Manipuris.
“The distorted book is fraught with factual mistakes and hurts the religious sentiment of the people. Lai Haraoba is the original religion of the Manipuris, but the book says that it is the dance of Shiva and Durga along with other gods and goddesses,” KSA activists said.
The KSA also took objection to the longest serving former chief minister and parliament member Rishang Keishing being described in the book as a “freedom fighter”. Keishing was not a freedom fighter but a politician, the association insisted.
In the past, the KSA and the Manipur Students’ Federation have banned books for alleged misrepresentation of Manipur. One of the banned books on the history of Manipur said that Arjun, the great archer among Pandavas from the epic Mahabharata, came to the northeast and married a Manipuri princess. This was an unfounded story, the KSA said in its justification to ban the book.