Guwahati: The Manipur government has banned a book written by a retired CRPF officer for allegedly containing misleading information.
The book titled The Complexity Called Manipur: Roots, Perceptions and Reality, penned by late Brigadier Sushil Kumar Sharma was banned on Monday saying it contained “grossly misleading and scandalous” content, Indian Express reported.
The book was based on the retired CRPF officer’s PhD thesis that claimed the princely state of Manipur had comprised only 700 square miles of the valley area at the time of its merger with India, implying that the hill areas — inhabited by Naga, Kuki and other tribes — had not been part of it.
“The history relating to ‘Manipur Merger Agreement’ is a very sensitive and emotional subject for the native people of the state. The information may even amount to breach of peace and public tranquillity and maintenance of harmony between various communities residing in the state thereby impacting national security and national integrity” said an order issued by the Manipur home department.
It explained that the information in the book published by Viva Books was contrary to the gazette published in 1950 by the Ministry of States (now the Ministry of Home Affairs) under the title “White Paper on Indian States”.
At the time of the merger vide the October 15, 1949, agreement, Manipur had 8,620 square miles of area and a total population of 5,12,000, the order added.
The book has stirred up a controversy over the past few months with civil bodies calling for its ban and an apology from the author and his research guides, including a retired Manipur University professor.
The order said the further circulation of the book containing grossly “misleading, factually incorrect information and scandalous statement” would create misunderstanding and tension between the communities residing in the valley and hill areas, leading to violence.
The order said the book should be forfeited to the state government.
In September 15, BJP-led Manipur government issued an order mandating the pre-approval of all books on the State’s history, culture, tradition and geography.
The government in the order said all the manuscripts on the four topics related to the State would need to be vetted by a 15-member committee comprising university vice-chancellors and college teachers, serving and retired.