Bharat Mata image on Patriots’ Day causes furor
JSCC demands apology from RSS
IMPHAL | Aug 13
Joint Students’ Coordination Committee (JSCC) has boycotted Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) from organising or commemorating events associated with Manipuri history in the future.
An apex body of four student bodies namely, All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU), Manipuri Students’ Federation (MSF), Kangleipak Students’ Association (KSA) and Students’ Union of Kangleipak (SUK), JSCC made the uncompromising move on the ground that RSS mislead the history of the land and disgraced its freedom fighters during Patriots’ Day observation today.
During the said observation organised by RSS at Lamyanba Shanglen, Palace Compound, a picture depicting ‘Bharat Mata’ was placed between the portraits of two freedom fighters of Manipur, Bir Tikendrajit and Thangal General. Those who attended the occasion paid floral tributes to ‘Bharat Mata’ along with the Manipuri freedom fighters, which triggered outrage of many netizens on social media tagging the same as cultural misappropriation and assimilation by the RSS. The photo went viral in various social media platforms.
Announcing the boycott during a press meet held today at MSF office at Tiddim Ground opposite, JSCC convenor, Peter Laishram expressed strong condemnations over the misleading of Manipuri history by RSS.
While notifying that RSS can no longer hold or commemorate events associated with history of the land, the JSCC convenor demanded a public apology from the organisers and RSS, Manipur at the earliest for their attack on unique history of Manipur. If RSS failed to apologise to the Manipuri people at the earliest, many untoward incidents may come up, he cautioned.
Meanwhile, convenor, organising committee of the said Patriots’ Day observation, Okram Romen, who is an RSS member, claimed that they have no intention of misleading the Manipuri history.
RSS is a nationalist organisation and similar photo of ‘Bharat Mata’ was placed in commemoration held last year. The only change this year is that the photo is kept aligned with the freedom fighters because of the tight space, he said.
Romen further stated that RSS believes in the idea of building up nationalism by uniting the smaller communities through a common platform (RSS) but keeping intact their unique identities.
He went on to claim that the ‘Bharat Mata’ depicted in the picture is not the geographical Indian nation but a symbolic representation of God for the RSS. “We also consider that the sacrifices made by the freedom fighters of Manipur are a part of ‘Bharat Mata’. Besides, there has been trust deficit between India and the state. We believe that such representation of Manipur being a part of India will help bridge the trust deficit,” he added.
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