Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh kicked off the 1st Chief Minister’s Sagol Kangjei Championship 2022 today at the Manung Kangjeibung located at Kangla. The Championship which is organised by All Manipur Polo Association (AMPA) as a part of Sangai Festival 2022 will continue for 10 days till November 27.
The event is being organised under the slogan of Save Manipuri Pony, Save Grazing Field and Revive Sagol Kangjei.
The chief minister also launched the Sagol Tongba Police (Manipur Mounted Police) which will be used to maintain law and order around the Imphal city and will also be a tourist attraction during the Sangai Festival 2022.
Speaking on the occasion, CM Biren stated that the championship would be a memorable event in the history of Ma-nipur, as the Sagol Kangjei game had been brought up after a long period. He appreciated the AMPA for organising such an important championship. Maintaining that Polo was taken from Sagol Kangjei of Manipur is a known fact, he ex-pressed that the people of Manipur don’t possess the habit of bringing up or feeling proud of their own belongings.
He maintained that Sagol Kangjei is not just a game, but it also symbolises the role of Manipuri pony and the tech-niques of warfare possessed by the Manipuri soldiers in defending the sovereignty of Manipur during the olden days. Manipuri ponies had always been a part of the tate’s civilisation and its culture, he added.
The Chief Minister stressed the need to promote Sagol Kangjei adding that through this, we could give a message to the world on who we are and the steps of civilization the State had come through since time immemorial. He continued that the state government had been taking up various efforts to maintain a healthy relationship among different commu-nities adding that some forces of vested interest had always tried to disintegrate the unity among different communities.
Stating the state government had arranged various events at different places in connection with the upcoming Sangai Festival 2022, he added that the Sagol Kangjei Championship is to promote the importance of preserving the game and the endangered breed of Manipuri Pony. Speaking on the Sagol Tongba Police (Manipur Mounted Police) which was launched on Friday, he informed that every Battalion of Manipur Rifles would be given the task of rearing 10 ponies each. He added that the state government had been taking up certain initiatives to preserve the pony.
Concluding his speech, CM Biren appealed to the public to live together peacefully as one, leaving aside all communal views and to think and contribute in taking the State towards development.
Delivering his presidential speech, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha Maharaja Leishemba Sanajaoba expressed happiness that the Sagol Kangjei Championship had been organised under the supervision of the Chief Minister, adding that the game seemed to lose its relevance for a long period. He stated that the organisation of the Championship every year would help to preserve the pony and also promote the Sagol Kangjei, showing the world that Manipur is the birth-place of modern polo.
Cabinet Ministers, MLAs, Senior civil and police officials of the state government, academicians, members of AMPA and veteran players of Sagol Kangjei attended the programme among others.
During the programme, the chief minister honoured Veteran Sagol Kangjei Players with citation and cash re-ward, honouring their contribution in promoting the game. Cultural programmes were also showcased before the opening match between Chingkhei Hunba Polo Club and Imphal East Polo Association.