In remembrance of the day when the first elected government was enacted in the then sovereign Manipur nation on October 18, 1948, the Ahanba Leingak Leikhiba Ningsing Thouram (Remembrance Day), organised by the Committee of Civil Societies Kangleipak (CCSK), was observed at Iboyaima Shumang Lila Shanglen on Wednesday.
Speaking on the occasion, CCSK president Jeetendra Ngingomba highlighted that Manipur was the first sovereign nation in South East Asia to have its own constitution under the Manipur Constitution Act 1947.
Under the act Manipur adopted the universal adult franchise and enacted the first elected Manipur Legislative Assembly, he added.
He stated that the day marked Manipur’s zeal to propel toward development and prosperity regardless of religious and communal lines.
“After stepping out of the British colonial era, Manipur adopted a liberal democratic outlook under which people of all communities, religions, sex and backgrounds had equal democratic rights and all beliefs which intruded these principles were discarded,” he said.
On the other hand, he pointed out that the present elected leaders in Manipur could learn various lessons from the principles and ethics of our predecessors.
If the present leaders regard every action and idea they undertake as the ultimate truth they are in stark contradiction with the ideological reins of our forefathers, he added.
As such he advised authorities to listen to the people’s impulses and strive collectively to resolve the crisis in Manipur.
Meanwhile, AMUCO president Nando Luwang stated that the Meitei community had been at the forefront of protecting Manipur’s territorial integrity.
He added that it is an undeniable truth that other communities cannot distort.
He maintained that the people of Manipur are still yet to experience the true unflavoured taste of an elected government.
“The BJP government in Manipur is no stranger to in-party fights and squeamish as such it is high time they unite and focus on resolving the conflict which has been dragged out for too long,” he said.
MU Retd Assistant registrar Oinam Kulabidu, CCSK consultant Ashangbam Jiten and other CSO representatives were also present during the observance.
Meanwhile, Coalition for Indigene's Right Campaign (CIRCA) Manipur and Tangleihada Manipur Kanba Lup (TMKL), Oinam also observed the day at Oinam Ushak Khangdabi Community Hall, Bishnupur District.
Speaking on the occasion, RK Nimai stated that Manipur was ahead of various nations in several aspects when it came out with the Manipur State Constitution in 1948.
“Although it had certain loopholes, the constitution was ahead of its peers in several aspects. Manipur adopted universal adult franchise under the constitution in 1948 when the concept hadn’t even resonated in presently developed nations such as the USA,” he said.
He pointed out that the leaders back then were true patriots to the core who envisioned the advancement of the people and the land in every aspect.
Retd IAS RK Nimai, TMKL advisor Irengbam Jugeshor, chief editor of The Frontier Manipur Dhiren Shadokpam, HERICOUN president Longjam Ratan, CIRCA president Somorendro Thokchom among others were present at the observance.
The day is observed to mark the historic event when the sovereign Manipur nation convened the first Manipur Legislative Assembly on 18 October 1948 with representatives elected by the people. In order to enact the Manipur National Assembly, the first elections were held on June 11 and July 27 under the universal adult franchise.