Updated 24 Apr 2022, 3:53 am
Former chairman of proscribed United National Liberation Front (UNLF) RK Meghen offered floral tributes and prayers to freedom fighters who gave their lives in the battle of Khongjom, 1891, at Kheba Chingkhong in Khongjom, Thoubal district on Saturday.
He also offered floral tributes to Paona Brajabashi and made further offerings at Khongjom river. During interaction with the media afterwards, he said that Manipur had faced some tragic events in its history and the battle of Khongjom was among them.
The ‘Seven Years Devastation’ which resulted as a result of wars against the Burmese nation, is another example, he said. Manipur was invaded by the Burmese Army and remained occupied for seven years during which anarchy and chaos reigned, he mentioned.
The people, especially the youths need to have a better understanding of why the 'Seven Years Devastation' took place, he said.
“In the history of Manipur, there was a time when nobles and officials in the kingdom went through a phase of having enmities, disunity, hostilities among them. Taking advantage of that vulnerable situation, the neighbouring nations took the opportunity to launch an invasion and robbed our independence. This resulted in the ‘Seven Years Devastation’,” he said.
Afterwards, the Burmese invaders were driven out with the help of the British.That gave the British a chance to insert its influence into the region. Seeing the disunity among the people, the British invaded the nation and took it over, he said.
“Although we faced defeat at that particular war, the relentless efforts of the forefathers to protect our sovereignty till their last breath are still remembered by their children to this day. Their supreme sacrifices will continue to be remembered. We must try to prevent such misfortunes caused by disunity in the future,” he added.
Concerning the imposition of Hindi language, he said that imparting education in one’s mother tongue is the best approach. Students must be given education in their mother tongue till class X, he said.
“The students may be given options to learn another language as well but forcing them to learn a language is unacceptable. India is the largest democratic country, the steps it has taken to impose a certain language goes against its very principles. The government should take calculated measures in this regard,” he added.
First published:24 Apr 2022, 3:53 am