Manipur celebrates 73rd Independence Day
Sanajaoba calls for joint celebration of Manipur I-day from next year
IMPHAL | Aug 14
Keeping alive the spirit of freedom of the once independent nation, Manipur celebrated its 73rd Independence Day during a function organised by Coalition for Indigenes’ Rights Campaign (CIRCA) and Royal Council at Sana Konung (Royal Palace) today, a day prior to the Indian Independence Day celebration.
Titular king of the state, Leishemba Sanajaoba led the people in celebrating the historic day when the British handed over the rule to the Manipuri king in 1947.
The erstwhile Manipur nation came under British rule in 1891. After the British left in 1947, a constitutional form of government was established. However, the state was merged to the Indian union in 1949.
This morning, the king inaugurated the celebration by unfurling the maroon colour flag inscribed with the coils of ‘Ebudhou Pakhangba’ (Meetei Deity), which is followed by a salute from the swordsmen.
Addressing the gathering, Sanajaoba stated that such celebration of Manipur Independence Day revisits the past history of the erstwhile independent nation thereby imbibing in the younger generations the past events leading to present circumstances.
There is a strong need for gradually developing a younger generation with strong sense of Manipuri nationalism. Only then, the resentments felt by the present generation will be resolved gradually, he stressed.
He further expressed worry over the inability of organising such a significant day jointly among organisers. He pointed out that another group namely, Protection and Preservation Committee (PPCM) is organising similar celebration with a different Manipur flag.
While noting that the difference in opinions among the organisers arises out of the difference in flags, he said that such difference of opinions has created confusions among the people. This is not favourable in the long term as future generations will surely revisit such events. Besides, no flag was hoisted on August 14, 1947, he said. The then king Bodhachandra only offered prayer to ‘Ebudhou Pakhangba’ at Kangla that day, he recalled and appealed for joint celebration from next year without much weight to flags.
“Nevertheless, if the organisers want to hoist flags as well, we can either celebrate the day on August 15 by following Gregorian calendar or 29th day of Thawan by following the Manipuri Lunar Calendar and hoisting the flag used during the time of King Khagemba, which have been accepted by the people of Manipur during a seminar in 2010. However, if the organisers are not going to unite and jointly celebrate such a significant day, I will not take part in such events from next year,” he stressed.
Speaking at the occasion, CIRCA president, Thokchom Somorendro observed that most people of Manipur including scholars and academicians are still unsure whether Manipur has attained freedom or not. Even as the state assembly passed a bill in the interest of the people, the approval of the centre is required. The people of Manipur are not allowed to determine their fate themselves. Such is the sign of dependence meted out by the Indian rule, he said.
He also expressed worry over the diminishing ‘better to die than to serve’ mentality; the gallant Manipuri forefathers have and contended that present generations forget their motherland for survival.
CIRCA also laid down various proposals for a clear cut relation between Manipur and India. It proposed that the government of India recognise the armed conflict in Manipur as a political issue that requires a political solution and mooted for a political approach rather than a military approach.
India should recognise the distinct history and political status of Manipur as a step towards finding a political solution to the conflict. Restoration of the pre-merger political status to Manipur under the framework of Instrument of Accession should be the basis of any such political solution. Besides, the exploration and exploitation of natural resources should cease until the restoration of pre-merger political status, mentioned the CIRCA proposals among others.
The occasion was also observed in a function held at Manipur University today.
Vice chairman of 73rd Manipur Independence Day Observation Committee, 2019, Ph. Deban Sharma said the day has been observed by two different bodies due to miscommunication between CIRCA and Protection and Preservation Committee Manipur (PPCM).
He was speaking during the 73rd Manipur Independence Day Observation Committee, 2019 held today at Youth Welfare Ground, Palace Compound, Imphal.
He said questions may rise among the people of the state on why the observation is organised on two different occasions. There was miscommunication between the two organisations but from next year, the observation will be held jointly, he assured.
Titular king of Manipur, Leishemba Sanajaoba; vice president, Manipur Senior citizen for society, R.V. Mingthing and others attend the observation.
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