IMPHAL, Aug 13: Rich tributes were paid today on the “Patriots’ Day” to the great martyrs of Manipur, namely Bir Tikendrajit, Thangal General, Niranjan Subedar, Kajao and Chirai Naga who were executed by the then British Government on August 13, 1891 on charges of waging war against the British Rule in the aftermath of Anglo-Manipuri War of 1891.
The Patriots’ Day was widely observed today by the state government as well as various organizations in different parts of the state.
The state level observation was held at Bir Tiendrajit Park with the Governor of the state, Gurbachan Jagat as the chief guest and chief minister O. Ibobi as the president.
Addressing the gathering at the observation function, the Governor stated that the Patriots’ Day is being observed every year to pay homage and tribute to the brave sons of Manipur, who made supreme sacrifices on the gallows for the cause of their motherland on this day 119 years ago at Bir Tiendrajit Park which was earlier known as Pheidabung.
The Patriots’ Day reminds the people of the heroic acts of the Manipuris – both known and unknown, in different war fronts of the Anglo-Manipuri War, 1891, that showed to the world that the Manipuris had the indomitable and unconquerable spirit to challenge the then mightiest world power, the British, for the sake of their motherland. They also exemplified that freedom can neither be traded away nor conceded at any cost and under any circumstances; instead they finally sacrificed their lives for the cause of the freedom of their motherland. Their lives will always inspire the people with the sense of self sacrifice, patriotism and bravery, he said.
Gurbachan also stated that it is worthwhile to recall that Manipur’s freedom was lost in 1891 mainly because of the disunity and dissent among the then princes of Manipur. It is a lesson of history that foreign powers always take advantage of prevailing disunity and factionalism in other countries in order to rule over them. This is what happened over and over again when the British gradually spread their tentacles all across India. It was only then the British could bring Manipur within the ambit of their empire and it was then that Bir Tikendrajit and Thangal General were awarded capital punishment along with Niranjan Subedar, Kajao and Chirai Naga on August 13, 1891.
This was also the time when the freedom movement had started gearing up in the whole of the country and a wave of nationalism was sweeping all over the country. It was relentless and continuous struggle over the next 60 years which finally brought the people out of slavery imposed on the people by the British. The hard won freedom has always to be protected and preserved by all the people, the Governor asserted.
He also said that the citizens of Manipur along with those of the rest of the country are now enjoying the freedom and all that it brings in its aftermath. The educated youths of the present day Manipur and India as a whole are apparently self centred and motivated to work for their own gains. This needs to be changed into a better way of life so that they work earnestly in a sacrificing spirit and selfless attitude for upliftment of the society with a mental framework of love and brotherhood among themselves.
It is time for all the people to take responsibility to preserve and promote the age-old values of love and peace, tolerance, brotherhood and mutual understanding and work hard for bringing about accelerated development in all fields in the state, Gurbachan added.
The Governor Gurbachan Jagat also appealed to the people to stand together firmly, shoulder to shoulder, and face all threats, internal and external, however strong they may be, for all round development of the society and also rededicate themselves to the task of building a strong and prosperous nation in the true spirit of patriotism and selfless service.
Delivering the presidential speech, chief minister O. Ibobi recalled the glimpses of Manipuri history which led to the Anglo-Manipuri War of 1891. The patriotism of Tikendrajit, Thangal General and others would serve as a guiding light to the people of the state, he noted.
Ibobi also appealed to the people to stand united against the perpetrators of disunity in the state and move towards peace and prosperity.
The Governor and chief minister of the state also paid floral tributes to the great martyrs of Manipur Bir Tiendrajit, Thangal General and others today at Hicham Yaicham Pat, Moirangkhom, Thangal Temple, Palace Compound, Kangla Fort and Sahid Minar.
The Patriots’ Day was also observed in all districts of the state organized by the concerned district administration today.
The district administration of Senapati along with Patriots’ Day Celebration Committee observed the Patriots’ Day at General Thangal Ecological Park, Mayangkhang.
The Manipur People’s Party (MPP) also observed the Patriots’ Day at its office with MLA O. Joy as the chief guest and Dr. Nimaichand Luwang, president MPP as the president.
The Manipur Pradesh Trinamool Congress, Manipur University, All Manipur Students’ Union, Imphal East district committee, Singjamei to Lilong Clubs’ Organization, All Manipur Tammi Chingmi Apunba Lup, Ereibak Enaat Chanura Loinsilon (EECHAL), Action and Implementation for Development (AID), Empowerment of Community for Human Education and Multitude Advancement (ECHEMA) and National Identity Protection Committee (NIPCO) also observed the Patriots’ Day to pay homage and tribute to the great martyrs who had laid down their lives for the sake of the motherland.