The state acknowledges the supreme sacrifice made by the martyrs on the fateful year of 1891. At various fronts during the Anglo-Manipuri War, the might of the British Empire was challenged by the Manipuris, many had fallen in battle. History states that the reason for the war was brought by dissent caused among the princes of the state. After the death of Maharaj Chandrakriti Singh, the eldest son Surchandra succeeded to the throne in 1886, the royal family was divided in the tussle for power. In the ensuing struggle for authority, Yubaraj Tikendrajit, Kullachandra, Angousana and Zillangamba had joined hands against the king in 1890, which resulted in Surchandra and his three brothers fleeing to Calcutta to appeal to the British government for help.
According to History, this was said to be the precursor of the Anglo Manipuri War. Several British officers were killed inclusive of Chief Commissioner Mr. Quinton, Mr. Grimwood, Colonel Skene, Mr. Cossins and Lieutnant Simpson, two British officers of the Telegraph Department W.B. Melville, superintendent of Telegraph office and O’Brian, a signaler also lost their lives in connection with the out-break against the British at Mayangkhang. The further suppressive reprisals by the invading British army led to the martyrdom of Tikendrajit and Thangal General, another three unsung martyrs, namely Niranjan Subedar, Pukrambam Kajao and Chirai Naga were hanged inside the prison. Another twenty two warmonger’s were transported from Manipur to serve life sentences for waging war against the British Empire. Coming back to the present, one introspects on what we have learnt from History today? It is felt, one has to dissect the past and learn lessons to avoid conflicts and undesirable recurrences in the future so as to be able to live our present lives in a congenial atmosphere. At the foremost, the stance of fighting off invaders who would deprive us of our deserved independence comes. When, our land, our rights, our spirit would be subjugated by others through means of sheer strength or modernized arms. The duty of the inhabitants of the land is to defy those invaders, even at the cost of our lives. This has been exemplified in multifarious fronts faced by the Manipuri defenders and the supreme sacrifice given by the sung and unsung martyrs during the 1891 Anglo Manipuri War. And hence, the present populace still upholds the indomitable spirit of the human race in defying subjugation by paying tribute anywhere across the globe, as we do to our heroes on this faithful day.
Dissent and disunity among ourselves leads to naught, but suppression of the primary by the secondary. At the present juncture, the state suffers from myriad discomforts. It may pertain to the law and order situation, the deprivation of welfare quota of the public by corrupt government officials among several other issues. It is felt pertinent to point out at this present juncture whether the meaning of patriotism has been wrongly deciphered by some without adherence to its true essence. As an individual, and part of this society, the deeds done for the common welfare of the public without prejudice by any entity, recognizable or non recognizable is what counts most. Manipur is at war presently! With whom? Remains a rhetorical question. Internal conflicts still looms large and development is yet hindered. It may be safe to say that wars of today are not fought on a battlefield, but rather on a table and with paperwork on a suitable platform. Quoting from Sun Tzu’s military treatise, “The Art of War”, a line states that those who have been able to defeat the enemy a hundred times at a battlefield is not the real victor or the master strategist but rather is the one who has succeeded in overcoming the enemy without actual confrontation. Reflecting on the words, each of us has a duty to perform. Ones done so with truth and with a self corrective endeavor, may be in any sphere of life or in any occupation is felt to be border on patriotism. We all have a role to play in this society, let us do our work without corruption to herald a better tomorrow and let it be known that common man is the genuine hero.