IMPHAL, October 16: The Mera Chaorel Houba festival was observed today at Lainingthou Sanamahi Temple, Tollong Yumpham Haying Khongbal, 1st MR complex organized by the Lainingthou Sanamahi Temple Board (LSTB).
The festival will conclude on October 30 with a grand historic ‘Chingtam Pot-Lannaba Thouram.’
The inaugural function of the festival was attended by Dr Kh Ratan, Minister of Works & Transport; K Meghachandra, Parliamentary Secretary, I/C-MI & IPR; L Jayentakumar, president, LSTB and former Minister of Health & Family Welfare as the chief guest, guest of honour and president respectively.
Addressing the function as chief guest, Dr Kh Ratan, said “now that most of the hill people follow Christianity as their main religion and most of the valley people follow Hinduism as their main religion, a gap between the hills and valley has been created.”
“If we follow our old respective religions, the gap can be minimised. To nurture the indigenous forms would be the right choice,” he said.
“Let us forget our bad times and let us move towards bringing unity and friendship among us,” he appealed.
L Jayentakumar, president of LSTB said, “The bigger communities are trying to swallow small communities like ours into their culture. If we do not save our culture from these foreign invasions, it will be a disgrace to our ancestors.”
Meghachandra who attended as the guest of honour added, “It is our sole responsibility to save our own culture.”
As a part of the festival, devotees of Lainingthou Sanamahi in huge numbers took out a rally from Lainingthou Sanamahi Temple to the sacred Kangla holding the seven coloured flag in their hands.
The devotees then fetched the holy water from Nungjreng Pukhri entering through the southern Kangla gate and exiting towards the northern Kangla gate.
They finally assembled at Lainingthou Sanamahi Temple at Tollong Yumpham Haying Khongbal, 1st MR complex.
Meanwhile, the festival was also held at Sana Konung Utra Sanglen led by the Titular king of Manipur, Leishemba Sanajaoba.
Home Minister Ghaikhangam, who is also the president of Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee, on behalf of the party, in a release, has also wished the people of the state and particularly the people who follow ‘Sanamahi’ religion, on behalf of the MPCC, on the auspicious occasion.