Leader Writer: Mayanglambam Jemchandra Singh
Manipur is famous in the sporting arena not only in the country but throughout the world. But it is not just because this little state has produced several Olympians and sportspersons, but because it has also contributed the game of polo amongst several others to the world. But, in the absence of encouragement, the indigenous game of the state like Yubi Lakpi, Mukna etc is fading away day by day. Only a few are trying to upkeep the indigenous games.
The Japanese still preserve the sumo wrestlers by maintaining all requirements of their daily lives from meals to their manner of dressing. Such mannerism greatly impacted the sport`s ability to attract new recruits. But what about our state’s indigenous game, no one is taking care of the games. Last year on November 27, a day before the final match of 7th Manipur Polo International during the Sangai Festival, exhibition matches of the traditional games such as Yubi Lakpi, Mukna-kangjei and Mukna were showcased at Mapal Kangjeibung. Even the uniformity of the players dresses including colour were not properly maintained. One of the players of Mukna shared his feeling that even our local media is not supporting our indigenous game. Such is the state of our indigenous games in the state.
As for the younger generation, we should promote such indigenous games and not only put them in as part of the school syllabus for the children, but they should encouraged practically also. It’s great to have such indigenous games, as it also help us to tell our identity to the outside world like as the Japanese do with Sumo wrestling. We should be proud of our traditional games. We have lost many things even our written records, so as a Manipuri we have to do more and more than others in order to compete with them whether in the field of sports, education or any other. It’s necessary to preserve our indigenous games, it will help the younger generation to understand, how our forefathers lived and played in the past. Now, all such games are seen only during Lai Harouba that also in some of the rural areas.
Even if it is late, the state government has taken certain steps to save the pony, like the pony farm at Marjing hills, likewise for other indigenous games, also the government should have taken some certain steps to save as well as promote our indigenous games.