Dark Day observation continues debate on Khongjom War memorial date

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IMPHAL, April 27: After defeating Manipur in the Khongjom War, the British laid siege of the land by entering Kangla Fort on April 27, 1981. The day has been observed since many years back as the Dark Day in the state.

The 16th Dark Day Observation (The Day Manipur Lost her Independence) was held today at the Iboyaima Shumang Leela Shanglen organised by the International Peace and Social Advancement.

Today’s observation was attended by retd Principal prof L Sadananda as chief guest with PSA president Elangbam Johnson as president and IPSA advisor H Ibotombi Khuman as the guest of honour.

As part of the program, leaders of several organisations, people from different parts of the state paid floral tributes to the martyrs who had sacrificed their lives for the sake of the land.

Addressing the observation as a resource person, prof N Joykumar said the belief of the state government and the people that the Khongjom War was fought on April 23, 1981 is incorrect.

According to British records, their troops coming into Manipur from Tamu had started their journey on April 24, 1981.

Observation of historical events of the land, according to the whims and interest of some individuals would be wrong, he said.

British troops had marched towards Manipur from three different directions, from Tamu, Silchar and Dimapur, he said and added not only did the two fought at Khongjom, but Manipuri troops had fought the British troops fiercely at Lamangthong and Mayangkhang.

So while remembering war heroes of Manipur, people should also include the heroes from the other war fronts, he said.

Social scientist Dhanabir Laishram, who was another resource person, said History cannot have errors.

People need to fully understand the difference between the “pre and post-colonial histories,” he observed.

He further said, let the previous history stay, but let the people write the correct history. This will encourage nationalism in the present and future generations, he added.

Prof N Sadananda said after defeating the Manipuris in the war; on April 27, 1891, the British entered Kangla and took down the Manipuri flag to hoist their own Union Jack, the day was day Manipur lost its sovereignty.

Observing the day as the Dark Day is warranted, he said, and added the war, that the Manipuris fought against the British was not a small battle.

The present generation should be aware of the reason behind the war and the spirit of the martyrs who went into the war knowing that they will be defeated, he said.

Today’s function was also attended by Freedom editor, RK Ranendrajit; All Manipur United Clubs Organisation, president Dr Y Mani; National Identity Protection Committee, NIPCO acting president Sunil Karam; PANDAM president Yumnamcha DIlipkumar and social activist Phunindro Konsam and advocate Arjun.

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