IMPHAL, August 27: Commemorating the four students who laid down their lives during an agitation against artificial scarcity of rice in Manipur on this day 49 years ago, the All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU) led the students of the State in paying homage to the four student ‘martyrs’ of the historic “Hunger Marchers Movement” or “Chaklam Khongchat” of August 27, 1965 by observing the 49th Hunger Marchers’ Day at Pishum Chingamacha.
The observance started with renderings of Yakairol at Pishum Ching from the early morning. Later, floral tributes were paid to the four martyred students namely Oinam Nabakumar, Laishram Chaobal, Nongmeikapam Pramodini and Waikhom Nilamani at their memorial located atop the Pishum Chinga Macha.
AMSU president Th Naresh unfurled the flag of the students’ body at the memorial site to commemorate the event.
Thousands of students of the State and family members of the four martyrs attended the function. Later after paying floral tributes, a rally was also organised to mark the occasion from Pishum Chingamacha to DM College Auditorium, where a meeting was held.
The rally started from Pishum Chingamacha Memorial and after passing Pishumthong, Keisamthong, Wahengbam Leikai, Nagamapal, Khuyathong, Thangmeiband concluded at DM College Multipurpose Hall.
Speaking as the chief guest during the observation, former AMSU president Prof Irom Gambhir said that commemorating the day is important for everyone, especially the students for them, to acknowledge the supreme sacrifice made by the four martyred students and students of those days.
He said that the day was observed to commemorate the struggle for righteousness, and added that since a long time back, students have played an important role.
However, the teachers or lecturers in any institution could not raise their voices against the lack of facilities, Prof Gambhir said, this failure to raise voice for legitimate demands is not a good omen.
He stated that regular principals must be appointed in schools and colleges under the guidelines of UGC. However, in the State since many years ago, the State government has failed to appoint regular principals, he said, adding it is high time to discuss how government teachers lag behind in their teaching methods from private school teachers.
The era we live in is one in which means of communication has reached its zenith but corruption level is also quite high, he stated, and moreover the people of the State have the habit of dividing any kind of organisations into two instead of remaining united which invariably impair any mass movement.
AMSU president Th Naresh said that the present generation could not envision the changes which have occurred in the society and the contributions made by the past generations.
He noted that the students’ agitation over the scarcity of food which was witnessed in 1965 was against the clandestine export of rice from the State to other states. Manipur was once a self sufficient State in terms of food production, he added.
However, the situation has changed today and people are on the verge of starvation if food products are not imported from other states for a few days. In such a situation, one needs to find the root cause of the problem, Naresh said.
Meanwhile, the 49th Hunger Marcher’s Day, organised by the All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU), District Committee, Jiribam, was observed today at the Jiribam Higher Secondary School Auditorium Hall.
In relation with the 49th Hunger Marcher’s Day, a rally was organised by taking out processions with palanquins carrying photos of Nilkamal, Laishram Chaobal, Oinam Naba Kumar and N. Promodini who died during the historic event of Manipur in 1965. The day is observed to commemorate the supreme sacrifice given by the four brave souls of Manipur.
The observation was attended by S. Maniton Singh, General Secretary, Senior Citizen Society Jiribam; Y. Sanjiv Singh, President AMSU, District Committee, Jiribam and KH. Haridash Singh, Founder Secretary, AMSU, Jiri Branch, Ph. Gyanendro Singh, Ex- President, AMSU District Committee, Jirbam as the chief guest, president and guest of honours respectively.