IMPHAL, August 13: Manipuris widely observed the Patriots’ Day today, commemorating the sacrifices made by the heroes of Manipur during the Anglo-Manipur war of 1891.
Several functions were held across the State at the district headquarters and outside the State to mark the day.
The State organised function was held at the Bir Tikendrajit Park.
State Governor VK Duggal and Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh led in offering floral tributes to the martyrs at the Heecham Yaichampat, Moirangkhom, at the Thangal General Temple, Palace Compound and at the Kangla Fort in the morning.
Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam and other dignitaries also offered floral tributes to the martyrs.
A team of the Manipur Rifles gave a guard of honour and gun salute to the martyrs during the observation at BT Park.
Taking advantage of the disunity and discord amongst the various kings ruling in India, the British came and conquered India. The British were provided the same opportunity again in Manipur by the September 1890 Palace revolt, said Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh revisiting history during the observation at BT Park.
The Chief Minister further urged the people to discard the idea of disunity and separatism and live unitedly for the land.
Governor VK Duggal said, “Even though Manipur lost the war and came under British rule, the series of battles in 1891 showed the courage of the Manipuris who fought against the strongest power of the then world; showing that freedom is more important than their own lives.”
“Many perished during the battles. Twenty two of the leaders including Maharaja Kulachandra were exiled for life and five were hanged to death.”
While Yuvaraj Tikendrajit and Thangal General were hanged to death on this day in 1891, the other three Pukhrambam Kajao, Niranjan Subedar arid Chirai Naga were hanged to death in the Central Jail Complex in the same year on May 25, June 8 and October 13, respectively, he said.
“After all of India came under British Rule with the conquest of Manipur, it was the sacrifice of innumerable number of people of India, including from Manipur, who brought back independence on August 15, 1947,” he said and added Manipur was merged to the Union of India on October 15, 1949 and since then is an important part of the country.
“The 21st century is predicted as the century of the Asians, and we should strive to make this prediction come true,” he observed.
The Governor continued that Manipur has to come up with its own solutions to its problems and if we wait for others to intervene, then we may lose everything.
The ethnic and social tensions, which have been simmering for quite some time are likely to be the festering wound of Manipur and will continue to adversely impact the beautiful State, he said.
“We had seen communal violence in the nineties but now despite tension, people have become mature enough to ensure such violence does not recur.”
“The phenomenon of calling bandhs, economic blockades, etc at the drop of the hat, even for minor incidents has harmed the pace of development in the State and such acts need to be avoided,” the Governor asserted. The belief that the administration listens only when violence is resorted is misplaced and must be dispelled but at the same time the administration should not only be responsive but also seen to be responsive, he said.
The Governor also said that the administration and the population must go hand in hand to ensure that divisive forces do not have an upper hand and that peace is the hallmark of this State.
“We should also resolve to safeguard our age old values of love, peace, tolerance and mutual understanding.”
The function was attended by the council of ministers, MLAs, parliamentary secretaries, chairmen of Hill Area Committee, chief secretary, DGP, other high ranking Civil & Police officers and the general public.
The day was also observed by several social organisations, local clubs, educational institutions and others including Huyen lallong Manipur Thang-Ta Cultural Association, Manipur People’s Party, Coalition Against Drugs and Alcohol, etc