IMPHAL, January 13: Commemorating the burning of ancient Manipuri scriptures `Puya`™ of Manipur today, the International Observation Committee on Puya Meithaba (ICOP) conducted a mass rally from Thangmeiband Athletic Union (THAU) Ground till the Kangla Fort.
After a ritualistic ceremony at the fort, the main function was held at the THAU ground with people from all communities of the State gathered together.
Manipur titular king Leishemba Sanajaoba attended the observation as the chief guest, while ICOP chairman and former minister RV Minthing, vice chairman ICOP Prof Sairem Nilabir, vice chairman ICOP M Naodalenkhomba, president Tangkhul Naga Wungnaolong Sweeten Rahing, vice chairman ICOP Tokpam Thawailemba Meetei, general secretary United Manipur Muslim Women Dev. Orgn (UMMWDO) Nazma Begum, president Manipur State Shumang Leela Council (MSSLC) Ph Gunachandra, vice president Meetei Erol Eyek Loinasillon Apunba Lup, MEELAL M Naokhamba, President Umanglai Kanba Apunba Lup (UKAL) Ch Parihal, advisor Meihourol Inat Kanba Apunba Lup (MIKAL) Maisnam Apabi, secretary All Manipur Recognised Private Schools Welfare Association (AMRPSWA) L Joy Khuman, chief of Maram Khullen Namba Maram, chief of Thoyee Village Ukhrul Ng Khating, chief of Purum Likli Rinwichoung Shongthu, secretary Longa Koireng Village Authority W Khelsong Koireng, Ningthou of Echum Kom Keirap (Pomithang) Thoiba Kom, Maram Center Village Authority T Peter
Kaba and Amaipiba of Moreh Meetei Lai Thougallup N Manihar as president and special guests respectively.
Regretting the burning of the puya, Leishemba Sanajaoba said it is a great loss.
He deliberated the scriptures were the most precious thing which has been lost.
Puya, he said included all aspects of life including both the living and non-living things.
He prayed that the burning or such sacred books should never be repeated.
Sanajaoba further lamented that the day is observed twice by different organisations due to conflicting claims and that he had to attend both functions.
It is not about the day, he said but about remembering the incident.
He said if the different organisations could observe the day unitedly, he would be very happy because observing the same incident on two different days is a sign of disunity of which the people attending are made victims.
The main objective of the day is to bring the people of the hills and the valley together and live in a peace and harmony as they used to before the burning of the scriptures, Leishemba continued.
The ancient scriptures had acted as a binding tool of the hill and valley he observed adding that now is the time to revive the peaceful and brotherly relation between the different communities once again for a better Manipur.
He later appealed to all concern to come together and observe the day together among all different communities of the State.
The `Maichou Ningsing Mana`™ was conferred to (late) Akoijam Nodiachan received by Akoijam Momon Leima while the Ching-Tam Nungshi Khudol Mana was awarded to chairman of R Suisa Trust Dr Ngohor Sai Luithui during the observation.