Religion should unite rather than divide says CM Ibobi


Identity politics needs to be moderated: Falguni

IMPHAL, February 17: Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh observed that religion should not divide communities. This has been what it has always been in Manipur’s over 2000 years rich history.

The Chief Minister was addressing the the 3rd Maharajkumar Priya Brata Singh Memorial Lecture, 2016 held today at Lamyanba Shanglen, Palace compound, Imphal.

The memorial lecture was organised by Manipur Cultural Integration Conference commemorating the 105 birth anniversary of the late Maharajkumar under the theme “Old Links: New context”.

CM Ibobi offering a flower to a portrait of the late Maharajkumar Priya Brata Singh. IFP Photo
CM Ibobi offering a flower to a portrait of the late Maharajkumar Priya Brata Singh. IFP Photo

The Chief Minister, recollecting Priya Brata’s message that the hills and valley are one and cannot be separated, said that the message has become more relevant in the present context of Manipur.

Geographic advantages may have caused disparity but these can be resolved across the table, he said, adding “Why should we be divided? There is no reason to do so”.

Pointing out that Manipur has over 2000 years of rich history, the Chief Minister maintained that religion should not diviside our communities because Manipur is a secular State.

Ibobi further maintained that it is our responsibility to translate the message and beliefs of the late Maharajkumar rather than merely discuss them.

Maintaining that the rich heritage has always been a pet subject of the Chief Ministers of the State, Ibobi reiterated the desire of his government to emulate the legacy of the over thousand year old monarchy of Manipur.

“Our intention is to preserve the legacy of the monarch for future generation, and not to acquire personal gain”, said Ibobi clarifying on the recent move of the Government to acquire the royal palace for restoration.

Delivering his lecture, Falguni Rajkumar, IAS (retired) chairman RGIIM Society, Shillong and former secretary NEC, observed that “Identity Politics” was responsible for all the turmoil (divisions amongst communities) prevailing in the entire Northeasten region including Manipur.

Although the ‘Identity Politics’ which was not a new thing and never been created by anyone of us yet we still blame each other, he asserted.

Maintaining that the unhealthy trend was created by the factor of circumstance of history, the retired IAS officer suggested that concerted development of all the NE States, atleast in the economic sector was key to develop the entire region.

Coming to the context of Manipur, he pointed out that the factor that gave rise to “Identity Politics” was due to religion.

Further pointing out that re-enforcement of British administration by the GOI in Manipur was another factor adding to the prevailing woes, he maintained that the British deliberately divided the Hills and Valley to divide and conquer.

He appealed the people to retrospect on the past inorder to restore the former glory of together Manipur.


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