IMPHAL, May 11: The historic place of Uchekon Laikon where the Shree Shree Govindajee idol was kept for safekeeping during World War II should be renovated before seeking recognition as an international endangered heritage site, said noted scholar Padmashree RK Jhaljit.
Speaking during the third memorial celebration of the event today, he stated that the Shree Shree Radha Mandop Uchekon Laikon, where Shree Shree Govindajee was sheltered for a period has acquired an important place in chronicling the history of Manipur during World War II.
He said Nat Sankirtan which had been recognised by UNESCO as an international cultural heritage has a deep rooted relation with Raseshowri Pala which was originally performed exclusively by women from the royal family as a form of ritualistic practice. The themes of the songs are praises of Manipuri kings and their devotion to Shri Krishna, right from Bheigyachandra Maharaj to Bodhachandra Maharaj. So, let us train our focus on introduction of our traditional and ritualistic art form of Raseshowri Pala to the rest of the world, he said.
Ch Jamini Devi, the president of Rasheshowri Pala said this cultural heritage symbolises the fierce commitment of our people to preserve our arts and culture when facing extreme hardships during WWII.
She supported the development of Uchekon Laikon as a prominent tourist site, citing the War Cemetery, INA memorial among others which have become huge tourist attractions. With great enthusiasm, she suggested the construction of the tallest tower there with a signal on the top so that everyone can identify the significance of the place. Union ministers who come to Manipur should be invited here and people from all religions and communities should be welcomed so that it attains world standard, she said.
Raseshwari Palla is the oldest women pala established in Manipur about 200 years ago. We are still maintaining every nitty gritty and small practices and tradition till date. The Raseshowri Pala is unique because it can be performed at Govindajee Palace only, she said.
President of Seva Committee RK Ranjan said Uchekon Laikon has reached the minimum criteria for applying as a tourist site and the committee will be approaching NEC or state and central governments with a proposal.