Anglo-Kuki War anniversary KIM, KSO seek State holiday on Dec 19

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IMPHAL, Jun 15: In pursuance of the memo-randum submitted by the Kuki Independence War Memorial Committee on Dec 19, 2015, the Kuki Inpi Manipur (KIM) and Kuki Students’ Organisation (KSO-Ghqs) reiterated the keen desire of the Kukis for recognition of the supreme sacrifice their forefathers had made in defending the liberty and freedom of the people of the realm against colonialism by declaring December 19 as State holiday to commemorate the Anglo-Kuki war.
In a memorandum submitted to the Chief Minister of Manipur yesterday, KIM and KSO pointed out that Kukis still confide in his reassuring words of support while addressing the congregation of Kuki leaders on December 19, 2015 at Kuki Inn, Imphal that his Government will definitely consider the request for a State holiday as a tribute to the Anglo-Kuki War (1917-19).
The war fought between the Kuki chiefs and the British Government from 1917 to 1919 was unique and unparalleled. It was the only one of its kind in the annals of the history of British Frontier India for the fact that it was a long drawn out and protracted war fought over a vast area in India and Burma, across international borders. Different historians called the war by different names such as Anglo-Kuki War, Kuki Rebellion, and Kuki Uprising, nevertheless it is a war fought by the Kuki people against the British Government to uphold the principles of liberty and freedom and to protect their land and inalienable rights in the face of British imperialism, said the memo signed by KIM president Thangkholun Haokip and KSO president Paotinthang Lupheng.
Considering the significance and magnitude of the war in the struggle against colonialism, and in safeguarding the territory of Manipur it is essential that a State holiday be declared to observe the anniversary of the war every year. It is a well known fact that the people of Manipur fought only two wars against the mighty British imperial Government in recorded history, the Khongjom War (1891) fought by the Meiteis in Manipur valley and the Anglo-Kuki War (1917-1919) fought by the Kukis in the hill areas. The Khongjom War is well acknowledged by the State Government as ‘Khongjom Day’ which is being observed every year on April 23 as a State holiday. But the Anglo-Kuki War (1917-19) is not given its due share of such recognition as it is yet to be accorded such recognition, it said.
A State holiday in honour of the great and historic war is essential to inculcate a sense of belongingness among the Kuki people who have otherwise felt a sense of alienation.
The conciliatory gesture of declaring a State holiday may suppress the discontent feeling of the Kuki people who constantly felt betrayed and neglected by the State Government. The recognition that the war deserved is long overdue as the Anglo-Kuki War 1917-19 is now approaching its 100 anniversary. “We are hopeful and confident that the State Government will definitely accord due recognition to the war taking into consideration the sentiment of the Kuki people and also the historical significance of the war,” it said.
It then requested the Chief Minister to kindly extend all necessary help to declare December 19 as ‘Anglo-Kuki War Day’. Its declaration as a state holiday will be a gesture of goodwill to the Kuki people and a cause for unity and integrity for the people of the State.

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