IMPHAL, June 14: Kuki apex bodies the Kuki Inpi Manipur and the Kuki Students’ Organisation general headquarters have submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh appealing for declaration of December 19 as State holiday in tribute to the Anglo-Kuki War (1917-19).
The memorandum signed by Kuki Inpi Manipur president Thangkhosei Haokip and KSO General Headquarters president Paotinthang Lupheng said in pursuance of the memorandum submitted by the Kuki Independence War Memorial Committee on December 19, 2015, we are obliged to submit this representation to reiterate the keen desire of the Kuki people for recognition of the supreme sacrifice our forefathers had made in defending the liberty and freedom of the people of the realm against colonialism.
It said “The Kuki people still confide in your reassuring words of support while addressing the congregation of Kuki leaders on December 19, 2015 at Kuki Inn, Imphal that your government will definitely consider our 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 said adding that it was a long-drawn-out and protracted war fought over a vast area in India and Burma, across international borders.
“Considering the significance and magnitude of the war in the struggle against colonialism, and in safeguarding of 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, it said.
The recognition that the war deserved is long overdue as the Anglo-Kuki War 1917-19 is now approaching its 100 anniversary, it said and expressed hope and confidence 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.