Titular king Leishemba Sanajaoba who graced the observance as functional president formally opened the function with the hoisting of a red flag decorated with the image of Pakhangba (Meitei deity) in gold at the centre.
Satjal (UFO) general secretary Y Meiraba; representative of Karbi Working Committee of North East People’s Parliament Ramsingh Kattar; Tripura People’s Front president Patil Keina; North East People’s Parliamentary Tripura Chapter convenor Jalender Reang, Centre for South East Asia studies Manipur University, Research Associate K Sanatomba; cultural activist Ningthouja Lancha; Department of Anthropology, MU, Professor W Nabakumar; Angom Ningthou Angom Amubi and representative of Tripura People’s Front Chabayeng Dev Brahma attended the observance.
Speaking at the occasion Leishemba Sanajaoba said Independence Day is observed to commemorate the day Manipur was granted independence by the British Empire. It was on August 14, 1947 that British rulers left Manipur thereby restoring Manipur’s lost sovereignty.
The observance was organised jointly by CIRCA and Sana Konung.
Celebrating Manipur’s Independence Day does not necessarily mean that the people are ‘anti-National’. Rather, it is aimed at informing the younger generations about the history of Manipur, Sanajaoba stated and added, “Only time will tell how our younger generations will react to this particular phase of history.”
Manipur is facing a mountain of issues. Various organisations, instead of working separately for their own cause should join hands and sort out which issue is more important and worth fighting for, the titular king stated.
“I for one will support all the organisations and their various issues but, it will be more satisfying if the organisations join hands to fight for the right cause. That way, we can get more public support,” he said.
Cultural activist Ningthoucha Lancha said Manipur’s independence and India’s independence are two entirely different things. One should not be mistaken for the other. “Manipur was an independent land and we should never forget this historical truth”, he said.
Independence Day was also celebrated at the Temporary Market shed and Film Forum Manipur office today organised by CIRCA.
In the meantime, Democratic Students’ Alliance of Manipur (DESAM) conducted a social service at Johnstone Higher Secondary on the occasion of Manipur’s Independence Day.