Fitting homage and tributes were paid to the gallant and patriotic spirit of warriors led by late Ngulkhup, the then chief of Lonpi (Mombi) who stood firmly against the mighty British army by defying the imposition of forced labour during the First World War.
Kuki chiefs and CSO leaders paid gun salute to the brave warriors .
Chief guest of the function Education Minister Th Radheshyam, while saluting the immense sacrifices made by the brave forefathers in defending the land, called upon all concerned to continue waging collective war against poverty, illiteracy and underdevelopment in order to make the commemoration a meaningful one .
Asserting that hatred can be conquered by love, Radheshyam urged all concerned to promote love and peaceful coexistence by emulating the patriotic spirit of the forefathers.
Maintaining that different communities living in the State have their own weaknesses and strengths, the Minister said weaknesses can be made up by the strengths so that a common good for Manipur can be achieved .
The Education Minister further assured to include the Anglo-Kuki War in the State school curricula.
He also assured all possible assistance to fulfil the proposal for declaration of October 17 as State Holiday .
Functional president, Water Resources and YAS Minister Letpao Haokip said the valour of the forefathers in defending the land should not be allowed to go in vain .
He urged all concerned to stop pursuing narrow agendas and rather work for the common good of the people .
Letpao Haokip also distributed red blankets to various chiefs to mark the centenary celebration .
Other speakers urged all concerned to follow the footsteps of the brave forefathers by promoting unity among brothers and forgive each others’ mistakes.
They also called upon the gathering to shun pursuing clan-centric agenda and show goodness instead of promoting hatred for the larger good of the people .
They added that the celebration will help establish the rightful place of the iconic leaders of the Kuki War of Independence .
Chief guest Radheshyam unveiled a centenary commemoration monument and laid the foundation stone for construction of Anglo-Kuki War Museum cum Kuki Heritage Centre while Lhukhosei Zou, Chairman, ADC Chandel inaugurated the Anglo-Kuki War Memorial Park .
Chairman of Anglo-Kuki War Centenary Commemoration Committee Khaimang Chongloi said two major wars were fought against the British in the soil of Manipur.
The Government has given due recognition to the Khongjom War by observing it every year .
He requested the Government to accomplish the hope and aspirations of declaring October 17 as State Holiday in recognition of the longest war fought against the British in Manipur, ie Anglo-Kuki War .
Speaking at the sideline of the function, Paotinthang Lupheng, president of KSO Ghqs said, “As we commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Anglo Kuki War, each and every Kuki around the world are desirous of the Government to accord due recognition to the noble sacrifices and contributions of Kuki war heroes against colonialism in defence of our land and freedom .
“In this respect we request the State Government to declare 17 October as State Holiday as a mark of tribute to the gallant Kuki war heroes,” Paotinthang said .
The declaration of 17 October as State holiday will be a gesture of goodwill to the Kuki people and a cause for unity and integrity of the people of the State, he added .
The recognition such a significant war deserves is long overdue because it is a well known fact that only two wars were fought against the British in the history of the State, the Khongjom War (1891) and Anglo Kuki War (1917-19) but the latter is yet to be given its due share of recognition .
“Today, with the commemoration of the 100th anniversary, the Kuki people are hopeful that, come next year, 17 October will be a State holiday and all the people of the State can join us in commemorating this significant war which was fought to protect our land and freedom from colonialism,” he said .
The programme was attended amongst others by Thangkhosei Haokip, Kumpipa, Kuki Inpi; Krishna Kumar, DC Chandel; Kamei Angam Romanus, SP Chandel; Brig Rajesh Kumar, DIG, 28 Sector, AR; village chiefs and CSO leaders.
Source: The Sangai Express