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Fitting Tribute Paid To Khongjom War Martyrs

Governor Gurbachan Singh leads in offering tribute on the occasion of Khongjom Day. Image Credit: Sangai Photo

IMPHAL, Apr 23: Remembering the Manipuri heroes, Khongjom Day was observed today and paid homage to those patriots who laid down their lives fighting against the British for the sake of safeguarding the in-dependence of Manipur in 1891.

At the occasion, Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh has categorically asserted that the demand for secession of Manipur from India being raised by some section of the people would not only be impossible but no super power in the world today would be able to question the integrity of India.

Governor Gurbachan Jagat and Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh, who attended the observance function as chief guest and president respectively, led the people in paying homage at the Khongjom War Memorial located at Khebaching and offering Tarpan at the near-by Khongjom river in remembrance of the Manipuri warriors who sacrificed their lives fighting the mighty British force in the battle of Khongjom.

This was followed by offering of guard of honor and general salute by a contingent of 1st Bn Manipur Rifles as well as observance of two minutes silence as a mark of respect to the departed souls.

Later, addressing the gathering, Chief Minister O Ibobi Singh said that in the Khongjom war of 1891, Manipuris have shown to the world their indomitable courage and spirit of patriotism. So, it should be the duty of the present generation as well as generations to come to protect the integrity and sovereignty of Manipur. It is a duty that has been entrusted upon us by our forefathers.

However, the efforts being made by some section of the people to separate Manipur from India, which has been formed together by over 500 princely States like Manipur, would not only be impossible but no super power in the world would be able to raise question on the integrity of India today, he asserted.

He further affirmed that even if Manipur is said to have been forcefully annexed, Government of India has not done anything that could suggest discrimination against the Manipuri people. In fact, along with embracing Manipur as an integral part of India, election is being held after every five years to elect a popular Govt for the administration like any other constituent States of India.

Moreover, the Government of India has been paying special attention to the development and restoration of peace in Manipur. Without all these concerns, no developmental activities taken up by the Government of India would be ever successful in Manipur, the Chief Minister said, while appealing to all concerned to shun violence and join hands in finding a solution to the problems besetting the State today. He also announced that the Khongjom War Memorial complex, spreading over an area of 10 acres, would be developed as one of the best tourist spots.

Earlier in his address as chief guest of the function, Governor Gurbachan Jagat noted that while observing Khongjom Day, ‘we need to remember that foreign powers tend to intervene in the sovereignty of a country, whenever its people are disunited and disorganized’.

The same circumstances prevailed in the country during the British conquest of India. India then, was divided into a number of small territories and the kings and princes of those entities fought against each other for establishment of their respective supremacy over each other. Taking advantage of the mutual animosities and dissensions among them, the British started intervening and annexed those kingdoms and principalities one after another, the Governor reminded, adding that Manipur was the last kingdom to be annexed to the British power.

Today, we all are the citizens of Independent India. Our independence was not the gift of the Britishers, but was attained after a long struggle. This should be kept in the mind of every citizen, he added.

The Governor went on to say that it is unfortunate that the State of Manipur has been passing through a series of disruption and destruction, such as insurgency movement, killing of innocent people, violence, extortion, kidnapping, looting, etc in the name of revolution or freedom. These activities have delayed significantly the pace of development in all social and economic spheres of the State.

He appealed to the youths of the State to reject violence and come forward to join the mainstream and work for the development and progress of the Nation.

Lok Sabha MPs Dr Thokchom Meinya and Thangso Baite, Tourism Minister TN Haokip, Health Minister L Jayantakumar, MLA O Landhoni and other Departmental officials were also present at the observance, which also witnessed performance of stage play ‘Khongjom Lal’ by artistes of DIPR Drama unit.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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