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Manipur Pays Homage To Martyrs; Patriots’ Day Observed Far And Wide

IMPHAL, Aug 13: In commemoration of the supreme sacrifices made by Thangal General, Bir Tikendrajit and others in their struggle against the onslaught of British imperialism, the Patriots Day was observed today all over Manipur and beyond.

The main function was held at Pheidabung, BT Park where Governor VK Duggal led the gathering in offering floral tributes to the martyrs.

Chief Minister O Ibobi, Council of Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries, MLAs, the Chief Secretary, the DGP, high ranking civil and police officials too paid fitting homage to the martyrs.

A contingent of Manipur Rifles gave guard of honor to the patriots before a formal public meeting was held at BT Park where Governor VK Duggal and Chief Minister O Ibobi were seated on the dais as chief guest and president respectively.

Earlier, Chief Minister O Ibobi, Deputy Chief Minister Gaikhangam and others offered floral tributes to Bir Tikendrajit at his memorial tomb located at Yaiskul Janmasthan.

Speaking on the occasion, Governor VK Duggal said that even though Manipur lost the war and came under British rule, the series of battles fought in 1891 against the then strongest power showed the courage of the Manipuris and their conviction that freedom is more important than their own lives.

If one looks back into history, it is clear that the British entered the fray because of the disunity among the princes of Manipur.

“We cannot change history but we can always learn from history that disunity among ourselves will bring downfall to our nation”, VK Duggal stated.

Manipur is a cosmopolitan State where many communities reside following various faiths and religions. People of Manipur should resolve all their differences.

“Manipur has to come up with its own solutions to its problems and if we wait for others to intervene, then we may lose everything,” the Governor cautioned.

Observing that the ethnic and social tensions which have been simmering for quite some time are likely to be the festering wound of Manipur and the State witnessed communal violence in the nineties, Duggal asserted that the administration and the population must go hand in hand to ensure that divisive forces do not have an upper hand.

Addressing the gathering, Chief Minister O Ibobi stated that the State Government has been observing the Patriots’ Day as a State function since 1970.

During the series of battles fought in 1891 against the much superior British forces in terms of both manpower and fire power, the Manipuris showed before the whole world how much they valued their national freedom.

The State has been observing August 13 as Patriots’ Day in memory of the day where General Thangal and Bir Tikendrajit were hung to death on the false charge of waging war against Queen Victoria.

“In addition to offering fitting to the brave patriots, the Patriots’ Day is the most opportune moment to re-dedicate ourselves to the cause of the nation,” Ibobi stated.

Had the kings and princes of different Indian kingdoms stood united, the British colonial forces could have never conquered India.

“Keeping this in mind, we should give up all inclinations of separatism. Rather we should work collectively for the development of the nation,” Ibobi exhorted.

Staffs (teaching and non-teaching) and the students of Maharaja Bodhchandra College, Imphal observed the Patriots’ Day in the college premises today.

As a part of the observance, more than 100 tree saplings were planted in the college campus under the guidance of Dr. Th. Manihar Singh, Principal MB College, conveyed a press release.

Initiative of the plantation drive was taken up by the National Service Scheme Unit I and II of the college.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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