Joint observation of I-Day call rung out

By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Aug 14 : The Protection and Preservation Committee Manipur (PPCM) commemorated the 73rd Independence Day of Manipur at Youth Welfare Club ground, Konung Mamang today.
Titular king Leishemba Sanajaoba, observation committee vice-chairman Ph Deban, Kuki Inpi Manipur vice-president Hemjathang Khongsai, Kabui Kariumei Phon president Dr Kamei Heera and late king Bodhchandra’s wife Rani Khider attended the Independence Day celebration as chief guest, president and guests of honour respectively.
Speaking at the gathering, Sanajaoba said that the Independence Day celebration is just about commemorating a very important historical event and it has no element of challenging either the Government of India or the State Government.
Saying that he has serious reservation against commemorating such a highly significant historical event separately, the titular king expressed keen desire to celebrate the Manipur Independence Day jointly. 
History should be passed unadulterated to the future generations, and there should be no room for exaggeration or distortion of the history of Manipur, Sanajaoba said. “If we are commemorating restoration of Manipur’s sovereignty, it should be on August 14 but if we are commemorating the hoisting of Manipuri National flag after Manipur was freed from British colonial yoke, it should be on August 15”, asserted the titular king. Even if a commemorative function on hoisting the Manipuri National flag is organised tomorrow, people may ask which flag would be hoisted, he continued. But IPSA organised a people’s convention in 2010  on Manipuri National flags used by successive kings starting from Nongda Lairen  Pakhangba. The convention resolved that the flag used during the reign of Meidingu Khagemba is most appropriate, he said. The titular king remarked that CSOs did the right thing by reacting strongly to an awkward photograph used during a Patriots’ Day observation organised by RSS yesterday.
There is no harm in observing the Patriots’ Day by the RSS but they must know the history of Manipur, he said.
The particular awkward photograph has no connection with the martyrs of Manipur and the Anglo-Manipur War had nothing to do with India, he pointed out.
Ph Deban said that PPCM has been organising the Manipur Independence Day every year to show the whole world that Manipur, though small in size, was an independent Nation and it has a glorious history having its own flag, territory, language, culture and traditions.     A large number of Manipuri soldiers and patriots paid with their lives in the Anglo-Manipur War 1891 as they were always guided by a conviction that freedom is more valuable than living in bondage, Deban said. After British rulers restored the independence of Manipur on August 14, 1947, Manipur enacted a Constitution and a set up a democratically elected Government. But Manipur was ‘forcibly merged’ into the Indian Union on October 15, 1949, he recalled. In the aftermath, Government of India imposed AFSPA, transplanted a huge number of  non-local people on the soil of Manipur and formulated several divisive policies, apart from wanton exploitation of natural resources, he said.
Saying that PPCM has no intention to celebrate the Manipur Independence Day separately, Deban clarified that there was communication gap and some misunderstandings while preparing for the commemorative function. He vowed that all efforts would be invested to celebrate the Manipur Independence Day collectively  from next year in a manner acceptable to all. The function which was opened with the unfurling of Manipuri National flag by Leishemba Sanajaoba also featured a march past competition which was participated by 11 contingents. Imphal Public School, AMSU and DM College of Arts won the top three positions of the march past competition.