By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Aug 14: Titular king Leishemba Sanajaoba has categorically stated that if any commemorative function should be held in memory of hoisting the Manipuri National flag for the first time after the end of British colonial rule, it should be held on August 15.
Speaking as functional president of the 73rd Manipur Independence Day celebration organised by CIRCA at the Sana Konung today, the titular king said that sovereignty of Manipur was handed back to Maharaja Bodhchandra by then British Political Agent GP Stewart in the intervening night of August 14 and 15, 1947.
At 7.10 am of August 15, Maharaja Bodhchandra and his queen went to Kangla and prayed to Ibudhou Pakhangba.
After offering prayer to Ibudhou Pakhangba, the king went to hoist the Manipuri National flag inside Kangla. But he found two flags spread out side by side. One was the Manipuri National flag while the other was Indian National flag. Contending that he would not hoist the Manipuri National flag if it must be hoisted together with the flag of another country, the king left Kangla and went to Sana Konung.
There Maharaja Bodhchandra hoisted the Manipuri National flag, Sanajaoba said. Taking strong exception to celebration of the Manipur Independence Day separately by different organisations, the titular king offered to stay away from the Manipur Independence Day celebration if it must be celebrated separately next year too.
Saying that the CIRCA and PPCM were celebrating the Manipur Independence Day separately on account of differences regarding the Manipuri National flag, Sanajaoba asserted that differences on Manipuri National flag should not be any problem for commemorating Manipur Independence Day on August 14.
If one should go into the finer details of the Manipur National flag, it was already accepted at a public convention held at GM Hall in the past that the flag used during the reign of Meidingu Khagemba was the most genuine flag of Manipur, pointed out the titular king and added that he endorsed the resolution adopted at the convention.
He asserted that the Sana Konung always commemorates the Manipur Independence Day on the 29th day of Manipuri calendar month Thawan. The Government of India should not construe the celebration of Manipur Independence Day as a challenge but it is essential to make the younger generations understand the true history of Manipur, he said. Dilution of the sense of Nationalism and patriotism is one fundamental factor for the downfall of Manipur which once existed as a glorious independent kingdom in South East Asia. As such, there is a growing need to instill a strong sense of Nationalism among the younger generations. Only then, all the issues plaguing the State can be resolved, he asserted.
However, instead of discharging such historical responsibility collectively, the CSOs have been fighting over the Manipuri National flag, he lamented. CIRCA president Thokchom Somorendro said that scholars and academicians of the land need to ponder over the question whether Manipur at present is free.
The way the State Government has been waiting helplessly for the President of India’s assent to the Bill passed for protection of indigenous people from the incessant influx of non-local people is an unmistakable testimony of the fact that the State cannot take any decision on its own, Somorendro remarked.
Preoccupied with the personal problems and struggle for survival, Manipuri people are unable to pay any attention to common, National interest, he added. CIRCA member Leishangthem Lamyanba reiterated the seven-point proposal CIRCA laid before the people in the past. Earlier, titular king Sanajaoba hoisted the Manipuri National flag at the Sana Konung.