Imphal, Nov 22 : Union Home Minister Amit Shah virtually laid the foundation stone for Rani Gaidinliu Tribal Freedom Fighters Museum, Luangkao village, Tamenglong district today.
Chief Minister N Biren Singh and Union Minister of Tribal Affairs Arjun Munda attended the foundation stone laying programme as president and guest of honour respectively at City Convention Centre, Imphal, where the main function was organised.
Addressing the gathering, Union Home Minister Amit Shah stated that the museum was to be constructed honouring the contribution made by freedom fighters of the State during the freedom struggle against the British Rule.
He continued that construction of such a museum and paying respect to freedom fighters would imbibe a sense of nationalism to youths of the country.
Regarding the renaming Mount Harriet as Mount Manipur, the Union Minister recalled that, while reading about various mounts of Andaman and Nicobar Island, he came to know that Maharaja Kula-chandra Singh was sent to Kalapani and kept on Mount Harriet for fighting against the British during the 1891 Anglo-Manipur War. As such, Mount Harriet was renamed as Mount Manipur in honour of the Maharaja’s contribution, he added.
Stating the contribution of Rani Gaidinliu in the freedom struggle, Amit Shah added the whole country has known her as Rani honouring her contribution. He also maintained that the freedom struggle of India would have been incomplete without the then various revolts and uprisings which had taken place in different parts of the country.
The Union Home Minister also mentioned the three objectives behind celebrating Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav throughout the country, which were remembering the contribution of freedom fighters during the freedom struggle, imbibing a sense a nationalism in every citizen to contribute in development of the country and making India one of the most developed countries when the country attains its 100 years of independence.
He further appreciated Chief Minister N Biren Singh for the developmental works taken up under the latter’s leadership. He continued that the law and order of the State had also considerably improved along side infrastructure development in various sectors.
Chief Minister N Biren Singh, while delivering his presidential speech, expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Union Minister of Tribal Affairs Arjun Munda for their decision to set up museums in different States to commemorate the contributions of tribal freedom fighters.
He continued that the museum would honour the unsung tribal heroes of Manipur and would ensure that the legacy of their struggles and sacrifices is passed on to future generations. The museum would also instill a sense of pride among the tribal people and contribute to Nation building.
Important historical objects, documents, artifacts would be collected, preserved and showcased in the museum, he added.
Stating that the current generations are indebted to every freedom fighter across the country, Biren said that Rani Gaidinliu was one such figure who began her own version of the Non-Cooperation Movement against the British administration. He further informed that a monolith had been dedicated in memory of the 18 martyrs who were exiled to Andaman and Nicobar Island after the Anglo-Manipuri War of 1891.
Mentioning the importance of Manipur in India’s history, the Chief Minister recalled that the first Indian National Army flag was unfurled on Indian soil at INA Memorial in Moirang. He also informed that the State Government had acquired the historical land around the site where bombings took place during the Second World War and it would be developed as a historical heritage.
He assured that the Government would continue to strengthen Nation building and patriotic sentiments in the people of the State.
Responding to a media query on the disruption caused by the indefinite economic blockade called by ATSUM in the hill districts, the Chief Minister said that the issue would be resolved at the earliest as negotiation is going on between the State Government and the students’ union.
He claimed that the economic blockade is not effective in all the hill districts adding that transportation on Imphal-Jiribam highway has been going on as usual.
Union Minister of Tribal Affairs, Arjun Munda stated that the contributions of certain freedom fighters had made attainment of the country’s independence possible.
As such, the country was able to celebrate its 75 years of independence.
He continued that the Central Government had taken the decision to set up the Tribal Freedom Fighter Museum in memory of Rani Gaidinliu. He also assured that his Ministry would coordinate with the State Government and make sure that the construction of the museum is completed on time.
Mentioning the various developmental works taken up by the Central Government to bring inclusive development, he stated that the Central Government would always cooperate with State Governments to ensure holistic development so that no part of the Country is left out from the growth process.
During the programme, the Chief Minister led the other dignitaries in paying floral tributes to the portrait of Rani Gaindinliu.
Works Minister Th Biswajit, PHED Minister Losii Dikho, Forest and Environment Minister Awangbow Newmai, Education Minister Sorokhaibam Rajen, TA & Hills Minister Vungzagin Valte, Agriculture Minister Oinam Lukhoi, CAF & PD Minister Thokchom Satyabrata, Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha Leishemba Sanajaoba, MLAs, Chief Secretary, Administrative Secretaries and other Government Officials also attended the programme, among others.
It may be mentioned that the museum will be constructed under the funding of the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, at an estimated cost of Rs 15 crore.