Mohan Bhagwat & our unsung Heroes
A few days back, at Nagamapal someone who has already dedicated his life to the Nation told me that Mohanji is coming on 22nd Jan , as part of his Nationwide tour . It would have been thrilling to see him interacting with activists and intellectuals (and also with pseudo intellectuals like me). I am going to miss such a towering personality because of my own livelihood schedules. One day I may get an opportunity to have unfettered discussion on issues like freedom of eating habits and non-Hindu Sarsangchalak, delinking of Sangh from politics etc.
Today morning, I spoke to one of the authors of the book “Unsung Anglo-Manipuri War Heroes at Kalapani “ published by NBT ,authored by Dr Shukhdeba Sharma and Dr Koireng Singh. He told me that the book is going to be released by Mohanji. For me the most interesting part of the book is the names of the deported heroes; 24 in all. The amount of research and hard work that they had put in to trace the names must be painstaking.
Apart from Maharaja Kullachandra and Prince Angousana the composition of the exiled party is heart rendering; heroes like Ghowkami , Gohow, Ashangbakut, Satwal, Usarba, Miya and others increase the heartbeat. In 1891 they stood together against the British. I believe they belonged to different communities and ethnic groups. They stood behind the King and for the motherland.
The authors have pointed out the futile exercise of finding the actual date of the battles of 1891. Whether it was 23 or 25 – it does not matter much. While celebrating and remembering the patriotism and heroism of our heroes of 1891, the exiled heroes of Andamans should also be remembered. They should also be revered and honoured.
Mohanji and his team may try to trace the families of those heroes. If they can locate the families that will be extremely gracious. Today, after a century it would be extremely difficult to trace the families of those unsung deported heroes. If they can find even a few families, that will be a great achievement. Sangh is very committed, they may find the families. So be it.
Mohanji must be knowing from his aids that Manipuris are very emotional people; they don’t want gold or silver but love and respect. If you respect them, they will honour you many times more. They are very emotional and sentimental people. If they start loving you they will die for you. People are simple and very kind hearted. They are unfortunately divided by politics and religions. If Sangh can neutralize both, their hearts and soul can be won honestly.
I had few rounds of talks with Krishna Gopalji another stalwart in the Sangh hierarchy; he was in-charge of NE and later he was the ‘link’ man. Our parleys were mostly relating to the people of Manipur and North East. We had arguments about ST status for Meiteis, Naga peace talks, AFSPA, Hill-valley land-population imbalance, Inner Line Permit System, eating habits, Burma trade, unemployment etc. Most of the time I failed to convince him; perhaps he understands things deeper than me.
It is a wrong propaganda that that Sangh is against non-Hindu culture. The Sangh never interferes in the life style and belief system of the people. If I understand correctly they work for the Rashtra which is a multilingual, multicultural and multi-ethnic Nation. There is no discrimination in the organization on the basis of caste, creed, community or religion. Sangh welcomes everyone – it is an inclusive organization. That it is an exclusive Hindu organization run by the Brahmins and upper caste is a completely wrong notion.
I have been closely observing Sangh for the last 20 years or so by virtue of my association and friendship. They are gradually changing; they have become moderate, more accommodative and inclusive. Pranab Mukherji visited them in their Headquarters – he knew them better than me. Perhaps he might have seen the changing and growing Sangh, for the better. If possible, political neutrality may be established; support the one who is clean, honest and wants to do something for the country and the people. Delinking of Sangh with its political wing may sound like committing hara-kiri . Sangh is for the Nation, not for a particular religion, community or a party. This ought to be the narrative. If I am misleading, I may be corrected.
My apologies to the authors of the book; I am not comfortable reading soft copies; please get me a hard copy at the earliest so that I can further comment or criticize the contents . As of now it appears to me, it is a good endeavour and a good product for the State and for NBT.
We should always try to propagate syndromes like Mt. Manipur in Andamans ; this time we expect something in and around Myanmar ( though foreign); history of Kabow valley may be narrated to Mohanji. Why should not we erect a huge statue of Netaji at the Indo-Myanmar border, where he supposedly visited as part of INA war preparation ? Sarsangchalak may kindly endorse it on 23rd Jan, the birthday of Netaji , by hoisting/touching the tallest (notionally) Tricolour at Moirang.