Khemchand, Nishikant give respective understanding of culture


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By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Jun 29 : Giving their respective takes on the importance of culture, MAHUD Minister Yumnam Khemchand held that the Manipuri culture would not be complete without Raas Leela while Keishamthong AC MLA Nishikant Singh Sapam gave it a pan India understanding in asserting that not all Indians converted to Islam during the 800 years of the Mughal Dynasty as Indians are deep rooted in their culture. The same goes for the Manipuris, added the MLA.
These views were on the significance of culture were given during a 'Vasantotsav' - festival of colours held at Haobam Marak, today.
The programme was organised by Sheidamkol.
Speaking as the chief guest of the function, Y Khemchand said that Raas Leela should be performed at Kangla as Manipuri culture would be incomplete without it.
Keishamthong AC MLA Nishikant Singh Sapam was the president of the function while Director of JN Manipur Dance Academy P Bilash and  Chairman of Rang Niketan were the guests of honour.
There, Khemchand said that Raas Leela is a part of Nat Sankirtana which is recognised by UNESCO.
He also said that Manipur is known for its art and culture and ability to produce world class sportspersons.
Saying that some section of people opposed the construction of Raas Leela Mandop at Kangla while he was the Speaker of Manipur Legislative Assembly, Khemchand maintained that the classical dance form was introduced by Maharaj Bhagyachandra and as such it is part of 'our history.'
The Minister also assured that he will always support promotion of the art form.  
Nishikant Singh Sapam, on the other hand, stated that culture is an important aspect of every day life and reflects society.
Saying that not all Hindus were converted to Islam during the 800 years long rule of the Mughal Dynasty as the people were deep rooted in their culture, the Keishamthong AC MLA continued that the people of Manipur are also deep rooted to "our culture" and the State as a whole will cease to exist if "we don't safeguard our identity."