73rd Manipur Independence Day was celebrated far and wide by the people of the Manipur. Flags were hoisted at around 2000 different places.
The main event of 73rd Manipur Independence Day was held at Sana Konung and Youth Welfare Ground, Palace Compound organised by Coalition For Indigenes’ Rights Campaign (CIRCA) and Protection and Preservation Committee, Manipur (PPCM).
Addressing on the function as the Chief Guest titular king of Manipur Leishemba Sanajaoba reminded the history of how Manipur became Independent from the British on the intervening midnight of 14 and 15 August 1947 and added that today’s celebration of Independence Day will make the people aware about the history of Manipur.
Condemning about the two functions being organised differently which the organisers claimed that the difference in the flags made them to organise differently, Sanajaoba said that he will not participate any event of the celebration of Independence Day if two different flags were hoisted.
He further said that the intervening midnight of August 14 where Manipur became independent from the British empire doesn’t have any hoisting of flag and added that the flag was hoisted on 15 August or 29th of Thawan of the Manipuri lunar calendar around 7.10 in the morning of 1947.
He urged the Civil Society Organisation CIRCA and PPCM to organise unitedly as the hoisting of two different flags and organising the two events makes the people confused. He further said that the two different flags have different history.
Stressing on the importance of flag Sanajaoba said that its importance will come when people win in their movement and added that it is not the time for choosing of flags when the movement is just in its infancy.
Regarding the flag he said that a convention of the flags of Manipur was held in 2010 which was organised by IPSA and resolute to use the flag during the times of Khagemba.
Sanajaoba appealed that the flag hoisting ceremony should be done on 15 August or 29 day of Thawan and also appealed to use the flag used during the times of King Khagemba. He also said that the day which Manipur became Independent should be celebrated on Aug 14.
Leishemba Sanajaoba highlighted that the sense of nationalism will not run in the bloods of people if people didn’t know the history. He also added that the celebration is not against the Indian Government.
He also urged to create a new generation with clean heart where the sense of Nationalism flows in the veins of the new generation.
General Secretary of CIRCA, Moirangthem Angamba, in his keynote speech expressed the importance of understanding Manipur history in the celebration of Independence Day. He further said that the politics played on the internal conflict hindered the establishment of geo-political and socio-cultural activity in Manipur history. Manipur should have a political status with internal autonomy despite being a part of Indian Union, he added. He continued saying that the root cause of the crisis that the people of Manipur are facing today is the Merger Agreement of 1949. In his speech, he said that observing our Independence Day is a way to open the eyes of the people and let them know that we were once an independent nation. After British Crown granted independence, the Dominion of India and Manipur of that time were two independent political entities. Even under British Crown, Manipur existed as a protected state till 1947, he stated, and all the princely states under British India and British Provinces, even after British left, should have the entity of an independent state according to various internal laws and treaties. As conclusion, he expressed that the pre-merger political status that CIRCA is demanding is not the political system of the monarchy from the past, but the political system before the merger agreement and the political status of Manipur with its own internal sovereignty as included in the Instrument of Accession.
The celebration was attended by Thokchom Somorendro President of CIRCA, Titular King of Manipur Leishemba Sanajaoba and the royal councils.
Also Protection and Preservation Committee Manipur (PPCM) today organized 73rd Independence Day of Manipur at Konung Mamang.
Vice Chairman of the 73rd Observation Committee Ph Deban said that our forefathers have protected and defended this land. In 1891 Anglo-Manipuri War, leaders of Manipur have fought the British and laid down their lives defending Manipur.
He further said that when Manipur came under the rule of British, our forefathers fought many struggle against the British. We should remember Lamyanba Irabot and Nupi Lal and added that we should remember the struggle against those who were doing market monopoly in 1939 when Nupi Lal broke out.
On August 14, 1947 British left Manipur and Manipur became an independent country with a democratic constitution. The constitution was brought out after much struggle. However, in 1949, Maharaja Bodhachandra was made to sign a Merger Agreement in Shillong and Manipur was merged into India. Since then we see the differences between hills and valley given the policy of divide rule between hills and valley from the part of the government of India, there is exploitation of resource and under AFSPA many people have died and have disappeared.
“There are some differences, such as the matter of the state flag. But it does not mean that there is no disunity. Different organizations should organize this program at different places. There should be a united effort and people will see the unity in the next year’s event”, he added.
11 contingent of different schools also parade March past as a part of the observation.
The function was attended by Titular King Leishemba Sanajaoba, Ph. Deban Sharma, Pu. Hemjathang khongsai, Dr Kamei Heera and Rani Khider as Chief Guest, President and Guest of Honour and Special Guest respectively.
Students and teachers of Manipur University Canchipur also celebrated the 73rd Independence Day by hoisting flag in its compound.