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Patriots Day: Real homage or just showmanship

by IT Web Admin
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On this very day of 13 August, Manipur’s two worthy son of the soil, Tikendrajit and Thangal General was hanged to death by the mighty British Empire for waging war against them. People and the songster in their lyrics drew satisfaction by describing as ‘Yuvraj Koireng’ and ‘Athouba Thangal General’ as ‘Lanjing Purel’ meaning gallant spear-header of War. On that day, this two brave patriot achieved their martyrdom. People were very much discontented and dissatisfied about their death taking it as abuse of power by the British colonialist. The day used to be observed clandestinely as the ‘Patriots Day’ to pay gratitude and homage for the sacrifices they have made to defend the sovereignty of Manipur without any least concern for their personal safety.
People in the state were astonishingly spellbound with happiness when the Manipur People’s Party Government declared that 13 August will be observed as state function in 1972. The said function was observed and celebrated at the present site of Bir Tikendrajit memorial Function. When the observation of Patriots Day was about to start, just then came the impediment from the congress government at the centre to bar the function.
The Chief Secretary, Krishnamurti reportedly came to Bungalow of Chief Minister (CM) and informed the CM, Md. Allimuddin and Shri Yumnam Yaima, Minister of Law, Education and Local Self Government who would be participating respectively as the Chief Guest and the President that ‘the observing of this function was banned from the Home Ministry of Delhi. This was posted to telegram and also let it known through phone’. The Chief Secretary then handed over the telegram copy to the Chief Minister.
The Chief Minister after reading it passes on to Shri Yaima. Shri Yaima after rubbishing crushed it and thrown to Krishnamurti, saying, ‘Mr. Krishnamurti! All these are done by you’. Chief Minister then asked Shri Yaima, ‘what we should do now?’ Yaima then said that function should not be abandoned at any cost. Further, he said, it is better not to be in government if it means remaining like this under the whims and fancies of the centre. All these must have been done by Krishnamurti.
‘Let us not pay any heed. People are waiting at the function venue. Let us go. I am heading towards it.’ Convinced with Yaima’s words, the Patriots Day function was started well in time. Since then it has been observed uninterrupted as state function till date. So, the leadership of the MPP government of those time by standing rock solid placing the interest of the state above self have set quite an ideal worth emulating precedent.
However, such spirit of state before self doesn’t seem to have any follow-on in the successive regimes. This incident is being recalled here with the purposive intent to appraise the present day regime at the state to not just observe the patriots day just for the sake of mere tokenism.
Our state now is plagued with so many uncertainties which arise out of the lopsided centre-state relationship. Either may be because of the weak state political leadership or the apathy of the high command, even though the same political party is heading both the state and the centre at the moment, most of the issues which is of grave concern and causes great anxiousness so far remain unaddressed though it has been for quite some time. Merely taking part in the ritualistic part of the patriots day in the capacity of VIPs by the state political leaderships without imbibing themselves with the patriotic spirit deserving to be called as their worthy descendants would surely be a dishonour to those valorous souls of the forefathers who sacrificed for our better tomorrow.
The Congress government at those times when for the first time Patriots Day was observed later pulled the regional party MPP led government by manufacturing a split. It reinforced the credence set by earlier precedence that regional aspiration cannot be fulfilled through democratic space. Already, the state, during the earlier BJP rule at the centre, had over the issue of extending ceasefire to the state of Manipur to the Naga ethic outfit, NSCN (IM) had experienced massive outrage resulting to the loss of 18 civilian lives. The situation would more become worse if there is a fall out resulting out of not timely addressing the present impasse. So, on this auspicious and eventful day of selfless sacrifice which is a significant landmark in the history of Manipur, the Imphal Times, through this editorial took the opportunity of appealing the state political leadership to stand rock solid to better serve the cause of the state and also immediately to overcome the impasse that the state is presently snagged with. Doing so will be real homage to those valiant souls of our forefathers rather than being in just routine showmanship.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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