‘This march should reached all the 22,327 Sq. Km’
On the 5th day of the ‘Long March’ of Manipur Youth League (MAYOL), after passing through various areas of the Bishnupur district, the march reached Moirang and began heading towards Ibudhou Shandong Lai Haraopham of Kumbi.
Upon reaching Kumbi, local people warmly received the marchers and organized a public meeting at Kumbi Bazar. The meeting was attended by Rupachandra, Editor-in-chief of Impact TV, Dr. Kh. Bidamchandra, Advisor of the Command and Control Committee, Kumbi, Karam Gyaneyshor, a social worker, Surjit, another social worker, and Asem Prince, Convenor of MAYOL, as presidium members.
During the meeting, the presidium members observed a one-minute silence in remembrance of those who lost their lives in the May 3 conflict.
Y. Rupachandra, Editor in Chief of Impact TV, praised the dedicated young volunteers of MAYOL for their bravery. He questioned why Manipur politicians had not put an end to the conflict after seven months. He also mentioned how local women had taken to staying on the roadside and creating bunkers. As a journalist with over 30 years of experience, he shared his thoughts with the people, stating that everyone who participated in the march loved their motherland. He acknowledged that the conflict had been ongoing for seven months, but it actually started over 40 years ago. He emphasized the need for unity in Manipur, as the state was on the verge of breaking apart. He also expressed the need to cover more than 22 thousand square kilometers, not just 600 km. He mentioned the search for leaders like Lamyanba Irabot, but lamented that they had not yet been found. He drew a comparison between the war between Israel and Gaza and the conflict between Kuki and Meitei, highlighting the difference in unity between the two situations. He pointed out that Israel continued with schooling, farming, and teaching war strategy to their children during the war, whereas there was no planning in the conflict between Kuki and Meitei. He stressed the importance of planning and thinking in every household.
Speaking at the event, MAYOL Convenor Ashem Prince stated that the Manipuri and Meitei communities were currently facing issues in various areas, including governance and the economy, which had led to concerns that the Meiteis may even become extinct. He called for unity in facing the challenges threatening Manipuri society. MAYOL conveyed that the present demography of the state did not bode well for the future of the Meitei community, with a steady decline in the population share of Meiteis in the overall population of the state. The percentage had dropped to 43.02% (15,46,880) in 2023 from 56.2% (1,24,254) in 1881, making the community a minority after being the majority population in the past. The decadal growth of Meiteis had significantly decreased from 33.72% between 1961-71 to 17.19% currently.
On the roadside, thousands of local women, clubs, and students lined up to encourage the dedicated young volunteers from the Manipur Youth League (MAYOL). The march continued through Sagang, Wangoo Sandangkhong, Chairen, Nungoo, Khongyam, Tonsen, Pangaltabi, Wangjing Khunou, Umathel, and up to Kakching Khunou.