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Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham

Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 15+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents. Rinku can be contacted at [email protected] 

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Shirui Lily Festival concludes with much fanfare;Governor Dr. Heptulla worries about the existence of Shirui Lily due to climate change impact

IT News
Imphal, Oct 19

The 3rd Shirui Lily festival organised by the state Tourism Department  of the government of Manipur concluded today with much fan fare. Manipur governor Dr. Najma Heptulla, who is known for her admiration to the tradition and culture as well as the traditional attires of various ethnic community of the state, who even talk the world about the state of being the biodiversity hotspot attended the closing day of the Shirui Lily festival.

“It is unfortunate that the Lily which flowers in late May to early June, is becoming rarer and many experts have felt that it may ultimately become extinct, with the rising temperature and change in the habitat.  It was earlier thought that due to forest fire, the plant was being affected with a plant now bearing only a few flowers while about 3 to 4 decades back, a stalk carried not less than 12 flowers.  Nowadays, it is a common sight of small bamboos encroaching on the habitat of the Lily and the latter is losing ground to the gregarious bamboos.  There is need for more vigilance on the part of all stakeholders and a proper scientific study on the flower, so that this renowned flower can continue to thrive in its original habitat.  I am glad that ICAR has taken up tissue culture of this plant and hope that it will perpetuate this plant not only in its original habitat but also in laboratory conditions so that it does not become extinct”, Dr. Heptulla said while delivering her speech at TNL ground today.

She further said that Manipur falls in one of the top biodiversity hotspots in the world and surely, the acclaimed Lily is indicative of such richness.  The focus on global warming and climate change and its impact on our biodiversity and the efforts being made to leverage timely remedial measures are laudable. Nothing requires them more than the Lily. As already mentioned, if intervention is not made now with the urgency it deserves, the plant may be lost forever., the governor added.

“It is not only the Lily but other flora and fauna are also facing tremendous threat to their survival as their habitats are being gradually eroded” the governor said and expressed her happiness for taking the brand name of Shirui Lily, the State Flower of Manipur, for the festival for popularizing it far and wide.

Health Minister L Jayantakumar, PHED Minister Letpao haokip, Education Minister Th Radheshyam, Chairman of the Tourism Corporation Dr. Sapam Ranjan and MLA Khasim Ruivah were among those present in the closing ceremony.

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128th Manipur Police Raising Day Held; Government committed to uphold the territorial integrity of the state: CM

IT News
Imphal, Oct. 19

Chief Minister N. Biren Singh said that the State government is committed to uphold the territorial integrity of the State. This was stated by him at the 128th Manipur Police Raising Day held at the Parade Ground of 1st Manipur Rifles Battalion today.
Speaking as Chief Guest of the function, Chief Minister said that the Centre has assured the State government that the territorial integrity of the State will not be affected in bringing solution of the ongoing Indo-Naga peace talks. Chief Minister said that the State government believed that the Centre and its leaders would respect sentiment of the State government. The State is vigilant and monitoring every stage of the ongoing peace talks, he added.
Responding to the ethnic issues in the State, Chief Minister said that it is tragic that most of the communities of the State always think for themselves rather than cohesive thoughts. When we start thinking for common good leaving aside personal/community benefits then there will be peace in the State, he asserted.  
Stating that various welfare schemes have been introduced for the people, Chief Minister said that the government is committed to deliver inclusive governance and development in the State. In the last two and half years, with the love and support of the people peace has prevailed in the State. The government opens its door for any dialogue for resolving any issue in the State.
Appreciating the efforts of the Manipur Police in maintaining law and order of the State, Chief Minister announced that the government would construct a new City Police Station and also renovate the existing Imphal West Commando Barrack. Commenting on the contribution of the Women Police personnel, Chief Minister said that a special Women Commando Unit will be established. Around 100 women police personnel will be given special training in this regard, he added.
Chief Minister maintained that under a scheme of Home Ministry, a Police Memorial Park and Police Museum would be constructed soon as a mark of respect and tribute to those police personnel who have rendered selfless sacrifice and service for the good of the State.
Speaking on the occasion, DGP L.M. Khaute elaborately spoke on various activities and initiatives of the Manipur Police in last one year. He maintained that 527 militants were arrested including 102 Arms with 8908 ammunitions in past one year. Around 925 cases were charge sheeted by the Manipur Police. In war against drugs, drugs worth Rs. 1336 crores were seized and 226 cases were registered under which 413 persons were arrested, he added. He also stated that Child friendly Police Stations have been inaugurated in various Police Stations.
Chief Minister distributed commendation certificates with cash to various police officers for their outstanding contributions in different fields. The best Police Station 2019 was bagged by Moreh Police Station, best Battalion 2019 was bagged by 5th Bn Manipur Rifles and best Police Officer 2019 was awarded to Md. Wakibuddin, Sub-Inspector of Lilong Police Station. Ms. Bhumika Shamurailatpam, who topped the High School Leaving Certificate Examination 2019 was also awarded a cash prize of Rs. 5000 by the Chief Minister.
The Chief Minister took salute from around 15 march-past contingents of civil police (male and female), police commandos, Manipur Rifles, India Reserve Battalion, Home Guards, VDF personnel and Manipur Police Dog Squad.
On the occasion, Chief Minister released a souvenir highlighting the various achievements of the Manipur Police Department in the last one year. Chief Minister also inaugurated Blood Donation Camp at Banquet Hall of 1st Manipur Rifles Battalion.
Deputy Chief Minister, Cabinet Ministers, MLAs, Chief Secretary and top civil and police officers also attended the function.

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An Introspection to the Shirui Lily Festival

Over 30,000 tourists – both foreign and domestic visited the Shirui Lily Festival, being organised by the state government for the third time. This is a record stated by Commissioner of  Tourism Government of Manipur while addressing in the closing function held today at TNL Ground in Ukhrul district Head Quarter. She also stated that the number is double from last year , which indicate that the number of visitors in next Shirui festival may be more and People in Ukhrul have to prepare for their stay.
Today the much anticipated extravaganza conceptualized to preserve the only flower Shirui Lily that bloom only in the Shirui Hill of Ukhrul district besides showcasing and promoting the diverse socio-cultural heritage and the rich traditional wealth of the state will be concluded. The best part is that Internationally acclaimed rock band “Extreme” is performing today evening.
That the State Government spared no expenses and efforts to make an impression to the visiting tourists would be an understatement. Most places of Ukhrul district particularly the Ukhrul town were witnessed transformed within an incredibly short span of time into one which can compared to any other mid-sized or tier II cities in the country- well almost, with the support of the people.
Despite the best efforts and undoubtedly noble intentions which had made tremendous improvements in the public facilities and certain infrastructures, a closer look into the activities brings to light various clear indications of the haphazard and rushed nature of it all. With the kind of booms the state need a lot to take up in Ukhrul district .
If previous instances are any indications, we will be seeing a change in inertia and a visible drop in enthusiasm making the whole efforts an exercise in futility. The incredible potential for attracting tourism in the State has been well known and even documented. From the enchanting misty mountains to the incredibly beautiful ethnic handiworks and crafts, from the inherently hospitable people to the excellent climatic condition, the unbelievably beautiful and mysterious caves and lakes- this small state has it all, and in no small measures.
This naturally endowed land has been wasted and neglected for centuries, our inability to see the big picture, occupied as we are in finding ways to secure our own personal lives through means fair or foul being the main reason. With the air connectivity with our neighboring Asian countries a reality now, it would be an act of utter foolishness not to cash in on the euphoria and enthusiasm such a development has created. Without going into the details of the nitty-gritty of tourism and it’s pros and cons, it is an undeniable truth that with proper planning, timely and effective checks and due diligence, tourism would only improve the economy, change the perceptions of the local people towards the visitors and their way of life, adopt a more tolerant view of things and most importantly help in propagating our cultures and traditions throughout the world.
For all these to happen, basic infrastructures and basic amenities must be put in place and make the whole state a tourist friendly one. A lot more needs to be done to be where we want this State to be from where we are now. Only a dedicated, committed and sustained effort can make things possible. Working in fits and starts will get us nowhere.

The taste of SINGJU: Manipuri traditional snack that bridge love bondage between new lovers of yesteryears

My uncle Ningthoujam Binoybhusan (who had left us all for heavenly abode), was a man of typical character who always wanted everyone to be happy with his words of humours, took me to meet his girl friend. That time I may be just around 6 or 7 years old but rare incidents or events happened during childhood still continue to live in my memories. From the place where I was staying, Singjamei Chingamakha is just around 1o minutes cycle ride. Renowned Theatre director cum artist Ghanashyam Kshetri (late) was his best friend those days and they together would roam most time to find their life partner. I was like a doll to them and they would prefer taking me to their bicycle most time. My aunty whom he made his life partner stayed at a place in Singjamei along with her father. The two of them communicate with just by looking at each other and myself being a small kid don’t have anyproblem going near to my uncle’s girlfriend. I recalled this because I still remember that it was Singju that connect them. One day my aunty would called me and handed me a well pack Singju  for my uncle and his friend and another day my uncle would asked me to pass a well packed Singju bought from my Leikai. Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai here in Imphal, the place where my father shifted and settled, was once known for the best SINGJU. Originally family is from a far flung Village , around 60 km but took around 4 hours to reach due to dilapidated road condition. The situation however is different today, some of my brothers used to attend office here in Imphal by staying at my village (Kakching Khunou).  
It’s nearly forty years and the trend of Singju being the bridge of love bond between boys and girls are history now. Youths of today may not know the significance of SINGJU between relationships of boys and girls , even during my teenage I had never share Singju with my beloved wife when we date before getting married.
 Well, R.K. Shyamsunder, a retired govt. employee, now around 80 years old, narrated on how the old lady at Kwakeithel Heinoukhongnembi prepared Singju, on his first date with Jashumati, his wife.
“Those days, there were no restaurants, dating with girl friends were done at the side of small “Lukmai” (small vendor run by old ladies) and Singju is the best item we enjoyed most”, Shyamsunder said recalling his youth days.
Like Shyamsunder, Singju is associated to the love life of almost all boys and girls of his age. These days Singju has been replaced by chicken chowmen, momo, fried rice etc etc. which are not our indigenous food.
Singju is a typical traditional snacks or dish. It is a mix-vegetable salad type items and in still popular among the people of the state, if not an item anymore for dating between boys and girls.
The taste of Singju from locality to locality is different. There were times, when youths roamed from place to place to taste the different variety of Singju.
Days are gone and not many Lukmai run by old ladies are seen, as it has been replaced by mushrooming Restaurants where boys and girls can date. Because of the dying culture, youths of today may not be aware of the kind of Singju varieties.
In December 2017 an organisation called “Singju Yokhat Lup” formed by a group of likeminded youths which works for promotion of this Manipuri Traditional food item organizing a unique festival called “Singju Festival” at Lamdeng Makha Leikai ground in Lamshang Assembly constituency.
In this 12 days festival, the organizing committee is inviting all special ‘Singju’ makers sure that any visitor can experience the taste of varieties of ‘Singju’.
Convenor of the Festival committee, Rakesh Naorem deserves all credit for his effort to remind today’s generation that for some of us our parent secret meeting was all possible by Singju.