Last Updated on February 17, 2023 by SPN Editor
People’s CM N Biren handed the eastern bridge (Nongpok thong of Kangla) to the people of Manipur. This is one of his long-cherished plans of restoring the Kangla, which is the political and religious site of the Meitei civilization. We have crossed the eastern bridge, Nongpok Thong of Kangla, and now we must come out of the Eastern Gate as well, for peace and ushering prosperity in the State.
The Nongpok Thong which was built over the Imphal river flowing inside the Kangla was destroyed by the British after they occupied Manipur in 1891. This was for security reasons as Assam Riffles was stationed inside the western side of the Kangla.
Today, the vast area of Kangla seems to be encroached on the eastern side, from Sanjenthong Officer Colony, New Checkon, and the Hatta Minuthong. The actual easternmost boundary of Kangla was the road laying in front of the present Ananda Singh Higher Secondary Academy, where we have an old Kangla pat.
The straight road lying along the New Checkon road to the Minuthong bridge is not the last boundary of Kangla. The traffic island on this New Checkon road must have the Eastern Gate of the Kangla. The relatives of Kings and nobles are still settling in the Rajbari adjacent to the Raja Dumbra High School. This shows that the Kangla boundary is beyond the New Checkon road.
If we are serious about preserving Kangla as the seat of our civilization, we have to restore the original Kangla site and we hope the present government has the political will to fulfill the aspirations of the people.
In the backdrop of the opening of the Eastern Bridge, Nongpok thong of Kangla, some section of people have voiced about the Nongpokthong (Eastern Gate) or simply Look East or Act East policy of the Center. We must not confuse the Nongpok thong (Eastern Bridge) and Nongpokthong (Eastern Gate) of Kangla.
The idea of opening and closing the gate has nothing to do with India’s Act East Policy or severed ties with India. It is just a bridge that is gifted to the present generations by CM N Biren, showing us that we once had this Nongpok thong of Kangla above the Imphal river.
Now crossing this bridge, we are very close to the Pong Ingkhol (Shan’s homestead) adjacent to the JNIMS Hospital. Act East does not need to cross the Indo Myanmar Fraternity Bridge in Tamu, but restoring the Nongpokthong of Kangla (Eastern gate) with the Pong Ingkhol will have a clear meaning. We must preserve and protect the route and historial evidence that the Shan people have visited and settled in the Kingdom.
We hope the State government will protect the Pong Ingkhol which is very important for understanding the relationship of Meitei with the Shan people in the days to come. We also believe that steps will be taken to restore the Eastern gate of the Kangla, which is also a repetition of History. for bringing the past glory of Kangla.