Chief Minister N Biren on Friday inaugurated the Chivu Chandrakirti Memorial Park in Tonjang village and laid the foundation stone of the Manipur Southern Cultural Centre at Behiang, Churachandpur district which lies at the Indo-Myanmar border. The event was organised by the Department of Art and Culture, Manipur at the park. The Chibu or Chivu Chandrakirti Memorial Park is constructed to remember the victory of Manipur King Maharaja Chandrakirti over the Lushai hills in 1872.
CM N Biren tweeted “Delighted to be amongst the people of Behiang and inaugurate the Chivu Chandrakirti Memorial Park today. Also, laid the foundation stone for Manipur Southern Cultural Centre. The cultural center will have a museum, conference hall, cottages, amphitheatre, etc which will provide a platform to showcase the rich history and culture of the people of the region.”
“I stood in admiration of the engraved footprints of Maharaj Chandrakirti at Behiang which is located at the Indo-Myanmar border. This stone inscription which was erected during the 1800s reminds us of our unique history. I pay my humble tributes to our heroic forefathers,” the chief minister said in a Facebook post.
History of Chivu Chandrakirti Memorial Park
The inscribed stone at Chivu was erected during the reign of Maharaj Chandrakirti (1850 -1886 CE) in the year 1872 CE to commemorate the Lushai Expedition. A large stone slab with a pair of engraved footprints of Maharaj Chandrakirti and General Nathan lies in front of the inscribed stone.
A stone symbolizing Lord Thangjing and his consort is also located within this complex of the Chivu Chandrakirti Memorial Park. The total protected area is 607.50 sqm.
“This site is protected under the provision of the Manipur Ancient and Historical Monuments and archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1976,” the chief minister said.
Facilities in the Chivu Chandrakirti Memorial Park
The chief minister further said the government wants to develop Behiang as an international business hub like Moreh town and bring development there. There are various developmental plans for the area, he said. In addition to the Chivu Chandrakirti Memorial Park, the Manipur Southern Cultural Centre will be constructed at a project cost Rs 6 crore, and will have a museum, conference hall, cottages, amphitheatre, etc, the chief minister said.
“This cultural centre will provide a platform to showcase the unique history and culture of the people of the region,” he said.
Biren also highlighted several other developmental works taken up in Singhat. He added that there are plans to expand the centre and develop it further.
There should be equal development, the chief minister said, adding that there are no small or big communities, we are all humans and should live together.
Today, we are taking forward a new Manipur, unfortunately, it was affected for around two years by COVID, but we have been working harder for the past six or so months to make up for the delay, he added.
Appreciating the maintenance of forest cover in the area, he said he is against mass deforestation for poppy cultivation and not against small clearances for food cultivation process.
The chief minister also announced rewards for the 13 villages of the area for properly maintaining the forest cover and for declaring that there is no poppy cultivation in their area.
He also announced projects under Horticulture for each of the villages.
Biren also assured the inclusion of a High School Leaving Certificate Examination Centre in the area.
He said that the new Medical College at Churachandpur was set up in the district because the people deserve it.
“Let us settle differences, problems, and grievances through the process of talk, discussion and meeting instead of resorting to violent disturbances like bandhs, blockades… Let us forget and forgive our past mistakes,” the chief minister said, observing that “no society can move forward if we continue to remember past mistakes”.
Rajya Sabha MP Maharaj Leishemba Sanajaoba expressed his happiness to the people of the area for preserving and protecting the artefacts, which are erected in the park for such a long time.
In his brief speech, Singhat MLA Chinlunthang acknowledged before the chief minister that there is no poppy cultivation in the area.
Tipaimukh MLA Ngursanglur Sanate elaborated on the need for everyone in the state to learn Manipuri and said, “If we want to bring unity in the state, we have to learn Manipuri. He encouraged the people, especially the people of the hills to learn the language”.
Keirao MLA L Rameshwor Meetei observed that it is evident that the chief minister has concern for the people of the hills from the development work taken up in the hill areas.
The programme was also attended by Minister TA & Hills and Horticulture, Letpao Haokip, Mao MLA Losii Dikho, Saikot MLA Paolienlal Haokip, Henglep MLA Letzamang Haokip, DC Churachandpur Dr. Sharath Chandra Arroju, district administration officials, among others.
Leaders of CSOs, tribes, village chiefs and the general public of the area accorded a warm welcome to the chief minister and his team on their arrival at the venue of the Chivu Chandrakirti Memorial Park.