Imphal (SPN) | Manipur observed Khongjom Day and paid tribute to the heroes of the Khongjom War, also known as the Anglo-Manipur War yesterday.
The main event was held at Kheba Ching at Khongjom in Thoubal district, where wreaths were laid by Governor Anusuiya Uikey and Chief Minister N Biren at the Khongjom War Memorial.
The observation began with a guard of honor, general salute, reverse arms, sounding of last post, two-minutes silence, slope arms, and order arms. Floral wreaths were also laid at the statue of Paona Brajabashi with a guard of honor and gun salute.
Speaking as the chief guest, Governor Anusuiya Uikey said that it is a fitting moment to remember and pay homage to the patriots who laid down their lives fighting against the British in the Anglo-Manipur War in 1891.
She highlighted that the sacrifices of Manipur’s heroes like Major Paona Brajabashi, Major Chongtham Mia, Chinglen Sana, Major Khumbong, Major Loitongba, and many more are important and should be remembered during the year of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav.
She also appealed to the youth of the State to reject violence and join the mainstream to work for the development and progress of the country.
In his speech, Chief Minister N Biren stressed the importance of safeguarding and preserving the freedom and independence given to us by our brave forefathers. He recounted a brief account of the war and highlighted the need for politicians and bureaucrats to be sincere and nationalistic.
N Biren also recounted the state’s history and its merger with India in 1949. He said that the New York Times reported clearly on the merger of Manipur with India.
The report stated that at that time, Manipur had a geographical area of 18,000 square miles and a total population of around 512,000.
Biren also stated that the same record is available at the Ministry of Home Affairs in the Government of India.
He recounted the story of Pukhrambam Kajao killing the then Political Agent of Manipur, Mr Grimwood, with a spear, and the public uproar against the British decision to send Maharaja Kullachandra and others to jail in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
The Chief Minister highlighted that the Maharaja refused to apologize to the British Queen and did not give any assurance not to rebel against British rule.
When the Maharaja was eventually released, he moved to Vrindavan, stating that he could not return to his land while his people were under British rule.
The Chief Minister emphasized the need for politicians and bureaucrats to be sincere and nationalistic and highlighted India’s growth under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision.
He also stressed the importance of peace for development and urged the people not to call for any bandh, blockade, or strikes that may create a wrong impression to people coming from outside.
The observance of the Khongjom Day included various events such as recitals of Khongjom Parva, a musical play about Maharaja Kullachandra Dhaja Singh and the Anglo-Manipur War of 1891, and the playing of the National Anthem by the MR Band Unit.
The event was attended by the Governor, Chief Minister, Ministers, MLAs, top officials of the Government, and others.