State pays tribute to Khongjom war heroes

Pothashang News Service: Imphal, April 23, 2019: Remembering the warriors of Manipur who fought against the British in the Anglo-Manipuri War in 1891, rich tributes were paid to them on Khongjom Day Observation at Khongjom War Memorial Complex, Khebaching, Thoubal district on Tuesday.

Manipur governor Najma Heptulla and the vhief minister N. Biren Singh led the other ministers, MLAs, high level government officers, top police personnel and public in laying floral wreaths at the Khongjom War Memorial and Paona Brajabasi statue, offered Tarpon at Khongjom River and paid homage with Sankirtan.

There were also guard of honour, general salute, reverse arms and order arms, sounding of last post, two minutes silence, slope arms and order arms.

Heptulla said, in the battle of Khongjom, the Manipuris showed to the world their indomitable courage and spirit of patriotism. The historic battle that took place at Khongjom where the brave sons of Manipur laid down their lives almost to the last man still reverberates and remembered in every home in the state. The Anglo-Manipuri War of 1891 is of great historical significance for the people of Manipur as it changed the course of history of the state. From an independent princely state, Manipur became a colonial subject of the British empire after it lost the war. Historical records amply bear out the fact that a handful of Manipuri soldiers with primitive weapons fought ever so valiantly against an overwhelming number of British soldiers with far more superior weapons attacking from different directions. But the brave Manipuri soldiers stood their ground and never gave up even in that hopeless situation. The raw courage and love of their motherland demonstrated by our forefathers deserve praise and accolades from one and all. Paona Brajabashi and other freedom fighters like him have found their place in history and their heroic exploits have become over the years stuff of the folklore. The battle of Khongjom is not only a glorious saga of the freedom struggle of Manipur but is truly representative of the spirit of freedom that engulfed the whole country in a later part of history, she added.

Today, while remembering those who died for the cause of freedom of our motherland, we should also take a resolute stand to work with renewed vigour, dedication and selflessness for a better and brighter future. Let us all work for the common goal of making Manipur a peaceful and developed State and this way, we would be paying our true respect and tribute today to those brave souls who sacrificed their lives for their motherland, the governor said.

Biren said in the 1891 Khongjom War our forefathers sacrificed their lives fighting against the mighty British soldiers to save the freedom and sovereignty of the motherland. For paying respect and tribute to them particularly their spirit, courage and love for the motherland, we are observing 23rd April every year as Khongjom Day.

To live with freedom is the main concern for every human and nation. This is the reason that thousands and thousands sacrificed their lives for the cause of freedom. The then warriors of Manipur showed the highest discipline and moral of military in the 1891 Khongjom war. Our brave and courageous martyrs took that protection of freedom as the responsibility of each one of us. Like they made supreme sacrifice for our freedom, lets try to bring a better and developed Manipur by analysing the challenges and problems being faced by today’s generation, the chief minister appealed.

He also urged the people of the state to be true hearted, feel the sense of fraternity among different communities of both hill and plain and work together for the betterment of all the sections of the society through which our state makes way towards peace and prosperity.

A drama based on the historic Khongjom war by Arts and Culture Department and Khongjom Parva recital by Smt. Laishram Ongbi Mani Devi was staged during the Observation. On the other hand,  in connection with the Khongjom Day 2019, Chief Medical Officer Thoubal also organised blood donation camp at the Khongjom War Memorial Complex.

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