Imphal: Manipur on Thursday observed Sadbhavana Diwas at the Banquet Hall of the 1st Battalion Manipur Rifles with chief minister N. Biren Singh and power, forest and environment minister Thongam Biswajit Singh as chief guest and president respectively.
Sadbhavana Diwas is observed every year on August 20, the birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. However, this year, the Diwas was observed on Thursday as August 20 falls on Saturday which is a closed holiday for government offices and August 19 too is a gazetted holiday on account of Janmashtami festival.
The theme of Sadbhavana is to promote National Integration and Communal Harmony among people of all religions, languages and regions. The idea behind observance is to eschew violence and to promote goodwill among the people.
Biren said the motto of the present government is to protect the lives and property of the general public and as such the government would always work for the welfare of its people irrespective of differences among different communities residing in the state. Continuing that Manipur is like a mini-India where people from different communities had been residing together for the last many years, he stressed the importance of phasing out all differences and marching forward together to make one Manipur within one India.
Stating the objectives of observing the Sadbhavana Diwas as to promote National Integration and Communal Harmony, the chief minister expressed that observation of the same is very important for a country like India which is resided by different communities. He further expressed his desire to make the observance more meaningful with every citizen following its basic theme of Sadbhavana in a real sense.
He raised concern on exercising the freedom of speech by some people beyond the ambit provided under the Constitution of India, causing harm to the interest of the general public and creating tension among different communities. He appealed to the public to refrain from such activities and asked them to come up with their grievances in the right forum and through their elected representatives so that it could be solved at the earliest.
Mentioning that the state’s achievements in different sectors was due to prevalence of peace and support of the people, he expressed happiness that the public had begun to actively participate in the development works of the government. This shows the true meaning of democracy with people’s participation in governance, he added.
Biswajit said the main objective behind the observance of Sadbhavana Diwas was to promote National Integration and Communal Harmony among people and to refrain from any form of violence. Ne recalled the distinctive thoughts and ideals of Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and added that the latter had always worked for the peaceful co-existence among different communities and making a strong united India during his dynamic leadership.
During the observation, the chief minister led the other dignitaries and officials in taking the solemn pledge to work for the emotional oneness and harmony of all the people of India regardless of caste, region, religion or language. The pledge further read to resolve all differences through dialogue and constitutional means without resorting to violence.