TODAY -

Hunger Marchers' Day observed with call to boost agriculture sector
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, August 27 2019: In remembrance of the mass movement and protest against the artificial famine which occurred in the State on August 27, 1965 in which many students and individuals got martyred when security forces opened fire and assaulted the protesters, AMSU today observed the 54th Hungers Marchers' Day.

AMSU, which happens to be the oldest student union/organization in the State with its establishment dating back to August 28, 1965, also reaffirmed its stance taken in the past against any possible adverse impacts of the ongoing peace talk between NSCN (IM) and GoI on the State, including objection to any administrative arrangement or constitution of District Council or any similar body in the State on communal basis.

The Hunger Marchers' Day observation began with singing of Yakairol (hymn) at Pishum Chingamacha where the memorial tomb of the then martyred students is located.

It was followed by hoisting of flag and paying of floral tributes at the memorial tomb by AMSU volunteers, students and public.

Hundreds of students and public also took out a mass rally from Pishum Chingamacha which concluded at DM College ground after passing through Yumnam Leikai, Yaiskul Police Lane, Keishamthong, Keishampat, Wahengbam Leikai, Nagamapal, Khoyathong and JN Dance College front gate.

Delivering presidential speech at a public meeting held later at the DM Ground, AMSU president Peter Laishram reaffirmed their stance against any possible adverse impacts of the peace talk being carried out between NSCN (IM) and GoI on the State.

He said that they would never accept any separate administrative arrangement such as district council created on communal line in the State.

Further stating that there cannot be any political arrangement which may affect Manipur and Manipur Legislative Assembly, the AMSU president also said that the contents of the Framework Agreement which was signed between NSCN (IM) and GoI in 2015 and other agreements made so far between the negotiating sides should be revealed to the public so that all the Manipuris and other stake holders can ponder on the subject.

Peter went on to state that AMSU will not remain silent if the peace talk affects its (AMSU) stand even slightly and the State's interest in any manner adding that volunteers of the student organization will give lives but not a piece of land.

Expressing shock and surprise that the State Government has done nothing when NSCN (IM) which has been declared as an outlawed organization in the State hoisted its flag in various parts of the State on August 14 in the name of celebrating its Independence Day, Peter condemned the State Government's inaction.

He also decried that the State Government has not taken up any significant task to address the immense hardship being faced by farmers in the State owing to scanty rainfall.

There is a food dependency culture in the State as it relies on imported items from other States as the Government has failed to take up any appropriate measures to boost agriculture and allied sectors in the State.

This tendency contradicts what the Manipuris did on August 27, 1965 when students and people revolted against the then Government's policy of exporting rice from the State, the AMSU president added.

He demanded the State Government to implement proper policies and programmes to boost the State's agriculture sector.

Speaking as the chief guest, former AMSU president Aribam Manisana noted that there is no significant development in the State's education sector since the past many years.

Most Government schools and educational institutions in the State, particularly those located in remote areas still lack infrastructure and manpower as was the case since the past many years.

This indicates that the Government and relevant authorities have been neglecting Government schools and education sector for the last many years.

Pointing out that the position of Manipur in terms of education is still very low when compared to other States, he lamented that no university of the State was listed among the top 200 universities of the country.

There is lack of sincerity among the larger section of the student community in the State.

Students need to develop reading habit and make serious efforts in order to become capable persons, so that the State will move forward and prosper, he continued.

Meanwhile, NESO general secretary Sinam Prakash decried that many schools in the State remained close today to avoid participation at the rally taken out on the Hunger Marchers' Day.

He contended that such attitude of the school authorities and parents of children studying in the said schools will only impair comprehensive growth of their students or children.

Saying that many external forces have been consistently threatening the State's integrity and interest since the last many years, Prakash called for collective efforts to fight against such external forces.

He also decried that the people of the State have been subjected to step-motherly treatment unlike other citizens of India with the enforcement of draconian laws like AFSPA for decades.

Apunba Manipur Kanba Ima Lup (AMKIL) president Ph Sakhi who attended the function as a guest of honour maintained that womenfolk of the State would never accept Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 and any solution to the Naga peace talk designed in favour of a particular community in the State.

She warned of several undesirable outcomes if the GoI and State Government do not pay heed to the call of the womenfolk and people of the State, and forcefully enact and implement CAB, 2016 in the State.

All Manipur Tammi Chingmi Apunba Nupi Lup president Thokchom Ramani while speaking as a guest of honour recounted her experiences of participating in the protest against creation of artificial famine in the State in 1965.She further asked the State Government to stop construction of structures and buildings on agricultural lands of the State.

Mention may be made that three students, namely Laishram Chaobal, Oinam Nabakumar and Nongmeikapam Pramodini were killed on August 27, 1965 when police fired upon a large number of students and public who took out a protest rally against artificial famine created by wanton export of rice from the State while All India Radio driver Waikhom Nilamani succumbed to injuries the next day.


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