State pays fitting tributes to Gambhir Singh
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, January 09 2013: The State today paid fitting tributes to heroic king Gambhir on his 179th death anniversary at the Maharaj Gambhir Singh Memorial Complex located at Langthabal.

The death anniversary function was jointly organised by Manipur State Archeology, Department of Art and Culture, Government of Manipur and Maharaj Gambhir Singh Memorial Trust.

The commemorative function opened with offering of floral tributes and gun salute by jawans of Manipur Rifles to Gambhir Singh and his younger brother Narsingh.

Later, tarpan was also offered to the legendary king.

The function was graced by Works Minister Dr Kh Ratankumar as chief guest and Art and Culture Director Dr K Subita as president.

Langthabal AC MLA Karam Shyam and Keirao AC MLA K Thamarjit were present as guests of honour.

Giving keynote address, Art and Culture Joint Director Sapam Bheigya said that the function was being organised to commemorate the contributions and exploits of Maharaj Gambhir Singh and Maharaj Narsingh in the history of Manipur.

It was Gambhir Singh and Narsingh who drove out Burmese soldiers from the territory of Manipur after the Seven Years' Devastation during which Manipur was occupied and devastated by Burma.

Floral tributes offered at the Gambhir Singh memorial complex
Floral tributes offered at the Gambhir Singh memorial complex

In his speech, Dr Ratankumar said Maharaj Gambhir Singh's contribution to Manipuri nation and its history was immense.

It was disunity and conflicts among Manipuri princes which enabled the Burmese king to invade and conquer Manipur.

It ultimately proved to be a dark period in the history of Manipur and it is known as Seven Years Devastation (1819-1825) .

The commemorative function provided a rare opportunity to analyse the historic event, its precursors and its consequences from academic perspectives.

Noting that the present condition of Manipur is worrying, Dr Ratankumar stated that the existing armed conflict, law and order situation and myriad issues plaguing the State are clear indictors of the grim situation.

He also exhorted the gathering to pay sincere tributes to Gambhir Singh and Narsingh and also to follow their footsteps.

The function culminated with presentation of Thang-Ta and Pung Cholom performances.

Re-consolidation Day observed: United People's Front (UPF), Manipur observed the death anniversary of Meidingu Chinglen Nongdrenkhomba (Maharaj Gambhir Singh) as Re-consolidation Day at Manipur Press club here today with Zeliangrong Union (AMN) president Amu Kamei and UPF president BM Yaima Shah gracing the observance as the chief guest and functional president respectively.

Kuki Innpi president Thangkhosei Haokip and manipur University's Prof N Joykumar also attended the event as the guests of honour.

Noting efforts and contribution of Maharaj Gambhir Singh to reunite people of the Manipur after the then independent kingdom briefly lost its sovereignty to the Burmese invaders, Amu Kamei stressed on the need to accommodate histories of the hill people to further strengthen the fraternal bond of the indigenous people.

Calling upon scholars and historians for a more thorough and intensive research to chronicle historic events and contributions by the hill people, he pointed said every community settled in the State should acknowledge that many rulers of Manipur had taken shelter in the hills whenever there was crisis or conflict in the kingdom.

Further stating that Manipur's unity will gain strength if the majority masses abandon the concept of meitei chauvinism and strive to understand and accommodate interest and aspiration of the tribal people, the chief guest drew the attention and contribution of the people in the development of the historic Tongjei Maril route as it will not only revive history but will also bring the people closer to one another.

In his address, Kuki Innpi chief Thangkhosei expressed that disunity is not an isolated problem for only Manipur but the entire North East region is facing similar threat due to alleged discriminatory policy of the Government of India.

Emphasising that understanding aspiration and interest of all the marginalised communities would be helpful in promoting camaraderie in the multi-ethnic Manipuri society, Thangkhosei also mooted that upholding the principles of Maharaj Gambhir Singh to forge closer ties amongst different communities will pave the way for restoring the age-old relationship among the masses.

While commenting on diverse issues Prof Joykumar said that governance of State should not be domain of the elected representatives for the masses too have equal responsibilities in shaping the future and fate of Manipur and its people.

Insisting that since merger into the Indian union the people of Manipur had been enduring one problem after another, he also cautioned that the people of the North East region should be on constant vigil in order to thwart devilish intention of adversary forces to divide the people on ethnic lines.

Contending that communalism is a fallout of the society's educated individuals and influential groups trying to create chaos for gaining personal mileage from such unstable environment, Prof Joykumar suggested that collective understanding of the problem would be decisive in ensuring stability in the society.

Earlier, presenting the key-note address, UPF secretary general Kh Suranjoy highlighted that the Front had been observing the death anniversary of Meidingu Chinglen Nongdrenkhomba as Re-consolidation Day for the past many years in order to constantly remind the masses on the threat posed to unity and integrity of Manipur.

Pointing out that late ruler of Manipur had tirelessly endeavoured to bring the hill and valley people of Manipur closer to one another, he exuded confidence that Manipur's unity could be strengthened only when the people are aware of the divisive policies of India and act accordingly to defeat such sinister designs.

After the seven years devastation/desertion of Manipur in the 19th century consequent to the Burmese invasion, Maharaj Gambhir Singh reached out to the hill people once the invaders were evicted in order to restore fraternal bond between the hill and valley people, said the secretary general.

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