August 27, 1965, the sublime sacrifice (a retrospection)

Thoudam Imomacha Singh *

50th Hunger Marchers Day with floral tribute at Pishum Ching and Rally across Imphal :: August 27 2015.
50th Hunger Marchers Day with floral tribute at Pishum Ching and Rally across Imphal on August 27 2015 :: Pix Credit - Shankar Khangembam

"If Manipur lives
Nobody dies,
If Manipur dies
Nobody lives.

Such a poetic thought might have inspired the students who had martyred on 27 August 1965. Geographically Manipur maybe a tiny landscape, but historically it was a beautiful ancient kingdom. Jawaharlal Nehru called Manipur "The jewel of India".

It is a nostalgic story that in the then political map of India, Manipur was a Union Territory (UT) in 1965. By then Manipur was also ruled by a Chief Commissioner (CC), who was the sole agent of the centre. He was assisted by a Congress Ministry headed by M Koireng Singh as Chief Minister.

The dreadful memory of the episode still lingers in the minds of those young and old who had come across the pogrom on August 27,1965. Since that day, August 27, is being observed as "Hunger Marcher's Day" (Chaklam khongchat) in Meeteilon, every year till this day.

This year also, the day (27 August) has been observed under the aegis of the All Manipur Students Union (AMSU). It was the most upright social upheaval launched by the community of students in Manipur spearheaded by the apex body of students, namely the AMSU.

A rally was arranged and the main function of commemoration of the day was held at the Multipurpose Hall of Manipur College, Chingamakhong, Imphal. L Saratchandra Sharma, who was the President of the AMSU at the time of 27 August, 1965 episode, has presided over the function.

The Public Distribution System at that time (1965) was handled by Civil Supply Officer and due to the erroneous system of distribution of the most essential foodstuff adopted by the then administration; rice was not available in the markets in Imphal. Since, rice is the staple food of all the inhabitants of Manipur, the non-availability of rice in the markets in Imphal had created a sense of fear in the public mind.

With a view to discuss about the rise of a man-made famine the students of Manipur under the stewardship of the AMSU had organized a public meeting at the Polo Ground, which the Meeteis popularly known as Mapal Kangjeibung. After the meeting, the huge crowd of students headed towards the CC's residence.

But, when the students reached the gate of the CC's residential complex it was found closed under lock and key. At that time there was also a meeting of the VVIPs and the high officials at the CC's office at his residence. The students had made a request for an audience with some responsible leaders. But it was denied. The students, then, forced their entry into the complex of the CC's residence by breaking the lock.

A commotion followed. The security forces on duty there went berserk and they resorted to assault and firing upon the students. The bullets claimed the first three victims namely Laishram Chaobhan, Oinam Nabakumar and Nongmeikapam Pramodini. They were all young leaders of the non-violent agitation of students.

Under such tearful circumstances they were martyred. Some students who were still inside the CC's complex had run into the makeshift AIR Imphal station to hide themselves for fear of assault by security men.

While there was still pandemonium in the street in front of the CC's residence, an AIR Imphal car driven by its chauffeur on duty Waikhom Nelamani had come out on an official errand with a lone passenger of the name of Vishnumooth, a senior officer of AIR. Their vehicle was stopped and asked to ferry some injured persons to a nearby hospital.

At that time the rowdy security men intervened and Nilamani was pierced with a rifle-bayonet into his belly and he breathed his last. Thus, Nilamani joined the rank of martyrs. Vishnumooth was also injured in the scuffle.

In Manipur 27 August, 1965 was the first instance of a public upheaval against the tyranny of a regime in which the students' community alone had taken the lead. Now, everybody has come to know that how well the AMSU could steer a public movement against an autocratic handling of administration in Manipur in the early 1960s.

Today Manipur is a full fledged state since 1972, as such the state government may explore the wisdom to commemorate 27 August 1965 under its own consummate stewardship. It may also be the most befitting reverence for the martyrs.

* Thokchom Linthoingambi Chanu wrote this article to
The writer is M.A English Previous at University of Delhi and can be contacted at lin(dot)chanu7(at)gmail(dot)com
This article was posted on April 22, 2015 and later re-published on August 30 2015.

* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.

  • Yubi Lakpi @Yaoshang #1: Gallery
  • Cheirao Chingkaba @Singjamei : Gallery
  • Intl Day to End Racial Discrimination
  • Listen :: Poem
  • Burglary: security emergency in Lamka
  • Career options in printing press #2
  • Vitamin C: Antioxidant in your anti-ageing
  • Clarification regarding NIA summon
  • Issues of education should be priority
  • Why outside after Class XII ?
  • NSCN-IM asks Centre for 'clarity'
  • Teinem Luira Phanit @Ukhrul #1 : Gallery
  • PM Narendra Modi @Imphal #1 : Gallery
  • Candle Light for Pravish @Delhi: Gallery
  • RTE taunts Kamuching: Mapithel Dam
  • Please dont become slave to any holy book
  • Pravish's Parents meet HM Rajnath Singh
  • Assam Rifles celebrates Cheiraoba
  • Job requirements @SKY Hospital
  • Nursing opportunity across Europe
  • The Killing Fields :: News Timeline
  • Education: addressing the core issue
  • Call to amend the Army Act
  • MoUs inked to boost tourism in NE
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba Chingkaba #1: Gallery
  • Yaoshang Sports @Kakwa: Gallery
  • Human right intimidated by SF: Amnesty Intl
  • Bikers rally to spread awareness on Cancer
  • TB survivor resolves to make TB-free ..
  • State Level World Kidney Day
  • Course in Comparative Literature at NEHU
  • Candle Light at DU for Pravish Chanam
  • PS issue stands as litmus test for CM
  • Cheiraoba Chak Katpa #1 : Gallery
  • Premier League coaches train : Gallery
  • Culturals @ Republic Day #3 : Gallery
  • Draft Asian Declaration: right to justice #4
  • Radhakumar's Atoppa Sansar Amada #2
  • Prevention of cruelty to trees
  • Premier League coach train NE participant
  • GoI may sign agreement without NSCN(K)
  • Manipur celebrates New Year with gaiety
  • Zeliang denies involvement in terror funding
  • Shopping: Sajibu Nongma Panba #1: Gallery
  • Stall @Science Congress, MU #1: Gallery
  • Sajibu Cheiraoba (Meitei New Year)
  • Saving Nambul: Convergence of view
  • Job @ PR Enterprises, Khurai
  • National Institute for Locomotor Disabilities
  • Seminar on 'Conflicts in South Asia'
  • Luck matters; but not always
  • On completing one year in office
  • Spectacle distribution at Loktak Station
  • DGAR visits Manipur on his farewell visit
  • PM at Science Congress @MU #1: Gallery
  • Yaoshang Water & color #3: Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • A tribute to Stephen Hawking
  • Draft Asian Declaration: right to justice #3
  • Effect of a Sleepless Night :: Peom
  • Psychology at MIT School of Vedic Sciences
  • So near yet so far
  • Naga CSOs walking with JCILPS
  • Vegetables grown @Thanga #1: Gallery
  • Yaoshang Fancy Dress Contest: Gallery
  • Yaoshang Sport @Khagempalli #2: Gallery
  • Truth of Life :: Poem
  • Celebration of womanhood
  • HQ IGAR (S) celebrates 15th Raising Day
  • Jet Airways for more flights for NE
  • Publicity doing good, Garbage filth continue
  • Other issue overriding education: Class XII
  • Wortam: The Rising Young Mashangva
  • Eidi Ethantani by Eyoom :: Review
  • OMCT : UA on harassment of Ranjeeta
  • Mass destruction of opium poppy cultivation
  • Career options in printing press
  • IBSD launches hi-tech facility for farmers
  • Bangalore Yaoshang - Cheiraoba Thabal
  • Quality over quantity
  • What will the PM have to say ?
  • Zeliang gets fresh summon from NIA
  • Lui-Ngai-Ni @Longmai (TML) #4 : Gallery
  • Nengneingah, Lungkhambou :: eMing
  • Yaoshang Water & color #2: Gallery
  • Draft Asian Declaration: right to justice #2
  • BJP led Govt, not flunk in first year
  • Demand handing of Pravish case to CBI
  • PDA Govt claims false credit: NPF
  • Feminism & Path to Women's Liberation
  • Word of caution from Ibobi: BJP to listen
  • Yaoshang Cooking Contest #2 : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Mei Loukhatpa #4 : Gallery
  • Radhakumar's Atoppa Sansar Amada #1
  • Nigol :: Poem
  • List of Portfolios : Nagaland Govt
  • Clarify: Report of Zeliang summoned by NIA
  • Academic Programs offered by PHFI
  • Cong speaks: Changes expected in future
  • One year under the BJP: Significant but..
  • Students @ Class X Exam #2 : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Sport @Khongman: Gallery
  • Draft Asian Declaration: right to justice #1
  • Cry Of A Dying River...21 :: Peom
  • Manipur-Nagaland border disputes
  • Not a word on beauty on Women's Day
  • Women Religious Tour reaches New Delhi
  • Yaoshang Mei Loukhatpa #3 : Gallery
  • Chirom Indira- Nari Puraskar Award: Gallery
  • Human Rights Defender intimidated by Army
  • Rooftop Solar Power Plants: Gallery
  • Home stay for nature tourism in Manipur
  • Moodle: A learning management system
  • You can't stop small newspapers ...
  • BJP show in NE State: The backroom boys
  • Moldhin Chan: A Thado-Kuki Folktale #2
  • Yaoshang Nakatheng Chatpa #2 : Gallery
  • Mapithel Dam, Thoubal River & Tumukhong
  • Yaoshang Mei Loukhatpa #2 : Gallery
  • Time for "Nokphade" to go global
  • Campaign on International Women's Day
  • War between Left & Right has begun
  • Poppy plantation, destruction & missing link
  • Yaoshang Halankar #1 : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Water & color #1: Gallery
  • Harassment of Ranjeeta (HRA) by Army
  • Women's positions need to change
  • The Weeds :: Poem
  • We now know gold was created in space
  • Issues of women's rights should be priority
  • Protection of paddy land Act
  • Thabal Chongba @Khurai : Gallery
  • Bor-keina race @Yaoshang Fest : Gallery
  • Front Page Photo 2018 #1: Gallery
  • Tanushree @Elecrama Startup Award: Vote
  • Indian Science Congress in MU: Act East?
  • Fulbright 'pathways' for college leaving class
  • Job @ St. Stone Medical Devices
  • Army jawan martyred in Bongjai IED blast
  • National Integration Tour for Women
  • AR conduct Yaoshang sport festival
  • Condemns rising vendetta politics in NE
  • Yaoshang Sport - Marathon #1: Gallery
  • Yaoshang Sport @Keishampat #2: Gallery
  • NERIST Director post vacant since 2014
  • Dynamic Startup 3.0 at MIMS, MU
  • NDPP Legislature 1st Meeting at Kohima
  • 8th Theatre Olympics at Guwahati
  • Yaoshang Cooking Contest #1 : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Sport @Keishampat #1: Gallery
  • Sentinel Cup Equestrian #5 : Gallery
  • Translating inclusion into seclusion is..
  • Condemns land acquisition of muslim
  • News erroneously portraying Zeliang
  • Report: Shillong Lajong vs East Bengal
  • Yaoshang Sport @Khagempalli #1: Gallery
  • LGBTQ Yaoshang Sports Meet #1 : Gallery
  • M. Shenbangpu : Akademi Award 2014
  • Tribe: A concept in a state of crisis
  • Neiphiu's NDPP-BJP alliance stakes claim
  • Digital footprints: Blueprints for detection
  • Rio refutes news about 'Naga Peace'
  • Yaoshang Mei Loukhatpa #1 : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Nakatheng Chatpa #1 : Gallery
  • Yaoshang with Governor : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Mei Thaba : Gallery
  • Saroi Khangba #3 : Gallery
  • Chirom Indira: Highest Civilian Honour
  • Rejoinder to "MCPCR in dire straits"
  • Stop harassment of Urikhimbham
  • Sadar Hills District Demand :: Timeline
  • 8th AMWJU Sports Meet : Gallery
  • March Calendar for Year 2018 :: Tools
  • Yaoshang Thabalgi Sen Khaiba #2 : Gallery
  • Lui-Ngai-Ni @Longmai (TML) #3 : Gallery
  • Cultural @ Republic Day #2 : Gallery
  • Festival of Colours to Sports Festival
  • Food Processing Training @Oinam : Gallery
  • Loree Kaju Luita Phanit #3 : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Thabalgi Sen Khaiba #1 : Gallery
  • Lui-Ngai-ni Token Celebration at Chadong
  • Students @ Class X Exam #1 : Gallery
  • AoNna tEnaba :: Seireng
  • Thanga Keithel : Gallery
  • Indo-Naga Talks 2017 :: News Timeline
  • Temples of Manipur : Gallery
  • Singcha Wuya Won @Kamjong #5: Gallery
  • Recipients of Akademi Awards for 2014
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic