TODAY -

Kangla - Anomalies in development
- Part 2

RS Jassal *

To seek entry, there again one has to seek permission to enter, as guard on duty has to ask someone in the chain to allow entry. Imagine a 70 years old retired gazetted officer's state of mind who has served the nation as class one of officer for 34 years and three times occupied Officer Quarter inside Kangla when sentry on duty disallows him entry.

Simple thing tele connection or mobile connection or wireless can be provided at gate(s) to enable him get OK from control. Persons of doubtful antecedents must be disallowed till such time identity is established. It is a big irk. Guard Commanders & Sentries be so trained to judge a person from eye gaze to detect him or her about intention of entry. This is a big change in functioning of AR sentries to MR or IRB. If you want to ring up Adjt for permission it is told there is no communication connection.

One wonders if real trouble creator(s) would like to wait for order to come before the entire post may be wiped out. All three gates must be connected with each other & the control. God forbid, if one grenade or lethod bomb is hurled inside from any side not only Kangla the entire NH39 may have to be declared as 'NO ENTRY'.

Are we really security managers? Police need in-depth training of their personnel in this nature of duty—security checking, intelligence gathering, list & photos of doubtfuls, the vehicle Nos clandestinely in use by miscreants/UGs. Currently man on gate is as good as looking at each other's face and ex­change of voice-checker & being checked.

(f) Can anybody deny that Archeological Deptt, Govt of India had earmarked certain buildings of national interest as monuments to be preserved and boards were displayed? Who will maintain them—Kangla Board or the Govt of India, and who will maintain ARI Military Assets—Kangla Board or Defense or the Home. Assam Rifles (MHA) are the questions needing attention of the Govt of Manipur.

Last but not the least, I strongly advocate Slim cottage, Lushai House and Quarter Guard, Military Hospital be declared as national monuments within Kangla. It may not be out of place if Govt of Manipur deliberate to consider putting some retired persons from Army or the Assam Rifles as additional member on the Board and put some knowledgeable historians connected with Modern history of Manipur too as a member.

It has been a tradition of Tangkhul custom observation at coronation of each King but surprisingly there is no member from Tangkhul on the Board. I am given one first hand account of coronation ceremony of Maharaja Bodhchandra Singh & Maharani Ishwari Devi in 1942 which was attended by Col H Bhuban Singh (then in his teens).

He says both of them were attired in Tangkhul dress & after ceremonially enthroned the royal couple was moved into a bamboo hut conforming to Tangkhul style with 'Lengchenkui' wooden cross put up nearby the Durbar Hall in Palace. He vividly remembers even window was of sliding style.

And I feel nervous, gloomy, disappointed to observe the antipathy developed by developing insurgent ideologies between two communities as of date. Isn't it soul churning? How can you separate Meiteis & Tangkhuls from socio-cultural ancestral heritage combine? For that matter even Maos, Zeliangrongs, and Zou groups of communities.

Kangla must put up tribal artefacts & huts of same style with Lengchenkui (a wooden high cross) atop as seen by Col H Bhuban, at a suitable place inside Kangla. It will be a real contribution & effective effort to revive, Manipur Integrity than just spending lakhs of rupees in grand functions on every 4th Aug which is non productive and aim negating.

Prof Gangmumei had advocated similar type of huts for ethno-tribal museum in one part of Kangla with all past tribal artefacts to remind generations to come of their history & culture. Dr Nara Singh had suggested status of World Heritage for Kangla. Author also advocates for both by adding Kangla be viewed from socio-cultural & milito-historical kaleidoscope.

Nevertheless the author of this paper RS Jassal who is highly mesmerized on history & heritage with multi messages from Kangla congratulates the efforts of Kangla Board who are engaged seriously in bringing it back to its past pristine glory. Kangla is coming up well.

Security, Serenity and Utility be given balanced view. Development be for creating ambience and not ambivalence. Under no circumstances religion be allowed to overtake secularism. History is a continuation of events and we must accept it in its true form and not distorted glue.

- Concluded ....




* RS Jassal wrote this article for The Sangai Express . This article was webcasted on February 13 2009.

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