On the Flag that was hoisted at Kangla

M. Joy Luwang *

 Pakhangba on a Flag
Pakhangba on a Flag :: Pix - IT News

One cannot deny the fact that Kangleipak has a history of over thousand years that has been well documented in various Royal Chronicles and Puya (sacred) books. What is more significant is that erstwhile nation (Kanglepiak) which had flourished as an independent nation for over 2000 years had well established governance, social structure, philosophy and traditions.

Loyumba Sinyen, a book written during the 11th century about the philosophy of governance is clear evidence about the existence of written constitution since then. It is also a fact that 76 Kings have so far ruled the erstwhile nation since 33 AD till 1949 and different kings in between the period have used different flags to signify their reign.

Use of flags by Kings of King began from the time of Meidingu (Maharaj) Kiyamba and carried forward with Meidingu Khagemba, Meidingu Chingthangkhomba, Meidingu Chandrakirti, Meidingu Churachand and Meidingu Budhachandra , who acceded the throne from 14th century till 1949, are being collected by scholars (Maichous) and also by the Manipur State Kala Academy Museum, Manipur State Museum and Kangla Museum with proper evidences.

The national flag hoisted by Meidingu Chandrakirti, which have emblems and wordings is still preserved at Manipur State Kala Academy Museum.

Above this as per records maintained by Maichous (Scholars) who are no longer with us and some who are among us in their books have written that after the British Political Agent G.P. Stewart at his residence, presently known as Raj Bhavan after conveying the Independence of Manipur just after the midnight of August 14, 1947 to King Budhachandra , the Manipur King after conducting rituals by the King and the queen at 7.10 am of the same day in front of Darbar Hall , fired 18 rounds of cannon to announce the Independence of Manipur and later replaced the Union Jack Flag hoisted by the British on April 27, 1891 , by hoisting Manipur's flag which is white colour with emblem of lord Pakhangba.

It is no time to ignore our nation's flag that has been hoisted by the king of Manipur at the highest and sacred place for administration Kangla by firing 18 rounds of cannon to signify the restoration of the Independence of Kangleipak which was ruled by the British for 56 years from April 27, 1891 till August 14 1947.

We the people of Kangleipak need to remember not only the photo of the hoisting of the nation's flag but also the original flag that was hoisted on 15th of August 1947 that has still been preserved at Manipur State Museum.

It will be only right for the state museum to place before the public an exact replica of the flag that signified the Independence of the erstwhile kingdom even if they have problem or reservations in presenting the original flag that is fading away from the memories of the people of present day Manipur. Because of the loopholes, today's generation had started sidelining the history of the nation and started using flags at their own whims confusing not only the people of today's generation but also the world community.

Kangla- capital of erstwhile Kangleipak was the highest place for administration, the reason for the British to enter the Kangla in 1891 Anglo Manipuri war from the southern gate inside Kangla on April 27, 1891 and replaced the Kangleipak nation's flag by hoisting the Union Jack flag. Since then, Kangleipak became a colony.

At that time as the present Sana Konung have not yet existed, the hoisting of the Kangleipak nation's flag on August 15, 1947 was not done at Sana Konung, but at Kangla. However, a flag with the emblem of Lord Pakhangba was hoisted at Sanakonung (royal palace). At Sanakonung a flag signifying the culture of Manipur had been in use. The highest office of administration of a nation has always been at the capital and at its parliament.

Likewise, the place for the highest administration of the then nation was done from Kangla. According to scholars, it has been written that a day after Independence, Kangleipak's national flag with Pakhangba phambal was hoisted at Kangla.

This has been found at 1) the last para of page 652 of Cheitharol Kumbaba by L. Ibungohal and N. Khelchandra (2) at page 17 of the book "A History of Modern Manipur 1826-2000 art 3 by Gangumei Kamei, (3) at page 72,73 and 79 of the book "The Merger of Manipur" by H. Bhubon , (4) at page 78 and 79 of the book "Manipurgi itihasta Irabot" by Soyam Chatradhari and (5) at page 54 and 84 of the book Jananeta Hijam Irabot by Irom Mangi, etc.

Regarding the Maroon Coloured flag with the world in it , the spokesperson of CIRCA Ningthoujam Lancha in a discussion hour of ISTV Network on August 14, 2017 had stated that the flag used by CIRCA was designed by Yambung Priyobrata which took about a year without any sign of colonialism symbol.

On a similar discussion hour at the same TV channel ISTV Network held on August 14, 2020, on the topic "Historical interpretation of August 14 in Manipur's context", President of the CIRCA Somendro Thokchom said that the flag that CIRCA hoisted was not a new one , but the flag that the kings of Manipur had hoisted from time to time.

As there is a difference in the versions between the Spokesperson and the President in connection with the flag, a question arises about CIRCA's stand on the flag that they claimed.

On the other hand the flag that CIRCA claim to be Kangleipak's flag is the same flag that has been designed by MK PB in consultation with Shri Keisham Tombi and Haobam Amubi that was hoisted at Ukhrul on the request of the Assam Rifle's Post located at Ukhrul.

This was written at page 48 of the book "Down the Memory Lane" written by MK Priyobrata. Even though the flags used by MK Priyobrata and King Churachand had similar Paphal (symbolic representation of Lord Pakhangba), the colour was not the same.

The flag that has been hoisted at Sanakonung till 2017 was red in colour with the paphal of the world. This has been on record. What we need to ponder is whether the red colour has been converted into maroon colour. The significance of the nation's flag should be well understood and it should not be made a mockery. No one can conceal the fact about the flag that has been hoisted.

The flag that has been hoisted at Kangla has not been changed till today. On the most historic day of the erstwhile nation it does not have any meaning to hoist a flag with no significance.

If any individual or group decided to hoist a different flag then it should have a consensus among the people, however it is not appropriate for the people to decide a flag for Independent Kangleipak .

It will be most reasonable to hoist the flag that has been hoisted at Kangla on the historic occasion of the erstwhile nation to mark the day that British left and Kangleipak was restored its Independence.

* M. Joy Luwang wrote this article for Imphal Times
This article was webcasted on September 12 2020.

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