TODAY -

Naming Tulihal airport as Maharaja Narasingh International Airport

RK Sanayaima Singh *

Imphal redraws world aviation map with landing of Golden Myanmar Airlines flight from Mandalay at Tulihal International airport on November 21 2013
Tulihal International airport on November 21 2013 :: Pix - DIPR



After the death of Rajarshi Bheigyachandra there was disunity and fratricidal war among his sons which led to the infamous Burmese occupation of Manipur known in history as the Seven Years Devastation (1819-1826).

During that hour of peril when the independence of Manipur was at stake and extermination of the Manipuri race became imminent Narasingh as the right hand man of his cousin Maharaja Gambhir Singh played a vital role in redeeming Manipur from the enemy’s yoke and influenced his own father Bhadra Singh, the then king to step down from the throne paving the way for his cousin to be the rightful ruler.

When Maharaja Gambhir Singh suddenly died on January 9, 1834, Narasingh unlike his predecessor or successor had no ambition to be the king and therefore raised Chandrakirtee the infant son of the late king to the throne and administered the country as Regent and faithfully crushed all the rebellions against the minor ruler.

Unfortunately Maharani Kumudini, mother of Chandrakirtee was not happy and so she conspired to assassinate the Regent. But as the plot was aborted she fled to Cachar along with her son and inevitably Narasingh was compelled by circumstance to occupy the vacant throne from public pressure.

Not long after becoming ruler in 1844 Maharaja Narasingh rebuilt Kangla which was ravaged by the Burmese invaders and made it once more the state capital.

While rebuilding Kangla he constructed the temple of Shri Govindajee and erected the two dragon known as Kangla Sha which the British destroyed in the unfortunate Anglo-Manipuri War of 1891.

He also constructed the Top Garod (Military Court) and dedicated Jalakeli and Gour Dhumel which has become renowned arts and enriched our rich cultural heritage.

Throughout his career as a soldier, Regent and ruler Narasingh struggled to remove the last vestige of the hated Seven Years Devastation and succeeded in bringing about peace, social harmony and all round development in Manipur.

Before he died he did not allow any of his able sons to succeed him to the throne and instead advised them to help Chandrakirtee to regain the throne to ensure that there is no bloodshed after him. He breathed his last in Kangla on April 11, 1850.

In the aftermath of the Anglo Manipuri War of 1891 the victorious British while debating the fate and future of Manipur recognised the unique patriotism of Maharaja Narasingh.

They decided against annexation and selected his great grandson Sir Churachand Singh to be the new king of the regranted state (Manipur).

After achieving independence from the British the government of Manipur as a token of respect to the illustrious sons of this land started naming theatres, parks, buildings, bazars etc after them.

Examples are Bheigachandra Open Air Theatre (BOAT ) at Palace Compound in honour of Rajarshi Bheigachandra,
Maharaja Gambhir Singh Memorial Complex/Park at Canchipur in honour of Maharaja Gambhir Singh,
Tikendrajit Park in Imphal and Tikendrajit Bhavan in New Delhi in honour of Jubaraj Tikendrajit,
Paona Bazar in Imphal in honour of Paona Brajabashi and
Thangal Bazar in Imphal in honour of Thangal General.

So, it is our opinion that some important place ought to be named after Maharaja Narasingh also.

We understand that very soon Tulihal Airport in Imphal is going to be an international airport. This airport may be an ideal place to be named after Maharaja Narsingh.

We can proudly let the world know that though Manipur is tiny, it has valiant and visionary sons like Maharaja Narasingh.

So, in the light of the above facts and circumstances, the Government is requested to consider our prayer to name Tulihal Airport as Maharaja Narasingh International Airport, Imphal.


* RK Sanayaima Singh wrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was posted on February 03, 2016.


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