TODAY -

Heroes recalled on 53rd Hunger Marchers' Day
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, August 27 2018: Remembering the mass movement and protest against the artificial famine which occurred on August 27, 1965, the All Manipur Students' Union (AMSU) observed the 53rd Hunger Marchers Day today.

Apart from family members of the students who laid down their lives in the August 27 protest, a large number of students and public paid floral tributes at the memorial site of the four martyrs, located at Pishum Chingamacha in the morning.

A mammoth rally/procession participated by thousands of students and public was also held as part of the observation.

The rally which started from the memorial site passed along the stretch of Singjamei Chingamathak to Moirangkhom of Indo-Myanmar road, proceeded towards Mayai Lambi Road via Yaiskul Police Lane, and concluded at DM College multipurpose hall after passing Waheng Leikai, Nagamapal and Thangmeiband.

AMSU president Manjit Sarangthem also hoisted the flag at the Pishum Chingamacha memorial site before the floral tributes were paid and the rally was taken out.

During the rally, the participants shouted several slogans, including "outsiders cannot control the price of food and essential commodities in the State", "illegal immigrants cannot contest election", "prevent influx of illegal immigrants and migrants" and "long live Manipur, long live AMSU" etc.

It may be mentioned that three students, namely Laishram Chaobal, Oinam Nabakumar and Nongmeikapam Pramodini as well as a driver of All India Radio Waikhom Nilamani were killed on August 27, 1965 and the following day, in police firing during a protest against the then Government in connection with scarcity of food grains in the State.

The day has been observed since then as Hunger Marchers Day in the State.

The main event of the observation was held at the multipurpose hall of DM College.

Former president of AMSU A Dijen, president Manjit Sarangthem, former general secretary Chungsat Khongsai and former vice-president Heibokmayum Rafi graced the function as the chief guest, president and guests of honour respectively.

Speaking at the function, Manjit decried that many agricultural lands and open fields in the State have been continuously exploited in the name of development, industrialization and urbanization both by the Government and rich individuals in the State.

He went on to lament that nothing has changed in the economical and agricultural perspectives of the State even in the aftermath of the occurrence of repeated artificial scarcity of food grains in 1939, 1947 and 1965.Asking whether the people of Manipur are getting the fundamental rights of being citizens of the State after it merged with the Indian Union, Manjit pointed out that the loss of multiple lives and the injuries suffered by several others at the hands of Indian security forces while protesting against the artificial famine which occurred on August 27, 1965 was a glaring example of the rights of the people of Manipur being suppressed brutally.

In the past, the scarcity of food was the result of the then Indian Government and businessmen exporting all the agricultural products from the State.

But now, the State is relying on imported food and often suffer tremendously when food and essential commodities supplies are stopped or halted for a few days.

Even at such a critical juncture, both the Central and State Governments are not concerned at all about improving the agriculture aspect of the State and no significant steps have been taken up to cope with the problem.

On the one hand, the Central Government seems like it does not want Manipur to prosper .

On the other hand, the corrupt politicians and leaders of the State are only trying to fill their pockets by looting the money which are sanctioned for developmental works, Manjit added.

Meanwhile, even after the rich land of Kabaw valley was given away to Myanmar in the past, the issue of BP controversy and Framework Agreement surfaced again in the State recently.

The people of the State need to teach befitting lessons to the wrong doers by remembering the incident of August 27, 1965, he said.

If the people of the State continue neglecting the wake up calls, then the whole Manipuri society will disappear in the near future, he claimed.

On the other hand, former general secretary Chungsat Khongsai urged AMSU volunteers and the students´┐Ż community in the State to maintain the principle and motto of the students' organization "Learn, serve and sacrifice".

He noted that students should serve the society after they learn and become educated and asked them to uphold the spirit of the students' leaders who worked for the cause of the society and laid down their lives to protect the State from internal and external forces that challenged the State's interest.

Former AMSU president A Dijen asked the students' community of the State to strengthen the association by bringing unity among the hills and valley.

On the other hand, former vice president H Rafi stated that the indigenous communities in the State, including Meitei Pangals, have been collectively fighting against various kinds of threats encountered by the State.

Exuding confidence that Meitei Pangals and all the other indigenous communities of the State will continue to protect the State from various threats, including influx of illegal immigrants in the State, he pointed out that Meitei Pangals are different from Muslims of other States and countries while opining that a real Meitei Pangal should have deep love for the State and strive to protect the State.


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