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Manipur celebrates 73rd Independence Day

Correspondent IMPHAL, Aug 14 | Publish Date: 8/14/2019 12:48:04 PM IST

Hoisting of 2000 flags of the then Manipur kingdom marked the 73rd Manipur Independence Day which was widely celebrated on Wednesday.

On August 14, 1947, the British left the region after years of its domination and a democratic form of government was established under Manipur Constitution Act, 1947 with the Maharaja as the Executive Head and an elected legislature.

Manipur kingdom continued to enjoy its sovereign political status until it was merged to the Indian Union in 1949 after the then Manipur king Maharaja Budhachandra was forced to sign a Treaty of Accession merging the kingdom into India.

Various civil society organisations organised functions at their levels, remembering the historic event of Manipur.

One such function was held in Imphal’s Sana Konung (Royal Palace) where the titular king of Manipur Leishemba Sanajaoba hoisted the national flag of Manipur with traditional general salute by a group of youths adorned with traditional dress of Meitei warriors. 

The event was hosted by Coalition for Indigenes’ Rights Campaign (CIRCA), the civil society organisation campaign for premerger political status of Manipur.

The organisers claimed that to mark the 73rd Manipur Independence Day, members of the organisation hoisted 2000 flags of Manipur at different places across the state.

Addressing the function, titular king Leishemba Sanajaoba reminded the historic event of the then Manipur kingdom getting freedom from the British colonial rule and said that the day has been celebrated with the objective to let future generations know the history of Manipur.

He said that Manipur got independence from the British on the intervening midnight of 14 and 15 August 1947 and it was in the morning of the August 15 at 7.10 am that the Manipur flag was hoisted at the Royal Palace.

He added that today’s celebration of Independence Day will make the people aware of the history of Manipur and help in passing the historic event from generation to generation. 

The titular king appealed the CSOs organising various events to mark the day to use only a flag which was hoisted on that historic day instead of using flags of their choice so as to avoid confusion among the people.

He further urged researchers for an in-depth research to identify the flag which was hoisted on that historic day while citing the value of a national flag.

The titular king further highlighted that the celebration of the day will help spreading the sense of nationalism among the people of today’s generation.

“By saying this, it doesn’t mean that celebration is against the India government. 

In the key note address, CIRCA general secretary Moirangthem Angamba expressed the importance of knowing the history of Manipur while celebrating the Independence Day. 

He pointed out that the politics played on the internal conflict hindered the establishment of geo-political and socio-cultural activity in Manipur history. 

“Manipur should have a political status with internal autonomy despite being a part of Indian Union,” he said and added that the root cause of the crisis that the people of Manipur were facing today was the Merger Agreement of 1949. 

“Celebrating our Independence Day is a way to open the eyes of the people and let them know that we were once an independent nation. 

After British rule granted independence, the dominion of India and Manipur of that time were two independent political entities. 

Even under British rule, Manipur existed as a protected state till 1947, he claimed and added all the princely states under British India and British provinces, even after British left, should have the entity of an independent state according to various internal laws and treaties. 

He added that the campaign for the pre-merger political status of Manipur being launched by CIRCA was not the political system of the monarchy from the past, but the political system before the merger agreement and the political status of Manipur with its own internal sovereignty as included in the Instrument of Accession.

Vice chairman of the 73rd Observation Committee Ph Deban said that “Our forefathers have protected and defended this land.”

 

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