Tuesday, October 4, 2022

AMSU observes 57th Hunger Marchers’ Day


All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU) on Saturday observed the 57th anniversary of Hunger Marchers’ Day with a massive rally on the streets of Imphal.
AMSU, the oldest student body in the state has been commemorating the historic agitation by students against the artificial food scarcity in the state on this day in 1965 as Hunger Marchers’ Day.
Leaders of the student body and CSOs who spoke at the main observation function held at the multi-purpose hall of DM College, Imphal were sceptical that there were hidden policies to make Manipur dependent to others still on.
AMSU president Haobijam Challamba claimed that Manipur had produced food grains enough to feed its population until the erstwhile Kingdom was merged to Indian union.
It was after the merger with the Indian union that Manipur became dependent on others, he said, expressing scepticism that there was a hidden policy to create artificial food scarcity in the state. He said non-availability of fertilizers, particularly Urea during the peak season of paddy crop and failure of the paddy crops due to water scarcity, which farmers are facing today was not a new one.
The AMSU president alleged that though these problems were a regular feature in the last few years, the state government did not come with a concrete long term plan to ease the problem.
Instead of addressing the plights of the farmers, MLAs continued politics with the rice the Centre provided at Rs three a kg under National Food Security Act (NFSA), he added.
“This is nothing but to create a sense that Manipur cannot attain self-sufficiency and have to remain dependent on others,” the AMSU president said.
The current artificial fertilizers scarcity being faced by the farmers of the state appeared to be an intentional one, he doubted.
If the government was committed to making the state self-sufficient in food production, a concrete long term policy to ease the problems facing the farmers would have been implemented, he said.
Other yesteryear leaders of the AMSU and CSOs echoed the same and said that the way the government treated the farmers made them inefficient.
If the present government was sincere enough to get rid of food scarcity in the state, the people in governance should not delay in addressing the plights of the farmers, they added.
All Manipur Students’ Union (AMSU) which was founded as fallout of the 1965 incidents has been observing the day as “Hunger Marchers’ Day” every year to remember the sacrifice made by the three students, Nabakumar, Chaobhal and Pramodini Devi and a driver of the AIR, Imphal Nilamani.
The four were slain by police and security forces that fired gunshots towards students were agitating against artificial food scarcity allegedly created by over export of rice of the state outside the state.
Hundreds of students from various schools and colleges who converged in Imphal’s Pishum Chinga to pay floral tributes to the slain students also participated in the rally that marched on the streets in Imphal.
The formal observance function began with the hoisting of the flag of the students’ body by its president Haobijam Challamba at the student martyrs’ complex at Pishum Chingamacha.