TODAY -

47th Hunger Marchers' Day : Martyred students remembered
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, August 27 2012: Remembering the fateful incident in which four students laid down their lives during agitation against artificial scarcity of rice in Manipur on this day 47 years back, All Manipur Students' Union (AMSU) today observed the 47th Hunger Marchers' Day.

The observance started with rendering of Yakairol at Pishum Ching since early morning.

Later, floral tributes were paid to the martyred students at their memorial located atop Pishum Chinga Macha.

AMSU President Thokchom Suresh also unfurled the flag of the student body at the memorial site to commemorate the event which took place on August 27, 1965 .

After paying floral tributes, the participants, who included students, Meira Paibis, volunteers of CSOs, organisations and common people took out a march carrying photos of Waikhom Nilamani, Oinam Nabakumar, Laishram Chaobhal and Nongmeikappam Pramodini, who lost their lives during the agitation 47 years ago.



47th Hunger Marchers' Day site at Pishum Chinga Macha
47th Hunger Marchers' Day site at Pishum Chinga Macha : Pix by Bunti Phurailatpam


Participants shouted slogans like "Control price hike", "Government should finalise prices of essential commodities", "Deport migrants from Manipur", "Repeal AFSPA from Manipur", "Let's Unite for our Future", "Long Live Manipur" and "Long Live AMSU" all along the march which passed through Keishamthong-Keishampat Junction, Wahengbam Leikai Junction, Nagamapal-Khuyathong road before concluding at DM College Ground, where a public meeting was held.

Addressing the meeting, Thokchom Suresh said that even though present generation do not see the changes taking places in the society, past generations know that many changes have taken place.

He noted that the students' agitation over scarcity of food which was witnessed during 1965 was against export of rice from the state to other states clandestinely.

Manipur was once a self sufficient state in terms of food production.

However, the situation has changed today and people are on the verge of starvation if food products are not imported from other states for a few days.

In such a situation, one needs to find the root cause of the problem.

He contended that the main reason behind the prevailing situation is the state today is the short sightedness of the government and failure of its policies.

Even today, many vast tract of agricultural land are vanishing under the shadow of development and construction works.

In order to make Manipur a self sufficient state once again, the government should come up with a proper land policy and work sincerely for the welfare of the people.

Besides, the government should ban construction works on fertile agricultural tracts so as to save agricultural land and increase food production.

Suresh further observed that the present unrest and violence in Assam and other major cities of India which forced the North East people to flee for their lives has created a sense of insecurity and uncertainty among the minds of the people.

For the last many years, people of mainland India have been discriminating and assaulting the people from NE.

Even though the intense situation has forced the NE people to flee, the Centre has yet taken up any major steps to provide security to the NE people or stop discrimination against people of the region, he lamented.

He also questioned the motive behind the refusal of Karnataka Deputy CM R Ashok from meeting with student leaders of the state, when the purpose of his visit was to prevail upon the students of the state to come back to his state.

So, AMSU is suspicious that he came only for sightseeing.

How can the students of the state believe in his assurance when he refused to meet the students?, he asked.

Under these circumstances, various student bodies in the state should unite and fight for a common cause to defend the society from further deterioration.

If the present situation remains unchanged, people of the state would face inconveniences and hardships 100 times worse than today after some decades, he said.

Associate Professor in English Department, Manipur University, Dr Irom Gambhir and former President of AMSU L Gojendro attended the public meeting as Chief Guest and Guest of Honour respectively.


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