TODAY -

Fitting tributes paid to student martyrs on Hunger Marchers' Day
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, August 27, 2012: The 47th Hunger Marchers' Day was observed today with a solemn function at Pishum Chinga Macha under the aegis of the All Manipur Students' Union (AMSU).

The main features of the commemorative function were offering of floral tributes to student martyrs at their memorial tomb at Pishum Chinga Macha and mass rally which was followed by a public meeting.

The function commenced with hoisting of the AMSU flag by its president Thokchom Suresh at the memorial complex of Waikhom Nilamani, Oinam Nabakumar, Laishram Chaobhal and Nongmeikapam Pramodini who were killed in police firing during the students' movement against artificial food grain scarcity on August 27, 1965. This was followed by a mass rally cum procession which carried photographs of the martyred students in decorated palanquins.

The rally started from Chinga Macha and wound up at DM College campus after passing through Pishumthong, Khagempalli, Keishampat, Wahengbam Leikai, Nagamapal and Khoyathong.

Throughout the course of the rally, the marchers chanted slogans like "Go back foreigners", "Government should fix prices of goods, not businessmen/traders", "Enforce Inner Line Permit System in Manipur", "Repeal AFSPA from Manipur" etc.

Giving the key-note address at the public meeting held at DM College ground, AMSU secretary general Dipanjit Ningthoujam said that the artificial food grain scarcity witnessed in Manipur in 1965 was a result of deliberately denying food to the people by a sinister policy of the alien rule.

It was a clear example of trampling upon the right to food and right to life.

It was obviously a natural fall out that the public came out and fought for their rights when they were denied their right to food.

Floral tributes paid at the memorial site of the martyred students
Floral tributes paid at the memorial site of the martyred students


As compelled by the situation, student community of the State backed by the public launched an intensive non-violent movement against the artificial food grain scarcity.

Even today, the alien rule has been scheming to deny the rights of the indigenous people as far as possible so as to inculcate a sense of dependence on them (alien rule), Dipanjit alleged.

Former AMSU president and MU Associate Professor Dr Irom Gambhir who was chief guest of the function asserted that student bodies should take pro-active roles in heralding changes in the Manipuri society.

But unfortunately majority of the students are concentrating their efforts in earning academic degrees.

Students need to shoulder due responsibility in any activity/movement that is of national importance, Gambhir stated.

Blaming the State for not implementing Inner Line Permit System (ILPS) in Manipur, he asserted that implementation of ILPS is crucial for survival of the Manipuri nation.

Fearing a major setback in their human resource capital in the wake of exodus of North East students and professionals from Bangalore, the Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka came to Assam and Manipur to call back the students and professionals.

However, in Manipur authorities have been giving little attention to human resource development.

Until and unless all the colleges have regular Principals, there cannot be a conducive academic atmosphere in any college of Manipur.

Social Science syllabus should focus more on the indigenous communities of Manipur.

It would go a long way in strengthening the age-old fraternal bond shared by these communities, Gambhir added.

L Gojendro, another former AMSU president remarked that a responsible student organisation is the one which can spearhead democratic movements when the State fails in its duties either on political, social or economic fronts.

Those students of 1965 era were responsible students and they were fully aware of what they must fight for.

The legacy of Hunger Marchers Day is priceless gift of those students to the present generation.

Taking strong exception to abolition of the Manipur University Students' Union, Gojendro asserted that there should be joint body for the students of Manipur University.

Advocate Y Priyokumar underscored the need for the indigenous peoples to protect themselves and promote their own welfare.

UCM advisor RK Ranendrajit observed that AFSPA is a constant reminder to the people of Manipur that they are yet to enjoy many fundamental and universal human rights.

Noting that many innocent people are being killed pseudo patriots thereby seriously disturbing the psyche of student community, Ranendrajit exhorted students to continue with democratic movements and fight for their rights.

The gathering was also addressed by Nupi Samaj general secretary Th Ramani.


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