TODAY -

Editorial of the week

Kangla matters
Courtesy: The Sangai Express 08th May, 2006



History undoubtedly confirms that Kangla has been a sacred site for the indigenous Manipuris since the reign of the mystical Pakhangba dating to 33 AD followed by successive rulers of the then Manipur kingdom perched inside the well-fortified complex with the cascading hills as the outer line of defence.

Rulers of the erstwhile independent Manipur ruled their subjects from kangla till about 1891 when the kingdom fell into the hands of the British empire. Even a layman can comprehend that such a place having an illustrious history of the land for centuries might be filled with artifacts and materials that could, if unearthed with care and studied thoroughly, add more light to the glorious chapter of the land.

It is under such an assumption, belief to be precise, that the people en-mass had been vociferously crying for protection of Kangla which also is an important element in the relentless campaign to shift the Assam Rifles cantonment from the site. Pressure is being mounted for development and preservation of Kangla as the site is not only limited to religious significance but possess immense potential to trace antecedents of the forefathers.

It is also with this concept that Government of Manipur has been planning to develop Kangla into a World Heritage Site and had initiated necessary works under the Kangla Fort Board. However, the manner in which development activities are going on in the sprawling complex is causing concern that ancient and valuable artifacts might be destroyed in the preservation process.

With experts expressing apprehension at the manner the kangla renovation work is being conducted is indeed thought provoking and of genuine concern as under no circumstances would bulldozers ploughing through the site help in digging out ancient artifacts without damaging them.

Instead of employing scientific method of excavation using heavy machinery under the garb of restoring past glory will only lead to massive distortion of the century old historical facts and figures likely to be rooted deep in the complex. Many experts have raised their voices against the ongoing works but negligible positive reciprocation from the Government side is akin to dismissing the concern with the expectation that the cries would have its own natural end if no attention is paid.

However, such dismissive nature would certainly backfire as the issue have all the potential to snowball into a major controversy in case the common masses decide to join the outcry, which is highly possible. no one would like to witness their history being crushed into dusts.

Keeping aside the imminent public uprising, it is responsibility of any government to not only protect cultural heritage and preserve the identity but has equal responsibility to enable the future generation understand their forefathers and importance of their contri- bution to the society failing which it would be hard to expect the people to show leniency to those in the helm of affairs.

Forgetting all the possibility angle, it would in the right perspective if authority concerned ensure that items once buried inside the Kangla is excavated in a proper manner and the same preserved in a scientific way.




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