Amidst boycott calls, Manipur celebrates 75th Republic Day in subdued manner

Student bodies express dissatisfaction with the current state of the government’s policies regarding the state's ongoing ethnic crisis

75th Republic Day being celebrated in Manipur (photo: IANS)
75th Republic Day being celebrated in Manipur (photo: IANS)
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IANS

Unlike the previous years, the 75th Republic Day was celebrated in ethnic violence-ravaged Manipur in a subdued fashion as six prominent student bodies as well as several militant outfits earlier appealed to the people to boycott the Friday’s (26 January) celebrations.

Six influential student bodies including All Manipur Students’ Union had earlier pleaded to students and the people, urging them not to participate in the celebrations and use black flags as a symbolic protest to the ongoing ethnic violence.

The student bodies, which represent various segments of Manipuri society, expressed their dissatisfaction with the current state of the government’s policies towards the over nine-month-long ethnic crisis in the state.

Like in previous years, several militant outfits also earlier gave a call to boycott the celebrations. However, no untoward incident was reported so far from any of the 16 districts, where the Republic Day was celebrated under heavy security cover.

Day’s main function was held at the famous Kangla Fort in Imphal, where governor Anusuiya Uikey unfurled the national flag and took salutes from different march-past contingents.

Chief minister N. Biren Singh, his cabinet colleagues and senior dignitaries participated in the event.

Meanwhile, delivering his speech to the participants of the march-past at the 1st Battalion Manipur Rifles Parade Ground, the chief minister expressing his unhappiness with the present ongoing situation in the state, said that the “present crisis can be faced only when we stand united”.

Saying that every Manipuri has a responsibility towards building a united Bharat, the chief minister urged the people to respect the Constitution and to exercise their rights and fulfil their responsibilities to protect the unity of Manipur and the unity of India.

Stating that it is the duty of each and every Indian to show respect to the Constitution, Singh said that it is under this Constitution that the citizens of the country exercise their rights and fulfil their duties to become responsible citizens.

“Under such democratic process, we should respect one another, be secular, and not hinder others in their efforts to develop and preserve their own culture, language, traditions,” he added.

The chief minister also expressed gratitude to the central government for conferring the Padma Shri awards to Machihan Sasa, (Nungpi Pottery) and also congratulated the artist.

Bharat, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has witnessed huge developmental changes since 2014, occupying a spot among the superpowers of the world in the fields of space, defence, and economy, he added.

After the celebration at Kangla, the governor along with the chief minister, speaker, Manipur Assembly, ministers and MLAs visited Rani Gaidinliu Park at Mantripukhri in Imphal and paid homage to the statue of freedom fighter Rani Gaidinliu on her 109th birth anniversary.

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