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Contributions of Manipuri women recalled

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  15 Dec 2016 12:00 AM GMT


SILCHAR, Dec 14: Nupi Lan Ningsing Numit organized by Assam Manipuri Meira Paibi Apunba Lup (AMMPAL) on last Monday at their official venue at Rongpur near this town recalled the glorious history of the Manipuri women who waged two wars in 1904 and 1939 against mass exploitation and artificial famine triggered by the British imperialists. Women in Manipur always enjoy a special status in society and have always taken an active role in shaping the history of Manipur. Nupi Lan which means women’s war in Manipuri is an important movement in the history of Manipur.

Addressing the august assembly as chief-guest, Dilip Kumar Paul, Deputy Speaker, Assam Legislative Assembly, appreciated the great role of Meira Paibi in the social life of the Manipuri community. He at the same time heaped all praise on the Manipuri women for their exemplary courage and bravery in meeting the challenges which are faced by the community. Describing the Manipuris as the indigenous people of Assam, he discounted any apprehension from their mind about their being enrolled in NRC. He called upon Meira Paibi to keep aloft the traditiol flame of Nupi Lan.

Mihir Kanti Shome, MLA of Udharbond, who graced the occasion as a special guest, applauded the bravery and tecity of Manipuri women, but regretted the declining number of their children being admitted in Manipuri medium schools.

He exhorted them to encourage their children to get admitted in Manipuri medium schools. Without education in mother tongue, learning remains imperfect, he pointed out. The donor of the land for AMMPAL and AMSU, Sahanbi Devi, came in for high praise and the MLA assured her of grant of Rs.1.30 lakh from Prime Minister Awas Yoja.

Tekcham Ramesor, social activist, Imphal, too addressed the assembly and called upon the people of the community to maintain unity and solidarity in the larger interests of Manipuri. Advocate H Babu Singh, advisor to AMSU, denounced those who try to create fissure in the community, reminding them of the significance of the observance of Nupi Lan. Former North East Manipuri Students’ Organization leader, Oim Manton, countered the demand from a section of the community to include Manipuris in SC category and pointed out the rich cultural heritage and tradition, literature and language, besides the history of 2000 years of kingship.

Others who spoke on the occasion included Laurembam Mema, president, Nongpok Leingak Apunba Nupi Lup, A Lily Devi, president, AMMPAL, who iugurated the daylong programme by hoisting the flag of the organization. A remarkable event was the reception accorded to Oim Moniton Singh, ex-president, NEMSO, and Ima Sahanbi Devi, land donor. It is relevant to recall the glorious chapter of the Nupi Lan in the history of Manipuri community, particularly in the context of their historic contributions.

The first Nupi Lan which broke out in 1904 was against the British order to send Manipuri men to Kabow Valley to fetch timber for re-building the then Police Agent’s bungalow after it was ravaged by fire. In this struggle, more than 5,000 women took part which lasted for a week. Although the British rulers had eventually succeeded in suppressing the uprising, they were compelled to rescind the order.

The second Nupi Lan was set off by the indiscrimite export of rice from Manipur by Marwari business men with the support of British rulers. It resulted in a famine-like situation in Manipur even though it was harvest season. The movement began as an agitation by Manipuri women which ultimately culmited in the administrative and constitutiol reformation in Manipur. The struggle lasted for several months but subsided as a result of the outbreak of Second World War.

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