Shillong, July 17: The Meghalaya government intends to build statues of heroic leaders from the state who revolted against the British rule.
In this connection, Urban Affairs Minister, Hamletson Dohling informed that the government is contemplating to acquire spaces for erecting statues of such heroes from the Khasi, Jaiñtia and Garo communities who defied the British when they tried to establish their rule over this region.
Dohling made this announcement while addressing a gathering to commemorate the 183rd death anniversary of Khasi chief, U Tirot Sing Syiem.
The commemoration was organised by the Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) at the memorial statue of U Tirot Sing at Madan Ïewrynghep in Shillong.
The Urban Affairs Minister said that he would initiate that the state government should find spaces within Shillong city for erecting statues of leaders who fought against the British – U Tirot Sing Syiem, U Kiang Nangbah and Pa Togan Nengminza Sangma.
U Tirot Sing Syiem (1802 – 1835) was one of the chiefs of the Khasi people in the early 19th century.
He was Syiem (chief) of Nongkhlaw, part of the Khasi Hills. Tirot Sing fought against British attempts to take over control of the Khasi Hills.
U Tirot Sing started the revolt against the British on April 4, 1829 after they attempted to take over control of the Khasi Hills.
U Tirot Sing fought with only with native weapons such as a sword and shield, he was shot at by the British and had to hide in a cave and was eventually captured by the British in January 1833 and deported to Dhaka the location of his hiding place was given by a chief of his who was bribed with gold coins by the British.
He died on July 17, 1835. “I will initiate this move and discuss with colleague in the Cabinet. As a community, we need to respect our leaders, and pass on the spirit to our younger generations so that they know how to respect and pay tribute to our legendary leaders,” Dohling, a former KSU leader said.
The Minister also urged the youth to remain firm in their commitment to do something for the good for the community and the state as a whole.
KSU president, Lambokstarwell Marngar while paying tribute to the Khasi leader, called upon the government to work in a transparent manner especially in job recruitment for the youth.
North East Students Organisation (NESO) Chairman, Samuel B. Jyrwa also spoke on the occasion.
Meanwhile, the Federation of Khasi Jaiñtia and Garo People (FKJGP) also paid floral tribute at the memorial statue of U Tirot Sing Syiem.