Imphal: The 78th Anniversary of Flag Hoisting Day was observed today at INA Martyr’s Memorial Complex, Moirang in Manipur with Chief Minister N. Biren Singh gracing the function. The event was organised by the Department of Art and Culture, Government of Manipur.
It was on April 14, 1944 that the Tricolor was first hoisted at Moirang by Subhas Chandra Bose.
Soon after his arrival at the INA Martyr’s Memorial Complex, N. Biren Singh led the other dignitaries in paying floral tribute to the statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and also unfurled the Indian Tricolor installed inside the complex.
Speaking on the occasion, N. Biren Singh expressed that he felt honoured taking part in Moirang Utsav being observed in connection with the 78th Flag Hoisting Day. He termed the day (April 14) as a historic day for people of the country adding that on April 14, 1944, Lieutenant Colonel Shaukat Ali of Indian National Army (INA) hoisted the Tricolor Flag of Free Indian for the first time on Indian Soil.
The Chief Minister continued that in early April of 1944, the Subash Brigade of INA along with 33 Division, Japanese Army crossed the Indo-Burmese boundary to form Imphal Front. On April 14, 1944, the combined force after capturing Moirang, reached the house of Hemam Nilamani of Moirang Konjengbam Leikai and set up the first headquarter of INA in India.
He recalled that 96 Manipuris took part in the efforts of INA to capture Moirang from the British Army and hoist the Tricolor.
Biren then informed that the State Government had already acquired land for the construction of new INA Memorial Hall and construction work for the same had been started. Regarding the expansion of INA Headquarter Complex, he stated that the existing area was 0.46 acres along with the house which was used to be the INA Headquarter and added that the Government is in process to acquire 2.12 acres of adjoining areas to develop it into a World Class INA Memorial Park.
He continued that a 165 feet tall Indian national flag, highest in the Northeast, would be installed at the INA headquarter complex for which the pole had already been erected. Union Home Minister Amit Shah will visit the State and unfurl the Indian national flag as a part of the 100 Days Action Plans, he added.
Stressing on the “sense of nationalism possessed by our forefathers”, he expressed the need for the present generation to pay respect to “our forefathers who had sacrificed their lives for the motherland and also to have a sense of nationalism”. He expressed gratitude to members of Akhil Bhartiya Poorva Sainik Seva Parishad for visiting the State to attend the observation of Flag Hoisting Day.
Delivering his presidential speech, Manipur Works Minister Govindas Konthoujam stated that Colonel Shaukat Ali hoisted the Tricolor at Moirang and announced independence from the mighty British. He recalled that former Chief Minister Late M. Koireng, Late Hemam Nilamani and other leaders worked closely with INA and played an important role in bringing Indian Independence. He stressed the importance of remembering the freedom fighters, who had played a key role in the movement for Independence so that “our youth could be imbibed with a sense of nationalism”.
Cultural programmes namely Dhol-Dholok Cholom and Thang Ta were also showcased by different troupes during the observation.