Rich tribute paid to General Thangal and Charai Thangal on Patriots’ Day

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Senapati: Observing the Patriots’ Day, Civil Society Organization leaders under United Naga Council (UNC) paid rich tribute to General Thangal and Charai Thangal at Thangal General Ecological Park, Mayangkhang.

The event was graced by Ng. Lorho, President, UNC as the chief guest, Solomon Arow, President, Naga People’s Organization, Asha Wungnam, President, Naga Women’s Union and Luikang Luckson, President, All Naga Students Association, Manipur as guests of honour; Dr. S. Loli, President, Mao Council, Dailord Pao, President, Poumai Naga Union, Thana Gomer, Caretaker, Maram Union, Luikang, President, Zeliangrong Union, Senapati Zone, Ng, Hannah, President, Senapati District Women Association and Peter Yonuo, President, Senapati District Students Association as special guests and YK. Kaping, President, Thangal Union as functional President respectively.

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In his keynote, S. Meiduipa stated that 13th August is a red letter day in the history of Manipur where, heroic fathers including General Thangal laid down their lives on the gallows of the British. Govt of Manipur has been observing “Patriots’ Day” on 13th August every year since 1970 as a mark of respect and reverence to the heroes who sacrificed their lives in the struggle to defend their freedom. Colonel Johnstone described Genral Thangal as “Bold and energetic character” who was at the forefront of every major event of Manipur history from 1850-1891. Histroy said that it was mainly because of General Thangal for the first time in Manipur that an English School was established in 1885 by Major General Sir James Johnstone, KCSI called as “Johnstone English School.” General Thangal played a glorious role in the war of 1890-91 in defence of her independence of Manipur from the British rule. On the pretext of waging war against the British Govt., General Thangal was hanged to death on this day at the present Polo Ground in Imphal.

Another patriot from the tribe was Charai Thangal, a brave son of Mayangkhang. During the reign of Kullachandra, Patriot Charai Thangal attacked and killed 2 British officers at Mayangkhang. Later, he was captured by 150 British soldiers from Mayangkhang village and was hanged to death on 13th October, 1891.

Solomon Arow, President, NPO stated that the patriots lived a glorious lives during the 19th century. The NPO President also lauded the Thangal Union and the state Govt to have constructed 2 statues and the Ecological Park for recreation of all. Not only Thangal tribe, the NPO President urged all other tribes to produce similar patriots from other communities too. Solomon Arow also stated that story of General Thangal is included in the syllabus for class IX students to study in Poumai literature who urged the remaining tribes to include such story in the syllabus. The NPO President also urged the gathering to extend what one can give for betterment of the society.

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Asha Wungnam, President, NWU in her speech questioned the gathering what story would one leave as a leader, as a father or a mother. Patriots’ Day talks about the bravery and sacrifices of the 2 heroes. Similarly, the women leader asked the gathering what is the worth of anyone living on this earth this day, what other would talk about in the back. While observing the day, Asha also urged all to stand united for the growth of all.

Luikang Luckson, President, ANSAM stated that Thangal tribe has been blessed with different gifts from God including the 2 patriots. The student leader encouraged the youth to instil the vision of General Thangal to concentrate conviction and determination to walk again in the struggle for achieving the goal as Naga aspiration. The student leader also urged all to walk in unity in defence of the people and their rights.

Speaking as the chief guest, Ng. Lorho, President, UNC stated that Patriots ’ Day is not only an event but a symbol of courage, unity and unyielding pursuit of liberty. 132 years have passed since their martyrdom and yet their legacy continues to live on. Their dedications and sacrifices continue to live on even after more than a century.

“The tales and legends of General Thangal and Charai Thangal who fought against the British Colonial rule still remains our pride in the history of the Nagas,” he said adding a proud moment for the Nagas to have killed British officers by the Nagas. While observing the event, the UNC leader urged all to renew their commitment and uphold the principle that had been set unitedly, to stand against any injustice. He stated that peace and prosperity shall ensure and political solution for all the Nagas shall be realised soon.

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The UNC President urged all not to be just a mere observer but extend their hands to those in need and to speak out against intolerance and champion the cause of liberty. When the 2 patriots could kill the British officers in their time, he challenged the gathering why not others too? The UNC President prays to give like General Thangal and Charai in the present days too.

Talking about the prevailing situation, UNC President stated that it is so uncertain, very complicated and very sensitive. Anything is unpredictable at present who urged all to stand united and be prepared to face any eventuality. Lorho also lauded all the Nagas who acted matured during this hard time.

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