Senapati: The Senapati District Students Association (SDSA) which is the apex student body of the district celebrates its Golden Jubilee on attaining the age of 50 years of its establishment under the theme, “Prospering together.” The Jubilee was reportedly postponed due to the recent pandemic that has taken place globally.
Ch. Loli Sheshuna, Convenor, COC stated that Senapati occupies a very important place in the Naga history, in the context of Naga political journey and Senapati has always played a vital role in Naga movement too. Senapati also occupies a geo-strategic location in the context of India’s Look East Policy where Senapati has contributed in the growth and development of the Naga society. The student body was formed in the year 1970 with James Lokho Kolakhe and Benjamin Banee as its first President and General Secretary and had journeyed together for 50 years as a family. The student body has reportedly contributed in many ways in their own ways since past for the betterment of the society. With formation of of the student by way back in 1970 on February 9 under the nomenclature, “Manipur North District Naga Students Association,” the student body has completed its 50 years in 2020 but was delayed due to Covid situation in the state. Inspite of many differences for being unique, the Convenor urged the gathering to grow together as a family. The differences should not hamper the coming together as one in any way, he said urging all to continue to contribute to the growth of the society.
Pung Mark, President, SDSA led one minute of silent prayer giving tribute to the foregone leaders of the student body who are no more this day. In his address, he stated that the body focuses and shifted attention to the welfare of the students community with the passing of time. The main purpose of coming together way back in 1969 on October 22 was to create a common platform to unify all communities living in the district and to fight for People’s rights. The President also lauded the sacrifices of the federating units including the Mao Students Union (MSU), Maram Students Union (MKS), Poumai Naga Students Union (PNTM), Thangal Students Union (TAJ) and the Zeliangrong Students Union, Senapati Zone under the banner – Senapati District Students Association with different culture, tribe and communities which makes a beautiful association and strength that grows from strength to strength till this far.
Reminiscing the past, Benjamin Banee who was the first General Secretary and the second President of the body stated that James Lokho was the first behind the formation of the district student body who initiated, explained the need for such formation and all followed him till formation of the full fledged student body of the district. After 2 years tenure, he was stated to have elected him as the second President of the student body with S.N. Athili as the General Secretary. During the early stage of its formation, they reportedly passed 14 resolutions which become their manifesto although may not be relevant comparing to the present age. The need for such formation was felt to come together as one organisation to let voice of the people be powerful. Manipur North District Naga Students Association was agreed to name the district student body as Senapati was earlier known as Manipur North district while Ukhrul was called as Manipur East district, Tamenglong as Manipur West district and Churachandpur as Manipur South district in those days.
Thiirtung Wanglar, President, All Naga Students Association, Manipur (ANSAM), Paotinthang Lupheng, President, All Tribal Students Union, Manipur (ATSUM) and Solomon Arow, President, Naga People’s Organization (NPO) brought greetings during the program.
Kegwayhun Tep, President, Naga Students Federation (NSF) in his speech congratulated the present and past leaders of the student body to have brought this far. The student leader reminded the gathering that the Nagas are not confused people and should not be confused. Many of the forefathers had suffered and had contributed a lot towards Naga movement in the past, he said urging the young students to look back, to re-look, rethink and get back to studies in order to carry the history forward to get the aspirations of the people.
S. Kho John, President, United Naga Council (UNC) lauded the district SDSA in coordination with other civil organisations including women organizations. The UNC leader stated that the student body could attain this far through sacrifices of the pioneers who had contributed in different capacities to come thus far. A responsible student organisation always has a very important role to progress the society as well as supporting political issues. Kho John also urged the student community to follow the footprints the forefathers and pioneers had left. While congratulating the executives of the SDSA led by Pung Mark as its President, the UNC leader asserted that Senapati is the epicentre of various issues and has a great responsibility and great role. He also mentioned the roles of how the past leaders had played in their lives.
Chuba Ozukum, Convenor, Global Naga Forum in his speech stated that the theme, “Prospering together” literally means to be successful or to become strong and flourishing collectively. In order to achieve prosperity or to prosper together, need to have a clear common vision as a community for it betterment. While giving the common vision as priority, every segment of the society should involve and should have a role to play, he said. A concerted effort with cooperation from everyone would create wonders if a commitment to build the future and a commitment to upgrade the society is present. Before trying to change others, one should have a deep commitment to change oneself including one’s thoughts, beliefs, emotions and physical expression of one’s consciousness. To prosper in one’s vision, one should let go of one’s past and learn to forgive and forget as it opens the door for positive thoughts to enter the doors of the community, he said.
Federating units of the district apex student body including the Mao Students Union (MSU), Zeliangrong Students Union, (Senapati Zone), Poumai Naga Students Union (PNTM), Thangal Students Union (TAJ) and the Maram Students Union (MKS) presented musical ensemble, cultural items, folk tune, choreography and cultural fusion respectively during the program.
Thereafter, Jubilee feast followed at the later part of the program.