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Ibobi accuses BJP of politicizing Gaidinliu

IMPHAL (CNS)Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh Saturday criticized BJP-led NDA government at the Centre for “politicization” of freedom fighters while reacting to Centre’s initiative to construct a museum-cum-library at Kohima in Nagaland, in memory of Gaidinliu.

“The Centre’s initiative to construct the memorial of Rani Gaidinliu in Nagaland, despite knowing that she was born and died in Manipur’s Tamenglong district, was nothing but exposition of BJP’s policy of politicization of freedom fighters”, Ibobi said.

“Why the Central government chose Kohima as site for setting up of museum and library of Rani Gaidinliu instead of her birth place at Tamenglong district in Manipur?,” he asked.
Ibobi said he was unaware of the Centre’s decision, until the Prime Minister Narendra announced it in New Delhi, on the occasion of observation of 100th birth anniversary of the Rani Gaidinliu. Ibobi said he was surprised on hearing the announcement. 

Addressing the 84th death anniversary of freedom fighter Haipou Jadonang held in Imphal’s Haipou Jadonang Park, the chief minister said that “Haipou Jadonang is the son of Manipur while Rani Gaidinliu is the daughter of the soil.”

 “It is a fact and the world knows that she was born and died in Manipur,” he said, adding that state government was considering setting up of a memorial site of the freedom fighter in Imphal. “A statue of the freedom fighter will also be erected at the site”, he added.

“The story of Haipou Jadonang is an endless subject and Rani Gaidinliu’s story cannot be sidelined while remembering Jadonang. Their stories live on and people are observing their birth and death anniversaries to remember their great sacrifice for the sovereignty of the state”. 
“Rani Gaidinliu is not a Naga of Nagaland, but she is a Manipuri”, Ibobi asserted.
He further said that the state government has already urged the union ministry of human resources development for inclusion of the life history of Haipou Jadonang and Rani Gaidinliu in the syllabus of text book from Class I to X.

Ibobi also said that the Jadonang Memorial hall which was built sometime back in Haipou Jadonang’s native village Tamenglong, would be completed by the government by allocating the required fund. 

He said the Manipur government was also looking at feasibility of extension of the existing land of Haipou Jadonang Park at Keishampat, Imphal.

Manipur deputy chief minister Gaikhangam, who also spoke on the occasion, said that like Haipou Jadonang’s crusade for freedom from the Britishers, people regardless of community, tribe, religion, must live in harmony and work collectively to maintain the state’s sovereignty. 

While describing Haipou Jadonnang as an individual who campaigned courageously to protect the indigenous people from foreign rulers, the deputy chief minister reaffirmed that the government of Manipur would never relent from its objective of protecting territorial and emotional integrity.

He said that Jadonang was not only the leader of Zeliangrong community but also of the people of the state. 

“He fought for unity of the state during his lifetime”, said Gaikhangam. 

Haipou Jadonang was born in 1905 in a Zeliangrong family at Kambiron village in Manipur’s Tamenglong district. His movement against Britishers spread like wildfire and engulfed the whole Zeliangrong areas. Jadonang was later hung to death in 1931 at the present Haipou Jadonang Park located at Keishampat here in Imphal.

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