Khongjom (Manipur): President Pranab Mukherjee today praised the people of Manipur for their broad tolerance, pluralism and acceptance of universalism. “Truly, it (Manipur) is Jewel of India. It is not only for its rich culture variety or pristine beauty, for its brave men and women, but for its broad tolerance, pluralism, celebration of pluralism and acceptance of universalism,” Mukherjee said.
The President was here to participate in ‘Khongjom Day Observation’ which is held every year on this day to pay tribute to the brave sons of the state who made supreme sacrifice for the cause of their motherland.
He also inaugurated Khongjom War Memorial and laid wreath there. Manipur is the place which is not only known for its blue hills and pristine beauty but for the endurance, tolerance and determination, Mukherjee said.
In the function, Mukherjee offered tributes to the fierce patriots from the state who fought the last battle of the Anglo-Manipuri War of 1891.
“I join you in paying homage to the great sons and daughters of Manipur. They gave their today for our tomorrow. We cannot forget them. I wish all round development of this beautiful land,” he said.
The function was held at Khongjom, about 36 kms from Imphal, where Manipur Governor V Shanmuganathan and Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh, among other dignitaries were also present.
Narrating a brief historical account on how “the English East India Company gradually expanded its control over the vast tracts of India” and referring to the Battle of Khongjom, he said “as per the historians it was the last battle of annexation which began with the 1757 Battle of Plassey”.
Paying homage to the brave Manipuri people who fought against the British forces, President Mukherjee said, “for a minimum period of time, a part of Manipur was liberated by INA and Netaji Subash Chandra Bose unfurled the tricolour at a place near Moreh”.
World boxing champion Mary Kom, who hails from the state, was yesterday nominated as Rajya Sabha member by the Centre.