By Our Reporter
SHILLONG: Though the freedom fighters of the North East had contributed much towards the achievement of freedom of the country, yet the resistance movement in the north east failed to acquire a space even in the footnote of the history of India, rued Jaiaw Legislator Paul Lyngdoh.
“Great men of the state like U Tirot Sing, Kiang Nangbah and Pa Togan Sangma who fought bravely against the British deserve as much attention and respect as the other great men of the country but it is sad to see that very little or nothing is being highlighted about the movement in the history of the country”, Lyngdoh said.
Lyngdoh, who is also the working president of the United Democratic Party (UDP), was addressing a gathering at the Sesquicentenary (150 years) commemoration of U Kiang Nangbah at Sein Raij Dorbar Hall, Qualapatty here on Sunday.
Speaking about the relevance of U kiang Nangbah today, Lyngdoh said the same issues raised by u Kiang Nangbah during the British rule still persist even today and such issues cannot be considered as historical events but more of current affairs.
Highlighting denial of access to justice as one of such issue, the UDP working president said “Till date, citizens of the state are still denied justice, the same denial the Khasis and Jaintias experienced during the colonial imperialism.”
He also pointed out that people still faced the burden of paying taxes besides the prevalence of a lack of respect of one’s culture and tradition and the evil imprint of money.
“Through-out history, we can see that money as one of the influence which made many leaders and freedom fighters become victims of betrayal and brought about defeat. This only goes to remind us that money can influence and could to the extent compel a person to sell his/her moral values”, Lyngdoh said adding that money is a threat to clean governance. “One should turn back to history while referring to history as the greatest teacher”, he opined.
The Jaiaw legislator went on to talk about the interest of the indigenous community and the national interest stating that having followed the mainstream interest, one must also have an ideology which stressed on the need to preserve the local interest if it clashes with the national interest.
Meanwhile, speaking as the chief guest on the occasion, Deputy Chief Minister BM Lanong posted a question relating to the kind of influence and inspiration, the life of U Kiang Nangbah has on the people of the state.
“Upto what extent has U Kiang Nangbah inspired or influenced us as a small community?” questioned Lanong while stating that “If one had been inspired by the life of these great heroes, then our society wouldn’t have become what it is today.”
Stressing on the need to emulate the life of the great men, Lanong said the people of the state especially the youth need to follow the footsteps of the great men in Khasi and Jaintia History like u Tirot Sing and U Kiang Nangbah.
The 150th death anniversary of the Jaintia patriot-U Kiang Nangbah-was also obseved at two separate occasions at the premises of the Sein Raij Hall, Loompyrdi, Iongpiah and at Madiah Kmai, Syntu Ksiar.
The weeklong observation of U Kiang Nangbah’s death anniversary organized by the Sein Raij Jowai in collaboration with the District Society for Arts and Culture, West Jaintia was concluded at a grand function held at Mynkoi Pyrdi, Iongpiah Jowai. West Jaintia hills Deputy Commissioner, Peter S Dkhar attended the function as the chief guest.