3rd October 2016 : Irabot Day Observance 2016 was successfully held on 30th September 2016 at Kirori Mal College, University of Delhi, from 1 pm to 5:30 pm. The Day was marked by; (a) floral tribute to comrade Hijam Irabot, (b) essay writing competition on the theme Hijam Irabot and His Understanding of Capitalism and War, (c) Poetry Recitation, and (d) Irabot Day Memorial Lecture.
In the essay writing competition, out of total 32 registered candidates, 19 candidates turned up. Three jury members comprising Beerjurekha Samom, Chitaranjan Taorem and Shafikul Haque examined the papers and awarded the three best essay title to Herojit Wahengbam, Monika Ningthoujam and Jackson RK. The best essays were presented cash awards, mementos and certificates that were respectively dedicated in the name of late Leishangthem ongbi Chandni, late Lourembam Ibocha and late Ningthoujam Khunthoknganba respectively by Sushila Leishangthem, Sunil Khomdram and Wakhalloi Ningthouja. The jury members were awarded mementos of appreciation dedicated in the name of late Khangembam Mani by Yaiphaba Khangembam.
The poetry session was lively. The following persons have contributed to the session: (a) Kshetrimayum Chalamba; Lairaba, (b) Tekcham Ichaltombi; Ningtambagi Aartha Kari Lei, (c) Thingbaijam Shashikumr; Jananeta, (d) Chingtham Balbir; Ngamok, (d) Salam Mahesh; Mng Ama, (e) Irengbam Priyobata; Meeyamgi Luchingba, and (d) Huidrom Bideshwori; Lamyanbani Nangdi Meeyamgi. They were awarded gifts of contribution by Meiraba Ningthoujam.
The memorial lectures, moderated by Malem Ningthouja, were delivered by Lakpachui Siro (Convenor, Forum for Understanding the Naga-India Conflict & Human Rights) on the topic Education in the Valley and the Hills Areas of Manipur, and G. Amarjit Sharma (Assistant Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi) on the topic Legitimacy of Illegitimate History: Historical Difference at the Margin of Ethnonationalism. The keynote address, delivered by Chingtham Balbir, focussed on the distressful situations in Manipur in the context of global economic plunder by capitalist finance institutions, market forces and neo-liberal States. It highlighted the manner plunder of wealth is being covered up by bourgeoisie propaganda of ‘development’ and ‘national security’, suppression of democratic voices through brutal methods and proxy tactics.
Lakpachui highlighted systematic disparity between Valley and Hills Areas of Manipur in terms of access to infrastructure and facilities, which is reflected in the government’s education sector, particularly at the lower level schools. He also emphasised on the need of co-existing communities to know each other, respect differences in political aspirations and find out certain common agenda. Amarjeet highlighted the predominant trend of ethno-histories that become counteracting and contentious. He questioned the academic legitimacy of such politically driven ethno-centred polemical histories and analysed their functional objectives at the grass roots.
The panellists were awarded memento of appreciation and all participants were presented handmade bags dedicated in the name of baby Dainty and baby Paincy by their father R.K. Devendro. Programme volunteers were presented mementos dedicated in the name of late Khangembam Ibema by Rojee Khangembam. Athokpam Amit donated refreshments and sponsored hundred copies of a booklet published by the committee. The programme was attended by about 75. The organising committee thanked Ramananda Mayanglambam for facilitating a room that could accommodate 70 persons and all those who have made the programme a grand success.