The first State level and the 122nd birth anniversary of Jananeta Irawat (Irabot Day) was observed in Manipur and other places including Assam on Sunday by paying floral tribute to the portrait of the freedom fighter and social activist.
Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh, Deputy Chief Minister Y Joykumar Singh and Art and Culture Minister L Jayantakumar Singh attended the birth anniversary function held at BT Park in the heart of Imphal city as the chief guest, president and guest of honour respectively.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Biren said that paying homage and celebrating Irabot’s birth anniversary would be meaningful only when the current generation follows his ideals and translate his philosophies into action. He also assured that construction of Irawat Square would be completed before next year’s Irabot Day celebration.
Irabot Day is celebrated as a State function from this year only with the coming of the new Government although his birthday i.e. 30th September was declared as a State holiday way back in 1976.
Many Prime Ministers had come and gone in the country but no Prime Minister, except Atal Bihari Vajpayee, had ever recognised the contributions and achievements of Hijam Irabot, he said. The then NDA Government in 1998 released a commemorative stamp in Irabot’s name.
Stating that taking a resolution on the release of political leader Rani Gaidinliu in Chinga Session of Nikhil Manipuri Mahasabha held in 1938 was an example of his understanding on hill-valley relationship as Irabot stood for the unity and love between hill people and valley people, he recalled that the inseparable hill-valley unity was his vision for a prosperous Manipur.
In his speech, Deputy Chief Minister Joykumar said Irabot was a versatile personality having good organisational skills and charismatic capabilities while Art and Culture Minister Jayantakumar said that Irabot was a true leader. Irawat Square is being developed to encourage the elected representatives to be upright and honest like him, he added.
Earlier, Chief Minister N Biren also laid the foundation stone of Irawat Square at Thangmeiband opposite to Manipur State Legislative Assembly complex. Ministers, MLAs and high ranking civil and police officers also attended both the functions.
Reports said State Revenue Minister K Shyam attended Irawat Day celebration at Hojai in Assam while Forest and Environment Minister Th Shyamkumar at Jiribam district headquarters bordering Cachar district of Assam. Works Minister Th Biswajit attended a similar function at Leishang Hiden near Manipur university campus.
There are also reports of observing the day at many places.