IMPHAL, January 24: The 285th commemoration of Puya Meithaba was held today at Hanjing Meekollok, Heingang with the attendance of students and members of all communities and ethnic groups of Manipur.
In his key note address, Hamom Dhani Meitei, convenor of ICOP, MNF said the incineration of huge numbers of scriptures was a terrifying event in the history. The incident which took place in 1729 during the reign of Meidingu Pamheiba (1709–1748), totally devastated the ancient Manipuri scriptures and records of our culture and history.
It began a new era in the history of Manipuri literature. Most of the early literary works found in Manipuri were in the form of poetry and prose, while some of them were a combination of both, she said.
The Puya books were full of documentation of the rule and guidance of Manipur, Meitei languages, ethics and consisted of seven different set of laws.
After the burning of the Puya the hill and valley people went their separate paths, she added. The language is our mother and the scripts are our father, we lost both and we became orphans, she asserted.
Hills and valley peoples were separated and the sibling relation among us turned into different persons. Hills people became Christians and valley became Hindu and created cast and racism division.
At the instigation of Santidas Gosain, Meetei Puyas (holy books) were consigned to the flames at Kangla Uttra Shanglen on the 23rd day of Wakching of the lunar calendar in 1729.
The resulting of this Meetei Puya consigned to flame in a pyre created the disunity, and separation of hills and valley people.
The titular king of Manipur, Leisemba Sanajaoba said let bygones be bygones, let us forget and forgive what had happened in the past. Everyone knew the consequences of the burning of the holy scriptures and its negative impact on the relationship of different communities of Manipur.
He further mentioned that the place of the commemoration was where our leaders of Manipur discussed the place for the governance and areas for the royalty of Manipur. The place was used to the palace of our ancestor Kings. We should know the importance of this place and we must impart the knowledge and history of this place to the younger generations too, he added.
In today’s observance the Chingmi-tammi Nungshi Leepun Award 2014 was conferred to Thangkholun Haokip from Aishi village of Kamjong sub division, Ukhrul. The award carries a cash prize along with citation. And Maichou Ningshing Mana 2014 was also conferred to Prof Ng Kangjiya Mangang of Tera Khuraijam Leikai of Imphal West.
The commemoration was jointly organised by the International Observation Committee on Puya Meithaba (ICOP), Meitei National Front (MNF), Kangleipak, Manipur State Shumang Leela Council, All Manipur Recognised Private School Welfare Association and Hanjing Marjingkol Pakhangba Laisna Hanba khubam, Heingang.
RV Mingthing chairman ICOP, and members of MNF etc were present.