Renaming of Imphal Int’l Airport evokes reactions; orgs. demand revocation of resolution
Imphal, Aug 30 (EMN): Manipur Legislative Assembly’s decision to rename Imphal international airport after the then prince Bir Tikendrajit, who fought valiantly against the British, has evoked sharp reactions.
Expressing disappointment over the move, the South East Asia Cultural Organisation (SEACO), a Manipur based cultural body has strongly opposed in renaming Imphal International Airport as Bir Tikendrajit International Airport without consulting the people.
The organisation asked the authority to consult the experts in renaming “with a long term vision.”
The organisation urged the government to revoke the resolution and name the airport by using indigenous names.
Urging the government to work for conserving and improving the native language, the SEACO secretary (publicity) in a statement said “it will never accept the government’s act of renaming the airport and asked the people not to accept the new name of the airport.”
Asking that is there any specific rules for renaming establishments, the SEACO said there are also other freedom fighters in the state.
Also, the Indigenous People’s Association of Kangleipak (IPAK), a Manipur based association has urged the government to withdraw its decision and instead name the airport by using indigenous words and names.
Stating that the airport was named as Tulihal International Airport by taking the name of Ebudhou Tulihal, a local deity who is believed to watch over the area, the IPAK publicity secretary asked if anyone from the government side had consulted the people of the area before deciding to change the name of the airport.
Alleging that Bir Tikendrajit is not a native language of Manipur, the IPAK publicity secretary in a press release, said calling the airport as ‘Athouba Koirengsana International Airport’ will be more acceptable to the people.
The Khongjom War Memorial Trust in a statement said, the name could have been given to other freedom fighters and martyrs (including Paona Brajabashi, Chinglensana,Thangal General and others) of the region who had fought against the British as there are places and roads where Bir Tikendrajit name has already been used.
Two sections of roads including one in Imphal, one flyover, a park and a state house (in Delhi) were named after Bir tikendrajit.
On the first day of the two-day assembly session on August 26, a resolution was passed by the house of 60 legislators without much debate after Chief Minister Nongthombam Biren Singh moved the resolution.