Zeliangrong civil bodies reiterate stand for tribal freedom fighter museum in Zeliangrong-inhabited areas
The civil bodies have raised objection to the Manipur government plan to set up the museum at Makhel in Senapati district.
Zeliangrong civil bodies have reiterated its stand that construction of Tribal Freedom Fighter Museum in memory of Rani Gaidinliu should be at her birth place Luangkao village, Tamenglong district or either in other Zeliangrong-inhabited areas.
The civil bodies have raised objection to the Manipur government plan to set up the museum at Makhel in Senapati district. Appealing different communities in the State to support the demand, the civil bodies including Zeliangrong Baudi, Zeliangrong Youth Front and All Zeliangrong Students’ Union have made a stand that any objection will be considered as insult to Rani Gaidinliu.
Speaking to the media at Manipur Press Club, Imphal on Tuesday, president of Zeliangrong Baudi Assam, Manipur and Nagaland Athuan Abonmai said that Union Minister of Tribal Affairs Arjun Munda in November, 2020 had intimated the chief minister that the proposed site at Makhel, Senapati district may not be suitable for setting up the museum.
The union minister also instructed the chief minister to pass necessary directions to the concerned to construct the museum at Luangkao village in Tamenglong district to appreciate popular sentiments of tribal communities residing in the state, he added.
In the letter to the chief minister, the Union Minister also stated that the ministry may not be in a position to extend its participation including financial support if state government is unable to take appropriate decisions in the matter.
In 2018, Zeliangrong civil bodies met the then Union Minister of Tribal Affairs, Joel Oram and apprised him that the museum should be set up in Tamenglong district or in other Zeliangrong-inhabited areas, he recounted.
The reason for such demand is that a Rs 13 Crore project for Rani Museum cum library in Kohima, Nagaland in 2013 was abandoned due to an objection by the locals that Rani Gaidinliu was a non-Christian and she did not belong to Nagaland.
The Ministry of Tribal Affairs formed an expert committee and declared that construction of the museum should be in the name of Rani Gaidinliu. The committee also set a criteria that construction of the museum should not be far away from the State capital and that the area should have proper internet facility, banking facility and even fire brigade, he added.
The same matter for construction of the museum in Zeliangrong-inhabited areas was intimated to the governor of Manipur wherein she assured to advise the state government for construction of the museum in Zeliangrong inhabited areas.
However, the state government in 2020 laid the foundation stone of the museum in a non-Zeliangrong-inhabited area and even removed the name Rani Gaidinliu, Athuan lamented.