People in Manipur recently celebrated the 120th birth anniversary of freedom fighter and social activist Lamyanba Hijam Irabot. Manipuri’s all around the country observe September 30 in rememberance of Hijam Irabot. This year too was no different with main observance was held at MDU with Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh as the Chief Guest.
Who was Hijam Irabot?
Hijam Irabot, (30 September 1896 – 26 September 1951), also known as Lamyanba Hijam Irabot, was a freedom fighter, politician and social activist from Manipur. He was one of the founder leaders of Communist Party of India (CPI) in Manipur. Considered as the father of modern Manipur, Irawat was a versatile personality who made his mark as a writer, politician, journalist and a true revolutionary. He wrote journals and poetry, as well as plays in which he also acted. Besides being a noted writer and playwright, Irabot was a good sportsman as well. He played hockey, football, cricket etc.with equal gusto. Not only that, he was the founder member of Imphal Town Club and Manipur Sports Association.
Irabot was a messiah for the people, who fought for the cause of down-trodden sections of the Manipuri society. He challenged and fought against the oppression of the common mass by the ruling elites thus earning him the moniker Jananeta.
Irabot was the founder member of Nikhil Manipuri Hindu Mahasabha with an aim to unite the Manipuris spread in and outside Manipur. Another body founded by the leader, Manipur Praja Samelini, played a significant role in the Second Nupi Lan or Women’s Agitation of 1939. He was influenced by the Communist ideologies. He wrote a collection of poems, Imagi Puja during his stay at the Sylhet jail.
Speaking on the occasion Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh assured the people to erect a statue of the pioneer leader in an appropriate place.
He said Hijam Irabot was not only a social activist but also a political activist who had wanted to bring about a change in the society. Socialist Students’ Union Manipur (SSUM) and Manipur Proletariat Peoples’ Democratic Union (MPPDU) also jointly organised the day at THAU ground Thangmeiband. 6 March Pass Contingent from various schools of Imphal area Including Imphal Public School and Mekola Higher Secondary School paid salute to the portrait of Irabot.
A memorial function was also organised on the occasion with Salam Indubushan as the Chief Guest. In his speech Indubushan said Hijam Irabot was a utopian socialist who wanted to bring change in the society base on equality.