The 10 Sector Assam Rifles, Somsai under the aegis of IGAR(S) kickstarted the celebration of 111th Birth Anniversary of Maj Bob Khathing Ralengnao at Ukhrul Headquarters.
TFM Ukhrul Correspondent
The 111th birth anniversary celebration of Maj Bob Khathing Ralengnao kickstarted on Monday at Ukhrul Headquarters. Ram Muivah, Hon’ble MLA of 44-Ukhrul Assembly Constituency attended the opening ceremony as chief guest. Krishna Kumar, Deputy Commissioner of Ukhrul as guest of honour and David K Shimray, President of Tangkhul Naga Long as special guest.
Speaking at the occasion, Ram Muivah extends his greatest respect and salutes to the legend Maj Bob Khathing Ralengnao. Ram Muivah stated, “Maj Bob Khathing Ralengnao contributions to the Indian Army and diplomacy have left an indelible mark on the country’s history. He is responsible for bringing Tawang under Indian administrative control without shedding a drop of blood. If and when the situation normalizes between India and China, he deserves to be honored with Bharat Ratna posthumously.” Ram Muivah also recollects the great football players the Tangkhul community has produced at the national and international level. He lauded the initiative of the Assam Rifles in remembering the most distinguished and respected figures of the country.
Brigadier Vaibhav Shinde, Commander 10 Sector Assam Rifles in his opening address stated, “I am privileged to host the 111th Late Major Bob Khathing tournament 2023, after a gap of two years. The last celebrations were in the yr 2020 and due to the COVID resistance, the celebrations could not be undertaken in the year 2021 and 2022. The conduct of the tournament every year is an important facet of paying tribute to the legend Late Maj Bob Khathing. Late Maj Bob Ralengnao Khathing is one of the most distinguished and respected figures in Indian history. He was a man of exceptional courage, a true patriot, and a visionary leader. His contributions to the Indian Army and diplomacy have left an indelible mark on the country’s history and continue to inspire generations of young people. He was born on 28 February 1912 at Ukhrul, Manipur. He did his schooling at Kangokpi Mission School and Johnstone Higher Secondary School, Imphal and later joined Cotton College, Guwahati from where he graduated. On 17 January 1951, Major Bob Khathing accompanied by Captain Hem Bahadur Limbu, 200 troops of 5 Assam Rifles and 600 porters left the foothills for his historic mission who brought Tawang under Indian Administrative control without shedding a drop of blood.
Ralengnao Khathing left for heavenly abode at his home Valley View, Mantriphukri, Imphal on 12 January 1990. He was an awardee of Padma Shri, Member of the Order of the British Empire Military Cross and two times recipient of C-in-C Gallantry Certificate and was posthumously awarded “Arunachal Ratna” in February 2021. Bob Khathing’s legacy goes beyond his contributions to exploration and diplomacy. He was a man of deep integrity, a leader who was respected and admired by all who knew him. He had an unwavering commitment to his country, and his life was a testament to the power of courage, perseverance and a deep love for one’s fellow citizens. His legacy has inspired generations of young people to take up the cause of national service and to work towards the betterment of their fellow citizens. As we remember Major Bob Khathing today, let us rededicate ourselves to the values of selflessness, integrity and a deep love for our country. Let us strive to emulate his example and to work towards a brighter future for ourselves and for our nation.
Col. Manoj Shinde, Comandant of 35 Assam Rifles in his welcome address stated, “At the outset, on behalf of IGAR(S) and 10 Sector Assam Rifles, I welcome the chief guest Honourable MLA of 44-Ukhrul Assembly Constituency, Shri Ram Muivah, IAS Retd, Guest of Honour Shri Krishna Kumar, IAS, Deputy Commissioner of Ukhrul and the Special Guest Mr David K Shimray, President of Tangkhul Naga Long for taking out time and to be with us to witness the opening ceremony of 111th Birth Anniversary celebrations of Late Maj Bob Khathing. I also extend my hearty welcome to all our special invitees from various walks of life whose presence amidst us has embellished the occasion.
“I also welcome the school staff and the children and the people gathered here to make this event a grand success and pay tribute to the legend Late Maj Bob Khathing. Last but not the least, I extend my gratitude to the Ukhrul District Sports Association (UDSA) in assisting Assam Rifles in organising the tournament without whom the event may not be a success. To conclude, I wish all the participating teams ‘Good Luck’ and may the deserving teams be crowned as victorious champions.”
12 teams will be participating in the 9th edition of men’s football tournament namely, St Joseph’s College, Hunphun Phungcham Football Association (HPFA), Sirarakhong United FC, Ukhrul Town United Football Club (UTUFC), Kuirei Marem Ngahui Loree Kaju (KMNL FC) New Tusum Katamnao Long (NTKL FC), Haokok FC, Peichon FC, Oriental Club, Phungyar, Langdang FC, Somdal FC and Peh FC.
4 teams are participating in the 8th edition of Women’s Volleyball Tournament namely:- Shirui Youth Club, Ukhrul Women’s Police Team, St Joseph’s College and Yang Raphei Longnao.
8 teams are participating in the 3rd edition of Baby League Football Tournament namely:- Khelo India- Ukhrul, UBSF-A, UBSF-B, Yarsho FC, Ngainga Luiwur Club, Ngakungting FC, J Paul, Phungcham and Haokok FC.
Reisangmi Vashum a revered footballer and India International player who has represented National Football under 19 & 20 teams, represented Manipur State 2 times in Santosh Trophy, Senior Indian National World Cup qualifying team in Nepal in 2012 lighted the torch. During his career, he has played for TRAU FC Imphal, Mohemeddan Sporting Club Kolkata, Churchill Brothers Club, Goa, West Bengal FC, Kolkata and Mumbai FC.
The opening ceremony also witnessed Winso Chamroy enthralling the crowd with a cover of “We are the World”, adding more colour to the celebration was the beautiful rendition of “Ili Pharasang Kahai” a song written by Maj Bob Khathing Ralengnao and performed by LS Wungnaoyo and Shonyinla Vasha , Haolaa (traditional folk song) presentation by the Hunphun Khanuithot Research Forum, dance performance by Gorkha Samaj, Ukhrul, traditional folk dance presentation by youth of Hunphun Luiyainao Tang, performance by Soul Brothers Ukhrul District Bikers Club and pipe band display by AR Band
In the opening football match played today, Hunphun Phungcham Football Association (HPFA) defeated St. Joseph College by a score margin of 3-1. The tournament will conclude on 27th February 2023.