Aizawl: Patriotic spirit reverberated in every household of the Hmar community as the indigenous people of Northeast India observed martyrs’ day in different parts of the country, including its main concentration Mizoram, to pay rich tribute and homage to their heroes, who laid down their precious lives for the cause of the community.
In Mizoram, the grand observance of the 29th edition of Hmar Martyrs’ Day was held at Sakawrdai village, the headquarters of Sinlung Hills Council (SHC) in northeastern part of the state, where many Hmar leaders, including SHC chief executive member Lalthlamuana Hmar, former rebels and the Hmar people from neighbouring villages assembled to remember their martyrs.
In the state capital the momentous event was held at Ramhlun Indoor stadium with great enthusiasm. The event organised jointly by Hmar Inpui, Mizoram region and SHC was graced by state assembly speaker Lalrinliana Sailo.
While paying rich tribute to the martyrs, Sailo urged the Mizo community and the Hmar people in particular to re-unite and integrate through the blood and invaluable sacrifices made by the martyrs.
Citing that the Mizo National Front (MNF) government headed by chief minister Zoramthanga is giving top priority to unification of all Mizo communities, Sailo said, “I am hopeful that one day the Mizo communities will live under one administrative unit.”
He said that government is taking massive effort to develop the Hmar dominated area of northeast Mizoram and efforts are on to improve road communication and education system in SHC area.
Sailo also exhorted the Hmar people to retain and safeguard their distinct culture, traditions and literature.
Apart from Sailo, Hmar Inpui president J Lalchhanhima, former Sinlung Hills Development Council chairman Hmingchungnuna and Hmar prominent leader Lalmuanpuia Punte addressed the function in which a minute silent was observed by the congregation to pay tribute to the Hmar heroes.
The Hmar martyrs’ day was also observed with great reverence in various villages within SHC area and different parts of the country including, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya and national capital Delhi.
During a daylong observance, every Hmar household has its traditional shawls hoisted within their respective compound to mark the momentous day.
Hmar martyrs’ day was first observed in 1990 by the erstwhile underground Hmar People’s Convention (HPC), who declared ethnic wide observance in 1991. Since then the Hmar people observe May 16 as martyrs’ day every year.