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Remembering an unsung hero of India this 75th Independence Day

WebdeskAug 19, 2021, 02:04 PM IST

Remembering an unsung hero of India this 75th Independence Day

                                                                                                                                                              W Rorrkychand Singh


Ralengnao Khathing from Manipur’s Ukhrul, popularly known as Major Bob Khathing, is also one of the heroes of India who has contributed to making a stronger India. 


The country has celebrated the 75th Independence Day on 15th August 2021, commemorating its liberation from the United Kingdom on 15th August 1947. Hoisting the national flag, gunshots, singing the national anthem, merrymaking are the main aspects of celebrating the day of independence. With all the contributions of every Indian, this nation was built, and it is worth remembering the sacrifices in freedom struggle and contributions of our heroes in making a strong and great nation.


Ralengnao Khathing from Manipur’s Ukhrul, popularly known as Major Bob Khathing, is also one of the heroes of India who has contributed to making a stronger India. When possible Chinese aggression was looming large, Khathing was sent to Tirap Division of Arunachal Pradesh in November 1950 as Assistant Political Officer of North-East Frontier Agency (NEFA).


Khathing, with two platoons of 5 Assam Rifles, started their arduous journey from Charduar on 17th January 1951 along the inhospitable terrain in sub-zero temperature and reached Tawang on 6th February 1951, thereby established administrative control of India in the Bum La area along McMahon Line without a single drop of blood.


Under his leadership, India planted and unfurled our national flag at Tawang in 1951 for the first time. China’s obsession and move to take control of Arunachal Pradesh's state by announcing the state as South Tibet and part of their Tibet Autonomous Region are still futile. Khathing also served as Area Commander of Manipur to protect the border area of Manipur before merging into Indian territory.



Remembering his role in bringing Tawang under the administrative control of India and for being the sole Indian official to come as their saviour of the people of Tawang from the hands of Chinese, Arunachal Pradesh has posthumously conferred him with the highest civilian award of the State ‘Arunachal Ratna’ this year and laid the foundation stone of Major Ralengnao Bob Khathing Memorial Museum at Kalawangpo Auditorium, Tawang.


Working for both the states of Manipur and Nagaland, Khathing brought reformations in tribal laws and administrative reforms. He also worked extensively in the Shillong Accord of 1975 and the formation of the state of Nagaland.


Apart from Military Cross and title of Member of the Order by the British Empire for his services during World War II, Khathing was also a two-time recipient of the Gallantry Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army for his services to the nation. Khathing was honoured with Padma Shri in 1957 by the Government of India and becoming the first person from Manipur to receive the fourth highest civilian award.


Born on 28th February 1912 at Ukhrul in a Tangkhul tribal family, Khathing was a soldier, civil servant, diplomat, teacher and social reformer. He was the first person of tribal origin to serve as an Ambassador for India (Ambassador to Burma from 1972-1975). Khathing was a multi-faceted personality; he founded Tangkhul Katamnao Long (TKL) students’ body of Tangkhul tribal in 1932, and after his graduation from Cotton College, Guwahati, he also worked as a school teacher from 1936- 1941 in Ukhrul. Besides, he was also a poet, composer and lyricist.




His contribution in safeguarding the North-eastern border of the country is worth to be remembered by every Indian. Following the footsteps laid by our forefathers and sacrifices made by martyrs would make our Independence Day celebration meaningful.


In connection with Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) team comprising Dr. Sunil Mohanty, Prachar Pramukh of RSS’s Assam Kshetra, S. Premananda Sharma, Officer on Special Duty Government of Manipur and Kh. Banda Singh, Imphal Vibhag Pracharak remembered the unsung hero of Manipur and paid floral tribute to the memorial stone of Padma Shri Major Ralengnao Bob Khathing situated at Mantripukhri, Imphal.


Celebrating the 75th Independence Day of India, RSS Manipur Pranta has also organised a mass bike rally in the greater Imphal area of Manipur. The rally was attended by around 800 bikers from different parts of the state to join the nationwide celebration of Independence Day. The rally covered major roads of the Imphal West and Imphal East districts of Manipur.


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