MANTRIPUKHRI (MANIPUR), Feb 28 � The Manipur Governor, Chief Ministers of Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh, Rajya Sabha member from Manipur and a number of dignitaries from the region remembered the outstanding service of Ralengnao Khathing, a stalwart of the North East, on his birth centenary celebration held at �Valley View� here today on the outskirts of Imphal under the aegis of his family members.
Popularly known as Major Bob Khathing who founded the village guard force in the North East and Nagaland Armed Police in the 1950s, he had served as the Minister in charge of Hills Administration in Manipur, Political Officer of the then NEFA (North East Frontier Agency) in Arunachal Pradesh, Chief Secretary of Nagaland and Indian Ambassador to Myanmar. He passed away on January 12, 1990 at the age of 78 years. He was honoured with the Padmashree in 1957.
Commending the multifaceted career of Ralengnao, Manipur Governor Gurbachan Jagat, said Bob Khathing was a man of vision. �Today we need such a man of vision for the country as we hardly find people of such kind,� said the Governor. �We should look for a man like him for a brilliant future.�
Terming the day�s commemoration as a momentous occasion, 92-year-old Rajya Sabha MP Rishang Keishing, who was the longest serving Chief Minister of Manipur, said,�I do not think anyone has so many portfolios or posts as Major Khathing had. I feel that he was a God-inspired man. What I�m today is because of him.�
Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Nabam Tuki, in their separate messages which were read out in the day�s centenary commemoration, also lauded the wonderful services of Major Khathing both in civil and military administration.
Major Khathing�s close associate K Prongo,former Manipur Minister AS Arthur and former Chief Justice of Chhatisgarh WA Shishak also shared their thoughts during the celebration. Inspector General of Assam Rifles (South) UK Gurung informed the gathering that the Major Khathing Memorial Football Tournament would be held along with a seminar on Major Khathing�s life and legacy on March 15 at Ukhrul, the late legend�s birthplace, 84 km from Imphal. Manipur Chief Secretary DS Poonia, Major General Binoy Poonen, GOC, 57 Mountain Division and the relatives of Major Khathing from Shillong and New Delhi also attended the birth centenary celebration.