IMPHAL, Dec 11 - Lok Sabha MP from Manipur Dr Thokchom Meinya has urged the Union Government to assist the State Government to protect and preserve the ever- decreasing number of ponies in Manipur besides promoting the �oldest equestrian sports�.
�I urge the Union Government and Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in particular to assist the State Government of Manipur to protect and preserve the ever-decreasing number of ponies in Manipur,� said Dr Meinya while raising the issue under in the ongoing Parliament session on Tuesday, reports said.
Meinya said ponies figure prominently in Manipur mythology and have an undeniable presence in the social life of Manipur. Polo became a world sports by proxy. Though this majestic game had always been an integral part of the Manipuri ethos, it was the Britishers who actually gave it a place in the world, he added.
Sagol Kangjei is the mother of modern game of Polo. In Manipuri term, Sagol means pony/ horse. �Kangjei� means a (polo) stick. Polo has been a game patronised by the royalty and the upper class of society, not only in India but also abroad. But in Manipur, it has always been a game for the common man.
Meinya also said it is the oldest of equestrian sports. The Guinness Book of Records in its 1991 edition on page 288 said: �Polo: Origins of Polo can be traced to Manipur.� The earliest club founded was Cachar Club in Assam in 1859 while the oldest Polo Club in the world is still in existence in the Calcutta Polo Club (1862). The Manipur Polo International was recently conducted during the Manipur Sangai Festival, he added.