Indigenous sport ‘Thangta’ fights for recognition

Chennai, Jan.30 (ANI): Thangta, an ancient Manipuri martial art, which represents ancient culture and traditions of the state, is still fighting for recognition as a national game.

The game has now spread all over India and across 21 countries.

Thangta Federation of India president H. Prem Kumar Singh, in an exclusive conversation with ANI, said although Thangta is loved by 21 countries, it is yet to become a national game of India.

“Thangta is loved by many countries. From 2011, we requested the Government of India for the recognition of the sport and hoped that the proposal will be accepted by the sports department government of India,” Singh said.

“Now I see that many martial arts are coming from outside the country but people have forgotten the beautiful culture and martial arts of our own country. We want it to be included in the national game,” Singh further told ANI.

Describing the martial art as an indigenous sport of Manipur, Singh said: “Thangta is the original martial arts of India. It is from Imphal. Thangta is a Manipuri word. ‘Thang’ means sword and ‘Ta’ means spear. This Thangta is recognised by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India. The Government of India and the Government of Manipur are giving facility like scholarship, fellowship for this sport.”

“The Thangta Federation of India is recognised by the Indian Olympic Association and also recognised by the Student Federation of India. The Student Federation of India is conducting national school game from last seven years and this sport is also recognised by Manipur University. We are planning to organise inter-university Thangta Tournament in Manipur,” he added.

‘THANG TA’ (The art of sword and the spear) became an expressive art form which however retained its fighting character at the secret home schools of individual teachers or Gurus, after being prohibited during the period of the colonial raj (1891-1947). It survived during the period of Manipur’s integration with the Indian Union in 1949, where the art was shown in festivals and performance platforms abroad since 1976. (ANI)

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