The Imphal Peace Museum located at Maibam Lotpa Ching or also called as the Red Hills is situated around 20 kilometers from the heart of the Imphal City in the state of Manipur, India. The museum is constructed on a plot of land which is adjoining to the India Peace Memorial (Japanese Memorial). The land belongs to the Department of Tourism, Government of Manipur which is leased out to our organization the MANIPUR TOURISM FOURM. The area is spread across 4.17 acre of land. The construction of the museum commenced from the middle of January 2018.
The year 2014 was important that it was the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Imphal of the World War II.
It was also the year that the announcement by the UK War Museum that the Battle of Imphal and Kohima was the fiercest Battle of the Second World War. The 70th Anniversary of the Battel of Imphal was commemorated by the Manipur Tourism Forum in association with the Department of Tourism Government of Manipur along with the Second World War Imphal Campaign Foundation. Subsequently every year the commemoration events are organized where various dignitaries including Ambassadors of Japan to India, British High Commissioners, Australian High Commissioners, War veterans, Historians, families of bereaved families were invited. The Manipur Tourism Forum in 2017 prepared a Detailed Project Report (DPR) with the ambition of coming up with a Museum.
Philosophy and Mission statement:
Imphal Peace Museum as site for communion with the past
War and peace are opposite ends of the same spectrum. External wars as well as internal conflicts often result because definition and management of peace have been flawed. Peace is often projected as an absence of violence. To promote this vision, often societies and nations tend to hide or ignore frictions within and project the surface calm as peace. The trouble is, these frictions are likely to remain despite this semblance of peace and in fact since these inner frictions are not addressed adequately, residual disenchantments are likely to accumulate and get toxic. When these toxins reach a threshold, open conflict can be predicted to break out to rupture this surface calm. Wars therefore are in many ways a consequence of not too skillful or honest conception and management of peace. Arguably the greatest novel ever written, Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace dwells at length on this duality.
The challenge then is in the way we manage and portray peace. In this mission, we need to be constantly reminded of the inner dynamic of the interplay between war and peace to appreciate both more fully. In fact, the two in an enigmatic way, give meaning to each other. It is one of those paradoxes of life where diametrically opposite values enhance the meaning of the other. Hence, without the possibility of war, or the trauma of having experienced it, peace would become routine and mundane, never needing a reminder of its importance, just as nobody ever needs a reminder that winter is colder than summer. Likewise, without the possibility of sin, virtue would have been bland; the idea of Heaven would have had little meaning had a Hell been beyond human imagination; mankind too would not have been longing for immortality and permanence had life not been transient and impermanent.
Imphal Peace Museum is a representation of this paradox of life. It is certainly not dedicated to war or be a voyeuristic window to the scale of violence Manipur witnessed when it became one of the fiercest theatres of WWII. On the other hand, it is about celebration of the beauty of peace upon the knowledge of the calamity that its absence can be. This is the greatest lesson the history of Manipur’s WWII experience can teach us, and the Imphal Peace Museum encapsulates this outlook. In the spirit of “Truth and Reconciliation” advocated as a trauma resolution approach by one of the foremost peacemakers the world has seen, Nelson Mandela, the message and impression that the Imphal Peace Museum strives to leave for all visitors, especially the younger generation, is one of the regenerative resurgence of life even after having gone through the most traumatic of experiences. It is also about the celebration of the unshakable faith in a common humanity that Manipur possesses despite all the troubles it has faced and continues to face.