The flim “Because We Did Not Choose” will be shown at KND Hall Mawkhar:Mr WK Diengdoh

Shillong, November, 30: The Director of ninety-minute multi-lingual film, “Because We Did Not Choose”, Mr.  Wanphrang K. Diengdoh made an ardent appeal to the people of the state to apprise the state Government on the need to include the history of the then Labour Corps of  Khasi-Jaintia Hills and Garo Hills of  Meghalaya, as part of the curriculum.

Mr. Diengdoh, while addressing at a Press Conference at Shillong Press Club, said the film depicts the assistance rendered by the labourers belonging to the hills tribes of Khasi-Jaintia Hills and Garo Hills in assisting the then British Government in India in the fight against its enemies during the First World War in France and Mesopotamia.

The film will be screened at the Khasi National Dorbar Hall at Mawkhar locality in Shillong on the 8th December, 2017, at 5.00 p.m. and the signature campaign, is going on side by side to muster support for inclusion of the history of  Khasi- Jaintia Labour Corps, as well at that of Garo Labour Corps  in the curriculum of the state.

More then 67 labourers belonging to the Khasi-Jaintia Labour Corps laid down their lives during the First World. Their names have been vividly engraved at the war memorabilia, “Motphran” adjacent to Iewduh Market in the heart of  Shillong town. Said Mr Diengdoh. Labour Corps who had carried arms, ammunitions and other essential items for the British soldiers during the First World War.

The war memorial was built by the English to honour the death of all the 67 porters who had died in the war. There is a famous inscription in the monument that is written in Latin by Horace and it reads, ‘Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori’, which means  ‘It is sweet to die for one’s country’.

Mr. Diengdoh also said that he will submit a memorandum to the Chief Minister, Dr. Mukul Sangma after the screening of  the film in Shillong and Jowai to impress upon him on the need to include the history of the Labour Corps of the state, to enable future generation to know its history.

Mr. Diengdoh informed that the film was shot over a period of four years after a thorough research work, which involved time, energy and huge financial involvement. “Meticulous research was carried out in India and elsewhere by me, songs sung one hundred years ago, were once again performed by the family members of those who went to the war, personal diaries were accessed and print materials during the war that further complicates the relations of the indigenous Khasis, indigenous Presbyterian Church and Catholic Church were examined to understand the implication of the war on the contemporary society, Mr. Diengdoh said.

The film, “Because We Did Not Choose” was short at Shillong at its adjoining villages including Jowai, Wahaiajer, Sohkha village on the Indo-Bangladesh border of Meghalaya and Tura, the District Headquarter of  West Garo Hills District of Meghalaya.

The film had its premier screening in London and was also screened in Wales, New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bangalore, Mr. Diengdoh said, adding that this is the only film from India that examines the participation of labour during the First World War.

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