The martyr, Haipou Jadonang Marangmei – Part 2


Dr Heera Marangmei

(From previous issue)

The imprisonment did not cow-down, instead he gained more mileage in his freedom movement. He ordered to procure more fire arms from the plains of Cachar. He engaged some blacksmiths to manufacture traditional fire arms and weapons. All the freedom movements and activities were kept a strict secret. Jinlakpou informed about the movement of Jadonang to his Kuki friend, Lhoupa, who was also a Government employee as Mauzadar in Naga Hills. Lhoupa informed about the political movement of Jadonang to Mr J.P. Mill, D.C. of Naga Hills on 5th January 1931. He took the opportunity to take revenge for the Kuki Rebellion of 1917 -1919 against the Zeliangrong people. Mr. J.P. Mill perceived the danger of Jadonang’s Revolt. He invited Mr. J.C. Haggins, an experienced administrative officer. Haggins was subsequently appointed as Political Agent in Manipur. Mr. S.J. Duncan, S.D.O. of Tamenglong shifted his office to Imphal as directed by Mr. Haggins. He minutely analyzed the information conveyed by Duncan about the declaration of Jadonang that the British  Raj would come to an end and Makam Gwandi would establish soon.

Jadonang frequently visited to Cachar and had been distantly inspired in Indian Congress Movements. Mr. Duncan conveyed the exaggerated words of census enumerator to Haggins that 1931 census could not be conducted due to the opposition of Jadonang. Mr. J.P. Mills, D.C. of Naga Hills also partook in conspiracy against Jadonang on the ground of involed in Congress Movement of Delhi. Kukis also directly conspired with British to root out the native movement. Haggins sent a telegraphic message to Chief Secretary of Assam,Mr. W.A. Crosgrave, on 12th February 1931 that a Kabui Naga, named Jadonang, from a Puilon had announced. In the early early part of 1931, Mr. Haggins deputed some Manipuri and Kabui’s soldiers along with Manipuri and Kabui’s Lambus to Puilon to arrest Jadonang. They could not arrest him since he was on a holy pilgrimage to Bhuvan cave with Gaidinliu and other followers. This was his last pilgrimage and last communion with Lord Vishnu. Mr. Imtiaz Ali, a police Officer of Assam of Lakhimpur Police Station had an easy plan to arrest Jadonang. He, in civil dress, invited Jadonang to his house on the pretext of consultation over some matter. Gaidinliu suspected a foul play over the invitation and suggested him not to visit. Takhennang, a trusted follower of Jadonang, was also a friendly with the Muslim Police officer. He insisted and convinced Jadonang to accept the invitation. Jadonang was arrested on 19th Februaru,1931 on the river bank after crossing the Barak River. He was remanded in Silchar jail and this matter was informed to Mr.Haggins. Mr. Haggins telegraphed to Mr. Gimson to extradite the Rebel leader and he would come to Jirighat to receive him. He was accompanied with a platoon of Assam Rifles headed by British officer, Mr. Bulfield and a Gurkha Officer along with 190 coolies. They reached Puilon on 2nd March 1931. The message of arrest was already reached to the native village before the arrival of British Officials. The villagers were panicked and desperate to revive the movement without their leader. Haggins and Bullfield tortured the harmless and innocent villagers and burnt down the temples. Haggins shot dead one python of Jadonang and other escaped. Jadonang was taken to Imphal via Jiribam under strict security. On the way to Imphal, he was exhibited to the people in different Zelianrong villages to incite in their psyche that the king of Makam was arrested. He was enchained from hand to feet, without shirt on his body; but a small stole on his shoulder and a wrapper around his waist. He was taken along the Imphal Kangchup Road to Khwairamband Bazar and then to Imphal jail. It was said that he was made to halt for a few minutes at Khwairamband Bazar (near the present site of Shamu Makhong Statue), where the female folks of Kabui (Rongmei) from Imphal brought soft drinks to be offered to their hero. As per oral information of Chungbilu Panmeilu (Golmei Clan) of Kakhulong, she offered local brewed zou-ngao to Jadonang, while he was put to rest at Khwairamband Bazar, before he was taken to jail. Jadonang was lodged in Imphal Jail on 29th March 1931. After forty days of his arrest, Mr.Haggins conducted a legal proceeding in his court. He interrogated minutely about his Religion, his God of Bhuvan, his temples, his social reformation, the proposed war against the Government and the Kukis. He denied all the allegations as baseless. Though Haggins understood about the idea and freedom movement, but he could not execute a death penalty in absence of evidence. The cunning British Officials did not sympathised on him,inspite of lack of concrete evidence. Particularly, J.C. Haggins, a political Agent and S.J Duncan, the SDO created a false confidence and promised to the under-trial prisoners of leasing them if they blamed Jadonang for murder of four betel leave merchants from Imphal,that had happened in Puilon in 1930. The four betel leave merchants were  murdered by the mob for their violation and disobedience of observation of village’s genna. There was a genna of Di-nei (worship of mother earth) at Puilon and lighting of fire in the evening was strictly prohibited on that day. On the day of observing village’s genna, four betel merchant put up in the rest house located in the village gate provided by the Government. The village people protested lighting of fire. Dispute and hit up argument started between the traders and people from different villages and killed the traders. At that time of incident, Jadonang was  at Longkao village to teach singing and dancing to the boys and girls for the inauguration function of Taraang Kai of Lothonang Pamei, Gaidinliu’s father. He returned to Puilon after fifteen days of incidence. He strongly reprimanded to Gaidinliu and Lulungpu that village mob leading killing of merchants should be avoided.

British’s conspiracy leading to Jadonang’s death :
J.C.Haggins, Political Agent of Manipur, converted Freedom Movement and Political Revolt of Jadonang to a murder case. Jinlakpou, a Kabui Christian from Tamengrong Village, was an old enemy of Jadonang strongly involved conspiracy with the British. He did not want the popularity of Jadonang and his new religion. Perhaps, another reason was that Gaidinliu refused his proposal of marriage and she became the active follower of Jadonang. J.C. Haggins and S.J.Duncan conspired with Jinlakpou. The Btitish Officers entrusted Jinlakpou to convince the family of under-trial prisoners that the whole blame of murder of four merchants was to be put on to Jadonang alone. He suggested, other might acquit from death penalty. However, he could convince Lulungpou of Mukti Khullen, one of the accused and king pin in the murder. Lilungpou later on persuaded and convinced other inmates.In fact, Jadonang was not involved in the murder case. He was at Longkao Village, visiting Gaidinliu’s father, Lothonang Pamei. He was teaching dance and sing songs to the young boys and girls for the Taraang ceremony. On the other hand, Mr. Duncan and Haggins made, Jadonang’s elder brother, Modunang to speak that Jadonang instigated the murder and also involved in it. This was the most painful part of Jadonang; his own brother had forsaken him. All the love they had been sharing from childhood to manhood turn to killer venom. In this way, Haggins declared Jadonang a murderer and ordered death sentence because he was also a threat to the British in Manipur.

Finally, an average height of around 5 ft, medium built with tough physique, innocent and courageous personality but a simple village young man of 26 years, Jadonang was taken to the gallows in between the two mango groves behind the Imphal Jail, on the east bank of Nambul River, to the south a residency of Mr.J.C.Haggins ,political agent of British in Manipur. Not only Kabui, many sympathisers from different communities throng around the site of gallows to have the glimpse of their social and religious leader, Jadonang. There was a dark cloud on that day. Among the large crowd of people his two helpless wives, Khunjinliu and Kushinglu and his younger sister Sulunglu were present with tears in their eyes and sobbing in their throats. The born Hero, Jadonang, stood calmly on the gallows.”I am not guilty. I am not the Makam Gwang. The Makam Gwang will come after me”; were his last words. The hangman covered Jadonang’s face with black clothe and put a noose around his neck. The crowds hold their breath in pin silence. Jadonang was hanged. There was outburst of cries that shook the atmospheres on 29.08.1931 at 6.00 A.M. The Makam HERO died as a Martyr’s death. But his Divine Soul Lives on.

His silent and last journey to puilon : Fully committed young man of 26 years, Jadonang Marangmei, was declared dead by the civil medical surgeon from the site of gallows. Funeral rituals in accordance with Kabui customary was performed to Jadonang. Kabui youngsters mostly from Kakhulong, Keishamthong, Majorkhul etc. put to rest the lifeless body of their Hero in the coffin and lifted with chorus voice of Kahomei and set out last journey for his birth place at Puilon and on the en-route, village’s youths took over their Hero. They carried from one village to another till they reached his birth place at Puilon. His mother, Tabonliu, received her dead son’s body and put to rest in the grave with full traditional rituals and Highest Honour of His Return. The whole people accepted his life was sacrificed for sake of religious and cultural reforms and for his motherland. The Makam HERO died as a Martyr’s death. His death was a glorious death, not for Makam alone but for whole of Manipur. He died but his spirit lives on as HAIPOU JADONANG. (Haipou means Highest Honour or Revered or Lord in Rongmei’s term). His hymns are singing today as the prayer Hymns. (Concluded)

Source: The Sangai Express


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