The proscribed umbrella organisation Coordination Committee (CorCom) on Friday paid homage and gave revolutionary salute to freedom fighter Haipou Jadonang on the eve of his 90th death anniversary.
Haipou Jadonang was a freedom fighter, who raised a revolution against the mighty British Empire, with the goal to achieve “Makan Gwangdi,” CorCom stated in a release issued by its Publicity Committee.
In the year 1891, the British defeated and took over Manipur, and started committing atrocities on every nook and cranny of the state, CorCom stated. Against such oppression, Haipou Jadonang waged many revolts with the aim to establish an independent nation, it stated.
To establish an independent “Makan Gwangdi,” the great leader began revolting to drive the British away. He firmly believed that the indigenous culture and traditions of Zeliangrong could be saved and nurtured by regaining independence from the British.
It stated that Haipou Jadonang was born in 1905 at Puilon (Kambiron) village under Malangmei household of Rongmei community in Tamenglong district. He was the third son of Thiudai Malangmei and Tabonliu Dangmei. It was his desire to strengthen the Zeliangrong community and bring it towards progress and development in alignment with its cultural and traditional essence.
Among the communities that had settled in the hills of Manipur, he was the first to declare that an independent Zeliangrong nation would be established by defeating British colonialism, CorCom stated. He convinced his people of his goals and spread the ideas of revolt against the British colonial rule. His visions and ideals began to spread like wildfire in the areas settled by Zeliangrong communities. He travelled to the Zeliangrong settled areas in Assam, Manipur and Nagaland to build an army against the British government. His revolutionary ideas also spread to other villages settling near the Zeliangrong areas and gained more momentum, it stated.
He strongly revolted against the injustices and oppressions of the British, their taxation and other collections etc. they levied on the people. Haipou Jadonang believed in fair and equal treatment of all, CorCom stated. He challenged the rules set up by the British government such as one should remove hats and turbans before them, one should not use umbrellas and must get down from horses and stand on the roadside when the British approaches. There was an incident during which when the SDO arrived, Haipou Jadonang did not remove his hat or get down from a horse and broke their rules.
For this, SDO of North West Sub Division, Tamenglong, SJ Duncan arrested him in 1928 and put him in a prison located in Tamenglong for a week.
To those who came to offer prayers to the Supreme Being Tingkao Ragwang at the temple of Heraka religion, he spread the message of an independent nation and gathered support against the British rule.
CorCom stated that he wanted to nurture the indigenous faith of the Rongmei community from Christian religion which came along with British imperialists who attempted to take over the trade and economy of the people. He wanted to weed out the unwanted elements in the indigenous faith and traditions and strengthen them to create a stronger Zeliangrong community. He was against the adoption of foreign religions such as Christian or Hindu. He saw the foreign religions as tools of colonialism, CorCom stated.
During 1929-30 he had amassed great support and followers who began to defy the British rules. When the British came to know of this, British Political Agent JC Higgins with Assam Rifles personally went to arrest him, it stated.
Corcom stated that while he was returning after offering prayers at Bhavan Cave with 600 followers, he was arrested by Assam Police on February 19 at Lakhipur in February 1931 and handed over to British Political Agent JC Higgins. He was brought to Imphal on March 29, 1931 and imprisoned. After being interrogated of his movement to establish “Makan Gwangdi,” he was hanged in the early morning of August 29 in 1931 at the bank of Nambul river. He was martyred for his motherland at the age of 26, it stated.
At the arrival of his death anniversary, CorCom appeals to the people of the hills and valley to become together and give united efforts to build an independent Manipur, it added.