RPD, RCPD recall courage and vigour of Haipou Jadonang on his death anniversary

“On this day, we are reminded again of the great sacrifice laid down by Haipou Jadonang who gave his life fighting the mighty British empire in order to defend his God given indigenous land”.

On the 89th Anniversary of Haipou Jadonang Martyrdom Day which falls on August 29, the Rongmei Phwam Delhi (RPD) and Rongmei Chamnac Phwam Delhi (RCPD) recalled the great sacrifice laid down by Haipou Jadonang.

“On this day, we are reminded again of the great sacrifice laid down by Haipou Jadonang who gave his life fighting the mighty British empire in order to defend his God given indigenous land,” stated a  joint release signed by assistant general secretary RPD Levi D Kamei and general secretary RCP Huaineiguang Rwangmei.

Jadonang or Haipou Jadonang (1905-1931) as his people would like to address him with ‘honour’ and ‘reverence’, is one of the most enigmatic personalities in the culturally mosaic Northeast India, it stated. Due to undocumentation, little is known about him especially by the outside world which makes him a mysterious person. The mystic aspect of his personality has further added to the confusion, it added.

It stated that born in a humble peasant family in 1905 at Puiluan (or Puilon) village in the present day Nungba Sub-division in Tamenglong district of Manipur, Jadonang belonged to the Malangmei clan of the Rongmei Naga tribe. From his early years, he was a keen observer who grew up to understand the social, cultural and political nuances of society, it stated. This made him understand the spirit of nationalism and the importance of political movements. To the contemporary world, Jadonang was an unknown Naga rebel whose revolt against the regime of the British, taxation and otherwise, was nipped in the bud, it added.

Indeed Haipou Jadonang was a mystic rebel who galvanized a movement against British imperialism and cultural invasion of the west and started a ‘Heraka religion’ to fight against such cultural and religious encroachments, the release stated.

His concept of ‘Naga Raj’ or the proclamation of ‘Makam Gwangdi’ brought him to a head on clash with the British government in the early 1920’s and which earned him the recognition as a pioneer in the Naga political movement in India. He openly defied the colonial rule and raised his infamous ‘no tax campaign’ for which he was arrested but soon had to be released again due to huge public outcry, the release stated. Sensing his rise in popularity on account of his growing movement, Jadonang was soon falsely implicated in the murder of four traders by the then British Political Agent JC Higgins, it stated. He was hanged to death on August 29, 1931 in Imphal, it added.

It further stated that JP Mills, a very well-known Anthropologist who had wide knowledge of Naga affairs (and who was also one of the Political Agents serving in the then Naga Hills during that time), described Jadonang as the ‘Messiah King’ of the Nagas.

This term was subsequently, popularised by lady Nancy Astor, a great champion of feminism and who was also the first lady member of the British Parliament, it stated.

Today, Haipou Jadonang is best remembered for his courage and vigour, fight against the British colonial forces, cultural imperialism, and for his campaign to protect and preserve traditional or indigenous culture of his people. The present generation identifies him as a true patriot and a great social reformer who withstood against all odds, it added. 

First Published:Aug. 29, 2020, 12:10 a.m.