TODAY -

Remembering the great Manipuri Heroes of Anglo-Manipur War-1891
Source: Hueiyen News Service / MIC

New Delhi, August 13 2014 : The 13th August is a red-letter day in the history of Manipur as on this fateful day in 1891, the two great patriots, namely Bir Tikendrajit, the prince of Manipur and General Thangal were hanged in broad daylight by the British in the presence of thousands of men and women at Pheidapung, Imphal Outer Pologround, as these heroes had defended the freedom of Manipur against the British.

Subedar Niranjan, Kajao Singh Jamadar alias Pukhramba Phingang and Charai Thangal of Mayangkhang were also hanged till death on June 8, May 25 and October 15 in the same year inside the Imphal jail on similar charge of waging war against the Empress on India, the British Crown.

The death sentences were passed on to the Regent Kulachandra and Angousana, but the Governor General, however, commuted the death sentences and instead sent the Maharaja and the Prince Angousana in exile for life to Kalapani (Andaman) along with 22 martyrs for waging war against the British Empress.

The British action in Manipur culminating in the occupation of the kingdom and the execution of 35-year old Tikendrajit and 80-year old General Thangal created a great sensation in Bengal.

Barrister Monomohon Ghosh fought like a lion in the case against Tikendrajit and Kulachandra.

The people of Bengal in particular had great sympathy for the unfortunate princes of Manipur who were the victims of British conspiracy.

Anglo-Manipuri War 1891: The Chief Commissioner Mr.J.W.Quinton arrived to Manipur on 22nd March, 1891 at 10 a.m.He was received by Tikendrajit and Thangal General with a guard of honour by the Manipuri troops.

Truly speaking, Mr.Quinton's visit to Manipur with his misguided mission became a very important cause for the Anglo-Manipur war, 1891.Mr.Quinton and his party led to the massacre of their objective to capture Tikendrajit Singh.

On 24th March,1891 at 4.45 a.m.the British force suddenly attacked the residence of Tikendrajit Jubraj.

Mr.Quinton, the Chief Commissioner of Assam, Colonel Skene , Commissioner of Assam, Colonel Skene, Commanding officer 42nd Gurkha Light Infantry, Mr.St.

Clair Grimwood, Indian Civil Services, Political Agent in Manipur, Lieutenant W.H.Cossine, Indian Civil Service, Assistant Secretary to the Chief Commissioner of Assam were beheaded by the public executioner just in front of the two dragonson by the order of Jubraj Tikendrajit Singh and General Thangal on March 24.1981 .

On hearing the news, the British troops moved towards Manipur from three directions i.e.Kohima, Kachar and Burma.

Thus the sons of Manipur fought against the British for their motherland.

Many heroes like Yaiskul Lakpa, Chinglensana, Brajabasi Paona and Mairaba etc.

sacrificed their lives.

On 27th April, 1891 the British hoisted their flag at Kangla .

From the day onwards, the Manipuris were under the direct control of the British.

History of Manipur wrote:In his History of Manipur (1958), Roy Jotirmoy wrote, "The stand taken by Tikendrajit and his martyrdom continued to be a source of inspiration to the revolutionaries of Bengal for a long time" .

The Times in London wrote: "The general history of the Manipur incident," wrote the Times published in London in a leading article, Aug.

14, 1891, "must inspire mingled feelings in the breasts of most Englishmen.

The policy in which it originated, cannot be said to reflect credit on the Government of India, while the actual explosion itself was precipitated by a series of blunders which have never been explained.

There seems to be little doubt that had the Government of India made up its mind promptly on the merits of the dynastic quarrel between the dethroned Maharajah and his brothers, the Senaputtee would hardly have been able to commit the crimes which have cost him his life.

But for five months the Government of India seemed to accept the revolution accomplished last September in the palace of Manipur.

That revolution was notoriously the work of the Senaputtee, although he chose, for his own reasons, to place one of his brothers on the throne.

The Government did not indeed assent to the change, but their local representative does not appear to have taken marked steps to express his disapproval.

He is said to have tolerated and condoned it to this extent that he kept up friendly relations with the new ruler as with the old.

On the deplorable mistakes which led up to the massacre, and made it possible, it is unnecessary to dwell.

They are still unaccounted for, and so many of the chief actors in that fatal business have perished, that it is more than doubtful whether we shall ever know exactly to whom they severally were due" .

Bir Tikendrajit: Born on December 29, 1856, the Prince Bir Tikendrajit Singh son of Maharaj Chandrakirtee and Chongtham Chanu Kousheswari Devi was brought up in the classical Asian traditions of an Independent State.

Tikendrajit exhibited sound qualities of leadership was notable for his love for Manipur's freedom and dignity.

He raised banner of resistance against imperialism when the British Empire attempted to aggressively incorporate independent states in the Eastern Himalayan Region.

He was tried for waging war against the Queen Empress and was hanged along with Thangal General on August 13, 1891 .

General Thangal: General Thangal was one of the most prominent heroes of the Anglo-Manipur war 1891.The origin of Thangal is still shredded in mystery.

Though some of the Naga tribes of the Manipur claim that he was originally a Naga converted to Hindu and absorbed into the Manipuri (Meitei) Community, Manipuri or Meitei Scholars assert that Thangal was a Meitei.

He was born in the Ningthouja clan.

His father's name was Kangabam Kshetri Singh, and his mother's name was Thokchom Chanu Puinu.

He became popular since the period of Maharaja Gambhir Singh.

But during the period of Chandrakriti Maharaja, Thangal Major was the most powerful member of the Durbar.

He was very loyal to Maharaja Chandrakriti and his sons.

The posts held by him were those of Laiphamlakpa, Nunehanjaba, Commandant of the Tooli Naha Regiment of the Manipur Army with the rank of Manjor (Major), the highest military rank, the Ayapural, Minister in charge of Burmese affairs, a Minister of the Durbar and later a General, etc.

He was both feared and respected by successive British Political agents in Manipur.


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