Makam Gwang Tupuni
(Makam will triumph, Makam will rule, Makam will be the King)

Benjamin Gondaimei *

79th Death Anniversary of Haipou Jadonang :: 29 August 2010
79th Death Anniversary of Haipou Jadonang on 29 August 2010 :: Pix - Rhingamlung Lamlee Kamei

Makam gwang tupuni was the slogan made by Haipou Jadonang, the vision, dream and ideology behind the slogan can be seen to some extent. Reference could be made to Zeliangrong movement which was inspired by the idea of safeguarding their land, people and unity as anti-bristish.

The movement of Zeliangrong which at first known as kacha Naga and kabui, was a counter product of British colonial rule. In 1891 the British conquered Manipur in the first Burmese war and then they compel the tribes to pay house tax direct to the govt( a tax which was never paid to the ruler of Manipur), supply free labour and provide travelling allowances in the form of cash and food for the touring officials.

Haipou Jadonang came forward to speak against the apathy of the British govt and he raised the voice freeing his tribals from the oppressive hold of the British and kuki who were both labelled by him as outsiders. He created the movement for social unity among the Zeme, Liangmai, Rongmei and Inpui and advised the people to abandon irrational social religious customs by taking them as empire.

It is also known as the Heraka cult with the object of creating Naga Raj, he organised his people and committed raid on the offices and treasuries. It is a scheme of countering the empire evading the people to conform to imperialist ways of living.

Identity: The Makam (ZLR) are the people who have distinct and unique history. Their ways of life are seen through their culture and traditions. Makam Gwang tupuni was a fight against the foreign force who tried to topple over the identity of the Makam by trying to enforce their way of life terming themselves to be of higher breed with their chauvinistic life style. The Makam also has a role to play on their soil and contribute to the world system with their distinct history that makes the world beautiful.

When the Britishers came to the land of Makam, Haipou could have already foreseen the impending danger of exploitations and endangering the identity of the people by the presence of the colonialist who wipe out the culture and traditions of the people and subjugate the people in their own interest and enforce them the foreign culture and ways of life.

Makam Gwang tupuni is a struggle for the identity and dignity of the people and humanization was the aim to let the people live a egalitarian community, peaceful existence and common wellbeing.

Socio-Economic: The Makam has a rich culture and customs in their everyday life. There is no social stratifications like the social class system that exist in the European countries. The Makam are also self satisfying and self sufficient people. The Land of the Makams has rich natural resources. Haipou having the vision for the Makams have resisted the colonialist to prevent them from exploitations of our rich resources. The resistance was to prevent the colonialist to control over the economy of the Makams.

The resistance was to throw the intruders out of the land and teach them that there is an owner over the land and owner over the resources of the land. Inspite of being rich in terms of natural resources and manpower, the Makam economic system was exploited by the British and controlled. Political and economic exploitation by the British colonial power have deprived their rightful claims.

Political: The polity of the Makams is very democratic who valued the existence of self-governance. The art and culture are part and partial the ways of life to the polity of the Makams. The colonialist came upon the Makam imposing their dominant and destructive pattern of govt who tried to subjugate the Makams. The imposition of outside rules to the Makams would have made them a second citizenship in their own land.

Haipou resisted the foreign rule with bravery fighting to safeguard his people and land against the mighty British. His resistance is a search for decentralization of power basing on socialism and communitarian existence and governance of the villages. The Naga raj movement have paved the way to Naga Nationalism with a view to creating a new nation foe the Makams independent and free. The politics of the people is about the politics of group identity and politics of resource preservation.

Religio-Cultural: The religion of the Makam still exists today, though in a modified form. In the daily life of the people there is no between what is sacred and secular for the people. The religion is well relatively knitted with the worldview they live. Religion and culture are the two sides of the same coin. The people have rich cultural heritage. Preservation of makam Culture and religion is the vision of haipou.

The imposition of the colonialist religion and worldview would destroy and wipe out the religion of the Makam leaving the people without identity. The Makams are scattered to different parts of their regions. It is a movement towards socio-cultural preservation and political unity to resist the empire.

Makam Gwang Tupuni as an Ideology of Resistance: Haipou setting up to resist the foreign domination, the Makam itself is a source of resistance who don't bow to the tyrant rule of the colonialist. The Makam are naturally free people who govern themselves for themselves in their own land. The Makams are the owner of the land they live, the protector against any intruders.

Makam Gwang Tupuni literally means; Makam will triumph, and it signifies that Makams don't tolerate on people who come to rule over them and resistance is the sole right to let their people live in freedom. The watch-word Makam Gwang Tupuni is a resistance tools used to fight the mighty British. If the British continue to rule the people, the land would have face acquit poverty. It is also a movement in solidarity with the poor which would have face marginalisation and impoverishment of the Makams.

It is a movement to liberate from personal and social sin, a fight for a new society an alternative society to capitalism. The Makam Gwang tupuni is not an Utopian dream but should be realized here and now. It is now our sole responsibility to carry through the dream of Haipou to greater meaning. Makam Gwang tupuni cannot be reduced to mere meanings, but Haipou could have seen and dream the slogan into a wholistic approach where every Makam land and people should be free from exploitation and subjugation.

The dream of self-rule and transformation of the people to greater height, peace and justice prevails among us. The victory slogan of Haipou should carry us to widen our approaches meeting the needs of our people. A land free from corruption, killing among us, a society built on truth, justice, love, brotherhood, equality and unity and that's where we will sing the victory song.

* Benjamin Gondaimei wrote this article for
The writer can be contacted at bgondaimei(at)gmail(dot)com
This article was posted on February 20, 2013

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