Haipou Jadonang Marangmei - The Martyr
- Part 2 -

Dr. Heera Marangmei Kabui *

Haipou Jadonang Marangmei Memorial Park, near Hydro Electricity, Keishampat, Imphal
Haipou Jadonang Marangmei Memorial Park, near Hydro Electricity, Keishampat, Imphal.

Jadonang came to know about the Freedom Movement of the Indian National Congress under the able leadership of Mahatma Gandhi on his frequent visit to Binakandi and Lakhmipur in Cachar. Takhenang of Binakandi was his agent and mediator, who supplied all sorts of information to him. In 1926, after AICC Session at Gauhati, Gandhiji was scheduled to visit Silchar in January 1927.

Jadonang arranged a cultural dance programme in honour of Gandhji by taking 100 boys and 100 girls in Silchar. He could not meet Gandhiji because Gandhiji had postponed his tour programme to Silchar.He gained milestone in his movement against the British and he openly neglected the foreign policy. He did not salute Mr. S.J. Duncan, SDO of Tamengrong even if he met Mr. S.J. Duncan on the way in Tamengrong.

Mr.Duncan could not tolerate the insult and decided to punish him. Mr. Duncan issued a warrant to Jinlakpou on 22.11.1928 to arrest Jadonang on charge of Independence. Jinlakpou was working as Lambu (peon cum messenger) and a petty road mohori under British Administration in Manipur. Jadonang was arrested along with his friend Namdichung on 6th Dec. 1928 under the pretext of spreading the news he was the king and declaring the end of the British Raj.

He was sentence to rigorous remand in jail for seven days. But he was released on third day on the ground of religious and social reformist. 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 policies and activities were kept 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 Tamengrong 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 Gwangdi 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 involved 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 The Naga Raj and would become stumbling block for a peaceful administration of British Rule in Manipur.

In the early early part of 1931, Mr. Haggins deputed some Manipuri and Rongmei soldiers along with Manipuri and Rongmei'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. He had a mind to announce the arms struggle after his return to Puilon. Mr. Haggins informed Mr. Christoper Gimson, D.C. of Cachar to arrest Jadonang while returning from Bhuvan Hills. Jadonang had already perceived from Lord Bisnu that his days were numbered and would not live to eat the new crops.

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 fault 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 his native leader to accept the invitation. Jadonang was arrested on 19th February 1931 on the river bank after crossing the Barak River. He never resisted. His associates escaped taking shelter in the hills and forest. 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 templs. 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 was arrested.

He was enchained from hand to feet, without shirt; 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 Rongmei from Imphal brought soft drinks to be offered to their hero.

As per oral information of Chungbilu Panmeilu (Golmei clan) of Kakhulong, she personally offered local soft drink to him. He said, "Sister, you have quenched my thirst". He thanked the people.

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 sympathize on him, inspite of lack of concrete evidences. Particularly, J.C.Haggins, a political Agent and S.J. Duncan, the SDO, created false confidence and promise to the under-trial prisoners of being releasing them if they blamed Jadonang for murder of betel leaves traders from Imphal, that happened in Puilon in 1930.

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 traders put up in the rest house located in the village gate provided by the Government.

Unaware of village genna, the traders lit up the candle and were cooking in the rest house at night. 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, Jadonang was at Nungkao( Longkao).

Jinlakpou, a Rongmei 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. He tried to convince the family of under-trial prisoners that the whole blame of murder four traders was to be put on to Jadonang alone. He suggested, other might acquit from death penalty. However, he could convince Lurungpou of Mukti Khullen, one of the accused and king pin in the murder. Lurungpou later on persuaded other inmates.

In fact, Jadonang was not involved in the murder case of four betel leaves traders from Imphal. At the time of the crime, he was at Nungkao 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 tragic 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 personalities 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 Rongmei, many sympathizers from different communities gathered around the site of gallows to have the last 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 Sunlunglu were present with tears in their eyes and sobbing in their throats.

The born Hero, Jadonang, stood calmly on the gallows altered the last words; "I am not guilty. I am not the Makam Gwang. The Makam Gwang will come after me." 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.


Fully committed young man of 26 years, Jadonang Marangmei, was declared dead by the civil medical surgeon from the site of gallows. The clear morning sky was suddenly overcast with dark clouds, as if Heraka God disagreed the extradition of divine soul of Jadonang. The eye witnessed said Jadonang was calm and fearless while going to towards the gallows.

The motionless body was taken down and laid into a coffin. Funeral rites as per Rongmei tradition was performed to Jadonang. Rongmei youngsters mostly from Kakhulong, Keishamthong, Majorkhul etc. put to rest the death body of their Hero in the coffin and was lifted and set out for Puilon and 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 Manipur. He died but his spirit lives on as HAIPOU JADONANG. (Haipou means Highest Honour or Revered or Lord in Rongmei's term).

Read Haipou Jadonang Marangmei - The Martyr - Part 1 here

* Dr. Heera Marangmei Kabui ( a resident of Kakhulong, Imphal) contributes to for the first time. The writer also writes "Haipou Jadonang Marangmei , who fought against the British Colonialism in Manipur. He was hanged by the British on 29th August 1931 and sacrificed his life for the people of Manipur. I want to dedicate this article on his 80th Death Anniversary , on August 29 2011. I shall be highly obliged if you publish in your site so that common people bshall understand him and respect the leader sacrificed his life for our tomorrow".
The contributor may be contacted at heera4016(at)gmail(dot)com
This article was webcasted on August 29, 2011.

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