TODAY -

Bir Tikendrajit - The Hero of Manipur

By- N. Pramodini Devi *

 Bir Tikendrajit - The Hero of Manipur
Bir Tikendrajit - The Hero of Manipur :: Pix - Imphal Times



In the third quarter of the 19th century, the three prominent persons who took a decisive part in Manipur's politics were Senapati Tikendrajit, Thangal General and Paona Brajabashi. They were patriots of the first order and laid down their lives to save their country from British domination.

Koireng, popularly known as Bir Tikendrajit, was one of the unforgettable nationalist figures of Manipur. He holds a unique position in India's freedom struggle. With the inborn nature of a patriot, he boldly defied the aggressive acts of the mighty British imperialist power. He was against imperialism and colonialism.

In short, he was a crusader who resisted the expansion of colonialism. He fearlessly fought against the colonialists. For his patriotism Tikendrajit is immortal. He has been called the "Lion of Manipur". Even the then government of British India had likened him to a fierce tiger.

Manipur had enjoyed sovereign status until it was occupied by the British in 1891. Through a long historical process the British imperialists had established a strong foothold in Manipur. The internal crises and the seven years of its devastation (1819-1826) at the hands of Burma, caused the British to intervene in Manipur.

As an ally of Prince Gambhir Singh, it tasted victory over Burma in the first Anglo-Burmese War (1824 - 1826). As a result, Manipur recovered from the devastation and Gambhir Singh was made the tituler king of Manipur.

The effective powers were in the hands of the Britishers. The king could not resist the British interference which was more pronounced in external matters. Their interference increased much more during the reign of Maharaja Surchandra Singh who succeeded his father Chandrakriti. The consequence was the Anglo-Manipuri war in 1891 and the British conquest of Manipur despite a strong resistance put up by its people and the active struggle of Tikendrajit, Paona Brajabasi and others.

Being a member of the royal family, Tikendrajit was familiar with the English which enabled him to know about their attitude and innermost feelings towards the Manipur people. A prince - turned nationalist born on Saturday, the 29th December 1856, Tikendrajit was the fourth son of Maharaja Chandrakriti. Since childhood, he was a lover of freedom.

On the death of the Maharaja, on 20th May 1886, Surchandra, the eldest son, succeeded to the throne of Manipur. The other princes were appointed as heir-apparent, army general and police chief. Later, on the death of Jhalakriti, Tikendrajit was appointed general of the army. But misunderstandings and tensions were created among the princes which ultimately led the royalty to split into two factions, one led by Tikendrajit and the others by Pakasana.

The tension continued to rise higher and higher over the king's negligence of the situation and British interference. Tikendrajit thought that the king was unduly favouring Pakasana. He could also not tolerate the attitude of the British. Maharaja Surchandra was unaware of the way the British usurped power from the local rulers to expand their colonial empire.

Tikendrajit got an idea as to their intentions and he tactfully made efforts to defend Manipur's sovereignty. He knew very well that the Britishers were eagerly awaiting an opportunity to transform sovereign Manipur into a British colony.

Hence he and other like-minded princes-Angousan, Jilangamba and others-revolted against the monarch on 22nd September,1890. This event is known as "Palace Revolt" in the history of Manipur. The king fled away from the palace and took asylum in the British residency. Kullachandra and Tikendrajit became the king and heir-apparent respectively.

The ex-ruler left the residency for Calcutta informing Tikendrajit that he was going to Vrindavan. But on reaching Calcutta he petitioned to the Government of India for restoration of his throne in Manipur.

After fully considering the matter the then Government of British India decided that Tikendrajit must be removed from Manipur and Kullachandra be recognised as the Maharaja of Manipur. It appointed its own chief commissioner in Manipur who announced the decision.

J.W. Quinton, the chief commissioner, reached Manipur with a troop of 500 soldiers. For this purpose the royal brothers were invited to a "Durbar". But they were made to stand for long hours outside the Durbar Hall on a sunny day. In the meantime, the secret plan of arresting Tikendrajit had leaked out. The Durbar could not be held due to the absence of the Tikendrajit.

On the failure of their plan, Grimwood, the then British political agent in Manipur , conveyed to the king the decision and pressured him to hand over the heir-apparent to them. Ultimately, the English decided to use force as the king declined.

In the evening of March 24, 1891 the British troops attacked the Palace Compound,particularly Tikendrajit's residence, killing many innocents including women and children who were watching a cultural programme, Ras Lila.

The Manipur army succeeded in its offensive struggle. Five officers- Quinton, Grimwood, Lt. Col. Simpson, Cossins and a bugler had to take shelter in the cellar. But the feeling of revenge among the people whose children, wives and relatives had been killed, grew so high that they executed the five Britishers. This resulted in the Anglo-Manipuri War in 1891 and annexation of Manipur by the British.

Major Maxwell took over as the chief political agent. The trials of Kullachandra and Tikendrajit and others were held by a court constituted by the then British Indian government. Kullachandra, Tikendrajit, and Thangal General were sentenced to death. However, the sentence on Kullachandra was commuted to transportation of life following his appeal to the government.

Queen Victoria made efforts to save Tikendrajit but failed. Despite her wish and strong protest of the people, he and Thangal General were hanged in an open place before the general public on August 13, 1891.

A protest movement launched by women at the very moment could not save the martyrs and Manipur. The Britishers knew that a nationalist like Tikendrajit was a stumbling hurdle in their colonial designs. In his absence the transformation of Manipur into a British colony was inevitable.

The State of Manipur celebrates this day, August 13, as Patriot's Day to remember their role in the freedom struggle. Tikendrajit, indeed, was a nationalist par excellence. The people of Manipur would always cherish him as a symbol against tyranny.

13 August Patriots' Day Drama presentation at MDU Hall, Imphal :: 13th August 2014
13 August Patriots' Day Drama presentation at MDU Hall, Imphal on 13th August 2014 :: Pix - Deepak Oinam




* N. Pramodini Devi wrote this article for Imphal Times
This article was posted on August 20, 2016.


* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Hathei Phanit @Ukhrul #1 : Gallery
  • Stunted Agriculture: policy failure
  • Kashmir Lockdown & its Implications
  • Dr Ak Priyokumar : Golden Achiever Award
  • Amazing beauty benefits of sea salt
  • Women entrepreneurship program in NE
  • Critically endangered species : Pony
  • Rescue for the degrading environment
  • Hinduism in Manipur # 1
  • Foundation of School Fagathansi Mission
  • Healing Leadership- Need of the Hour
  • Shri Krishna Janmasthami :: Book
  • Police : A friend or a foe ?
  • Cry of a Dying River - 90 :: Poem
  • King Leishemba attended HUNIC, Thailand
  • MBA in Global Supply Chain Management
  • Significance of Aug to NSCN (IM)
  • Restoring public education system
  • Lai-Harouba @JNMDA #2 : Gallery
  • Sangai fest: Dance Drama : Gallery
  • Our Destiny Lies Only In Our Unity
  • Hanging : Suicide or homicide ?
  • Trainees from Ukhrul selected as Air Crew
  • The Killing Fields 2013-18 : News Timeline
  • NPF met with Nagaland Governor
  • NH7 Weekender Artists for Meghalaya
  • NH7 Weekender Artists for Pune
  • Studying how schools are run
  • Nature- the answer to global warming
  • N'Jang-Ngi Thangal fest : Gallery
  • TB is preventable & curable
  • Fake :: Poem
  • Pradhan Mantriji's 'Leirum Lengyan'
  • B Voc / M Voc courses at DM College
  • Naga Peace Process :: News Timeline
  • Awareness Program on Child Rights
  • Mountain Echoes, Bhutan Festival
  • Ambeshori : Gold at Nation's Cup, Serbia
  • Th Muivah : Man in the news
  • Doctors: scapegoats of a faulty system
  • Jhulon @ Nabadwip, WB : Gallery
  • Chinguremba, Adon Yanglen :: eMing
  • School Fagathanshi Mission : Gallery
  • GojiLove : Top 20 biggest startup of India
  • Manju & Aneshori : Bismillah Award 2018
  • Healthy & active lifestyle: A healthy Manipur
  • Football Kits Distribution at Kshetrigao
  • Reiterating ST status demand for Meiteis
  • Lapses of duty and knowledge
  • NSCN (IM) against Ravi as Interlocutor
  • Nagaland Nagas need a common platform
  • Heikat-Leikat [13 Aug] #2 : Gallery
  • 13 August: Day to remember the heroes #2
  • Dynamic groundwater resources...
  • Lukanand Ksh & Langpoklakpam Melody
  • Meiraba winner @ All India Badminton
  • Archers win at World Police & Fire Games
  • 73rd Independence Day: One Constitution
  • Preparatory Revision Course at Sanakeithel
  • IIT Guwahati's half marathon
  • Getting the best out of Govt schools
  • Babysana: Student - Aug 10 #2: Gallery
  • Jhulon @ Imphal #1 : Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • A Soldier speaks over Timeline of Kashmir
  • Tamenglong not be used as a money field
  • Food intolerance - Diagnosis & tests
  • That Jungle of a Garden :: Poem
  • International Day of Indigenous People
  • Saving future Manipur- need of the hour
  • Chayom Thupki (Meetei Philosophy) #9
  • Independence Day : Gallery
  • Suicide: how it looks like & what is
  • Manipur's 1st photojournalist, Santosh Ph
  • Mutum Ramo : President's Police Medal
  • A Letter to my Mother
  • Candle Light at Delhi for Babysana
  • In search of the elusive unity
  • Naga solution anytime soon, says Ravi
  • Landscape Dzukou Valley #1 : Gallery
  • Indigeneity: Expression & Experience : Book
  • Cry of a Dying River - 89 :: Poem
  • Career in youth development
  • The Wind Will Carry Us : Film screening
  • Communication Course for Development
  • Impact of Christianity among Vaiphei #1
  • Dolaithabi Barrage: An emerging failed Dam
  • New India in Konung Lampak
  • High Court & Workers on Sand Quarrying
  • Niranjoy attempt to break Guinness Record
  • Scripting Congress Mukt slogan
  • Bharat Mata has no place on August 13
  • Heikat-Leikat [13 Aug] #1 : Gallery
  • 13 August: Day to remember the heroes #1
  • Jallianwala: Manglen Onkhraba Lamjao
  • Lets us preserve indigenous languages
  • Hepatitis and pregnancy
  • On statement by Hoho & Naga Mother
  • Thangmeiband : Distasteful politics
  • Remembering patriots
  • UN Human Rights: Manipur Experience #5
  • Patriots' Day @ Pune : Gallery
  • Historical War fought by Manipur :: Articles
  • Police adapting to challenge by trafficking
  • Preventing TB is rooted in medical ethics
  • In the name of Love :: Poem
  • Expensive motor laws on the way
  • 13th August observed at Pune
  • Youth conclave with a difference
  • Alarming State of Students Life in Manipur
  • Babysana: Student - Aug 10 #1: Gallery
  • On Manipur Handlooms: A Clarion Call
  • Dzuko - A piece of heaven on earth #2
  • Of Colours and Sunset
  • A Beautiful Mind :: Poem
  • An apple a day keeps wrinkles at bay
  • From hostels to the school
  • Renaissance of Meitei Hinduism
  • Babysana: State bandh - Aug 9 #2: Gallery
  • Id-Ul-Azha - Id Festival :: Book
  • Would any journalist dare to stand up #2
  • Artic Haobam won 1st ArP championship
  • Invitation : RIST Talk - 40 @ MU
  • Condole demise of Phanjoubam Santosh
  • Making a New India & fate of Manipur
  • Babysana: State bandh - Aug 9 #1: Gallery
  • Some basics that many people ignored
  • House building of the Zeliangrong #2
  • Condolence : Photo Jounalist Ph Santosh
  • World Indigenous Peoples at Khumulwng
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Zo Forum celebrates Indigenous day
  • Lukanand Ksh wins at Mister North East
  • Post mortem reports fail to cut ice
  • Babysana: Student protest- Aug 8: Gallery
  • Counterpoints: Transgender Rights Bill #2
  • Manipur topped rankings in Breastfeeding
  • Cry of a Dying River - 88 :: Poem
  • World Indigenous Peoples Day
  • Criticizes scrapping of Article 370
  • Naga leader compromise Naga future
  • Free Children Heart Surgery Camp
  • Another bandh after 12 hours bandh over
  • Babysana death: What ails this society
  • Folklore of Hao communities #3
  • Programm @Sangai Fest #4 : Gallery
  • 'Tamenglong & Manipur' Amur Falcons #2
  • Haris Adhikari: Finest Whiskey in Writing
  • Manipur bag 6 medals at National Fencing
  • Agriculture and skill training
  • Resolutions on Naga Political Issue
  • Need for Imphal to reach out to hill CSO
  • ..should be justice for 1000s babysanas
  • Ibudhou Pakhangba Haraoba #2: Gallery
  • Mob Culture in Manipur
  • Dzuko - A piece of heaven on earth #1
  • Abrogation of Article 370
  • Issue of illegal mining of minor minerals
  • Annual Legal Awareness Program at Pune
  • Power, Works back to Biswajit
  • Redefining India
  • Gandhari (Dance Drama) #1 : Gallery
  • Would any journalist dare to stand up #1
  • The Truth Lie :: Poem
  • An opportunity to end AIDS & TB
  • Soft skills?? What are soft skills
  • Community - Road to healthy environment
  • Scrapping Articles 370, 35A
  • Matsyanyaya: Law of the Fish
  • Babysana: protest @Khuyathong : Gallery
  • Road from Haochong to Noney : Gallery
  • House building of the Zeliangrong #1
  • The World We Want
  • My Lil' Hamlet :: Poem
  • CM meet with CSO: Naga solution at hand?
  • Aliyah #2 (Film Scenes) :: eRang
  • Old Age Home Kumbi : Gallery
  • Counterpoints: Transgender Rights Bill #1
  • 'Tamenglong & Manipur' Amur Falcons #1
  • Vocationalisation of education in Manipur
  • Tourism Festivals & Tourists in Manipur
  • The World Turned Upside Down :: Poem
  • Think about the future
  • Nachom : used traditionally by Meitei
  • Kanglen Kang Chingba #2 : Gallery
  • Trend of private drug rehabilitation centre
  • Saffronites unhappy with power politics
  • IABP (Balloon Pump) saved life
  • Mega Mister & Miss North East
  • Anti-terror laws & victimization of innocent
  • The state today: blame the representative
  • Will remain true to Framework : IM
  • Laonii Fest @Phuba #1 : Gallery
  • No #endAIDS without #endTB
  • Cry of a Dying River - 87 :: Poem
  • Green your skills for green jobs
  • Ji Ingobi Chingtham: Bicycle tour
  • Will surrogacy law be really effective?
  • Vacancies at Hadron Techs, Imphal
  • 14 hours out of 24 hours
  • When people turn violent against HC order
  • Babysana's last rites performed: Gallery
  • August Calendar for Year 2019 :: Tools
  • Parade @ Manipur Police, Pangei: Gallery
  • War with Climate
  • Matric, UG & PG days of an aerobiologist
  • Invitation : Workshop on Mathematica
  • Job vacancies at Makok Technologies
  • Liver Function Tests
  • Arrested but not on murder charge
  • Threatened future and the way out
  • Downside of Khuga Multipurpose Project
  • Manipur State Drug Policy #2
  • Scope of career in legal field
  • Demising the Adolescent Miss :: Poem
  • Threats against Rights defender Sobita
  • Demands action against scribe-assailants
  • Back home after Delhi's suggestion
  • Babysana's death and its questions
  • Licypriya: Abdul Kalam Children Award 2019
  • Two positives attracting each other
  • Kakching World War-II Memorial Run
  • Assessment your Tax for ITR
  • Who is responsible ?
  • Rejoinder to branding me as Fortune Teller
  • From Dec 8, 2016 to July 29, 2019
  • Of faith and failed justice
  • Neli Chachea: Doll Maker : Gallery
  • Traditional Practices of the Kukis: Book
  • Ibudhou Thangjing Haraoba #4: Gallery
  • CMHT cards to journalists : Gallery
  • Twinkle Twinkle Scientists Star
  • Rohan Philem Reception @Pune : Gallery
  • General strike on Babysana : Gallery
  • Trekking to Dzukou Valley #2: Gallery
  • Nupi Pali @ Kang festival: Gallery
  • Sanamahi Cheng Hongba #2: Gallery
  • Weaving at Nongpok Sanjenbam : Gallery
  • Featured Front Page Photo 2019 #3: Gallery
  • Social service @ Moirang : Gallery
  • World Music Day @Yaiskul #3: Gallery
  • 3rd Singcha Wuyawon Festival 2019
  • seL tiHZakaNdta nuHZa_Iba :: Seireng
  • Cracks at Thong Nambonbi : Gallery
  • Yumnam Shamu : Natbhusan (Duhar)
  • The Great June Uprising #5: Gallery
  • Tolloi, Ukhrul :: 360 Panorama View
  • Manipuri Calendar for 2019 : Download
  • SPONSORED ADS