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Rani Gaidinliu (1915-1993) : A veteran freedom fighter

Pou Akham Gonmei Newmei *

Rani Gaidinliu
Rani Gaidinliu :: Pix Courtesy- Dr. Heera Marangmei



The contributions and sacrifices made by the veteran freedom fighter Rani Gaidinliiu have not been rewarded in the true way. She did not go for the awards –Tamrapatra Freedom Fighter Award (1972), Padma Bhushan (1981), Vevekananda Seva Award (1983), Birsamunda Award (1994), the personal comfort of Freedom Fighter's Pension, allowance and the residential privileges of a Minister's Status in Kohima, Nagaland etc. that she was awarded.

She was honored with the "Strishakti Puraskar Award" nationally instituted by India in her name and other fellow women Rani Luxmibai, Kanoongi etc., the Navy Vessal "Rani Gaidinliu", the massive Dharmasala Guest House in Mumbai and many other honorary privileges.

Born on 26.01.1915 at Longkao in Taosem, Tamenglong, Gaidinliu was fifth child of Lothonang Pamei and her mother Kacheklenliu Pamei and follower of Haipou Jadonang of Puilon, Nungba, Tamenglong. Haipou Jadonang and his lieutenant Gaidinliu launched the "Nagaraj Movement-1927-1932" to liberate the Zeliangrong Nagas and all the peoples of the region from the yoke of British Imperialism.

Gaidinlu continued the movement which mantle fell on her shoulder on the event of the executed of Haipou Jadonang 29.08.1931. She got the prefix "Rani" from Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in 1937 when the later visited Shillong Jail and called her with Joan-de-Arch of Franch, Rani Luxmibai of Jhansi and called her "Daughter of the Hills".

The Indian National Congress President Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru accepted the role of Rani Gaidinliu contributory to Indian Freedom Movement and that of Asians who all fought against the British rulers, who seized the freedom of the indigenous peoples.

She was arrested from Poilwa, Naga Hills on 17.10.1932 by 200 soldiers under the command of Captain Macdonald and Extra Additional Commissioner (EAC) Hari Blah following which J P Mills, Deputy Commissioner of Kohima sent her to Imphal when J C Higgins, Political Agent sentenced her to life imprisonment.

96th Birth Anniversary of Rani Gaidinliu on 26th Jan 2011 at GM hall Imphal
96th Birth Anniversary of Rani Gaidinliu on 26th Jan 2011 at GM hall Imphal



Rani Gaidinliu was released after 15 years on 14.10.1947 from Tura Jail (now Mehgalaya) and stayed for 6 years in Vimrap village, Tuensang. She returned to her birth place Longkao via Imphal in 1952 where she was accorded with a section of soldiers (Manipur Rifles), a tin roofed house and Freedom Fighter's Pension of Nagaland & Manipur.

She then went underground again in 1960 to resist the threat of Naga National Council/Federal Government of Nagaland establishment of Zeliangrong region (due to misunderstanding) and to defend "Heraka" religion. She was called out by India in 1966 under an agreement which allowed her to continue her movement, to absorb her soldiers and followers into the Nagaland Armed Police (NAP) during the pendency of setting up of Rani Gaidinliu Regiment to stay in Kohima as an honor guest and other privileges.

Deputy Commissioner, Shri Tag represented Government of India in the negotiation and agreement. Many Nagas including Zeliangrong received her blessing including employment facilities and socio-economic and political developments.

Rani Gaidinliu later led the Zeliangrong People's Convention (ZPC) since 11.10.1980 till her demise in 17.02.1993 at Longkao, her native village where the then Governor of Manipur, P. Chintamani attended her funeral ceremony on 20.02.1993 while R K Dorendra Singh, the then Chief Minister of Manipur declared full General Holiday in Manipur as the later attended the Condolence Meeting at Majorkhul, Imphal.

The ZPC on 30.11.1982 made a solemn declaration and pledge to demand the "Zeliangrong Homeland" under the status of Statehood in India which meant the earlier Status "Zeliangrong Province (7th Province)" of Federal Government of Nagaland (FNG) in 1957.

The ZPC submitted memorandum to Premier Indira Gandhi in 1983 April when the later assured her fullest support to the demand of Rani Gaidinliu.

Ranima by her life and mission taught us the new generations how to struggle for the homeland of her people Zeliangrong which status shall not be considered less than the independence movement of any country in the world.


* Pou Akham Gonmei Newmei wrote this article for The Sangai Express and Hueiyen Lanpao
The writer is former President of All Zeliangrong Students' Union (AZSU)
This article was posted on February 20, 2014.


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