Raja Dumbragi Jeevan Charitra :: Part 2
Author: Moirangthem Tomcha Singh

James Oinam *

 Cover Illustration of Raja Dumbragi Jeevan Charitra
Cover Illustration of 'Raja Dumbragi Jeevan Charitra'

Raja Dumbragi Jeevan Charitra: Part 2
[The Nature of King Dumbra’s Life]
By Moirangthem Tomcha Singh

Rinda Library and Preservation Foundation, Manipur
First Published: September 30, 2008
Publisher: Rajen Khumukcham
No. of Copies: 501
Price: Rs 30
Printer: B.S. Printing Press, Sagolband Road, Nipa Keithel, Near Arian Theatre, Imphal

Beginning 1891, the Meitei land faced terrible misfortune in the form of lost of freedom. It was the time of replacing the old with the new. On September 20, 1890, brothers became enemies. As Senapati Tikendrajit a.k.a. Koireng attacked Yubaraj's group and crossed the was wall of the palace and sounds of firing was heard, Meidingu Surchandra secretly escaped to Hapta Bangla (Political Agent's Bungalow?).

Advice of the Political Agent was wasted. On September 23, along with 3 younger brothers and servants Meidingu Surchandra left the land of Meitei and reached Cachar by the end of September. Yubaraj Kulachandra became king. Meidingu Surchandra who claimed to renounce the throne to the Political Agent to go Vrindaban sent a letter to Government of India. The letter asked to punish Senapati Tikendrajit.

Assam's Chief Commissioner Quinton left Golaghat towards Silchar on March 22, 1891 and came to Meitei valley. Lieutenant Colonel Quinn carrying Gurkha platoon met the Chief Commissioner. To capture Tikendrajit durbar was held twice in Hapta Bangla but failed. On 24, government soldiers surrounded Tikendrajit's house. Exchange of fire took place between Meitei and government soldiers. Government soldiers were defeated.

Meitei soldiers attacked Hapta Bangla. Till 8 pm the conflict did not finish. To hold peace talks, Chief Commissioner and other British officers (4) came to Kangla from Hapta Bangla. Political Agent Mister Grimwood was killed on the steps of the Kangla Palace Durbar Hall. Assam's Chief Commissioner, Grimwood, Colonel Skene, Mister Cossins [mispronounced as Qasim in the book], and Lieutenant Simpson were beheaded.

The British attacked from three sides, Kohima, Silchar, and Tamu. On April 27 the Palace was held by the British. President Saint(?) Johneffer, Count(?) Michael Commandant Major A.K. Rijouri, and Naga Hills Deputy Commissioner A.W. Davis all three of them formed a commission and on oral evidence of 14 soldiers convicted Tikendrajit and Thangal in Imphal for waging war against the British and killing 5 Britishers.

On August 13, they were hanged in Khwai Sana Keithel. Meidingu Kulachandra and 13 "manai agamba" (aides-de-camp) were exiled for life. [The author uses the "loan word" "jila kharij".] After father Chaobiyaima escaped to Cachar from the British, Ramananda took grandchildren and mother Shija to Thanga for some time for protection.

In September 1891, the British government held discussion on who should be appointed as the next king and what should be the future of Manipur.

In 1824 Pembatna (Pemberton?) came from Srihat leading a battalion. Awa attacked up to Cachar. They were surrounded by Awa. British government asked who can save them from Awa. Brothers Gambhir Singh and Nartangkhomba came out. The two brothers along with Achoiba Luwang on foothills of Yilain mountain fought against Burmese.

Riding the famous horse called Pe Singh, Nartangkhomba rode into the middle of the Burmese battalion. Seizing "makoipu" from the hands of the Burmese and gripping it in his armpit he got up the horse and rode back and handed it to the British government.

When Gambhir Singh sent servant to enquire, Narsingh who was fighting Awa said: "If [I am] true son of Ebudhau Pakhangba [I will] defeat Awa and save motherland Manipur, will return throne of ancestors to brother to be king, and save motherland from misery; today Lengund pond will dry."

Nartangkhomba's wish was granted by Pakhangba. Water of Lengund pond dried. To this day, the pond is called Lengund Pat. When enquired by the British government what the brothers have agreed on, Gambhir Singh said, "I will be the king and brother will be Yubaraj."

Nartangkhomba (Narsingh) also agreed, "Yes Saheb, brother will be king and as younger brother I want to serve my elder brother." At this Gambhir Singh said, "After me you shall be king."

Remembering the honesty and big heart of Nartangkhomba, "thaba" (progeny?) of Meidingu Leiren Nonglen Sendreng Manik Khomba Narsingh was searched. Narsingh's son Khwairakpa Pukar(?) Mani was asked to be king.

Khoiyoiron Haobam Chanu Maharani's child from Meidingu Narsingh and Bhuban Singh Yubaraj's son/grandsons are there. Make one of them the king said Pukar(?) Mani. Colonel Maxwell and others praised Pukar Mani as "true blood" of Narsingh.

To be continued....

* James Oinam wrote this book translation for
The writer can be contacted at jamesoinam(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on August 23 2023.

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