TODAY -

Nupi Landa Thaunaphabishing :: Book Translation
- Part 6 -

James Oinam *

 Nupi Lan Book Cover
Nupi Lan Book Cover



Nupi Landa Thaunaphabishing: Part 6
(Brave Women During the Nupi Lan)
Publisher: Lamlai Area Nupi Marup
Cover illustration by: Singh Publicity, New Checkon
First print: December 1991
Copy: 1500
Printer: Haobam Printing Works, Etam Nungoi

Kabui Chanu Apambi of Nupi Lan

Chana Lukhoi

The Nupi Lan during the reign of king Churachand was not by the valley women only. This event which could not be washed by fire or water was contributed in major way by other indigenous communities. Although language and clothing were different, similar opinions were met with promise of unity by the courageous. Steps were taken to remove oppressive measures of the king.

Born in Longmei Kabui Apambi (Paupan Lunglu) had graceful face. A face that was becoming when smiling always had sympathy for others. Not only in name but also by nature she was courageous (lingel panbi). She was born to Longmei Maicham Kabui. Her place of birth was Sawungbung Kabui village in Imphal’s Ukhrul road.

She was the eldest of the four children born to Maicham Kabui. Her upbringing was proper and happy. Even though a Kabui girl, due to friendship with princess, she had access to the king’s palace. She knew the character and behaviour of princess very well. At that time it was not easy for a Kabui girl to eat and drink with princesses in the palace.

It was a time when people were deeply divided into big and small and pure and impure. Bramha sabha(?) could make someone pure or impure. Hill people who came down the hill would not step inside the gate. One had to put money in the vessel from where water will be sprinkled with tulsi for purification. During Churachand Maharaj, someone could be purified with money.

At that time, the god that you can see with your eyes was Bramha sabha. If someone gets “charan-amrita” from Brahmin member of the sabha then the person was considered purified. Under the guise of caste, man behaved like god, men tortured men, against whom emerged Hijam Irabot and many courageous women.

Among them are Shabi, Khongnang, Jati, Tongau(?), Leibaklei, Leiren, Bhubati(?), Pujari, Sanajaobi, Sanatombi, and Kabui women Tomthil Nganbi Apambi. Difference between people observed in royal garden(?) and people torturing people in the name of religion were disliked by Apambi. And seeing the exploitation of the labouring farmers by the king and British, Apambi took a firm stand to fight against it.

Even before the 1939 nupi lan, Apambi had met with many women leaders and had discussions. She had close relations with Tongbram Shabi. In open and secret meetings held by Jananeta Irabot further from Lamlai, she took an active part, and had firm belief in his leadership. After meetings, she met with neighbours and told them that no one else can save us from our miseries like Irabot.

She took major part in the nupi lan against rising cost of rice. She was involved with other women from north-east in breaking secret rice godowns of marwaris and, big shops hoarding in Gwaltabi. Vehicles ferrying rice, paddy, and chengpak (food made from rice) from north-east to Imphal were destroyed at Khurai by Apambi Kabuini and others.

Meipui nungoi(?) patgeitho
Akaigoi li sutlatho(?)
Kagan chana thengnashau metai
Akaigoi katana (kapumpuina) khei-ngam-puthe
Abao akaigoi
Lei-lei bamlupui nammakhe

(Apambi)

These words were spoken to women of Kabui village when her house in Sawumgbung was about to be destroyed. “Now all of you come out, it is time to go to war. If this goes beyond this, we will die. Let’s fight while there is time.” Kameng Jati from Lamlai side, Laikangbam ongbi Tombi Chana, Konsam ongbi Thambal, Laishram ongbi Leibaklei, and Pungdongbam Hawaibi, and Khagoi of Lamlai discussed few things under banyan tree in Sawungbung.

They decided that masun gate of Sawungbung was repressing the people. Working a tem (stick used for weaving), or carrying a tareng (spinning wheel) or wooden khudeng (a large vessel) would not be allowed to pass without paying money. Carrying even small amounts of eatable, dal, or thoiding would not be allowed. Against this women uprising holding tem began.

Decision was taken to destroy the food items hoarded in masun. On January 16, 1940, women leaders of Imphal were requested to come. Thus, Khongnang, Kumari, Sanatombi, Rajani, etc. came towards Lamlai. After coming there, all the food items confiscated in masun for not giving money were scattered. Government employees were surprised to see the bravery of these women, went into hiding. Apambi took part in these brave acts.

Even in old age, she was public spirited. Walking with a stick, she took part in farmers’ movement. She had one son called Patyajai(?) Kabui. Born in 1876 Apambi Kabuini died in 1978. On her demise, many Indian communist leaders came and red flag was put over her body.

o Even today there is a small shanglen (remembrance house) on Ukhrul road, near Iril river dedicated to her by the communist party.
o The story of ema Apambi was written with the help of Iboyaima of Keishampat, son Patyajai Kabui, Lanjikpu Kabui, and Khaidem Nimai of Sekta.

To be continued .....


* James Oinam wrote this translated article for e-pao.net
The writer can be contacted at jamesoinam(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on February 09 2024 .



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