Post Mortem

Unsung hero Haipou Jadonang

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 8/29/2020 12:29:43 PM IST

 Today, many have paid tributes to a great legend Haipou Jadonang in elaborate public functions at different places. He was indeed a courageous and visionary leader. As I ponder to write down on what the word ‘courage’ truly means on his martyr’s day, it reminds me of a story of David and Goliath, where a man hits down a monster whom no one would dare to face-up to. Courage can be either action or emotion. It can also be endurance. Different people may have different interpretation about courage depending on their time and situation. As a matter of fact, it is the ability to face one’s fear despite what hurdle or threat may stand in one’s way. 

The English man Robert Falcon Scott not only failed in his mission to get to the South Pole but died on his way back. However, the UK celebrates his bravery though it is seen as an end in itself. 

Similarly, legend Jadonang’s struggle for freedom from British rule was seen as a fiasco but unmistakably a show of courage. For, he knew the risk of being hanged to death yet chose to stick to his principle. 

Today, his people, across the country, remember him as a great martyr who made a supreme sacrifice for a cause of freedom. Great historians of Northeast India interpret his struggle as a part of India’s freedom movement, while others describe him as a forerunner of the Naga Nationalist Movement. 

The British authorities described his ‘Makam Gwangdi’ (the kingdom of the Nagas) as ‘Naga Raj’. Mrs.Ursule Grahem Bower described it as the ‘Naga Millennium’ where there would be no want, no poverty - a land of plenty and prosperity. 

Jadonang, born at the Rongmei village of Kambiron (Puiluan) in south Tamenglong district of Manipur believed that Nagas should not live as slaves under foreign rulers in their own land and asked the youth force ‘Riphen’- the future soldiers to be prepared for war. He ordered the people that no hill house tax be paid to the British from 1931 onwards. 

Even though he was brought up by his widow mother Chunlungliu, Jadonang showed himself as courageous and extraordinary child. His father Thiudai died very young. Jadonang was visionary, religious and hardworking as learned from his life history. He loved humanity and brotherhood too. All these traits attributed to his prolific personality as courageous and just leader. 

After the execution of Jadonang on 29th August 1931 at Imphal, his indomitable courage did not end in itself but passed on to his steely disciple- the legendary Rani Gaidinliu who continued the rebellion till 1940. 

Haipou Jadonang is today regarded as one amongst the tallest freedom fighters from the northeast India. He is no more but his indomitable courage remains immortal in the annals of history. 

Clare Rongmei, Zeliangrong village, Dimapur  

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