Haipou Jadonang

Haipou Jadonang : A freedom fighterBy: Romeo Palmei

The death anniversary of Haipou Jadonang, the pioneer freedom fighter of Manipur is observed in all Zeliangrong inhabited areas on 29th August every year in commemoration of the hanging of Zeliangrong hero Haipou Jadonang on the day in 1931, by the Britishers who captured him on 19th February, 1931,
while returning with Gaidhinliu (also a freedom fighter) from Bhubon Cave in Cachar after worshiping God.

Haipou Jadonang was born in 1905 to Thiudai Malangmei (father) and Tabonliu (mother) at Kambiron (Puilon) village in Tamenglong district of Manipur. He was the youngest of the three sons.
Jadonang was one of the first Naga person who claimed himself to be a 'Messiah King' of the Nagas to liberate his people from the clutches of British. And as such, like a God-affected man, he carried out some activities successfully against the British.
He also became very popular for his prophecies, healing power, religious and social activities amongst the masses.
Visualising the future of Naga Raj, Jadonang started oraganising his people to put up opposition against the British. To do that Jadonang words and activities spread like wildfire and engulfed the whole Zeliangrong areas and further widened its influence upon neighbouring areas.
Confronted by the outburst of violence and murder, the Political Agent of Manipur State, J.C.Higgins finally succeeded in arresting Jadonang on 19th February 1931 at Cachar. On 29th March 1931 Jadonang was brought to Imphal and confined him in the worst room of Imphal Jail, while prosecution against him and some of his followers was going on at the court of the Manipur Political Agent.
At last, on Saturday, 29th August, 1931 in the agony of sorrow and bravery, Jadonang was hanged till death by the order of the British Government on the banks of Nambul River behind the Imphal Jail leaving behind a legacy of struggle.
Thus the pioneer and champion of anti-colonial movement in the Northeast ended his life as a martyr. Thus ended the journey of this messiah who dedicated his life for the progress and upliftment of his people, though his dream of uniting his people is yet to see the light of day but it would be decades when another such being comes into our midst.
The '13th August' or rather 'Patriots' Day' is one of the most important day the people of Manipur observed.
So as to remember the three heroes namely, Paona Brajabashi, General Thangal and Bir Tikendrajit who have earned themselves a niche in the history of Manipur for their valuable sacrifice they had made to free the people of Manipur from the bondage of British imperialism.
And hence, as a mark of respect and honour, the Government of Manipur have declared the day as a State holiday, since than.
It is worth to mention the contribution made by Jadonang for the cause of the people of Manipur in general and the Zeliangrong community in particularly, the Government of Manipur should also recognized and declare the 29th August as a General holiday to honour and respect the veteran freedom fighter who stood against the British colonalism.
Lastly, the peace loving people of Manipur shedding aside the differences in caste, creed, colour and religion can come together as one big family and observed such historic occasion together for an emotional integrity and unity.

Veer Haipou Jadonang
By : Thunbui Zeliang

Born in 1905 and killed by cruel Britishers for declaring independent Naga Raj and advocating forefathers religion - Heraka and ancient culture. He organized Naga people in Zeliangrong areas now falling into Manipur Nagaland and Assam.
He organized Heraka army - separate women battalion and challenged mighty British empire. He taught his people to be on constant vigil against the traps of British Government and its secret wings. He warned his people to be on alert against missionary menace of Church.
Veer Hapou Jadonang was a highly spiritual person and a great visionary by birth. He was a spiritual healer. People came foom far off village to him for treatment and they returned after being healed. He used to go into trance for days together.
Once he was in trance for ten days. His parents were worried. When he awoke from the trance he told his mother that he was in company with God.
God told him to advance his work and preach God’s religion and His message. God advised him to enlighten his people to keep away from the invaders’ region which was foreign in theme and taste.
Freedom struggle led by Mahatma Gandhi was in peak. When he visited Silchar, Haipou Jadonang went to meet Gandhiji.
On return, he intensified his movement. This offended British Govt. more. On fake charge of murder, Britishers hang him on 29 August 1931 in Imphal.
Britishers spread the false news that l-our Manipuri betel businessmen were killed by Jadonang and his follower which was a concocted story with a view to implicate him on murder charge.
Haipou Jadonang preached that British Govt. was the enemy of the country India and they had to be repulsed. The Christianity preached under the protection of British Government was also foreign and it had to be rejected.He established his army and composed patriotic and devotional songs to ,be practiced by his army and people. He evolved Zeliangnong Hevaka rei igion from that of forefathers after certain reform.
He constructed mandir at Kambiron and installed the image of God-Mishnu i.e. Vishnu which Britishers destroyed.
This Hevaka religion has spread all over Zeliangrong area. His followers in all the three states of Asom, Nagaland and Manipur are celebrating 75th year of his martyrdom.

Courtesy: E-pao.net and The Sangai express.