Silver jubilee celebration of Tingkao Ragwang Chapriak religion (TRC)

Dr Budha Kamei
It is a great and proud moment of the native people of Northeast that the devotees of Tingkao Ragwang Chapriak, observing its 25th year ‘Silver Jubilee Celebration’  from 25th  to 27th November, 2019 at Kalum Kai, the house of worship of Tingkao Ragwang, Chingmeirong, Imphal since the inception of Tingkao Ragwang Chapriak (for short TRC) as the name of the Zeliangrong indigenous religion, a religion which has been preserved and practiced by the ancient Zeliangrong community through the ages, and at present, TRC is popular. The religion is in the original form and there is no change in the belief system and practices. However, importance of spiritual knowledge in offering  prayers, hymns, devotional songs and dances in house of worship/Kalum Kai and in other socio-cultural functions of the community as well as of individual family in worship of Tingkao Ragwang, the Supreme God have been injected to meet the changing time and space as in the colonial era, during which Haipou Jadonang and Rani Gaidinlu introduced prayer hymns, devotional songs and dances in worship of Tingkao Ragwang at temple/Kalum Kai to counter the attacks of missionaries including native new converts in collusion with colonial administration. Preservation of cultural, social, religious identity and solidarity of the Zeliangrong people through their worships and prayers, devotional songs, rites, rituals and ceremonies, dance, music, festivals and attain the ultimate goal of the souls, i.e. to go to Tingkao Kaidai, the abode of Tingkao Ragwang is the main philosophy of Tingkao Ragwang Chapriak. Tingkao Ragwang Chapriak is now giving great emphasis on prayers, hymns and devotional songs for the salvation of the soul of men. Tingkao Ragwang Chapriak religion is collective and stands for the welfare of the community whereas the modern/new religion is only for the individual salvation. The TRC people celebrate the festivals based on agriculture operations in which they worship God and goddesses, presiding deity through offering prayer and sacrifice for wellbeing and prosperity of the family and the village community as a whole.
There was a time of great danger to the Zeliangrong people and their religion that knocked the door of Zeliangrong intellectuals to turn their attention to the particular matter.  It is (Late) Prof. Gangmumei Kamei who gave respond timely to the subject and under his active guidance, the Zeliangrong elders of three states of Assam, Manipur and Nagaland strived hard to protect and promote the religion, and thereby the Zeliangrong indigenous religion survives as Tingkao Ragwang Chapriak. He is the pioneer among pioneers, the brightest star among stars. His great contribution to the cause of the Zeliangrong community especially TRC will always be remembered till the Tingkao Ragwang Chapriak religion exists.
There are many people (both male and female) among the TRC followers, like other indigenous communities, who are excited with zealous fervor to work in preservation and promotion of the rich culture, traditions and belief system of their forefathers, because of their contribution and commendable works the Zeliangrong TRC religion is growing day by day with firm stand of the devotees. In the annual assembly of Japfu Phiki Kruna Keseko Kehon (an organization of Angami Nagas) in Mima village, Neiphiu Rio said that “the followers of indigenous faith are original Nagas and they should always uphold indigenous faith. He also urged upon Church leaders not to convert the followers of indigenous faith because if every Naga is converted to Christianity, the indigenous faith, culture, and identity of Naga society would be lost forever.”
In the glorious celebration of Tingkao Ragwang Chapriak, all the people irrespective of caste, creed and religion are invited to take part and offer prayer to Tingkao Rgawang for peace, unity and integrity of the state of Manipur.