Jadonang in History
Samson Remei, Ashinpou Gangmei, Dr Benjamin Gangmei and Thomas Kamei
Contd from previous issue
The condition had made the people to do a readily response to the option which could, they supposed, relieve them from this oppressive rule of colonial masters. Combined with this hope of freedom from the rule and Jadonang’s portent to the British authority, the response of the masses to his movement was overwhelming. Jadonang’s native village became political nerve centre. In 1928 Jadonang declared that the rule of British Govt. was soon coming to an end.
Jadonang who was truly adverse to that oppressive rule and who had heart for the sufferings of people under the rule, declared his anti-Govt. stand over administrative concerns: no tax to Govt. from 1932; no subscription of money for touring Govt. officials and Lambus; no forced labour for Govt. employees. Instead of these duties to colonial administration, he declared, people should give tributes (in kind:mithuns) to him who was leading people for their freedom.
On account of his anti-British activities between 1928-1930, the colonial authority began to suspect him and started deterring his movement. As for first incident, in Dec.1928 he was imprisoned in Tamenglong for declaring the end of British Government. Yet it had little effect on him and continued his movement without being let up. The colonial authority who dealt with him with strong hand were JP Mills, DC of Naga Hills, JC Higgins, Political Agent in Manipur, WA Crosgrave, Chief Secretary of Assam and Christopher Gimson, DC of Cachar along with SJ Duncan, SDO, Tamenglong.
In his communication with JC Higgins, JP Mills informed him about his connection with the Angamis of Khonoma and Zeme villages of NC Hills. He also informed the Commissioner of Surma Valley about him stating that Jadonang was leading a political movement for the Makaams with a declaration that the days of British Govt, the Manipuris (or the Meiteis) and the Kukis would end in three years.
JP Mills was an administrative authority who informed JC Higgins about the connections between Naga Hills and the Nagas of Manipur hills particularly, Manipur West and North in those days. It was also he to whom Lhoupa, Mauzadar of Henima informed about Jadonang’s declaration of would-be new reign which the Nagas of those areas, who were under his sway, accepted; the urgency of prevention of the movement by deploying security forces in the areas. It was also he whom SJ Duncan, Tamenglong SDO, by report to JC Higgins, wanted him to take up restriction of entry of the Nagas from Naga Hills into Manipur via Henima village.
Spearheading a conspiracy plan against Jadonang for his anti-British movement launched for freedom of the people, JC Higgins instructed SDO, Tamenglong to conduct on the nexus between the Angamis of Naga Hills and Liangmais of Manipur and the SDO affirmed it in his report. Interestingly, his report also mentioned Jadonang’s declaration not to pay tax to the Govt; the impending end of British Govt. and about the new ruler which was to replace the British Govt. His report also had a mention pleading that the Nagas from Naga Hills be restricted from entering Manipur through Henima village of Naga Hills. Further the report pleaded that both Jadonang and Gaidinliu be arrested and confined in jail for not less than a year. And, Higgins informed Christopher Gimson, DC of Cachar to arrest Jadonang when he was enroute for his home-centre from his worship at Bhuvan Hill. Further he also consulted Mills for carrying out his conspiracy plan against Jadonang. After the arrest of Jadonang at Binakandi, Silchar, he wired Gimson to extradite him to Manipur State. Finally, it was JC Higgins, upon him the authority of police, judiciary and executive lied, judged him with a sole intent of execution of Jadonang.
The prosecution of Jadonang by JC Higgins was without due legal procedure but it was politically motivated. This is proved on two counts: the crime for which he was charged was not justified; the process of prosecution was implicative and incriminatory for political end.
JC Higgins implicated Jadonang in the murder case of four Meitei traders and Higgins, with the implication, passed capital punishment and hanged him. Was the implication justified ? It was the false charge framed against him on the following grounds:
Jadonang was not at Puiluan (Kambiron) village at which time the murder took place. He was at Luangkao (Nungkao) village at the time of the incident. Jadonang himself told it to Higgins on 5 June, 1931. (To be contd)