13 forgotten freedom fighters from North East India

    Every Indian is aware about great freedom fighters like Gandhiji, Khudiram Bose, Subhash Chandra Bose, and Saheed Bhagat Singh but a little is known about the freedom fighters of North East India. Lot of people in North East india took part in india’s freedom movement and lost their lives. they played a significant role to India’s Freedom. Let us celebrate this Independence day and remember those forgotten freedom fighters.

     

    Bhogeswari Phukanani (Assam)

    Bhogeshwari was born in the year 1885 in the Barhampur area of Nagoan district Assam. Though she is a house wife and mother of a child, she actively participated in the woman freedom organization of that area. In 1930, when the civil Disobedience Movement started Bhogeswari Phukanani actively participated in it and was arrested for picketing.

    During 1942 quite India movement five men were gunned down by British authorities and people declared them martyrs. On a particular day people decided to celebrate the victory. On that day itself  people attack and set free the office of Congress in Berhampur town of Assam.To take revenge, the British army had sent a military force under Capt Finish. The place turned into a battlefield all of a sudden. Courageous Bhogeswari tried to resist and when she saw Capt Finish pointing his revolver to the people rush immediately and hit the Captain on the head with the flagpole. As a result his cap fell down on the ground. A furious Captain then fired fired at Bhogeswari to which she succumbed to the injury and died after 3 days.

     

    Bir Tikendrajit Singh(Manipur)
    He was a great patriot and a prince of the independent Kingdom of Manipur, a state in the north-eastern region of India. He was called the ‘Lion of Manipur’ as he fearlessly fought against the British. He was the commander of the Manipuri army and engineered a palace revolution that led to the events known as the Anglo-Manipur War of 1891 or the ‘Manipur Expedition’.

    After Maharaja Chandrakriti’s death in 1886 his son Surachandra Singh succeeded him. As in previous occasions, several claimants to the throne tried to unsettle the new king. The first three attempts were defeated, but in 1890, following an attack on the palace by Tikendrajit and Kulachandra Singh, two of the king’s brothers, Surachandra Singh announced his intention to abdicate and left Manipur for Cachar.

    Kulachandra Singh, the king’s younger brother, rose then to the throne while Tikendrajit Singh, commander of the Manipuri armed forces (Senapati), held the real power behind the scenes. Meanwhile, Surachandra Singh, once safely away from Manipur appealed to the British for help to recover the throne.

    The British decided to recognize Juvraj Kulachandra Singh as Raja, and to send a military expedition to Manipur in order to punish Senapati Tikendrajit Singh as the main person responsible for the dynastic disturbances. On February 21, 1891 Lord Lansdowne, the British viceroy of India ordered J.W. Quinton, the chief commissioner of Assam, to recognise Jubraj Kulachandra Singh as the King but to arrest Senapati Tikendrajit. Quinton arrived in Manipur on March 22, 1891 with a troop of 400 soldiers under Colonel Skene and asked Raja Kulachandra Singh to hand over Tikendrajit to him as desired by the British Governor General of India. The Manipuri soldiers struck back and the British were put on the defensive. In the ensuing chaos five British officers including the Political Agent Grimwood, and Quinton were killed.

    On March 31, 1891 the British Government sent a military force against Manipur formed by three army columns from Kohima (under the command of Major General H. Collet), Silchar (under the command of Colonel R.H.F. Rennick) and Tamu (under the command of Brigadier General T. Graham) were sent to Manipur. Tikendrajit led the Manipuri army in this war. The British army finally took possession of the Kangla Palace on April 27, 1891. Major Maxwell took over as the chief political agent. Later, Manipur became a princely state and Churachand Singh, a minor was placed on the throne of Manipur. Tikendrajit and other leaders of Manipur subsequently went underground. Tikendrajit was arrested in the evening of May 23.

    The special court, formed under Lt. Col. John Mitchell for the trial commenced on May 11, 1891. The court found Tikendrajit, Kulachandra and Thangal General guilty and they were sentenced to death. The Governor General confirmed the death sentence passed on Tikendrajit and Thangal General and converted the death sentence of the Maharaja and Angousan into transportation for life. The order was announced on August 13, 1891 and Tikendrajit and Thangal General were publicly hanged at 5 pm of the same day at Kangjei-bung (Polo ground) in Imphal. After independence, this ground in Imphal where he was hanged was renamed as Bir Tikendrajit Park.

    Tikendrajit singh

     

    Kanaklata Barua(Assam)

    She was born in the Borangabari village of the undivided Darrang district of Assam and is also called Birbala and Shaheed (martyr) Kanaklata Barua. She was an Indian freedom fighter from Assam who was shot dead while leading a procession bearing the National Flag during the Quit India Movement of 1942.

    During the Quit India Movement Kanaklata joined the Mrityu Bahini, a death squad comprising groups of youth from the Gohpur sub division of Assam. On 20 September 1942, the Bahini decided it would hoist the national flag at the local police station. A procession of unarmed villagers were led by Barua to do so. The police under Rebati Mahan Som the officer in-charge of the police station warned the procession of dire consequences if they proceeded with their plan. Undeterred by the police, the procession continued marching ahead when the police fired upon the procession. Kanaklata was shot and the flag she was carrying with her was taken up by Mukunda Kakoti who too was shot at. Both Kanaklata and Kakoti were killed in the police action. Kanaklata was only 17 years of age at the time of her martyrdom

    kanaklata barua

     

    Shoorvir  Pasaltha Khuangchera(Mizoram)

    Every Indian is aware about great freedom fighters like Khudiram Bose, Subhash Chandra Bose, and Saheed Bhagat Singh but no one has heard about Shoorvir Pasaltha Khuangchera of Mizoram.  Being the first Mizo leader, he fought with British forces in the year 1890, when they invaded Lushai Hills. As the British captured the hills, Pasaltha Khuangchera died, fighting to the last drop of his blood. Regarded as a deserving character for receiving Bharat Ratna posthumously, his bravery, strength, and righteousness find few parallels in the contemporary history of India.

    Khuangchera was the first Mizo freedom fighter to lay down his life fighting British imperialism. He was killed while trying to resist advancing British troops in 1890, which saw the British conquest of the Lushai Hills (now Mizoram).

    Shoorvir Pasaltha Khuangchera

     

    Kushal Konwar (Assam)

    The name of Kushal Konwar would forever be in the hearts of all north-east people as a strict follower of Gandhian principles and believer of non-violence. Being completely innocent, he was implicated in a false case by the British during quit India movement in 1942. The incident took place on the 10th October, 1942, when a train carrying several British soldiers derailed in Sarupathar railway station and consequently, many soldiers lost their lives. The British framed him for sabotaging and killing soldiers without any evidence and Kushal Konwar was the only person, who was hanged during quit India movement. Born in a middle class family in Golaghat district of Assam, he lived the ideal life of austerity and peace loving person till he achieved martyrdom on 15th June, 1943.

    Kushal Konwar

     

    Maniram Dewan(Assam)

    He was another hero in the freedom struggle of India. Being a pioneer in private tea business in Assam, initially he was on friendlier terms with the British. As the British opposed his interest in setting up tea garden, he turned hostile and became a fierce opponent. He had the demand that Ahom rule get restored on the soil of Assam that would help the liberty in setting up such business venture but the British remained fully against this. Finally, realizing that only India, free of British Raj, could give such opportunity to the entrepreneurs, he made up his mind to fight against the mighty British. Unluckily, his plot to drive away the British people was exposed along with his accomplices. On the day of 26th February 1858, Maniram was hanged with his close associate, Peoli Baruah inside Jorhat prison.

    maniram dewan

     

    Matmur Jamoh (Arunachal Pradesh)

    Matmur Jamoh did not like the British supremacy and their interference in the lives of his people. He had killed British assistant political officer of the time, Noel Williamson, at Komsing village, while another band of his followers killed one Dr Gregorson at Pangi, both in East Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh, on March 31, 1911.

    Matmur Jamoh

     

    Paona Brajabashi ( Manipur )

    Paona Brajabashi – Fearless Freedom Fighter from Manipur. Whole nation indebted to martyrs like Paona Brajabashi who stands up to the mighty British forces and fight valiantly for safeguarding Manipur’s freedom.

    There is indeed a great privilege to pay homage to the brave martyrs of Manipur who made supreme sacrifice in the battle of Khongjom in 1891. Khongjom located Manipur’s Thoubal district. The battle reminds, how as the British forces started covering on Imphal from three directions. The brave sons of Manipur led by Paona Brajabashi stand up against the mighty British and fight against the foreign forces what the historians described (it) as one of the fiercest battles in the annals of Indian history. Notwithstanding, the final outcome of the war, the resistance of the Manipuris against the British is a legend of patriotism and valiance.

    Paona Brajabashi

     

    piyoli phukan (ASSAM)

    Piyoli Phukan, in fact, is a unique character in the story of India’s freedom struggle. He was the son of the infamous Badan Borphukan who brought in army troops from Myanmar to dethrone the Ahom king in the 18th century. It was this move by Borphukan that paved the way to British rule in Assam.

    The islanders landed in Assam ostensibly to save the people from the inhuman torture of the Myanmar army, and in no time took over the reins of administration themselves. The Indian aristocracy of the time bowed down before the British rulers. Most followed suit, but not Phukan. Though physically handicapped, the dynamic leader on crutches was the first to organise a people’s uprising against the British after the Yandabu Pact. With indomitable courage, conviction and support of the masses, Phukan hatched a dare-devil plan —to blow up a firearms godown of the British rulers. Everything was going as planned till the English, acting on a tip-off, arrested Phukan. After a tumultuous trial, on July 26, 1830 Piyoli Phukan was hanged by the British for his heroic patriotism

     

     

    Rani Gaidinliu (Nagaland)

    Gaidinliu was a Naga spiritual and political leader who led a revolt against British rule in India. At the age of 13, she joined the Heraka religious movement of her cousin Haipou Jadonang. The movement later turned into a political movement seeking to drive out the British from Manipur and the surrounding Naga areas. Within the Heraka cult, she came to be considered an incarnation of the goddess Cherachamdinliu. Gaidinliu was arrested in 1932 at the age of 16, and was sentenced to life imprisonment by the British rulers. Jawaharlal Nehru met her at Shillong Jail in 1937, and promised to pursue her release. Nehru gave her the title of “Rani” (“Queen”), and she gained local popularity as Rani Gaidinliu.

    She was released in 1947 after India’s independence, and continued to work for the upliftment of her people. An advocate of the ancestral Naga religious practices, she staunchly resisted the conversion of Nagas to Christianity. She was honoured as a freedom fighter and was awarded a Padma Bhushan by the Government of India.

    Rani Gaidinliu

     

    Tirot Sing Syiem (Meghalaya)

    Tirot Sing Syiem is one of the greatest freedom fighters to hail from the northeast. The patriotic valour of Tirot Sing, as he is more commonly known, is unmatched in the history of the sub-continent’s struggle against colonialism.In the attempt to prevent the Khasi Hills from falling into colonial hands, Tirot Sing, a Khasi chief, had raised the battle cry against the invasive British forces on April 4, 1829, but was eventually captured and defeated. He died in captivity in Dhaka on July 17, 1835.

    Tirot Sing Syiem

     

    Trilochan Pokhrel(Sikkim)

    (died 1969) was the first Sikkimese freedom fighter of Nepali (Gorkha) origin. Indian National freedom movement who died in the freedom movement. In Sikkim and North Bengal, Pokhrel is popularly called ‘Gandhi Pokhrel’.

    Born in Tareythang Busty, Eastern Sikkim, Trilochan Pokhrel was highly influenced by Mahatma Gandhi and his philosophy which was based upon the fundamental of  principles of non violence.
    He played a vital role  in propagating the concept of Swadeshi Movement of Mahatma Gandhi among the Sikkimese peasantry.

    Inspired by Gandhi Ji he too wore cotton Dhoti, with a pair of Khadau (an Indian slipper made up of wood), thus the name Gandhi Pokhrel came into existence and later became popular among the people.

    Trilochan Pokhrel

     

    U Kiang Nangbah(Meghalaya)

    he was a freedom fighter from Meghalaya who led an uprising against the British. He was hanged by the British publicly at Iawmusiang in Jowai town in West Jaintia Hills district on December 30, 1862.

    U Kiang Nangbah

     

    Credits- Pic and contents are copied from different sources of internet.

     

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