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Statue of Rani Gaidinliu unveiled in Fulertal, Lakhipur

The statue of Rani Gaidinliu was unveiled in Fulertal, Lakhipur through an eventful cultural programme at the block auditorium by people belonging to the Naga community. A traditional dance performance was organised by the Naga people to mark the occasion. The statue of Rani Ma was built under the initiative of Lakhipur MLA Kaushi Rai. Lakhipur has historical significance as it is the place from where Jadonang Malangmei, a Naga spiritual leader and political activist from Manipur was arrested. Rani Ma Gaidinliu also visited many Rongmei villages in Lakhipur.

Speaking to reporters, Paujen Rongmei, the organising secretary of Rani Ma statue unveiling programme said, “By god’s grace we have successfully performed the cultural programme at the block auditorium. Being the secretary, I would like to thank honourable MLA Kaushik Rai as under his guidance the statue was completed. Lakhipur is a historical place as Naga freedom fighter Jadonang Malangmei was arrested from here. Rani Ma Gaidinliu, who was also a freedom fighter visited many Rongmei villages surrounding Lakhipur. We also thank Barak Valley Hill Tribe Council Development Chairman and Dimasa Development Council Chairman for attending the programme. We invited members of each and every tribal development council. Some failed to attend the programme but most were present. Being a secretary, I would like to extend my deep gratitude to everyone for their cooperation to make this programme successful.”

It maybe mentioned that Gaidinliu Pamei (26 January 1915 – 17 February 1993) popularly known as Rani 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 faith, 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.

Jadonang Malangmei (1905-1931) popularly known as Haipou Jadonang was a Naga spiritual leader and political activist from Manipur, British India. He established the Heraka religious movement, which was based on the ancestral Naga religion, and declared himself to be the “messiah king” of the Nagas. His movement was widespread in the Zeliangrong territory before the conversion to Christianity. He also espoused the cause of an independent Naga kingdom (“Makam Gwangdi” or “Naga Raj”), which brought him in conflict with the colonial British rulers of India. He was hanged by the British in 1931, and succeeded by his cousin Rani Gaidinliu.

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