Sunday, 19 April 2015

Rani Gaidinliu.....................India's Unsung Hero.

* Gaidinliu was born on 26 January 1915 at Longkao village in the present Tousem Sub-division of Tamenglong district in Manipur. She was the fifth of eight children, six sisters and a younger brother. The family belonged to the ruling clan of the village. She did not have a formal education due to the lack of schools in the area. 

* In 1927 at the age of 13, she joined the Heraka movement that aimed to end the British rule and establish the self-rule of the Nagas. It attracted a number of followers from the several Naga tribes. With the arrival of guns from Cachar, it turned into an armed rebellion against the British policies of forced labour and ruthless oppression. In three years by the age of 16, she became a leader of Guerrilla forces fighting against the British rulers. 

* In October 1932, Gaidinliu moved to the Pulomi village, where her followers started building a wooden fortress. While the fortress was under construction, an Assam Rifles contingent headed by Captain MacDonald launched a surprise attack on the village on 17 October 1932. She along with her followers was arrested without any resistance near Kenoma village. She denied that she had any role in the attack on the Hangrum post of the Assam Rifles or the construction of the fort. She was convicted on the charges of murder. She was sentenced to life imprisonment. Most of her associates were either executed or jailed. Nehru met her at the Shillong Jail in 1937, and promised to pursue her release. He gave her the title of ‘Queen’. 

* In 1946, Rani Gaidinliu was released on Nehru's orders from Tura jail, having spent 14 years in various prisons. She continued to work for the upliftment of her people after release. She stayed at Vimrap village of Tuensang till 1952 after which finally moved back to her native village. In 1953, Prime Minister Nehru visited Imphal where Rani Gaidinliu met and conveyed to him the gratitude and goodwill of her people. In 1993, Gaidinliu died on 17 February 1993 at the age of 78. 

* It's indeed a sad tale that people in other parts of country hardly know, or care to know about her.

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