Rani Gaidinliu was a legendary freedom fighter from North East India. As a teenager, she bravely stood up to the might of the British Empire, and fought for justice and freedom from colonial repression of her community, the Zeliangrong Nagas. After Independence, the Zeliangrong people pushed for a ‘Homeland Movement’ under her charismatic leadership. She was also a fearless Naga spiritual leader who fought for the preservation of her indigenous tribal way of life by reforming the ancient Zeliangrong religion.
This monograph is a fascinating account of Rani Gaidinliu, narrating her journey as a young girl when she joined Haipou Jadonang’s movement for Makam Gwangdi or ‘Naga Raj’, and subsequently took charge of the movement after Jadonang was arrested and hanged by the British. It recounts how Gaidinliu later came to be known as ‘Rani Gaidinliu’, a name made famous by Jawaharlal Nehru who was touched by her stories of revolt and imprisonment during his travels in the northeast before Indian Independence.
This work delineates how inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s call for freedom, she rose as a new hope and became a symbol of resistance amidst the growing poverty and depression in her community, the Zeliangrong Nagas.
About the Author: Som Kamei is a member of the Indian Postal Services. Born in Imphal, Manipur, he is an alumnus of Hindu College, Delhi University and did his Masters and MPhil in Sociology from Jawaharlal Nehru University. He is currently based in Dimapur, Nagaland where he lives with his wife and three children.
A sports enthusiast, he also enjoys travelling and reading. His interests include tribal studies and ethnic movements and he writes on cultural and social issues of North East India. This is his first book.