U Kiang Nangbah is a regional holiday observed in the state of Meghalaya. It is a commemoration of the much-respected freedom fighter who was a martyr in the Indian freedom struggle against the British.
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U Kiang Nangbah 2021
Every year, U Kiang Nangbah is observed on 30 December, which in 2021, falls on a Thursday.
Life History of U Kiang Nangbah
U Kiang Nangbah led an uprising against the British which was a turning point in India’s freedom struggle in the northeastern states. He belonged to the Jaintia tribal ethnic community of the state of Meghalaya. The Jaintia Kingdom became part of the Assam province when it was annexed by the British East India Company in the mid-19th century.
Kiang Nangbah was a farmer who rose to become one of the leaders of the resistance movement against the British. He was so popular that he was elected as the leader of the resistance movement of the Jaintias. He organised military-style attacks on the British which were so successful as to threaten the colonial powers.
Ultimately, he was captured by the British as a result of being betrayed by one of his own people. He was hung to death by the British on 30 December 1862 in Jowai Town.
Although India gained independence only in 1947, 85 years after his death, his last words proved to be prophetic, as he stood at the gallows and said, ‘'If my face turns eastward, my motherland will be liberated after hundred years from the foreign yoke’'.
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Government Honors U Kiang Nangbah
The Government of India has honored U Kiang Nangbah not just by declaring a holiday on the day that he was martyred, but also by opening a government college in the town of Jowai in his honor in 1967. A postage stamp was also issued in his name in 2001.
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