On the Occasion of his 148th Martyrdom which is usually observe in different parts of Meghalaya today the 30th of Dec 2010. Kiang Nongbah was hanged to death in Jowai his birth place by the Britishers in the year 1862.
On that day like today the history of his bravery, determination plus his spirit of love for the freedom of his Motherland was always remembered as a memorable Landmark in history also his valour and dignity who stood and fought against the mighty British Raj. The celebration is observing today by Seinraij Jowai, Seinraij Shillong, Kiang Nongbah Ia siat khnam Memorial Fund and others.
He was like any other youth of his contemporary time, a dignified person, one who stood against all odds with determination and selfless service towards the welfare of his Motherland but besides that he was a jovial and a very friendly being. He knew very well about the Foreigner- White men moving in and around Jowai. Proudly Kiang Nongbah was a man of fearless attitude and was able to move far and wide within RiPnar, RiJaintia-12 Daloi so to say the Land of the Mar- the Giant and fearless men of Jaintia Hills- the freedom fighters and their background of Tradition and Culture of their great achievement during the reign of Kings and their Jaintia Kingdom. So in the Land of one’s own destiny a patriot as Kiang Nongbah “ The Songs Of Patriotism Dies Never”.
As a child he was very fond of Wrestling and running around as well as playing with bow and arrow but he developed a passion for playing Flute and humming songs.
Kiang Nongbah was an unsung Hero but was not a high profile officer or a man of rank and file but he was an ordinary simpleton, a small time farmer. It is the dynamism in him the fearless, bold and daring attitude, the charismatic qualities which he possessed that makes him to be a renowned personality after the reign of the Foreigner and the most admired and sought for leadership qualities of today’s generation.
His Leadership qualities came to light through his undying love for his Motherland which truly captivates the minds and hearts of people of all walks of life and of all ages. Such qualities earned him the name and fame as the Freedom fighter of the Pnar people of Jaintia Hills.
U Kiang Nongbah emerged as a real leader when he stood up and strongly protest against the Britishers- He who never submits to what is not right. He was always a straight forward person in all his dealing specially in the Dorbar at Iaw Iongpiah where the Daloi Tyngker of Jwai Elaka carried the order of the British to pay house tax without any resolution of the Dorbar. Rage with anger and with a heavy heart full of agony that inflamed his determination with a Lion’s heart to drive away the Britishers once and for all from the soil of his Motherland. He was greatly moved by the Britishers way of interfering into the way of life of the people disturbing their religious practices and their performance of the Traditional warrior dance which aimed at bringing about destruction of the unique culture and the heritage of the Pnar people as the bestowed upon them by their Forefathers’.
True to his words, where he said from the gallows before he breathe his last, “If My Face Turns Eastward My Motherland Will Be Liberated After Hundred Years From The Foreign York”. Our country was liberated from the clutches of the British rule on the 15th of Aug 1947 where our country awakes to life and freedom.
U Kiang Nongbah was betrayed by his own fellow being just for a few hundred rupees but the roots of corruption and bribery has taken its shape in the minds of certain section of the people and change the very image of the land.
Is the 30th Dec every year to be remembered just as an occasion where public meetings and speeches of political leaders and scholars be held and heard, or just the lip services of our beloved leaders? Don’t we realize that it’s high time that the leadership qualities of our great martyr and his indomitable attitude be ingrained in minds of our youths? Let us all know that U Kiang Nongbah was the backbone of the Pnar people. He is a man of all season and of all time. Our youths today enjoyed the fruits of freedom but as the future leaders of the Country its time they realized the ground realities of the present Scenario-Corruption, Bribery, Nepotism, etc that pollutes our social environment. Submerged in such highly polluted atmosphere our youths should be inspired by the undying qualities of U Kiang Nongbah and fought bravely against such ugly behavior as such unnerved qualities goes against the very philosophy of Kiang Nangbah. His qualities are most relevant in today’s times. Rise up! Be triumphant rather than fall prey in the hands of corruption! Be a symbol of change- Erase poverty from the society- fight corruption on all front! Eliminate Nepotism but struggle towards perfection and strive to reach excellence in all fields and for people of all walks of life- Our Martyr, U Kiang Nongbah, bravely fought with Valour against the Britishers for their religious oppression imposed on the people with indigenous faith yet in a secular democracy, follow the principles of righteousness by adhering on the essence of secularism.
In the modern political arena- Be a change, carve a change- Let the spirit of U Kiang Nongbah be an inspiration for today’s youth, though U Kiang Nongbah appeared like a Cameo but his footprints are left in the sands of time. On the basis of Universal Adult Franchise- don’t be swayed with bribery at the hands of callous leaders choose and vote for change as an adult use your rational power to choose the right person! Sovereignty rest with you. Pioneer the change for a new Mandate and douse off the flame of corruption.
During the annexation of the Jaintia Kingdom in 1835, he was only a young boy but knows everything about wars that was fought between the Pnar and the Britishers, his mother told him stories about his uncle Ksan Sujar who was the commander in chief of the Army.
The Jaintia war of freedom began from the year 1857 and lasted till his death. One main objective that was on Kiang’s mind was to drive away the Foreigners. From the time Kiang Nongbah was a young boy he was seen that the Britishers have solidly consolidated their power in the Jaintia kingdom and wants to overthrow them and was willing to fight till death to do so. He wants to unite the whole people of Jaintia Kingdom 12 Daloi in his struggle for freedomU Kiang Nongbah, a patriot was an outstanding freedom fighter of the Pnar people of Jaintia Land who made a mark in the history of the liberation of his beloved Motherland from the Foreign York. Today to observe the occasion, a rich tribute as a mark of respect is paid to the departed soul.
LONG LIVE U KIANG NONGBAH