5 facts to know about the Northeast’s very own freedom fighter Rani Gaidinliu
Lest we forget about the legendary leader, Gaidinliu popularily known as Rani Gaidinliu, who led a revolt against British rule in India. She was indeed a force to be reckoned with. Even the British feared her. After her arrest, pleas were made for her release but the British feared that if she was freed, she might another revolution.
Here are five facts you should know about Rani Gaidinliu
## Gaidinliu was born on 26 January 1915 at Nungkao (or Longkao) village in the present-day Tousem sub-division of Tamenglong District, Manipur. She was from the Rongmei tribe (also known as Kabui). She was the fifth of eight children, including six sisters and a younger brother, born to Lothonang Pamei and Kachaklenliu. The family belonged to the ruling clan of the village.
## In 1927, 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.
## By the age of 16, she became a leader of guerrilla forces fighting against the British rulers. Gaidinliu was arrested in 1932 at the age of 16, and was sentenced to life imprisonment by the British rulers. From 1933 to 1947 she served time at the Gauhati, Shillong, Aizawl and Tura jails.
## She was respected by all to the extent that within the Heraka faith, she came to be considered an incarnation of the Goddess Cherachamdinliu. India First Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru met her at Shillong Jail in 1937, and promised to pursue her release. His statement, published in the Hindustan Times, described Gaidinliu as a daughter of the hills and he gave her the title 'Rani' or Queen of her people.
## In 1991, Gaidinliu returned to her birthplace Longkao, where she died on 17 February 1993 at the age of 78. Rani Gaidinliu was also conferred the Birsa Munda Award posthumously. The Government of India issued a postal stamp in her honour in 1996. The Government of India issued a commemorative coin in her honour in 2015.