The role of Maniram Dewan in the revolt of 1857 in Assam
In this post, we are going to learn about the role of Maniram Dewan in the revolt of 1857 in Assam. But before we proceed, I would like to introduce you first………
Who was Maniram Dewan?
A great Assamese revolutionary against the colonist British Empire and the first entrepreneur of Assam (even India), who founded first two tea gardens in this North-Eastern state.
He was born on April 27, 1806, in the house of father Ram Dutta. His father worked in a high post in the court of Ahom King Kamleshwar Singha.
Because his family was financially powerful, therefore Maniram was given home education by a home teacher.
Do you know, where Maniram Dewan was born?
Yes, the birthplace was Rangpur, which is present-day known as Sivasagar.
He was a kid when Burmese came to the land for invasion.
Therefore, during that time he and his family moved to Sinamari of Bangladesh.
There were almost three to four times Burmese invaded in Assam.
In 1826, when Britishers came to fight against Burmese and rescue Assam, at that time he was the exhibitor of the British empire.
Dewan was one of the main among those personalities, who invited the British to the state to rescue its people from Burmese attack.
Seeing the honesty and skill of Maniram, the upper Assam British political agent Captain Nuevill very soon appointed him as the Tehsildar-Sirstahadar of Upper Assam in 1828.
When on 9 March 1833, he became able to make Ahom King Purandar Shinga as a taxable king of Upper Assam, then his affair increased even furthermore.
Seeing his achievements and growth in his life’, many people of the society also started to call him by “Kalita Raja”.
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How Maniram Dewan lost faith in Britishers?
In 1838, when the British took the complete state of Purandar Sinhala into its own intervention, Maniram faced many difficulties.
Due to his standing at a high position in those days, he was shocked by all these incidents.
Not even that, he also started to lose his old position and power.
He did a lot of request to Deputy Governor Robertson on that issue. But Governor did not pay any attention to his request.
Slowly Maniram started to losing his complete power.
In 1845 he worked for the British Empire for the last time. In the same year due to some bad behavior of English officers, he resigned from his post.
Now he started to focus on his own business. The business of him which is gorily accepted by all the Assamese people today is Tea gardening.
After resigning from the posts, he created two tea gardens at Jorhat’s Cinnamora and Sivasagar’s Singlou.
He was the first Assamese who established the Tea culture among the community. Therefore still today Cinnamora tea garden is known as the first tea garden of Assam.
Maniram got huge success within some time through this business and slowly slowly raising himself own as the competitor of Britisher’s tea business.
To prevent his growth they created some rules and regulations (such as increasing land Tex), which later caused a very big problem for him.
Because of these steps from the British, he and his family also fall down into a financial crisis at that time.
Why Maniram Dewan Revolt?
The personalities who first invited British imperialists to Assam were now able to understand, if the people of Assam are to be respected in their own land then the rule of old Ahom kingdom will have to be re-established again.
That is why they were now in the process of establishing Kandapeswar Singha in the palace, who was a grandson of Ahom King Purandar Singha.
But all their attempts were failed.
Till then Maniram and co-operators did not try yet to take extremist steps against the British Empire.
But after a lot of hard work and requests, when there was no good response was founded form the British Empire then the spirit of rebellion gradually started growing in their minds.
It was a matter of fact of May 6, 1857, when the war started all over India against the British imperialist. In Delhi, the rebellion had declared Bahadur Shah as the emperor of entire India.
Because of these events, the foundation of the British Empire in India was completely threatened.
Till then the anger of Maniram and many of his co-operators were so far away from the limit.
When the incident happened in Delhi, they got a lot of excitement and hence they decided to do something similar in Assam.
With this purpose, he advised some of the effective people of the state to arrange weapons and talked with them to make the war policy.
At that time he was in Kolkata. He wrote a letter to Kandapeswar Shinga and some other people from there.
But it is a matter of great sadness that a person named, Horonath Daruga, who was a very honest servant of British’s, received the letter written by Maniram Dewan.
He gave it to Charles Holroyd (A British officer of Sivasagar). After getting the hinds of rebellion they immediately arrested Maniram and his co-operators such as Piyali Baruah, Maddhu Mallik, Dutiram Baruah, Sheik Farmud Ali etc.
On the 26 February of 1858, under the guilt of treason, Maniram Dewan and Pyali Baruah were hanged openly in Jorhat.
And with this incident, the rebellion of Assam was demolished before was came into place.
So, This is the small abstract of the story of the great revolutionary leader Maniram Dewan‘s life.
Today still after 150 years of his death he is remembered and as respected highly by the people of Assam. There are many organizations also created in his name in different parts of Assam. Such as Maniram Dewan Trade Center Guwahati etc.
If you want to know even more about him then I recommend you to read once in Assam History.
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