Explained: Why a peak in Andaman and Nicobar Islands is now named after Manipur

What is the News?

The Government of India has renamed Mount Harriet of Andaman and Nicobar (A&N) Islands to Mount Manipur

Why was Mount Harriet named as Mount Manipur?
Source: Research Gate

Mount Harriet is the third-highest island peak in the A&N Islands. It is the place where Manipur’s Maharaja Kulchandra Singh and 22 other freedom fighters were imprisoned during the Anglo-Manipuri war(1891).

Hence, Mount Harriet has been renamed as Mount Manipur to pay tribute to those freedom fighters of Manipur.

About Anglo Manipur War

The Anglo-Manipur War was an armed conflict between the British Empire and the Kingdom of Manipur. The war lasted between 31 March and 27 April 1891, ending in a British victory.

What was the reason for the Anglo Manipur War?

In 1886, Surchandra inherited the throne from his father Chandrakirti Singh. During this time, the kingdom of Manipur was not under British rule but had links with the crown through different treaties.

However, Surchandra’s ascension to the throne was controversial and his younger brothers – Kulachadra, Tikendrajit – revolted against him.

The 1890 coup by the rebel faction removed Surchandra, and proclaimed Kulachandra, the next oldest brother, the king. Surchandra fled to Calcutta seeking British help to reinstate him.

After this, the British dispatched James Quinton, the Chief Commissioner of Assam, with an army to Manipur. His mission was to recognise Kulachandra as the king under the condition that they are allowed to arrest the coup leader Crown Prince Tikendrajit and deport him from Manipur.

This aggressive imposition of British law in a sovereign state was rejected by the king, precipitating the Anglo-Manipuri War of 1891.

Who won the war then?

In the first phase of the war, the British surrendered and their officers – including Quinton – were executed in public.

In the second phase, the British attacked Manipur from three sides and finally captured the Kangla Fort in Imphal. Prince Tikendrajit and four others were hanged by the British, while Kulachandra, along with 22 others, was deported to the Andaman Islands.

What is the significance of the Anglo Manipur War?

In India, this war was viewed as being part of the general uprising against British rule in the country, soon after the Revolt of 1857.

Moreover, this war also led to Manipur officially becoming a princely state under the indirect rule of the British crown.

Source:  This post is based on the article Explained: Why a peak in Andaman and Nicobar Islands is now named after Manipurpublished in Indian Express” on 20th October 2021

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