Pa Togan Nengminza Sangma – December 12, 2022

In India, Pa-Togan Nengminza Sangma is celebrated every December 12. On this day, we commemorate the heroic Garo leader who fought against the British Empire for India’s independence. While the attack against the British militia was unsuccessful, Pa-Togan Nengminza’s bravery and resilience will be remembered for the rest of India’s history. Although this day falls on his death anniversary, it also celebrates the other fallen heroes who sacrificed their lives for their country. Learn more ways to celebrate this holiday with your friends and family.

History of Pa Togan Nengminza Sangma

In 1835, the British Empire annexed the Jaintia kingdom, calling Northeastern India the “Scotland of the East.” This caused an uprising among the locals, led by freedom fighter U Kiang Nangbah. However, the movement was unsuccessful because it was heavily counterattacked by the British. At this moment, they had established hegemony in the Garo Hills.

In 1866, Lt. W.J. Williamson, Assistant Commissioner to The Hills, brought half the district under British rule. By 1872, they underwent extreme measures to occupy the Garo Hills, including an expedition march to the south, east, and west to commandeer the entire region. During this military movement, the British soldiers experienced great resistance from the local tribes, notably from Garo leader Pa-Togan Negminza Sangma, who refused to kowtow to the imperial forces.

In December 1872, the British soldiers established a camp in Matcha Rongkrek in the Garo Hills. While they were sleeping, Pa-Togan and the rest of his Garo tribe planned an attack. The British occupation was abrupt and didn’t give enough time for the local tribes to prepare. What they lacked in weaponry, however, they made up in fierce resilience. The British quickly retaliated and gained the upper hand during this attack. The Garo’s swords were no match against the British army’s guns. Despite this, the Garo soldiers fought to their deaths, and Pa-Togan, the last man standing, was killed in a hail of bullets.

Pa-Togan’s heroic attempt to protect his tribe and land outlasted the British Empire. His bravery and patriotism have been immortalized along with fellow Garo soldiers U Tirot Sing and U Kiang Nangbah.

Pa Togan Nengminza Sangma timeline

1835
“Scotland of the East”

The British empire annexes the Jaintia Kingdom, calling it the “Scotland of the East.”

1866
British Rule in Garo Hills

Lt. W.J. Williamson takes half of the entire Garo Hills under British rule.

Early 1872
Garo Hills Occupation

The British soldiers march south, east, and west to occupy the entire Garo Hills district.

December 12, 1872
The Attack of the Garo Hills Tribe

Pa-Togan and his tribe start an attack but are killed in battle.

Pa Togan Nengminza Sangma FAQs

Where was Pa-Togan buried?

While Pa-Togan Sangma has been memorialized in Shillong, the whereabouts of his remains are unknown.

How was U Kiang Nangbah killed?

U Kiang Nangbah, a comrade of Pa-Togan, was hanged to death on December 30, 1862.

Where was Pa-Togan Sangma born?

He was born in Williamnagar, India.

How to Observe Pa Togan Nengminza Sangma

  1. Visit the Martyr’s Column Shrine

    Pa-Togan and his fellow Garo tribespeople were immortalized at the Martyr’s Column Shrine in Shillong, Meghalaya. Take some time to visit the shrine, pay tribute, and offer respect to these brave heroes.

  2. Travel to Rongrengiri Reserve Forest

    Visit the Pa-Togan Nengminza Memorial Park at the Rongrengisi Reserve Forest. This is a prominent place for students and young children to visit, and they hold a grand ceremony with a floral praying tribute.

  3. Attend movie screenings at Chisobibra

    Movies related to Indian freedom are usually screened at Chisobibra on this day. Movie buffs should drop by this event organized by Williamnagar Art and Culture Group.

5 Facts About Colonial India That You Didn’t Know

  1. Pa-Togan is India’s Goliath

    Due to his strength, bravery, and resilience, Pa-Togan is often compared to the Philistine warrior Goliath.

  2. They used plantain stems as shields

    Knowing that the British soldiers had guns, Pa-Togan and his tribe used shields made from plantain stems to protect themselves from bullets.

  3. British rule lasted 75 more years

    Despite Pa-Togan’s attack, the British occupation of India didn’t end until 1947.

  4. The “Jewel in the Crown”

    During British rule, India was known as the “Jewel in the Crown.”

  5. It was a centralized paternal despotism

    During this era, India became the world’s largest bureaucracy.

Why Pa Togan Nengminza Sangma is Important

  1. Pa-Togan is an icon of bravery

    Pa-Togan is an icon not just for military soldiers but for all of India. His bravery was unprecedented, and he’s a great reminder of the importance of standing up for your tribe and country.

  2. A day of patriotism

    The patriotism of the Garo tribe is fascinating. On this day, we celebrate the immortality of one’s love and sacrifices for one’s country. It stands for unity and loyalty — two core values that Indian people live by.

  3. It honors fallen heroes

    While this day is dedicated to Pa-Togan, it also honors his entire tribe that faced hardships and adversity to fight for Meghalaya. It’s an excellent opportunity to pass their historical and cultural contributions to the next generation.

Pa Togan Nengminza Sangma dates

YearDateDay
2022December 12Monday
2023December 12Tuesday
2024December 12Thursday
2025December 12Friday
2026December 12Saturday

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