ITANAGAR- Ang Wangnyum (chota Raja), passed away on 18th September 2021 at the age of 101, ” the family members informed in a press release on Saturday.
The family member share glimpses of his 101 years of eventful life and the contributions he made to his people.
The last era of the Ang of Borduria Kingdom (1920 to )
Brief on the life of the last Ang Wangnyum of Borduria Kingdom (as per Ahom Buranji).
The youngest son of Chowpha Wanglin the III Ang Wangnyum was inducted by the NEFA administration into its service as Village Level Worker in 1954 along with late WangdongMedam& late JaliamMedam of Borduria village. They were sent to Pasighat for the basic training before being deployed into Wancho area. It was 20 minutes flight by India Air force Dakota an II world war vintage aircraft. After three months training, he was sent to Chanu village to be the agent of the government of India to bring the aborigine of Wancho villages to assimilate into Indian system. Although he was posted at Chanu village he was given responsibility to look after Longsom village, Chatong village, Ngusa and Ngunu under the overall supervisor of late K.D Menon the Agriculture Inspector of the NEFA administration. By 1956 he decided to quit the job on the ground the place of posting was too far from Borduria. Officially the approved journey was 6 days foot march, which I believe he used to cover within two days. The NEFA administration did not want to lose the service of a powerful Ang’s son so they offered him a paid post known as Political Interpreter in 1956 and allowed him to work from Borduria but had to report to Khela the Head quarter of Tirap Frontier Tract for six months. After that he was allotted an OB Type two-room bamboo house at Khela. After Tirap headquarter was shifted to Khonsa he continued to serve the NEFA administration as Zamadar. He voluntary retired from active service after 1962 war.
The reasons for the NEFA administration pick him up to be village level worker was due to his aggressive leadership. When he walks into a room, you immediately sense their powerful presence. Along with NEFA administration beside him he would bulldoze projects in both the Nocte Naga and Wancho area. For example, the Khonsa- Nuasa road, KhonsaHukanjuri road and Khonsa to Changlang road he was given the responsibility public participation for the construction of these road. He was allowed to carry .45 pistol of his elder brother Ang Towang and had his own double barrel 12 bore made in Belgium. Where ever he went there would always be intense energy and you can feel it when he is around. Without much word, he would naturally take control of the situation with his pistol hanging on his waist and a menacing gun on his hand.
However, he was very hard working and he would lead the way in clearing the jungle for the road. He deliberately walks very fast and hard to catch up with him.
You will never find Ang Wangnyum walking slowly with his hands in pockets.
Knowing Ang Wangnyum capable and commanding youngest son Chowpha Wanglin the III deployed him to accompany the government of India Official from the survey of India and ministry of forest along with some NEFA officer to demarcate the boundary between Namsang and Wancho Naga communities. As usual he along with the representative from Paniduria, Pulung, Noksa, Longo and Chasa created a boundary tract. I took them 3 months to complete the demarcation. The canopy was so thick for days you would not see the sun. They would always camp on high ground and feasting deer, Sambar, white-tailed deer, wild bore meats, wild buffalos etc. In 1948-49 wild animals were in abundant for the entire party of 100 plus people. He took late TetangRuttum, lateTetanWangha, late Phiakhang, late KomwangMedam, late KhamsuamPongtey, late Waangro GB, Late Ratlang, late NewangLowang Chief of Kamhua late NawangLowang, late Wangnen Waka-Lowang and many others to create and official boundary to be known and registered as Borduria Reserve Forest in agreement with government of India for 50 years.
Borduria reserve forest was officially notified as forest belonging to the Ang and his family in 1948. He did it for his father Chowpha Wanglin the III, his elder brother Ang Towang and for himself Ang Wangnyum.
After Ang Towang died in 1963, Ang Wangnyum took charge as the Ang of Borduria and villager under the control of Borduria Ang. Crores of money came as shared revenue from government of India for the Ang family of Borduria and Namsang sadly after signing receipt on the draft the NEFA administration took it away and they were given maintenance allowances along with the children’s education. Ang Wangnyum was given Rupees 12,000 per years and the same amount is continued even after 58 years which is a meager amount for the eminence services he has rendered for the Kingdom of Borduria (Salah-Jaa) and to live peacefully with other tribes and his people to grow in the field of education and self reliance.
Ang Wangnyum would be bossy, impatient, quick-tempered which lead him to confrontation with the than political officer late Loveraj.
For the kingdom of Borduria he was very aggressive and workaholics. He would not accept any criticism against the Salah-Jaa.
His strength was in taking charge, making decisions, and being activators. He had extraordinary leadership in getting things started and moving people. During the Khela Namsang war after the first group left for war till Khonsa village area he demanded the “Waa-Bang Pangmi” (2nd line of warriors) to follow him to head hunting war. His father Chowpha Wanglin the III and his mother KhonsenWangcha-Dong advised him not to go for the war. He wouldn’t listen to them. So his elder brother gave him his single barrel 12 bore gun for his protection and advised him not to take unnecessary risk. He was highly productive and build formidable team of worriers. He was able to create collaboration with the youths and instilled them the desire to fight for hunting heads. The group was however persuaded by the ‘Nok-Pangmi-Ahang Lochan” not to proceed to the front line and to return home.
To Ang Wangnyum it sounded practical as on that faithful day a warrior late JampeeKhetey was injured and were returning to the village for medication. The Kaimai ,Chasa, Longo, Tupi, Noksa and Paniduria continued to guard the front line.
During the World II two Platoons of US GI camped at a place known as “Ho-Dong-Ho” (North –east of Borduria village) and Ang Wangnyum was regular visitor to their camp. They trained him to shoot Tommy gun and light machine gun. He would act as interpreter to the US army. When the war ended the US Army Officer was so impressed by the aggressive leadership of Ang Wangnyum they wanted to take him to America. The officer therefore approached the Chowpha Wanglin the III for permission to take Ang Wangnyum to USA for education. Ang Wanglin the III refused to part since he had only two sons. Luck and destiny did not graced him and landed being employed by NEFA administration as a VLW (Village Level Worker) followed by Zamadar in Tirap Frontier Tract Political Office. Throughout his life he would always speak about America till dementia set in. It might have on the back of his mind the missed opportunity to go and study and work in the land of ‘Milk & Honey”. Imagine it was 1945. He might have seen wised leadership with the US GI and grew lasting love for America. The above incidents were told to me since 1963 and continued to tell me about his thrust with destiny to go to America