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Paona Brajabasi

(1833 – 1891) – (Manipur)

Paona Brajabasi (Aged 58) born in 1833, was a Manipuri military officer who later joined the military of the Manipur Kingdom. He reached the rank of major by 1891. In an attempt to resist British forces marching from Tamu (on the border between Manipur and Myanmar today), 700 Manipuri soldiers were dispatched to Thoubal.

During the battle, Major General Paona Brajabashi, a brave soldier of the Manipur Kingdom, led the group of Manipuri soldiers and fought what many historians describe as the fiercest battle against the British in Indian history. Despite their valiant efforts, the Manipuris were defeated by the superior might of the British.

After the battle, Major General Paona Brajabashi was offered a chance to join the British at a superior post, but he chose death over treason and was martyred on 23rd April 1891. In memory of him and the other Manipuri soldiers who laid down their lives, Manipur celebrates Khongjom Day every year on 23rd April.