Treaty of Sanjenthong 1873: Sumkam Guite - Chandrakirti


 The 1873 Peace Treaty of Sanjenthong between Sumkam Guite – son of deceased Raja Guite – and Chandrakirti, Maharaja of Manipur.

ZOMI-KUI tribes have inhabited Manipur’s hills since before British colonial rulers conquered the region in 1891. They were only separately annexed during the Chin-Lushai Expedition of 1889. The Maharaja of Manipur never controlled the hill tribes and their lands, and the British administered them separately.

After the Partition of India, the Manipur Merger Agreement of 1949 did not effectively include tribal areas and tribal administrations under chiefship. “Not even a single inch of hill area was covered under this agreement,” wrote Brigadier Sushil Kumar Verma in The Complexities of Tribal Land Rights and Conflict in Manipur: Issues and Recommendation. The tribal chiefs, particularly the Zomi chiefs, dealt with the Raja of Manipur as an equal partner. When Raja Goukhothang Guite was treacherously captured and killed in an Imphal jail in 1872, tensions escalated between the Meitei and Zomi.

In 1873, John Butler, Deputy Commissioner of Cachar, recorded the Peace Treaty of Sanjenthong between Sumkam Guite – son of deceased Raja Guite – and Chandrakirti, incumbent Raja of Manipur: “The formula of the oath declared that peace should now last between the two nations until the sun rose in the West, until rivers flowed up hill, until hair grew on stones…”

Another treaty, the Treaty of Moirang, was signed on 10 April 1875 between Maharaja Chandrakirti and Sumkam Guite. The terms of the agreement stated that “Sumkam’s territorial jurisdiction will extend upto Moirang, and the Maharaja will rule over the rest of the plains. Both will collect revenues from their respective subjects…” This effectively entrenched Sumkam Guite’s control over Moirang. Lasting peace was finally achieved with the conclusion of this treaty.

~ ­čöŹCompiled by: Master Wong 

*via Eimi news

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