HOME
The Info List - Joymoti Konwari



--- Advertisement ---


(i)

JOYMOTI, or JOYMOTI KONWARI (Assamese : সতী জয়মতী), was the wife of Ahom Prince Gadapani . She was accorded the honorific Soti or Sati on account of her heroic endurance of torture until the end, dying at the hands of royalists under Sulikphaa Loraa Roja without disclosing her exiled husband Prince Gadapani's whereabouts, thereby enabling her husband to rise in revolt and assume kingship. (The crucial point being the title was given to a woman who put up a valiant fight; widows committing Sati was not common in Assam, as it was in Bengal.) Joymoti and Gadapani's son Rudra Singha had the Joysagar Tank dug at the spot where she was tortured. The first Assamese film Joymoti , directed in 1935 by Jyoti Prasad Agarwala , was based on her life.

CONTENTS

* 1 Biography * 2 Background to torture * 3 Gadapani becomes king

* 4 Memorials & monuments

* 4.1 Joysagar Tank * 4.2 Fakuwa Dol * 4.3 Soti Joymoti Divas * 4.4 Soti Joymoti Award

* 5 Film and theatre * 6 See also * 7 References * 8 External links

BIOGRAPHY

Joymoti was the wife of the Ahom prince Gadapani. During the Purge of the Princes from 1679 to 1681 under King Sulikphaa (Loraa Roja), instigated by Laluksola Borphukan , Gadapani took flight. Over the next few years, he sought shelter at Sattras (Vaishnav monasteries) and the adjoining hills outside the Ahom kingdom. Failing to trace Prince Gadapani, Sulikphaa's soldiers brought his wife Joymoti to Jerenga Pathar where, despite brutal and inhuman torture, the princess refused to reveal the whereabouts of her husband. After continuous physical torture over 14 days, Joymoti breathed her last on 13 Choit of 1601 Saka, or 27 March, AD 1680.

Joymoti's self-sacrifice would bear fruit in time: Laluk was murdered in November 1680 by a disgruntled body of household retainers. The ministers, now roused to a sense of patriotism, sent out search parties for Gadapani who, gathering his strength, returned from his exile in the Naga Hills to oust Sulikphaa from the throne. Joymoti had known that her husband alone was capable of ending Sulikphaa-Laluk's reign of terror. For her love and her supreme sacrifice for husband and country, folk accounts refer to her as a Soti.

BACKGROUND TO TORTURE

Six princes sat on the throne between the death of Chakradhwaj Singha in 1670 and the accession of Gadapani ( Gadadhar Singha ) in 1681. Udayaditya Singha was murdered through the machinations of Debera Borbarua , who then inaugurated a veritable reign of terror, killing rival princes or mutilating their limbs, doing away with his rivals and opponents, and dismissing or appointing officers at will. The veterans of the Battle of Saraighat marched up to the capital, captured and killed Debera, and placed on the throne a prince of their own selection. The Prime Minister Atan Burhagohain , Rajmantri Dangaria, by virtue of his foresight and disinterestedness, brought the situation under control, and was acclaimed in all responsible quarters as the only saviour of his country. Twice the crown was offered to him, and twice he refused it.

The growing power of the Premier was, however, not tolerated by Laluksola Borphukan, the governor of Guwahati
Guwahati
, who eventually set upon the throne a stripling aged fourteen, Sulikphaa or Loraa Roja ("Boy-King" in Assamese ), while he himself essentially ruled under the newly created office of "Borphukan". Fearing a challenge to his power, Laluksola Borphukan began a purge of all princes who were eligible for the Ahom throne.

GADAPANI BECOMES KING

Gadapani was formally installed a sovereign in August 1681. Taking on the Tai name Supaatphaa and Hindu name Gadadhar Singha (1681–1696), he brought peace and prosperity back to the country. The first act of his reign was the dispatch of an army against Mansur Khan at Guwahati . After a decisive victory at the famous Itakhulir Rann (Battle of Itakhuli ), the Ahoms recaptured Guwahati
Guwahati
from the Mughals in August 1682. The river Manaha (present-day Manas) became once more the western boundary of Assam and remained so until the occupation of the country by the British in the year 1826.

MEMORIALS "> Screenshot from Joymoti (actress Aideu Handique as Joymoti)

Joymoti (1935 film) was the first