- Ezrela Dalidia Fanai, NET Correspondent, Mizoram
Commemorating the nationwide campaign “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebration”, the Lunglei District honoured the late freedom warrior and ‘Tamrapatra’ awardee – Pu Darthawma at his residence in Chanmari locality on Wednesday.
The Lunglei Deputy Commissioner (DC) – Pu Kulothugan presented his family with a ‘Certificate of Honour,’ stating that the district is extremely proud of the warrior’s noble legacy and that his name is forever etched in history books.
Born in 1920 at Pukpui village in Lunglei District, Pu Darthawma had served in the Medical Corps of Indian Army prior to becoming a freedom fighter. During World War II, he was sent to Penang Island in Malaysia where he had fought the invading Japanese soldiers but only to be caught and taken to Singapore as a prisoner of war.
Following his release, he joined the Azad Hind Fauj and fought alongside other rebels and Japanese soldiers in Myanmar against the British Army. However, they surrendered in the aftermath of the bombings at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The British convicted Pu Darthawma for waging a war against them and put him behind bars. He was released two years later in 1945 after he had served jail terms in Chittagong (now in Bangladesh) and Lucknow. He was released from Lucknow Jail on January 15, 1945; following the intervention of Mahatma Gandhi & Jawaharlal Nehru.
The Indian government awarded him the ‘Tamrapatra Award’ in 1972 for his role in the struggle for Indian independence. He passed away on July 21, 2019 at his residence in Chanmari, Lunglei, at the age of 99.
The Ministry of Communication, Department of Posts, Government of India had released a “Special Cover on Darthawma Renthlei” in October 2021, to honour the late freedom fighter.