थेंफाख्रि (Thengphakri)

A Bronze statue of legendary Bodo freedom fighter 'Tengphakri'
Cultural Narrative: 


Tengphakri is a forgotten, legendary Bodo heroine, who reportedly served as a Tehsildar (Tax Collector) in the Bijni kingdom in lower Assam during the British regime in Assam. When educated Indians, social reformers, and the British government were attempting to combat misogynistic norms like sati, child marriage, and the purdah system and encourage widow remarriage, there was a woman working side by side with the British officers in Assam as a tax collector who rode a horse, wore a cap, and had knee-length black hair. Tengphakri was a widow who fought misogyny in an inconspicuous manner. She was a humble yet passionate individual. She wasn't very strong, but her skill with a sword and a horse helped her rise to a position that few women could have imagined at the time. Her ancestry was advantageous. When she was little, her British-employed grandfather taught her how to carry a sword. Thengphakri impressed the British at Bijni by killing a man-eater as it was about to prey on an unwary villager on the banks of the Brahmaputra. They first appointed her as izardar and promoted her to tehsildar, within a year. In the beginning, Tengphakri supported the British because they protected the populace from attacks by the Bhutanese army. However, she quickly discovered that the colonial taxes were robbing poor farmers of their last pennies in a drought-stricken year, which caused her internal struggle. Her decision to join the clandestine nationalist movement for India's freedom struggle led her to take up her bronze sword.

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