Updated January 11, 2023
Jaipal Singh Munda was an Indian politician, journalist, writer, editor, educationist, sportsman, and a great leader. He was a member of the Constituent Assembly which debated the new Constitution of the Indian Union.
In 1928, he captained the Indian field hockey team and secured the gold medal in the Summer Olympics, which Amsterdam hosted.
Later, he became a campaigner for the Rights of poor Communities in India known as “Jungli” and “Adimanav”. Additionally, he fought for the creation of a separate homeland, for Adivasis in central India. The Adivasis of Chhotanagpur call him “Marang Gomke (meaning Great Leader).”
Early Life of Jaipal Singh Munda
Jaipal Singh Munda, also known as Pramod Pahan, was born on January 3, 1903, in a Munda tribe family in Takra-Hatudami, Pahan Toli village.
In his childhood, he used to graze the cattle herd and take care of them. After his initial Schooling at the village, Kushalmai Sheetal, a revolutionary brought him to St Pauls Church school.
In 1910, the Christian Missionaries of the SPG Mission of the Church of England admitted him to St. Pauls, Ranchi.
Playing Hockey like a pro was a piece of cake for the Singh, he had a god-gifted talent. He was excellent in his studies and had exceptional leadership qualities from a very young age.
Some Christian missionaries noticed his talent and took him to England for higher studies at Oxford University. He graduated with Honours in Economics from St. John’s College, Oxford.
Singh was selected for a position in the Indian Civil Service, which he eventually left. In 1934, he started teaching at the Prince of Wales College in Achimota, Ghana.
He returned to India in 1937 and became the Principal of the Rajkumar College, Raipur. In 1938, he became the foreign secretary of the Bikaner princely state.
Ultimately, Singh gained a lot of experience, which he wanted to use for India in the sphere of education. He wrote a letter to Rajendra Prasad, the then President of Bihar Congress, seeking a contributory role for himself in Bihar’s education system, but received no answer.
In the last of 1938, Singh traveled to Patna and Ranchi. During this tour, he decided to enter politics after seeing the miserable condition of tribal people.
Jaipal Singh – One of the Most Versatile Hockey Players
Singh was a member of the Oxford University Hockey Team. His clean tackling, smart play, and well-directed strong hits were the hallmarks of his game as a deep defender.
He was one of the most versatile Players in the Oxford University Hockey Team. He was the first and only Indian to get the title of ‘Oxford Blue’ in hockey for his contributions to the University Hockey Team.
In 1928, Singh was asked to captain the Indian hockey team in the Olympics. Under his Captaincy, India won 16 matches out of 17 and one drawn in the league stage.
However, he couldn’t play knockout matches due to a dispute with the English team manager, A. B. Rossier. Indian Team defeated Holland by 3–0 in the final and won the first gold medal.
After returning to India in 1929, Singh joined the Mohan Bagan Club in Calcutta and started its hockey team. He led that team in several tournaments. He served as Secretary of the Bengal Hockey Association and as a member of the Indian Sports Council after retirement.
Adivasi Mahasabha by Jaipal was the Foremost Effort to Separate Jharkhand
In 1939, Singh became the president of Adivasi Mahasabha. During the Ramgarh session of Congress in 1940, he discussed the need for an independent state of Jharkhand with Subhash Chandra Bose.
Bose replied that it would affect the freedom struggle. The Adivasi Mahasabha re-emerged as Jharkhand Party after the independence of India, accommodating non-tribal people to attain long-term goals.
The Jharkhand Party Participated in the election of 1952 and 1962 and won 33 seats and 20 seats respectively in Bihar legislative assembly. The Jharkhand Party submitted a memorandum to the States Reorganization Commission requesting the creation of a separate state.
Since the region had no common language, tribals not being in majority, and the state’s economy was likely to suffer after separation, the request for the creation of a separate state was denied.
Jaipal Singh’s disappointment with this rejection and the declining popularity of the party led him to take this decision. So, he decided to merge his party with Indian National Congress in 1963.
Jaipal Singh Munda’s Speech in the Constituent Assembly debate.
Apart from being a great hockey player, Jaipal was a great speaker as well. He represented all the tribal people of India at the Constituent Assembly. The following is an excerpt from a famous speech by him in which Jaipal emphasized the challenges faced by tribal people:
“As an Adibasi, I am not expected to understand the legal intricacies of the Resolution. But my common sense tells me that every one of us should march on that road to freedom and fight together.
Sir, if there is any group of Indian people that has been shabbily treated it is my people. They have been disgracefully treated and neglected for the last 6,000 years. The history of the Indus Valley civilization, a child of which I am, shows quite clearly that it is the newcomers — most of you here are intruders as far as I am concerned — it is the newcomers who have driven away my people from the Indus Valley to the jungle fastness …
The whole history of my people is one of continuous exploitation and dispossession by the non-aboriginals of India punctuated by rebellions and disorder, and yet I take Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru at his word. I take you all at your word that now we are going to start a new chapter, a new chapter of independent India where there is equality of opportunity, where no one would be neglected.”
What Jaipal Singh Munda Essentially Spoke in Assembly?
- Jaipal Singh Munda actually tried to highlight the oppression and discrimination of all kinds, the aboriginals of India suffered in the hands of intruders to India.
- Jaipal Singh is very categorical in his speech about who destroyed the Indus Valley Civilization, native to India. He also pointed out that most of the members of the Constituent Assembly were part of intruders.
- This is though very debatable issue as to who was responsible for wiping out Indus Valley Civilization, however, according to many historians, it is the Aryans who destroyed the native Civilization. It was they who established Varnashram/caste system in India and subjected the local people/ Adivasis/ Dravids to discrimination and untouchability.
- Legendary Jaipal Singh is seen as very vocal in stressing the absurdities introduced in Indian Society by the outsiders; however, he commits that he is all set to adopt the proposed constitution wherein equality and equal opportunity for all are pledged.
Death of Jaipal Singh Munda
On 20 March 1970, Jaipal Singh Munda died of a brain hemorrhage at his home in New Delhi. He left behind his four children, a daughter, and three sons. In 2013, a stadium named after him opened in Ranchi.
FAQs on Jaipal Singh Munda
Ans: The name of Jaipal Singh Munda’s Wife is Tara Wienfried Majumdar.
Ans: He had three sons, one of them is Jayant Jaypal Singh the CEO of Calcutta cricket and football club.
Ans: Jaipal Singh Munda’s father’s name is Amru Pahan.
Ans: Jaipal Singh Munda’s mother’s name is Radhamani.