Wangkap Lowang Rajkumar worked as Political Jamadar under the British government from 1938 to 1946, and as a Political Assistant and Political Superintendent under the Indian government from 1948 to 1981.
Wangkap Lowang was born on December 15, 1910 at Laptang village in Tirap district to Wangpam Lowang. He belongs to Nocte tribe, and was the Chief of Pansumthong village. He was revered as Tedong, which means great grandfather.
Wangkap Lowang had three sons and five daughters. He have twenty four grandchildren and thirty four great grandchildren. His children and grandchildren continued his legacy, and served the society in the most honorable way.
Wangkap Lowang did his primary education at a private school in Jeypore, Assam. He studied there up to the third standard. He was taught in Assamese medium. The school was managed by Marwari, Bengali and Bihari businessmen.
After completing his primary education in Jeypore, Wangkap went to Sadiya (Assam) for further studies. There, he learned to write and speak in English language. In 1928, he studied up to the ninth standard in the Sadiya school, and left for home to get married.
The British Officials stationed at Sadiya, Assam, repeatedly approached Wangkap Lowang to become a Political Jemadar or Jamadar. He finally accepted their offer, and served the British government in that capacity for eight years, from 1938 to 1946. During his tenure as a Jemadar, Wangkap participated in World War II, when Japan entered North East India in 1944.
After India got independence from the British rule on August 15, 1947, Wangkap was appointed as a Political Superintendent in 1948. He served in that capacity for eleven years till 1959.
In 1959, Wangkap Lowang was promoted to the rank of a Political Assistant.
In 1948, Wangkap Lowang assisted his cousins, the ruler of Borduria and Namsang, to ink an agreement called the Namsang Borduria Fund for the overall development of Nocte inhabited area.
In 1951, Wangkap Lowang along with the North East Frontier Agency (NEFA) Administration, officially ended the century old conflict between the powerful Nocte rulers of Borduria and Namsang, which probably started in the second half of 1700 AD.
Since, the rulers of Borduria and Namsang were his cousin, Wangkap assured the safety of the government officials, and so, no military escorts were given to the officials who went to end the conflict. Another reason for the trust of the government was that, the officials were led by Borgohain, a member of the Ahom royal family, and was respected by the Nocte tribe, given the ancient relation between Nocte and Ahom.
During his tenure as a Political Superintendent, Wangkap Lowang worked with the 2nd Assam Rifles to stop head-hunting practise in the areas dominated by Nocte, Wancho, Tutsa, Tangsa and Ollo tribes.
The head-hunting practise among the Noctes was practically stopped in 1951 when Borduria and Namsang officially ended their conflict. It is because, all the villages in modern Tirap district was under the direct rule of either Borduria and Namsang.
Wangkap Lowang retired from the government service as a Political Assistant in 1981. He receives superannuation pension from the Deputy Commissioner of Tirap district.
Wangkap Lowang left behind a strong family legacy. Some of the renowned figures from his family are as follows:
Thamwang Lowang, the first son of Wangkap, was an Indian National Congress legislator from 1990 to 1999, and had served as the Speaker of Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly and as the Minister of Power. He is also known TL Rajkumar. As of 2020, he is settled in Bangalore as a businessman. He was the owner of Akash Deep Shopping Complex in Itanagar, and later sold some portion of it.
Manwang Lowang, the second son of Wangkap, retired as Deputy Director of Industries.
Wangkhop Lowang, the third son of Wangkap, was dubbed as the richest man in Arunachal Pradesh during the days of timber industries in Tirap district. He was the owner of Jenny Plywood Industries Limited, which is recalled by many people "as busy as a town". He was shot dead by contract killers in 1990s near the road leading to Nokphan village of Tirap district. His dead body was pushed off a cliff along with his car. He was popularly known as Ajoy Rajkumar.
As of 2020, Wangkap's youngest daughter, Chanyuak Rajkumari, is serving as the Assistant Director (Textiles and Handicrafts) in Tirap district.
At 01:30 AM, on August 19, 2020, Wangkap Lowang died at the age of 110 after a prolonged illness. He died at his Pansumthong residence.
As a mark of respect, Khonsa Bazaar Welfare Committee declared that all the shops of the said market area will remain closed on August 19.
On August 20, 2020, Chief Minister Pema Khandu conveyed a condolence message through his official Facebook handle:
"Deeply saddened by the sad demise of former Political Assistant and Chief of Panshumthong village, Late Wangkap Lowang, father of former Minister and Speaker, Shri T L Rajkumar.
In this moment of grief, I pray Almighty God to bestow his family and loved ones with strength to bear the irreparable loss. May the soul of one of the pioneers of Arunachal Pradesh forever rest in peace in heavenly abode."
1. Wangkap Lowang's interview by Gawang Sumpa on September 12, 2016.
2. Wangpha Lowang, Former Member of Parliament
3. Khenwang Lowang, Gaon Bura of Namsang
4. Nanne Lowang, Sr. Government Advocate, Guwahati High Court, Itanagar
5. Denhang Bosai, Deputy Director, IPR, Naharlagun
6. Chalat Rajkumari, grandaughter of Wangkap Lowang