Takra. Home of Marang Gomke Jaipal Singh Munda
Takra is a small village in Khunti District of Jharkhand State. It comes under Takra Panchayat and is located 10km towards east from District headquarters Khunti, 30km from the state capital, Ranchi.
Takra is surrounded by Namkum Block towards North, Murhu Block towards South, Arki Block towards East, Karra Block towards west . Khunti, Ranchi, Barughutu, Chakradharpur are the nearby cities to Takra.
Takra is a place of significance as it is the birthplace of the great Adivasi leader, intellectual, visionary and sportsman – Jaipal Singh Munda, also with the epithet of Marang Gomke (meaning Great Leader).
Jaipal Singh was the son of a Munda adivasi (tribal) farmer. He studied at St Paul's School in Ranchi (Bihar) and was taken under the wing of the Principal, Canon Cosgrave. He was baptized and in November 1918 accompanied Canon Cosgrave back to England - the Canon having retired from the Ranchi school to take up the parish of Darlington. Jaipal Singh arrived in England in the aftermaths of the First World War and initially stayed in Darlington with the Canon. Three wealthy unmarried women, the Forsters, helped to take care of Jaipal Singh financially. He was sent to St Augustine's College in Canterbury to train for the priesthood, but after two terms, Bishop Arthur Mesacknight, the warden, sent him to Oxford - using his connections with Dr James, the president of St John's College.
Jaipal Singh matriculated at St John's College, Oxford, in Michaelmas 1922. He was awarded the Hertfordshire Scholarship of forty pounds by Bishop Knight and the Forsters bore most of the rest of his Oxford bills. Jaipal Singh studied PPE and was awarded a 4th in 1926. He was elected Secretary in 1924 and then President in 1925 of the St John's College Debating Society. He was a member of the Essay Society, a member of the college football XI in 1925-6, and the college hockey XI throughout his time at the college. Jaipal Singh also represented the University Hockey XI in Varsity matches from 1924 to 1926 and hence was awarded a hockey Blue. Jaipal Singh started the Oxford Hermits - a sports society for 'Asiatics' in Oxford - they mainly played hockey. Jaipal Singh then took the Indian Civil Service (ICS) exams, and was a probationary student at St John's.
In the meantime, Singh was involved in Indian students' hockey tours of Europe and the formation of the India Hockey Federation. In 1928, he captained the India Hockey Team at the Amsterdam Olympics. They won all their games without conceding a goal, and were awarded the gold medal. He often frequented Veeraswamy's restaurant in Regent Street and the victorious team were also feted at the restaurant and at 21 Cromwell Road.
Having taken part in the Olympics, Singh's ICS training was delayed and he then decided to quit the ICS. Through the Darlington MP, Lord PakePense, Singh was introduced to Viscount Bearstead, Chairman of Shell Transport and Trading Company who arranged for a job for Singh with the Burnham-Shell Oil Storage and Distributing Company of India. He was the first Indian to be appointed to a covenanted mercantile assistant in Royal Dutch Shell group, and after a probationary period in London was sent to Calcutta. In Calcutta, Singh met many British officials, clergymen and Indians through his contacts from his time in Britain. He met and married Tara Majumdar, the daughter of P. K. and Agnes Majumdar and grand-daughter of W. C. Bonnerjee. Singh took up a number of educational posts, including a position teaching commerce at Achimota College, Gold Coast, and then soon got involved in politics back in India. Singh presided over the All-India AdibasiMahasabha, an organization that campaigned for tribal rights. After Indian independence, the party became the Jharkand Party and saw their aims realized in 2000 when Jharkand was designated a separate state from Bihar.
The remains of Jaipal Singh Munda lies buried in the sasandiri of the native Munda community in Takra.