An Endangered History: Indigeneity, Religion, and Politics on the Borders of India, Burma, and Bangladesh [1 ed.] 0199096910, 9780199096916

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An Endangered History: Indigeneity, Religion, and Politics on the Borders of India, Burma, and Bangladesh [1 ed.]
 0199096910, 9780199096916

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Title Pages

An Endangered History: Indigeneity, Religion, and Politics on the Borders of India, Burma, and Bangladesh Angma Dey Jhala

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780199493081 Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019 DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199493081.001.0001

Title Pages Angma Dey Jhala

(p.i) An Endangered History (p.ii) (p.iii) An Endangered History (p.iv) Copyright page

Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Oxford is a registered trademark of Oxford University Press in the UK and in certain other countries. Published in India by Oxford University Press

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Title Pages 2/11 Ground Floor, Ansari Road, Daryaganj, New Delhi 110 002, India © Oxford University Press 2019 The moral rights of the author have been asserted. First Edition published in 2019 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of Oxford University Press, or as expressly permitted by law, by licence, or under terms agreed with the appropriate reprographics rights organization. Enquiries concerning reproduction outside the scope of the above should be sent to the Rights Department, Oxford University Press, at the address above. You must not circulate this work in any other form and you must impose this same condition on any acquirer. ISBN-13 (print edition): 978-0-19-949308-1 ISBN-10 (print edition): 0-19-949308-1 ISBN-13 (eBook): 978-0-19-909691-6 ISBN-10 (eBook): 0-19-909691-0 Typeset in Bembo Std 10.5/13 by Tranistics Data Technologies, New Delhi 110 044 Printed in India by Nutech Print Services India

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Dedication

An Endangered History: Indigeneity, Religion, and Politics on the Borders of India, Burma, and Bangladesh Angma Dey Jhala

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780199493081 Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019 DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199493081.001.0001

(p.v) Dedication Angma Dey Jhala

For my mother, and her dreams of home (p.vi)

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Figures, Tables, and Maps

An Endangered History: Indigeneity, Religion, and Politics on the Borders of India, Burma, and Bangladesh Angma Dey Jhala

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780199493081 Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019 DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199493081.001.0001

(p.ix) Figures, Tables, and Maps Angma Dey Jhala

Figures 2.1 ‘My House on Sirthay Tlang above Demagree on the Kurnapoolee River, Chittagong Hill Tracts.’ 46 2.2 ‘My Bungalow on the Hill at Chandraguna, Chittagong Hill Tracts.’ 63 2.3 ‘T.H. Lewin with the Seven Lushai Chiefs Who Accompanied Him to Calcutta (1873).’ 84 4.1 ‘Rangamati Lake.’ 168 4.2 ‘Family Portrait (Bohmong’s Son and Wife).’ 183 4.3 ‘Three Women with a Child.’ 194 4.4 ‘Woman Pounding Rice.’ 195 4.5 ‘Portrait of a Man (A Boy, Basanta Pankhu Kuki).’ 195

Tables 3.1 ‘Return of Nationalities, Races, Tribes and Castes, in Each Division of the Chittagong Hill Tracts’ 126 3.2 Censuses in the CHT, 1872–1901 140

Maps I James Rennell, Map of Colonial Bengal and Arracan Border. II ‘The Chittagong Division Comprising the Districts of Noakhali and Chittagong with the Hill Tracts under the Jurisdiction of the Lieutenant Governor of Bengal.’ III Chittagong Hill Tracts, 1890. (p.x)

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Acknowledgements

An Endangered History: Indigeneity, Religion, and Politics on the Borders of India, Burma, and Bangladesh Angma Dey Jhala

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780199493081 Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019 DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199493081.001.0001

(p.xi) Acknowledgements Angma Dey Jhala

I first considered writing on the Chittagong Hill Tracts as a newly arrived doctoral student at Oxford in 2001. At the time, much of the scholarship (and news coverage) on the region focussed on insurgency movements and human rights violations, and less on the history, particularly the colonial history, of the east Bengal and Burma border. While intrigued, I would go on to focus on another research topic, which would preoccupy me fruitfully for the next 15 years, but I remained haunted by the untold story of the Hill Tracts. The intervening period has witnessed the opening up of archives on northeast India and east Bengal as well as the publication of dynamic new histories on the larger borderland region. This work contributes to this emerging discourse on an oft forgotten area and its peoples. Several people, institutions, and funding agencies have been invaluable in their support of the research that went into this book, as well as my earlier work. David Washbrook was a supportive and generous doctoral supervisor, and he remains a kind mentor until today. Shun-ling Chen, Ayesha Jalal, Norbert Peabody, Jayeeta Sharma, and Willem van Schendel have expressed interest in this project at different stages. I wrote this book as a faculty member in the History Department at Bentley University, and it is with deep gratitude that I thank my institution. Bridie Andrews and Marc Stern, my department chairs during this time, as well as my dean, Dan Everett, were encouraging, supportive, and thoughtful mentors throughout this endeavour. Conversations with my colleagues Chris Beneke, Sung Choi, Samir Dayal, Ranjoo Herr, Cliff Putney, Kristin Sorensen, Leonid Trofimov, (p.xii) and Cyrus Veeser have provided much insight and pleasure

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Acknowledgements over the years, and I thank them for creating a warmly collegial and engaging environment to teach and work. A number of institutions and funding agencies have generously assisted in the writing of this book. Faculty summer grants and a faculty affairs grant from Bentley enabled me to examine university and government archives and cover permission costs for my book. Student research assistants from Bentley’s Valente Center, Mihir Saxena, Rijul Hora, and Ei Shwe, in 2012 and 2014–15, were vital aids, transcribing and annotating often nearly incomprehensible hand written archival manuscripts, with sunny dispositions. In particular, a sabbatical in 2015–16 provided me the intellectual freedom and time to write a full draft of the book. Much of that year was spent as a visiting scholar at the Studies on Women, Gender, and Sexuality department at Harvard University, where I was kindly welcomed by Afsaneh Najmabadi. The resources at Harvard, particularly access to libraries, university archives, and the fellowship of likeminded scholars, aided enormously in the writing of this book. A book that dwells in the archives, as this does, is indebted to the painstaking work of librarians, who preserve repositories not only over decades but generations, despite the vicissitudes of time. I benefitted exponentially from the thoughtful help of archivists who assisted in copying and scanning delicate materials, answering bibliographic questions, tracking down ever-elusive documents, images, and maps, and giving permissions to reproduce images. I thank the Oriental and India Office Collections, British Library, London; the Senate House Library, London; the SOAS Archives and Special Collections, London; the Centre of South Asian Studies Library, Cambridge; the Pitt Rivers Museum Collection, Oxford; Harvard Map Collection, Cambridge, MA; Harvard Widener Library, Cambridge, MA; and Bentley Library, Waltham, MA. I especially thank Geraldine Hobson for graciously permitting me to reproduce images from the J.P. Mills Collection at the SOAS archives. This book also deeply benefitted from the writings and memoir of the late Chakma raja, Raja Tridiv Roy. While I was unable to seek his counsel on certain points, his written recollections on the Hill Tracts were invaluable and broad sweeping in nature. I also thank Rajkumari Moitri Roy Hume of the Chakma raj for sharing with me her vivid, (p.xiii) detailed memories of the Chittagong Hill Tracts during a dramatic era of transition. The arguments within this book were presented at conferences and symposia, and benefitted from the critique and encouragement of various audiences. I thank the audiences at the Historical Justice and Memory: Questions of Rights and Accountability in Contemporary Society Conference, hosted by the Alliance for Historical Dialogue and Accountability programme at Columbia Law School (December 2013); the New England Association for Asian Studies Conference,

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Acknowledgements hosted by Boston College (January 2017); and the Bentley History Department Seminar, Of Beheaded Statues and Other Colonial Legacies (October 2017). I also wish to acknowledge the editors at Oxford University Press, who expressed keen interest in this book at the earliest stage. I thank them and the several anonymous reviewers for championing this book. Many friends and family have cheered me on during the writing of this book, and I am grateful for their steadfast interest throughout this process. My dearest Mapu Chacha, while he did not have a chance to see this book, knew of its progress and sustained my heart and spirit throughout its writing. I miss him daily with a tender ache and always shall, and his love for beauty and search for sublimity in all forms remains a guide of how to live a life well. My esteemed and beloved Dadabava likewise did not have a chance to read this book, but our conversations on anthropology and ethnography, and more generally, ideas of knowledge in the past have influenced this book nonetheless. I hope he might have found this a useful attempt. Richard Cash and Maria Hibbs Brosio are always interested and kindly supportive of what I do, and over the years, I have regaled them with accounts of this book, as well as others, which they have listened to with indulgence. I thank them for their continued love over these many decades. My parents and Liluye have listened to many discussions about this book and witnessed its evolution from an idea to a final manuscript. My father patiently read through the complete draft of the book, giving suggestions for improvement. Liluye provided insight on various visual and technical issues. She, along with Mithun, Kesariya, Suryavir, (p.xiv) and Ayushi, has filled my days with drama, adventure, and joy, and in between writing spells, the delights of a boisterous family. In particular, it is to my niece Kesariya that I give special thanks. She was my constant companion during much of the writing of this book, composed as it was in the darkness of pre-dawn hours and late winter nights during my sabbatical. Between school drop off and pick up, she taught me how to write on schedule with still time for laughter, love, and the always unexpected. In some magical way, she showed me books can be birthed and children reared, happily side by side. I dedicate this book to my mother. Years ago, my mother taught me with painstaking patience how to read. Suffice it to say, I was a slow, plodding reader at first. For a book focussed on how we read and interpret knowledge, I would be much remiss to not acknowledge my first teacher. In teaching me to read, she brought the world into living, vibrant colour. Without her, I could not have

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Acknowledgements written this or indeed any earlier work, and I thank her for this gift that never ceases giving. And finally this book is for the people of the Chittagong Hill Tracts and all those interested in unearthing lost histories of indigenous peoples. Angma Dey Jhala February 2019 Bentley University, Waltham, USA

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Maps

An Endangered History: Indigeneity, Religion, and Politics on the Borders of India, Burma, and Bangladesh Angma Dey Jhala

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780199493081 Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019 DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199493081.001.0001

Maps Angma Dey Jhala

Map I James Rennell, Map of Colonial Bengal and Aracan Border. Source: Based on the map, ‘To the Honorable Warren Hastings, Esquire, Governor General of the British possessions in Asia this Map of Bengal and Bahar’, 1779. MAP-LC G7652.G3 Page 1 of 3

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Maps 1779. R4. Housed in the Map Collection, Pusey Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. Note: This map is not to scale and does not represent authentic international boundaries.

Map II ‘The Chittagong Division Comprising the Districts of Noakhali and Chittagong with the Hill Tracts under the Jurisdiction of the Lieutenant Governor of Bengal.’ Source: Based on the map published in W.W. Hunter, A Statistical Account of Bengal, Volume VI: Chittagong Hill Tracts, Chittagong, Noakhali, Tipperah, Hill Tipperah. London: Trübner & Co., 1876. © The British Library Board. IOR/ V/27/62/6. Official Publications, India Office Records, British Library, London, UK.

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Maps Note: This map is not to scale and does not represent authentic international boundaries.

Map III Chittagong Hill Tracts, 1890. Source: Based on the map © The British Library Board. Cartographic Items Maps I.S.70. Calcutta: Survey of India Offices, 1890. Reproduced by permission of the British Library, London, UK. Note: This map is not to scale and does not represent authentic international boundaries.

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Introduction

An Endangered History: Indigeneity, Religion, and Politics on the Borders of India, Burma, and Bangladesh Angma Dey Jhala

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780199493081 Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019 DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199493081.001.0001

(p.xv) Introduction Border Histories and Border Crossings in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bengal Angma Dey Jhala

In the winter of 1771, an English gentleman farmer, on a brief jaunt away from his family, found a bedraggled orphan boy on the streets of Liverpool and brought him home to the dark, howling moors of Yorkshire. The boy appeared to have no discernible race; he was described at various points as a gypsy, an Indian lascar, son of a Chinese emperor, an African slave, and an American/ Spanish castaway.1 It is possible that he was abandoned on the Liverpool docks, after arriving on an East Indiaman from India, China, Malaya, or Dutch Batavia, or a slave ship from Africa or the Americas, as the port city, along with London and Bristol, was part of the teeming British slave trade.2 In his adopted home, the boy found solace in the strange and ungovernable beauty of the moors, delighting in their open spaces, running wild and undisciplined under the wide skies. His close connection to the land, coupled with his indefinable race, ethnicity and ‘gibberish’ language, rendered him uncivilized, irrational, and inhuman to the English country folk he met. He was a ‘universal “other”’ of no known origin, dangerous and violent.3 Between liminal worlds—occident and orient, metropole and colony, white and black, civilized and savage—the young man represented the foreignness of groups on the margins of colonial society and the porous, liminal frontiers of the Empire. This young man was Heathcliff, the protagonist of Emily Bronte’s classic novel, Wuthering Heights. Wuthering Heights was published in 1847 to mixed reviews,4 but it would go on to become a significant work of nineteenth-century (p.xvi) British literature, and one that tellingly examined ideas of Victorian sexuality, identity, and class. But it is also a work that expressed British views not just of non-European others in general, but specifically those groups that could not easily be categorized Page 1 of 52

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Introduction through language, race, religion, or geography. Heathcliff falls between various regional/ethnic identities: Eastern European or Irish (gypsy), South Asian (India), East Asian (China), American (North or South), and African. Many of the adjectives used to describe the young Heathcliff were not just applied to nonEuropeans as a whole, but often specifically to indigenous groups on liminal border frontiers of the Empire—areas which could not be easily contained by territorial, geographic, or political boundaries, or, for that matter, by a narrow sets of physical characteristics, social customs, or religious practices. The descriptions of Heathcliff’s naive primitivity and childlike, unwavering devotion, his cunning and cruel harshness, and his love for the untamed heath were often used to describe autochthone groups—whether Native Americans, Australian aborigines, or South Asian hill tribes—in larger narratives of imperial encounter and (mis)adventure around the colonized world. An Endangered History is an account of one such liminal border area, the littlestudied region of the Chittagong Hill Tracts of British-governed Bengal, from the late eighteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries. The CHT lie on the crossroads of India, east Bengal (now Bangladesh), and Burma (contemporary Myanmar). It is in an area of lush rivers and fertile valleys, which has historically been celebrated for its haunting natural beauty and cultural heterodoxy—from the chronicles of Mughal governors to the ethnohistories of colonial British administrators. The region is composed of several indigenous or ‘tribal’ communities, including the Bawm, Sak (or Chak), Chakma, Khumi, Khyang, Marma, Mru (or Mro), Lushai, Uchay (also called Mrung, Brong, Hill Tripura), Pankho, Tanchangya, and Tripura (Tipra).5 They practise Buddhism, Hinduism, animism, and Christianity; are close in appearance to their Southeast Asian neighbours in Burma, Vietnam, and Cambodia; speak Tibeto-Burmese dialects intermixed with Persian and Sanskritic, Bengali idioms; and practise jhum or swidden—slash-and-burn agriculture.6 Their transcultural histories, like that of Bronte’s fictional hero, defied colonial, and later, postcolonial taxonomies of identity and difference. Indeed, both British (p.xvii) administrators and South Asian nationalists would misunderstand and falsely classify the region through the reifying language of religion, linguistics, race, and, most perniciously, nation in part due to its unique, and at times perilous, location on the invisible fault lines between South and Southeast Asia. This book aims to re-establish the vital place of this much marginalized (and oft maligned) border region within the larger study of colonial South Asia and Indian nationalism. In the process, I argue that the region is a fertile space to analyse transregional histories, which cross the boundaries, technologies, and teleologies of state formation, colonial or postcolonial. The peoples of the region have long been engaged in transcultural relationships with neighbouring states and communities throughout Southeast and South Asia, whether for the purposes of trade, pilgrimage, or marriage, in the process defying the bounded spaces of imperial–political geo-bodies, Mughal or British, as well as later postPage 2 of 52

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Introduction independent nation state boundaries. I suggest that studying this fluid border area reveals a number of important developments in how colonial states created and imagined porous frontier zones, and the consequences of such colonial policies on later nation state formation. In particular, I focus on how British administrators used European knowledge systems to define this region as distinctly different, from the moment of the English East India Company’s expansion into Bengal in the mid-eighteenth century to the partition of British India and Independence in 1947. Much of this colonial archive, based upon the writings of regional district administrators, applied European-derived intellectual paradigms, whether from botany, natural history, demography, geography, or ethnography, to construct the autochthone groups of the CHT and their landscapes. In the process, such readings of the culture, religion, languages, and geography of the indigenous ‘tribes’ reveal the problems of imperial knowledge production. While there are manifold accounts by colonial administrators, serving in both British India and the princely states,7 there are few histories of political agents that have focussed on the ‘political and personal dimensions’ of colonialism, particularly in frontier areas, such as the larger northeast India border,8 in which the CHT was situated. This is one of the major contributions of this book. These colonial interpretations were varied and diverse, far from uniform in nature, and rich with ambiguity and paradox, revealing (p.xviii) the lively debate among colonial administrators and policy makers on how best to govern and police tribal ‘others’. Complex and often puzzling, their works are filled with ambivalence, self-contradiction, and subversion—in several cases critiquing colonial rule while upholding it and praising and protecting indigenous custom while advocating Western ‘civilization’ and reform. As a result, I suggest these accounts are as much about European administrator-scholars as the groups they were trying to define in the CHT. For this reason, the colonial archive serves not only to exhume a long-forgotten regional past, but also to illuminate a dynamic interconnected global history. In the process of describing and defining unfamiliar autochthone groups, British administrators grafted European and colonial landscapes and cultures from around the world upon the CHT, including the Scottish highlands, English countryside, German riverine valleys, wooded American frontiers, island Jamaican plantations, upland Indonesia, and Ashanti villages, among others. Nearly every account I examine included a geographic or cultural comparison with other parts of the Empire as well as other parts of the Indian subcontinent. In response, tribal peoples from the CHT both resisted and adopted aspects of colonial culture and governance, and their chiefs increasingly saw themselves as global cosmopolitans by the early twentieth century, crossing both constructed geopolitical borders as well as imperial subjectivities in the way they constituted and reconstituted identity. Their life histories reveal that indigenous voices, long Page 3 of 52

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Introduction assumed to be marginal and peripheral to colonial power, were engaging or attempting to engage with power systems at the imperial centre. Such ideas of transregionalism, both within and outside the subcontinent, would become increasingly contentious in the twentieth century with the rise of the Indian nationalist movement. The politically charged language of nationalism left a troubling legacy on this multi-ethnic, multireligious, and multicultural border area. The indigenous peoples, who were primarily Buddhist (as well as Hindu and animist), were sidelined during the nationalist movement, which emphasized majority Hindu and Muslim constituencies. While the leaders of the CHT petitioned to join either India or Burma during the 1930s and 1940s—nations with whom they shared historic and contemporaneous cultural and religious ties —the region was placed in Muslim-majority (p.xix) East Pakistan in 1947 (subsequently Bangladesh after the Bengali war of liberation in 1971). In the following period, the indigenous peoples suffered widespread statemanufactured violence and human rights violations, including ethnocide, genocide, forced conversion to Islam, destruction of Buddhist and Hindu places of worship, inundation of thousands of miles of arable land with the building of dams, rape, massacre, and forced migration in the second half of the twentieth century, mostly because they were seen as non-native others—more Southeast Asian than Indian (or later Bengali)—in ancestry and culture. Examining the decades leading up to Partition is one way to re-remember these groups who have often been excluded and forgotten as ‘stateless’ silents9 in the violent tectonic shifts of Partition and nation state building. Largely overlooked in mainstream histories of Indian nationalism, I suggest that a study of the CHT would further broaden our understanding of Partition, particularly in Bengal. In addition, recovering its colonial past would shed light on the postcolonial history of a Buddhist minority in a contemporary Muslim-majority nation state, of which there are few similar studies.10 Before delving further, I will briefly address here the CHT’s transregional past.

Historical Overview Pre-colonial Border Crossings, Burmese, Mughal, European: Through Mountain Passes and across Ocean Routes

Originally a remote hinterland of the colonial province of Bengal, the CHT was a fertile meeting ground for Indo-Persian tradition, indigenous tribal cultures, and European influence, belonging to a larger geography that stretched across Assam, Tibet, Kashmir, Nepal, Burma, and western and southern China.11 For centuries, foreign merchants—whether Armenian, Afghan, Shan, or European— traded with Bengalis, Khasis, Cacharis, and Manipuris in this larger border region with Burma.12 Goods and people moved between hill and lowland societies throughout northeast India, as merchants, pilgrims, and migrants travelled between western Assam, northern Bengal, Bhutan, Tibet, Cooch Behar, Rangpur in Goalpara, and the foothills of the Himalayas in a porous and flexible environment of ever shifting political frontiers.13 During the colonial period, the Page 4 of 52

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Introduction overland trade route with China appealed to both private investors and corporations connecting, as it (p.xx) did, east Bengal to Yunnan province in China, Burma, Manipur, and Cachar.14 European merchants were eager to find markets for their own goods as well as gain gold, elephant tusks, pepper, lacquer, hardwoods, cotton, and highly prized wool shawls, which were valued at up to a thousand rupees in Mughal India, Tartary, Persia, and Arabia.15 This transcultural engagement reflected a dynamic intermingling of religious practices, including Hinduism, Sufi Islam, Buddhism, Christianity, and Judaism, from the early medieval era up through the twentieth century. Medieval accounts describe relationships between Afghan soldiers, Mughal-Rajput commanders, Tibetan-speaking Buddhist Tantric kings, and Portuguese sailors in the area as well as the role of northwestern Indian merchants and bankers in spreading Hindu and Buddhist doctrines and Ismaili forms of Islam. Records of the Surma-Barak river systems chronicle communities practising conjoined forms of Judaism, Zoroastrianism, and tantric Buddhism living peacefully side by side, while narratives of the religious and cultural traditions of the Chakmas from the CHT note the incorporation of Hindu worship and ritual into their Buddhist practices.16 The port city of Chittagong in many ways reflected this cosmopolitanism, connecting the region to Mughal India and the larger Indian Ocean economy. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, metropolitan Chittagong and its surroundings served as a ‘frontier’ between Mughal India and the monarchic state of Arakan in Burma.17 The port attracted foreign capital and empire builders, in addition to the Arakanese and Mughals, including the Portuguese, Afghans, Pathans, and eventually the British.18 Christian slaves and fugitives from Goa, Ceylon, Cochin, and Malacca settled in Chittagong and were gifted land grants by the king of Arakan. These Portuguese merchants engaged in piracy and plunder of coastal villages19 via river pathways into inland Bengal and Burma,20 undermining Mughal control in the process. Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Malay, Arab, Persian, and Dutch merchants also traded in its harbours and on its streets.21 Chittagong thus saw a rich intermingling of diverse cultures, reflected in the cosmopolitanism of medieval mainland Burma as well. The Arakan or Rakhine state, which controlled Chittagong, was, as Rishad Choudhury argues, ‘a paragon of the early modern cross-cultural polity’. Consolidated in 1430, it was nominally a Theravada Buddhist kingdom, and its capital, Mrauk-U (Myohaung), was located (p.xxi) on the eastern littoral of the Bay of Bengal. The Mrauk-U dynasty incorporated various aspects of the material culture and ceremonial of Indo-Islamic courts, including the patronage of a Persianate Bengali literature and adoption of Persian titles, alongside Buddhist practices and Burmese honorifics. Such rich cultural fusion was expressed in the works of the Bengali poet, Alaol (c. 1607–1680), who served at

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Introduction the Arakan court, and evocatively described the region’s multi-jati22 hybridity and its location in a diverse Burmese coastline.23 The Mughals themselves were unsure exactly where the city and its surroundings fell. They had trouble particularly in classifying the Arakan polity in religious terms, for the royal dynasty did not practise the familiar faiths of either Islam or Hinduism. Emperor Akbar’s court chronicler, Abu’l Faz’l, while noting that the city and region around it lay in Arakan, at the same time ambiguously situated it under Akbar’s revenue administration.24 Mughal Intrusions: Imperial Sovereignty and Local Autonomy

It was eventually the Mughal distaste for Arakanese slave raiding that instigated formal imperial conquest. After two failed invasions of Chittagong in 1617 and 1621, and various threats through the 1630s, when the Mughal governor of Bengal warned Arakan that the entire region of Chittagong and Rakhang would come under Mughal suzerainty,25 Chittagong fell in 1660. Shaista Khan annexed Chittagong that same year.26 It formally became part of provincial Bengal under Nawab Murshid Quli Khan (r. 1716–1727) in the early eighteenth century.27 This growing Mughal influence would not only affect coastal Chittagong but also the hill tribes further inland, although more indirectly. While the Mughals gained influence in Bengal from the sixteenth century onwards, with Akbar’s annexation of Bengal in 1574, Shah Jahan’s appointment of his son Shah Shuja as governor of Bengal in 1639, and the later 1660 annexation of Chittagong,28 most British colonial records noted that there was little direct intervention by the Mughal state in the CHT until the eighteenth century. Indeed, the powers and territories of the local tribal rajas or chiefs remained largely autonomous throughout Mughal rule and the hill tribes were mostly untouched. In part, this may have been due to the fact that the CHT had a small population who practised jhum agriculture, which had little (p.xxii) surplus, making it less attractive for imperial control by the Mughals or neighbouring Chittagong, Arakan, and Tripura.29 This period reflected not only the gradual spread of Mughal political and economic systems, but perhaps more importantly, the sustained role and salience of local dynastic power, manifest through significant alliances between regional states within the area. Local rajas, such as the rulers of Bijni, Cooch Behar, the Ahom court in contemporary Assam, Bhutan, and the Dalai Lama of Tibet,30 as well as the rulers of Tripura, Manipur and the CHT tribal chiefs,31 formed important interregional alliances with each other, as well as with the imperial centre. Such connections reflected the abiding importance of local ideas on territoriality and sovereignty. Furthermore, when the rajas of Bijni, Sidli, and Karaibari in northeast India, for instance, received the elevated rank of peshkari zamindars from their Mughal overlords, their titles not only symbolized their traditional status in the eyes of the emperor, but also their Page 6 of 52

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Introduction substantial military influence, regional autonomy, and judicial authority over their own peoples32—a policy of indirect rule which would continue under the English East India Company. A passage from the Tripura Rajmala, the genealogical poem of the royal Manikya dynasty of Tripura, recounts some of these ambiguities of sovereignty through one princely encounter. In this episode, the Mughal prince Shah Shuja took refuge at the court of a local tribal ruler, the Magh raja (possibly Raja Candasudhammaraja), at the same time that his neighbour, the Tripura king, Raja Govinda, was also visiting due to a dynastic conflict at home. Upon Shah Shuja’s arrival, Raja Govinda stood and invited the Mughal prince to take his kingly seat (siṃhāsan) (the Sanskrit word for seat serving as a metonym for royal throne). The Magh raja turned to his fellow ruler, questioning why they should renounce their royal seats (material and symbolic) to a Muslim foreigner (a mlechha). Raja Govinda retorted that the Mughal prince was a paramount lord among their fellowship of kings.33 The incident reveals the influence of Mughal power in the region, but also its contested nature. By no means did the Magh raja instantly recognize the Mughal prince as his liege lord; rather he saw him as a foreign interlocutor. Mughal administrative conventions, whether relating to voluntary trade or Indo-Persian ceremonial in such settings as Darbars, would be adopted in modified form by (p.xxiii) local rulers for strategic alliance making, but alongside the continued observance of tribal authority, and local forms of agricultural production, religious ritual, customary law, inheritance, and marriage conventions, as well as a host of other social practices.34 In certain cases, there was more overt resistance.35 Indeed, there was little Mughal intervention in the CHT until 1713, when Chakma Raja Zallal Khan petitioned the then Mughal Emperor Farruksiyar (1713–19) to allow open trade between the jhumiahs (the swidden agriculturalists who peopled the Hill Tracts) and the lowland beparees (traders) on payment of a cotton tribute.36 This hybrid regional history has also influenced ideas of tribal identity and origin. Colonial administrators, scholars, and indigenous genealogists have long been divided on the historical antecedents and migration patterns of the original autochthone peoples in this porous border area. In large part, due to the ‘absence of detailed authentic records’, particularly written chronicles, it has been difficult to verify the premodern history of the region. Most genesis stories are based on oral histories and the narratives of minstrel-bards, such as the genkhuli, who recited genealogical histories over generations.37 Some claim the peoples of the region originated in southern Tibet or southeastern China before migrating to their current location.38 Others argued that they were from Malacca, a place of Malay origin.39 Yet other hypotheses suggested they had moved from Arakan in Burma40 or were the descendants of medieval mixed Mughal–Arakan marriages.41 Such genesis narratives captured the imagination Page 7 of 52

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Introduction of later British colonial administrators who from the eighteenth century onwards attempted to use such mythologies to determine and define tribal identity and otherness.42 Members of the Chakma tribe, the largest group in the region, have several origin tales, and believe themselves descendants of both Hindu and Buddhist royal dynasties. They claim ancestry from the ancient Hindu Kshatriya kings of Champanagar in Magadha, in what is contemporary Bihar,43 as well as lineal descent from the Shakyas, the gotra or clan of Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism.44 Such varying accounts reflect the diverse interconnecting histories of the CHT peoples, which crossed boundaries of religious, cultural, and ethnic typology. As the tentacles of colonial military capitalism grew, particularly under the East India Company, such fluid histories became increasingly scrutinized and more rigidly bounded. (p.xxiv) Colonial Capital at the Borders of Empire: The East India Company and the Burmese State

By the early eighteenth century, the Mughal empire was splintering both at the centre and at the margins. Its wane saw the rise of European commercial interest. In the eighteenth century, the English, Dutch, Danish, Ostend, French, and Portuguese companies were all engaged players in the region.45 The English East India Company, which had been formed by royal charter under Queen Elizabeth I in 1600, gained rights to trade in Mughal India under Emperor Jahangir by 1619.46 It would broaden its reach in Mughal India throughout the seventeenth century, and by the eighteenth century, would adopt a militarily expansionist role in the subcontinent, in part due to the growing strength of its navies. With the decisive victory of the British commander, Robert Clive, against the nawab of Bengal, Siraj-ud-Daula, in the Battle of Plassey of 1757, the East India Company emerged as the dominant European force in Bengal. Seven years later, following the Battle of Buxar in 1764, it acquired the rights of diwani or revenue collection in Bengal from the much diminished Mughal emperor.47 In 1760, Nawab Mir Qasim Ali Khan, the Mughal governor of Bengal, ceded the province to the British. Chittagong soon became strategically significant to the Company for several reasons: it housed a bustling port, important for a naval imperial power; it was a significant commercial hub in the Indian Ocean economy; it served as a frontier district between Bengal and Arakan, which still controlled much of the nearby territory;48 and it was a shield against the increasingly muscular ambitions of Burma.49 Burmese ships were trading far and wide and Burma’s port cities, such as Pegu, were, like Chittagong, a mélange of Europeans, Persians, Armenians, South Asians, Mons, and Burmese, among others in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. By the early nineteenth century, there was a prosperous and vibrant commercial relationship between Burma and China. Burma exported cotton to China, while China sent raw silk for the Burmese weaving industry; gold and silver, which enriched the Burmese

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Introduction aristocratic class; as well as copper, sulphur, zinc, cast-iron pots and pans, paper, and various exotic goods.50 Thus, the East India Company saw the CHT and the neighbouring hill border as a strategic gateway to the riches of Burma and China, (p.xxv) and a buffer zone against both these expansionist, robust Asian states51 as well as the more recalcitrant and troublesome eastward-dwelling tribes, such as the oft-vilified Lushais/Kukis.52 In 1785, Burma invaded cosmopolitan Arakan,53 leading to the displacement of Arakanese refugees into the CHT,54 where they received support and sanctuary from local Buddhist communities. In response, the Burmese attempted to disrupt the East India Company’s local trade and revenue systems in northeast India. Burmese armies invaded Assam three times between 1817 and 1826, and after 1821, were forced to retreat during the Anglo-Burmese War of 1824–6.55 With their final victory in 1826, the British gained control over Arakan56 and became fully entrenched in the region.57 Under the Treaty of Yandabo, the court at Ava relinquished interference in the affairs of Jaintia, Cachar, and Assam, and ceded their territories of Manipur, Arakan, and the Tenasserim. It also agreed to pay an indemnity of one million pounds sterling (a vast sum for the era) and exchange diplomatic representatives between Amarapura and Calcutta.58 Company Administration: Revenue Collection and Plough Agriculture

From the start, the colonial government was concerned with extracting revenue collection from the CHT and transitioning the hill tribes from jhum cultivators to plough agriculturalists.59 These twin issues would remain primary administrative objectives throughout the colonial period, up until the twentieth century, but on both fronts the British faced strong indigenous opposition. Until 1772, the East India Company largely maintained pre-existing Mughal policies of regional non-interference, but in the period following, after Warren Hasting’s assumption of the office of governor of Fort William, the CHT increasingly came within the crosshairs of Company ambitions.60 Resisting the Company’s demand for revenue payments, the hill peoples rallied behind the leadership of the Chakma chief.61 In 1777, the British chief of Chittagong wrote to Warren Hastings that a deputy of the Chakma chief, one soldier-statesman, ‘Ramoo Cawn’, or Ramu Khan,62 had violently resisted Company landholders by recruiting and leading a fighting body of Kuki warriors.63 The Kukis, later termed the Lushais and after India’s independence, the Mizos,64 were perceived by (p.xxvi) the British as the most skilled and bloodthirsty headhunters and raiders among the hill tribes. In November 1777, the government requested British troops under the command of Captain Edward Ellesker to move against the Kuki forces.65 In the following year of 1778, the Chakma Chief Jan Baksh Khan, along with Ramu Khan and their warriors, captured Bengali talukdars, raiyats (reyotts), or cultivators, and requested the payment of nazirs (or tributes) following Mughal revenue patterns. They erected Page 9 of 52

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Introduction neeshans (flags of independence) and would not allow the raiyats to cultivate the land.66 A decades-long war broke out thereafter, with various skirmishes in 1784 and 1785, which the British failed to win. As Amena Mohsin argues, the Chakmas had constructed a formidable military structure and strategy, using guerilla tactics of hit and run to fight the East India Company army.67 In 1787, the British finally succeeded in squelching the resistance. Jan Baksh Khan surrendered to the Company after an enforced economic blockade on the hill people. He subsequently accepted British suzerainty and agreed to pay a cotton tribute in exchange for reinstated hill–plains trade. He also agreed to keep the peace in the neighbouring border regions.68 At first, the tribute was paid in cotton, but after 1789, it transitioned into cash. In exchange, the British protected the autonomy of the Hill Tracts and the sovereignty of its indigenous leadership, largely preventing Bengali migration to the hills until 1860.69 As the commissioner of Chittagong, Mr Halhed, admitted in 1829, the British had no real ‘authority in the hills’ and revenue amounts remained modest, ‘the payment of the tribute which is trivial in amount in each instance is guaranteed by a third party, resident in our own territory, and who is alone responsible.’70 Indeed, while the amounts may have been ‘trivial’, the Company’s system of revenue collection would nonetheless have reverberations, which would in time alter the Hill Tracts. As Halhed noted, most payments were made through intermediaries—Bengali commission agents, who collected tribute from the chiefs on behalf of the Company. Bengalis now began living and travelling in the Hill Tracts as government agents, traders, and fortune-seekers.71 By the midnineteenth through the early twentieth centuries, colonial administrators observed and bemoaned the extortionate rates of Bengali moneylenders, who swindled local tribal peoples, and (p.xxvii) recounted many such incidents in their administrative reports, surveys, and memoirs. The British often disparaged the Bengalis and worked assiduously to block further Bengali migration,72 which ironically they had themselves catalyzed a century earlier. In his 1909 gazetteer, R.H. Sneyd Hutchinson noted: The authorities do all in their power to protect the hillmen from the rapacity of the money-lenders, but it is a very difficult task to deal with these blood-suckers, and the general improvidence of the hillman renders him an easy prey to these astute rogues. A very wholesome regulation in the Hill Tracts is the one forbidding the appearance of a pleader or mukhtear (lawyer) in any court within the jurisdiction of the Chittagong Hill Tracts. This regulation has a very satisfactory deterrent effect on unnecessary litigation.73 The second major issue of contention was that of plough cultivation. From the first, the hill people resisted colonial proselytization of plough agriculture. They remained firmly rooted in jhum production, up through the mid-twentieth Page 10 of 52

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Introduction century. While Francis Buchanan (later Hamilton) noted that the soil quality was rich for plough cultivation as early as the late eighteenth century, the hill people were uninterested in colonial enticements to shift to plough farming. He even (grudgingly) acknowledged that while jhumming was ‘rude’ in nature, it had various advantages.74 Despite the British introducing a number of incentives, in 1868, merely six applications were made for plough cultivation, and by 1873, the number rose to a scant 78, which resulted in only 294 acres under investment. The deputy commissioner, in his Annual Report for 1874–5, noted numerous drawbacks, including the threat of wild animals, such as tigers, on cattle as well as other ‘wild beasts’ and birds on crops. Furthermore, the local leadership resisted such introductions as they would lose capitation tax for the hill people would thereafter pay allegiance to the deputy commissioner not the chief.75 This lack of interest persisted through the early twentieth century, when the majority of CHT residents continued to jhum as noted in the 1901 census.76 Despite such measures of control, the colonial period saw continued cultural hybridity within the region irrespective of the creation of more rigid territorial boundaries. The CHT was still governed by the chiefs, who ruled groups of people—several dozen to thousands of people in number.77 Many of these chiefs maintained connections (p.xxviii) with Southeast Asia, particularly Arakan and Burma, as they had for centuries.78 At the same time, they retained relations with neighbouring plains-dwelling Bengalis who practised various faiths such as Buddhism, Hinduism, and Islam. In the flat lands of their territories, Chakma rulers encouraged Bengalis to settle and cultivate arable land,79 in part because plough agriculture was a form of farming that the tribal peoples would not embrace, preferring a more ‘free and wandering’ life.80 In larger northeast India, colonial borders remained porous and there was a vibrant movement of goods and people, from traders, migrants, healers, and mendicants.81 Visitors to the region observed this rich cultural heterogeneity. When Francis Buchanan first travelled through the region in 1798, he was impressed by its rich religious and cultural hybridity, which had emerged out of its multi-ethnic, multireligious past. He noted that the tribal chief, the Bohmong raja, employed both Hindu and Muslim servants, consulted a Muslim minister of state, and housed debt slaves from the Marma tribe in his household. He also collected European commodities, outfitting his royal residence with chairs, carpets, beds, mats, and other western furniture.82 During this same trip, Buchanan noticed a Chakma Buddhist priest reading a Bengali text and observed that many Chakmas spoke Bengali. Local place names were often of Sanskritic-Hindu derivation, including that of the main river, the Karnaphuli, the Chakma city of Rangamati, and the sacred hill landscapes of Ram Pahar and Sita Pahar.83 Such heterogeneity was the product of centuries of cultural exchange in the area, and was particularly highlighted in colonial accounts as stunning evidence of unusual fusion. Buchanan, who was critical of the work of contemporary British administrators in Bengal that emphasized Brahmanical Hinduism such as that of Page 11 of 52

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Introduction the Sanskritist and founder of the Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal, William Jones, was particularly intrigued by the egalitarianism of Buddhism.84 He found such instances of religious and cultural cross-mixture both surprising and inscrutable. Indeed, as we shall see in Chapter 1, the hill people befuddled him, as their cultural practices questioned his perceived beliefs on the bounded nature of religion. Such observations reveal the importance of colonial accounts as records of cultural cosmopolitanism, and the ensuing problems of later colonial reification. (p.xxix) Post-Mutiny Reverberations: Overt Intervention under the British Raj

The nineteenth century saw more pronounced colonial intervention with the development of the British Raj. After the Mutiny or first war of Indian independence in 1857–8 and the subsequent transition from Company to Crown rule, the administration of the CHT began to change. In 1859, a raid occurred at the fort at Kaptai, and in 1860, Kukis raided and killed British settlers living in Tripura, which led to a force being sent to Barkal with the purpose of punishing the ‘offenders’.85 The region was subsequently annexed that year, formally separated from the Chittagong Administration, and thereafter declared an ‘Excluded Area’ with its own revenue and civil administration.86 There was a long prior history of raiding in the region, and the colonial government had already led a number of punitive campaigns against offending hill tribes, resulting in the direct colonial administration of the Khasi Hills District in 1833 and the Jaintia Hills District in 1835.87 Company administrators feared raiding for three primary reasons: its disruption of agricultural activities; prevention of further Company expansion; and limitations on efficient and enhanced revenue collection. The British perceived the frequency of such raids as forms of indiscipline, epitomizing ‘the “uncivil” nature of the tribes’ according to the Arakan commissioner. Colonial administrators in particular blamed the lack of unity among local elites as a key reason behind raiding, citing that raiders took advantage of internal familial disputes, for instance, those within the family of the Bohmong raja, to raid within the raja’s territory.88 To prevent raiding and to discipline the tribes, the colonial government implemented forms of indirect rule, which undermined the position of traditional leaders. Under Act XXII, the hills and forests to the east of Chittagong district were renamed the ‘Chittagong Hill Tracts’, divided into a new territory which constituted of 17,602 sq. km with a population of 63,054 and a population density of less than four persons per sq. km.89 The purpose of the 1860 annexation, according to the colonial government, was the protection of hill people from the oft-cited menace of Bengali middlemen, particularly the aforementioned attorneys and moneylenders; the preservation of indigenous ‘customs (p.xxx) and prejudices’ from foreign assimilation; and a greater

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Introduction emphasis on British courts intervening in rulings on judicial matters, particularly ‘heinous’ crimes.90 In the process, the British, while co-opting pre-existing systems of semiautonomous tribal governance, also created a bureaucracy that undermined the authority of the chiefs and was far more interventionist than in the first century of Company rule. The CHT came under the jurisdiction of a superintendent, whose headquarters were first established at Chandraghona, and later moved to the Chakma capital of Rangamati.91 In 1867, the British formally changed the official title from superintendent to deputy commissioner.92 The first superintendent of the Hill Tracts, considered an ‘eccentric’ man, was known locally as the ‘Pagla Sahib’, and was subsequently succeeded by Captain Graham and then Thomas H. Lewin, who later became the newly created deputy commissioner.93 ‘An unusual British official’,94 Lewin originally took up residence in Chandraghona, 18 miles up the Karnafuli river, on the border of Chittagong District.95 He would produce a voluminous written, visual, and photographic archive of the Hill Tracts. From the start of his administrative term, he aimed to curb the chiefs’ powers in military, political, and financial spheres. He and later colonial officials to follow would argue that the chiefs were unable to protect their own peoples from the raiding of eastward-dwelling tribes and that the indigenous hill men needed British courts to settle disputes rather than their chiefs’ rulings.96 To this end, Lewin would work to control the local chiefs or rajas. For instance, he would go on to replace the Bohmong chief, Kong Hla Nyo, with a more malleable cousin. However, he would find the Chakma chieftainess, the widowed Rani Kalindi, a much more formidable adversary.97 The rani resisted colonial intervention into local Chakma state administration, law, revenue collection, and territorial issues for years. As a way to curb the rani’s influence, Lewin elevated one of her village headmen (roaza) to the rank of chief and created the new state of the Mong raja from 653 square miles of existing Chakma raj territory.98 She fought continuously throughout this period for Lewin’s dismissal, raising a slew of charges related to mismanagement with his superiors in Calcutta, which would throw a subsequent pall over his career and lead Lewin to suggest, perhaps (p.xxxi) hyperbolically, that she was behind a botched assassination attempt on his life.99 In light of Lewin’s policies, the CHT was redrawn and subdivided into three chieftaincies in 1881: the Mong circle in the north under the newly crowned Mong raja at Manikchari; the diminished Chakma circle at the centre under the Chakma raja at Rangamati; and the Bohmong circle in the south under the third premier tribal ruler of the CHT, the Bohmong raja, at Banderban.100 In the process, the colonial government elevated these three primary or ‘circle’ chiefs, although there were several other tribal groups in the region with their own indigenous leaders. For security reasons, the district headquarters were moved Page 13 of 52

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Introduction from Chandraghona to Rangamati.101 The new district consisted of the three chiefs’ circles, initially a khas mahal or government estate, and government ‘reserved’ forests.102 Revenue collection was divided between the colonial government and the indigenous chiefs, with the British collecting rent from plough cultivators while the chiefs collected tax from jhum practitioners.103 One of Lewin’s primary administrative objectives, in addition to limiting the influence of the tribal chiefs, was dealing with the larger issue of raiding and bringing the more recalcitrant raiding tribes and headhunters to heel. Towards that purpose, he and successive colonial administrations worked to suppress the Kukis/Lushais. In 1871–2, he engaged in a successful campaign against the Lushais after an English tea plantation was raided, suffering one fatality and the abduction of several indigenous workers, including the young English girl Mary Winchester, daughter of the plantation manager.104 The raid and ensuing campaign received much publicity in the Anglo-Indian and British press of the day.105 In the period following, the colonial government created military camps to maintain ‘law and order’, and by the 1870s, there was one military policeman for every ninety-six inhabitants.106 Troops, particularly imported Gurkha forces from Nepal, Manipur, and Assam, were stationed throughout the district, their presence embodying the image of colonial discipline and dedication.107 In 1892, the Lushai Hills were annexed and the CHT became an independent subdivision of Chittagong, leading to the 1900 Regulation, at which point the Hill Tracts was reclassified as a separate district.108 (p.xxxii) Defining a Nation: Excluded Status, Local Sovereignty, and the Language of Indian Nationalism

The new district had a unique and rather tenuous position in colonial India. As Willem van Schendel notes, it became neither a princely state, as were several neighbouring semi-autonomous kingdoms with hereditary dynasties such as Tripura, nor was it a regular district under the direct control of the Government of Bengal, like that of bordering Chittagong district.109 Indeed, if this borderland had not come under colonial rule, it would have remained a ‘multi-polar-zone’ of monarchies and chieftaincies in constant competition with each other.110 Its unique status after 1900 reinforced localized traditional tax collection systems with the chiefs at the apex. Chiefs retained hereditary positions, with the ability to choose their successors, and the colonial state formally recognized the investiture of each chief up until 1947. Rajas and their village headmen received commissions on collected tax and, in return, additional land grants. Chiefs also retained jurisdiction, as they had done since Mughal times, over customary law and ‘minor legal matters’ in their circles, and chose their village headmen in the new administrative units of mauzas which the British had introduced.111 However, while the Regulation or Manual (1900), as it was called, appeared ‘favourable’ to the hill people on the surface, it eroded their sovereignty and further alienated them from the larger political environment in turn-of-thePage 14 of 52

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Introduction century Bengal and greater India. More power was invested in the deputy commissioner while chiefs were converted into local ‘tax collectors’.112 This redrawing of districts, annexation of lands, and subjugation of recalcitrant tribes was in large part driven by a colonial need to create firm borders and ideas of territoriality.113 An island people, the British brought a ‘seacoast view’ to frontier areas like the CHT, and felt the need for neat boundaries between different tribes and their territories. This need to create boundary lines was the impetus behind the creation of the chiefs’ circles and excluded or special status for tribal areas. However, in reality, these newly created borders were often more fluid than fixed.114 In 1920, an amendment declared the region a ‘Backward Tract’. Fifteen years later, the Government of India Act of 1935 designated the entire region a ‘Totally Excluded Area’, severing its ties with larger Bengal.115 Under (p.xxxiii) this Act, the tribal chiefs who had previously been charged with the administration of their circles now found themselves acting more as advisors to the colonial government than executive agents, with their powers acutely curtailed.116 In the process, the colonial state rigidified territorial boundaries and limited earlier, more fluid cultural exchanges through strict binaries of self vs. the other.117 Scholars such as Amena Mohsin argue that these colonial policies of territorial exclusion ultimately divorced frontier zones, like the CHT, from the developing Indian nationalist movement.118 While protected against the vicissitudes of lowland capitalists, such demarcations also created limited market and trade interactions for tribal entrepreneurs and weakened the flow of cultural and intellectual ideas from greater Bengal into the Hill Tracts, such as those of the Bengali renaissance. Earlier, there had been more movement between highlanders and lowlanders through an unrestricted hill–valley flow.119 Tribal groups now became voiceless minorities in the ensuing debate for political enfranchisement. It was these historical forces—pre-colonial cross-border movements and colonial attempts to control, survey, and ultimately territorialize the peoples of the region —that influenced the way the region was perceived in the imperial imagination. Colonial administrators, from East India Company botanists to early twentiethcentury pukka sahibs of the British Raj, not only patrolled and policed the region, but they also recorded and romanticized it. Their ensuing writings dissected and deciphered the Hill Tracts, as well as poeticized and memorialized its lands and people through multiple literary, visual, and photographic methods. This book attempts to gauge the writings of these administrators on the hill region. But who exactly were they? The Colonial Archive: Knowing and Classifying the Hills

British political administrators, including scientists, topographers, explorers, and ethnologists,120 took up posts in ‘frontier’ regions such as the CHT, and in the process became would-be ethnographers of the peoples they encountered. Page 15 of 52

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Introduction They often had sustained, if unequal, cross-cultural relationships with the indigenous subjects they came in contact with. A number of these amateur scholars were soldiers who experimented with new hobbies like rock collecting, botany, (p.xxxiv) recording philological and cultural histories, and writing accounts of military conquests in the lull periods between campaigns.121 In the first century of colonial rule, it was mainly such administrator scholars who created and shared colonial knowledge.122 Their monographs would later serve as guides for new European arrivals, whether soldiers or civil servants.123 In their desire to categorize and record the cultural rites and material phenomena of life in frontier zones, these colonial officials created new intellectual practices, literary genres, and disciplines. They were seminal in naming and taxonomizing indigenous systems of knowledge through what Bernard Cohn describes as a system of ‘investigative modalities’ using methods such as observation and travel narrative, survey, enumeration, and surveillance.124 In this way, interpretations of the Hill Tracts were formulated within the emerging European intellectual discourses of Linnaean botany,125 natural and environmental history,126 statistics,127 studies of gender, sexuality, and domesticity,128 enumeration in the census and survey,129 and personal observation and oral testimony formulated by ethnography and the later more formal discipline of anthropology.130 As Peter Pels observes, through these new epistemologies, people and their surroundings became ‘things’, measured and classified.131 In the process, colonial scholar-administrator utilized various literary genres and intellectual disciplines to record and share their findings, including travelogues, ethnographies, anthropological monographs, tour journals, diaries, memoirs, letters, poetry, short fiction, journalistic articles, surveys, censuses, and craniometry. I employ Cohn’s modalities broadly as a prism through which to examine colonial knowledge formation of the CHT and the way it defined and catalogued indigenous geographies, peoples, and customs. The work of such colonial officials on the northeast border is particularly important in revealing both the vulnerabilities and opportunities that colonial administrations faced in such buffer zones and how individual officials, agencies, and regulatory systems of the Empire forged the region. Their writings address a host of key questions, such as the construction of frontiers and the codification of boundaries, the nature of British imperial control as embodied in the survey, treaty or military force, the regulation of tribal political alliances, local, district economies, and the colonial state’s role in (p.xxxv) engineering intertribal conflict.132 Before going further, it is important to discuss these colonial knowledge systems as each chapter of this book is structured chronologically through the lens of a particular investigative modality.

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Introduction Botany and the Eighteenth-Century Natural History Travelogue

During the eighteenth century, the travelogue flourished as a genre and was used to describe peoples both familiar and unfamiliar to the Western observer. Popular audiences were especially hungry for narratives of exotic, distant locales and European encounters with the non-European other.133 After Swedish taxonomist Carl Linné’s (Linnaeus)’s Systema Naturae (The System of Nature) was published in 1735, eighteenth-century travel writing became inherently intertwined with studies of natural history. Young botanists were often first trained in the medical sciences before turning to careers in natural history. These Enlightenment men of science—dubbed as Linnaean ‘disciples’—gained employment on colonial trading vessels as ships’ surgeons, using such voyages as a way to see the world and discover and classify new species. In the process, they encountered new human societies, which they named just as they did plants, animals, and landscapes134 in a comparative method that was, at its heart, unequal. Linnaean botanists and natural historians invariably supported the abiding ‘myth of European superiority’.135 Francis Buchanan was one such man of science who applied a botanical lens to the Hill Tracts. As mentioned earlier, he was a Scottish ship’s surgeon who had earlier visited the West Indies before travelling through Burma and Bengal. He came to the CHT in 1798 after an earlier trip to Ava and Pegu in Burma in 1795. In his ensuing tour diary, he employed the language of natural history to describe not only the region’s unusual soil quality, topography, and local jhum production, but also the religious, cultural, and linguistic practices of the various hill tribes he encountered. In the process, he exposed the tumultuous history of this border region, which found itself at the crossroads of imperial ambition by both the East India Company and the kingdom of Burma.136 Throughout his diary, Buchanan interwove the language of planting, growing, fertilization, and crossbreeding to determine and (p.xxxvi) critique existing transregional, inter-religious, multi-linguistic, and interethnic practices. Buchanan was uncomfortable with the various hybrid cultural practices of the border tribes he encountered, whether it was religious rituals, which merged elements of Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and animism; languages and dialects that breached the boundaries of South Asian and Southeast Asian vernaculars such as the Bengali-inflected Tibeto-Burmese spoken in the region; or the crosspollination of Bengali, Burmese, Arakanese, and indigenous material culture in forms of dress, ornamentation, and architecture. Just as he searched for ideal soil conditions, high quality crops such as spices or rice, and pure-bred animals, Buchanan sought to find unadulterated human specimens, who were ‘essential’ representatives of their respective ‘tribes’ or religions.137 While ultimately a futile quest, Buchanan’s botanical records from his two-and-a-half month visit to the Hill Tracts nonetheless serve as a fascinating revelation on the

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Introduction historic cosmopolitanism of this border region, which questions the later reifying nationalistic depictions of ethnic identity. Gendered Histories: Nineteenth-Century Readings of Landscape, Tribe, and Indigenous Female Agency

Travellers like Buchanan, as a whole, represented a new generation of colonial knowledge-makers who had replaced the rapacious Company soldiers and merchants of the mid-eighteenth century with nineteenth-century gentlemanly scholar administrators: part scientists and part military men of fairness and intellectual questioning, epitomized by Enlightenment reason and the ‘civilizing mission’ of the colonial project.138 By the mid-nineteenth century, informal Indian ethnography was found in a plethora of colonial publications, including gazetteers, census reports, scholarly journals, and the writings of scholar administrators. Such material was used to define India’s races and contrast them with each other as well as with their British overlords.139 In creating categories of difference, Victorian administrators incorporated a wide range of intellectual methodologies, including the language of gender and sexuality. Thomas H. Lewin, who served as superintendent and then first deputy commissioner of the CHT during the 1860s and 1870s, wrote extensively on the CHT. His works addressed a range of (p.xxxvii) topics, from administration and jhum collection to religious rituals, linguistic histories, and cultural practices, which constituted an important compendium on the hill peoples and the gendered conceptions of ‘tribal’ difference. His writings are sprinkled with liberal references to family histories, both of the tribal subjects he encountered and of his own, and reveal the significant legacy of personal recollections, ‘intimate or private memories and public debates’ on colonial history and its interpretation.140 Lewin’s work is by no means dry or factual in nature, for he was very conscious that he was narrating an adventure tale. He portrayed the northeast border as a site of imperial imaginative longing through the careful and artful choice of specific literary symbols, tropes, and stylistic devices, often derived from images of the American frontier.141 In particular, it was his interest in women’s lives that is most revealing of how he perceived tribal culture and hill geography in the CHT. Many of his writings delved into issues relevant to women’s history, including the customs, rituals, and laws surrounding indigenous marriage, the position of local female rulers, female political agency and resistance to colonial and patriarchal hierarchies, and comparisons between tribal and Victorian domesticity and maternal authority. During his time in the CHT, Lewin was involved in a contentious tug-of-war struggle for power with the Chakma regent queen and step-grandmother of the minor chief, Rani Kalindi. Rani Kalindi consistently fought to have him removed from office by petitioning his superiors in Calcutta and employing a battery of Bengali lawyers and advisors. Despite practising partial purdah, Rani Kalindi Page 18 of 52

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Introduction was clearly a force from behind the veil, protecting her grandson’s interests, strengthening the influence of the Darbar or chief’s family over that of her aristocracy (dewans), and creating ties with greater Bengal, which would remain in place for many successive generations, up through her great–grandson Raja Bhuvan Mohan Roy’s reign in the 1920s.142 Lewin’s record of their fraught relationship is one of the most telling accounts of tribal resistance, particularly by a woman leader, during the colonial period. Over the same period, Lewin wrote long letters home to his mother, an educated and cultured Victorian lady of the English upper classes that formed a part of the larger London literary and intellectual set. She often advised him on the best strategies to advance (p.xxxviii) his career. Thus, Lewin’s record is a fascinating account of a colonial (male) administrator, who was strongly influenced and jostled by two maternal figures: one indigenous, and the other British. In the process, he made a number of illuminating contrasts between hill women, their Bengali (Hindu and Muslim) counterparts in the plains, and Victorian Englishwomen. In particular, he praised the greater social, physical, and sexual equality of indigenous hill women, which he believed reflected the best attributes of tribal culture and ones that should be emulated. Lewin also incorporated the language of sexuality in his portrayals of the region’s geography. Several of his narrative descriptions are laced with latent eroticism, emphasizing the fecundity of the landscape, from its flowing rivers and verdant mountain views to abundant, populous wildlife, in ways that romanticize the land, making it both vulnerable to the colonial gaze and capital, but simultaneously impenetrable and virginal. Throughout his work, he manipulated the language of gendered discourse in generating images of tribal ‘otherness’. Enumerative Taxonomies: Statistics and the New Science of the Late-NineteenthCentury Census and Survey

The era in which Lewin worked and wrote was further defined by the growing importance of numerical data and statistics, and his writings would be referenced in the first general survey of the CHT in the late nineteenth century. Following the Mutiny, the colonial government wished to ‘know’ India through enumerative systems, by collecting statistical information from censuses, surveys, and racial anthropology.143 The developing discipline of Victorian anthropology emphasized empirical reliability and veracity, which centred upon the historical origins and migration patterns of peoples144 rather than earlier subjective personal observations or narrative accounts. Colonial ethnographers used new ‘scientific’ evolutionary methods to theorize on racial ‘degeneration’145 by employing physiological metrics, which, in the late nineteenth century, supplanted earlier systems of botany and natural history such as the pseudo sciences of craniometry and anthropometry. These new methodologies not only measured physical differences between groups to Page 19 of 52

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Introduction categorize them along the lines of caste, tribe, and race, but also measured social differences in customs, psychological (p.xxxix) and moral attributes, and manners.146 ‘Living museums’, which showcased human societies and their material artefacts, were created as display spaces in a similar manner as exhibition halls for objects and machines from the Industrial Revolution such as the Great Exhibition of London in 1851.147 These developments reflected nineteenth-century emphases on quantifying and essentializing indigenous peoples and knowledge about them. Places, peoples, and landscapes were classified in a new enumerative modality. British administrators now saw India as ‘a vast collection of numbers’,148 reflecting a shift, as Nicholas Dirks argues, towards an ethnographic modality from an earlier historical mode.149 Enumerative devices such as the census were originally formulated to chart marginal groups in Europe: whether the lower classes, sexually divergent, mad, or criminal. In the uncharted lands of the Empire, it served to brand entire populations and nations as ‘different’150 and classified India as a whole as ‘deviant’,151 leading to the ranking of Indic groups on a descending scale of civilization and modernity. Tribes in frontier zones were particularly vulnerable as they were perceived as even more ‘other’ than their subcontinental neighbours. South Asian elites had long deemed indigenous peoples as communities living on the fringes of civilization during the pre-colonial period, and they now aided and abetted in the construction of these colonial taxonomies. Those who dwelled in forests or hills were often labelled jongoli (jungly) or ‘uncivilized, wild, uncouth’ by other communities.152 Thus, aboriginal peoples were seen as savage, primitive, and atavistic, governed by superstitious custom rather than rational logic. Their uncivilized status furthered perceptions of lawlessness and disorder153 and created false binaries of lowland/hill land, tribe vs. non-tribe, plough cultivator vs. jhum agriculturalist, written vs. oral cultures within South Asia.154 Such ‘protoethnographic’ encounters in frontier zones also further categorized individual tribes in a spectrum of more to less ‘civilized’.155 Two colonial surveys were published in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, which reflected this enumerative modality: W.W. Hunter’s Statistical Account of Bengal (1876) and R.H. Sneyd Hutchinson’s gazetteer on the Chittagong Hill Tracts (1909). In both, every element of the region’s productive life was counted. Imports and exports, law courts, revenue collection, mountains, rivers, trees, (p.xl) animals, insects, and humans were all counted and classified based on certain essentialist traits that were most important for colonial administrative needs—political and economic. Hunter’s survey, published only four years after the first India census in 1871–2, reflected the difficulties in defining peoples and places using numerical majorities. The census readings implicitly or overtly ignored hybrid histories of religious, linguistic, and ethnic identity in border tribal regions. Thus, Hunter’s account reflected the Page 20 of 52

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Introduction difficulties in using standardized and static labels to classify peoples and subpeoples whose cultures and customs blurred specific categories of religion, caste, and ethnicity, like Buchanan’s had a hundred years prior. The survey also reflected colonial administrators’ greater familiarity with Hindu and Muslim classifications over Buddhist ones, their ignorance of beliefs that fell outside the contours of recognized, ‘dominant’ religions such as animist, indigenous faiths, and their greater understanding of plains Bengal over the nuances of highland borders. Such realities reflect how troubling standardized methodologies, used in Indiawide surveys, were in charting regional variations. Hutchinson’s gazetteer, published some thirty years after Hunter’s, further employed quantitative measures to fomulate graduated hierarchies of the CHT tribes, where some tribes were defined as more or less industrious, violent, civilized, or familiarly human. He linked specific racial and physical traits to individual moral, intellectual, or emotional characteristics, and then superimposed them on entire communities and histories of economic and political development. Those groups with the most ‘deviant’ social customs were categorized as the most criminal, barbarous, and ‘animalistic’. However, his survey also vividly highlighted inherent paradoxes, ambiguities, and liminalities in colonial nomenclatures. In describing hill peoples as child-like, vicious, lazy, or godless, he also noted (often within the same passage) that they were intelligent, loyal, industrious, and godfearing. Hutchinson described Lushai/Kuki men, on the one hand, as violent headhunter warriors, and on the other, as indulgent and generous fathers.156 In the process, such classificatory surveys not only created essentialist definitions of tribes as criminal ‘others’, but also fostered grey spaces of contradiction and complexity in colonial surveys, often highlighting a common humanity over a foreign savagery. (p.xli) The Anthropological Administrator: Reinventing Tribal ‘Authenticity’ and Chieftainship in the Early Twentieth Century

By incorporating (such loosely) anthropological methods,157 the colonial state further justified its intervention in indigenous affairs by arguing that India as a whole was unfit for self-governance. It propounded that the subcontinent required the firm guiding hand of British governance and administration158 through the institutions of colonial commerce, law courts, mapmaking, and infrastructure. During the early twentieth century, there was a growing professionalization of anthropology with more interest in tribal cultures and fieldwork-based studies. British administrators were being trained, formally or informally, as anthropologists, and many embarked upon university careers after retirement from the colonial service. From 1900 until India’s independence in 1947, there was a steady growth in scholarly ethnography on India’s tribes, and several administrators made such studies into lifelong careers.159 Increasingly, colonial Page 21 of 52

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Introduction administrators charged with investigating trade routes with Burma or the suitability of new industries, such as tea cultivation, also saw themselves as protectors and preservers, for posterity’s sake, of the changing social practices of indigenous tribes in places such as contemporary Assam in the wake of colonialism and Christian proselytization.160 This new anthropological scholarship included the work of W.H.R. Rivers on the Todas in 1901–2, C.G. Seligman on the Veddas of Ceylon in 1907 and 1908, A.R. Radcliffe-Brown on the Andaman Islands from 1906 to 1908, compendia on castes and tribes by Ananthakrishna Iyer (1908), Thurston (1909), and Russell and Hiralal (1916),161 as well as works by T.C. Hodson (1911), J.H. Hutton (1921), J.P. Mills (1922, 1926, and 1937), and N.E. Parry (1932) on the Nagas and Lakhers.162 Edmund Leach, in particular, wrote a pioneering study on highland Burma during World War II, where he emphasized that boundaries were not rigid and applications of territorial sovereignty were difficult when applied to the tribal belts and ethnic groups that would have lasting influence on the study of anthropology.163 He famously argued for an ‘open-ended system’, where tribal, ethnic identities were not stuck in ‘timeless static’ anthropological ontologies.164 His classic Political Systems of Highland Burma (1954), which examined the hill and valley peoples of northeast Burma, the Kachin and Shan, was more theory (p.xlii) than ethnography (in part because he lost his original field notes as a consequence of enemy action while serving as a military officer in Burma during World War II)165 and incorporated a good deal of archival and historical sources.166 It argued for a broader understanding of a hill/valley symbiosis and questioned the creation of distinct categories of difference, whether ethnic, linguistic, cultural, or kinship-based, which found resonance with later anthropologists such as James Scott (The Art of Not Being Governed). He also suggested that social systems were inherently changeable and in a state of flux, rather than temporally static and fixed. This idea was reflected in the two primary political systems at play in northeast Burma: the gumlao, an anarchic and egalitarian ‘democracy’, and Shan feudal ‘autocracy’. Each community fell somewhere within the larger spectrum between the two systems: a process that he described as gumsa.167 Studies like Leech’s emphasized the evolution, origin, and spread of tribal societies.168 Anthropologically minded administrators thus influenced government policy, as did J.P. Mills in his recommendations for the CHT, and Christoph von Fürer-Haimendorf, who, after an administrative career in northeast India, served as the Nizam of Hyderabad’s advisor for tribes and backward classes, before entering academia. They also marked the scholarly development of the field. T.C. Hodson and J.H. Hutton became reader and professor of anthropology at the University of Cambridge, respectively.169 Edmund Leech, after serving with distinction in the Burma Army during World War II, returned to England and embarked upon a distinguished academic career, first at the London School of Economics, and later, at Cambridge, where Page 22 of 52

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Introduction he rose to the position of reader, eventually serving as president of the Royal Anthropological Institute (1971–5). He was knighted in 1975 and attained many other honours.170 Such examples reflect the deeply entwined relationship between the discipline of anthropology and administrative policy. Anthropologists influenced imperial governments in how to regulate tribes and tribal regions. In the process, colonial theories of policing, surveillance, law, and governmentality would inform the development of the academic field. J.P. Mills was perhaps the best known anthropologist-administrator stationed in the Hill Tracts in the early twentieth century. During a two-month tour in the winter of 1926–7, he observed and recorded (p.xliii) the governing patterns of the CHT chiefs. Already well known for his ethnographies on the Nagas, he would later direct the colonial Department of Historical and Antiquarian Studies171 and serve as advisor for the governor of tribal areas and states in 1943. After retiring from the colonial service, he emerged as an eminent anthropologist in the British academy, first appointed as a lecturer and, subsequently, a reader at SOAS in London, eventually acting as the president of the Royal Anthropological Institute in 1951–2.172 In 1926, he was asked by the colonial government to investigate alleged misdemeanors committed by the three circle chiefs, the Bohmong, Chakma, and Mong rajas. Mills would submit a series of reports and proposals, which recommended placing limitations on traditional sovereignty and inaugurating a new system of chiefs’ duties and privileges in the CHT, closely modelled on those used for Indian princes. In the process, he incorporated anthropological theory, particularly the classic (and often elusive) search for the cultural ‘authentic’, in his administrative recommendations. His suggestions targeted two central responsibilities of the chiefs: their rights to revenue tax (jhum) collection and jurisdiction over customary law courts. Mills argued that these were both later cultural practices introduced by external imperial powers, first Mughal and later British, and had no foundation in ‘original’ tribal tradition. He based his arguments on anthropological methods: a cross-cultural comparison between the chiefs of the Hill Tracts and their counterparts in upland Indonesia and Malinowskian concepts of chiefs’ reciprocity with their clansmen. He suggested that the chiefs renounce these so-called ‘foreign’ conventions and adopt new roles and duties, largely derived from existing colonial prescriptions for the Indian princes of their native states, like neighbouring Tripura. These duties were wide-ranging, including chiefs’ involvement with agricultural production, corporate licensing and excise taxes, the building of roads, bridges, and communication systems, control over population concentrations, the creation of game reserves and educational institutions, and even cattle Page 23 of 52

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Introduction crossbreeding, among others.173 In return, the chiefs would receive a set of privileges, including uniformed personal guards, public city monuments, coats of arms on state vehicles, and no need to renew firearm licenses.174 Ironically, in searching for the authentically indigenous, Mills argued for a blatant colonial reinvention of tradition.175 (p.xliv) Such ‘princely trappings’ were not altogether foreign to the CHT chiefs, like the Chakma raja, Bhuvan Mohan Roy, who already saw themselves as India-wide princes. As cosmopolitan colonial figures, they crossed various borders— geographical, psychological, and social—and perceived themselves within multiple worlds that stretched from their remote and removed tribal ‘circles’ or territories to the port city of Chittagong, the imperial capitals of British India, such as Calcutta and Delhi, the metropole itself in London, as well as the global empire. They held culturally cosmopolitan views on education, travel, dress, etiquette, and marriage choice; spoke many languages, Indic and western; incorporated Bengali, Burmese, and diverse ‘tribal’ cultural practices; patronized Buddhist, Hindu, and Muslim religious sites; and socialized with the Bengali (Hindu and Muslim) elite as well as Europeans in colonial cities, as did a number of Indian princes, aristocrats, and urban upper classes of the time. As Kyle Jackson has argued of colonial northeast India as a whole, the region saw a vibrant movement of peoples and goods, which linked it to disparate and sometimes distant locales, from Mandalay, Allahabad, Calcutta, Rangoon, Port Said, Nainital, the Straits Settlements and beyond in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.176 While Mills advocated that the chiefs adopt these new privileges and duties, he was simultaneously troubled by their cultural cosmopolitanism, which he believed alienated them from their own peoples and lands, so they could not govern effectively as ‘authentic’ leaders. Such views led him and other frontier administrators to argue for continued protected and special territories for tribes in border regions177 as a way to protect them from incoming plains dwellers. In the nineteenth century, the British had concluded that the government needed a separate policy for dealing with tribal ‘savages’,178 where they divided ‘tribals’ from ‘non-tribal’ groups and encouraged hill tribes to renounce shifting cultivation and adopt Christianity. More restrictive and violent means were also implemented to protect recalcitrant ‘tribals’ from themselves through colonial polices, such as the 1871 Criminal Tribes Act.179 Continuing such earlier colonial introductions, in 1935, the CHT, along with various other frontier districts in eastern India, became part of the ‘Totally Excluded Areas’, and a number of Mills’s suggestions from his 1927 Report appear to have been incorporated into the Act. In its aftermath, the chiefs’ powers were limited and their (p.xlv) roles redefined as advisors to the colonial state on policy decisions.180 From chiefs with executive authority, they were increasingly puppet princes of the colonial Raj.

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Introduction In an overenthusiastic search for authenticity, colonial anthropologist administrators like Mills failed to value the fluid nature of tradition. ‘Tribalness’ or ‘culture’ itself was never a rigid, atemporal preserve of ‘primitivity’ that did not adapt and incorporate new cultural innovations, both internal and external, to a given society over time. As Buchanan employed botanical language in the eighteenth century or Hunter incorporated enumerative labelling in the nineteenth century, similarly, Mills harnessed anthropological theory to question cross-cultural practices. In so doing, I argue that he curbed an important indigenous elite, who, in part, due to their very cultural hybridity, may have effectively served as the intermediaries between the colonial government and the emergent Indian nationalist leadership, as they could speak to both elites as well as their own people. If they had been given greater opportunity, the CHT chiefs may have effectively argued on behalf of the increasingly disenfranchised, voiceless tribal constituencies they represented in the clamouring, contentious debates between the Indian National Congress and the Muslim League. Indian nationalists saw the regulations for excluded areas and partially excluded areas in the Government of India Act of 1935 as a further method to ‘divide and rule through the institutionalization of two Indias—one composed of “castes” and the other composed of “tribes”’. Indian anthropologists also believed this policy would further accentuate differences between autochthonous and nonautochthonous societies and justify the continued need for British policing and administration in such areas.181 The work of anthropologically trained administrators would not only have an impact on colonial policy for frontier zones, but also the ensuing postcolonial development of the discipline and its close cousins of sociology, history, comparative religion, politics, and literature, among others, both for western and indigenous scholars.182 Indeed, postcolonial Indian anthropology on the northeast India border would largely be modelled upon early–twentieth century colonial anthropological monographs. South Asian ethnographers would inherit and employ the same methods that European scholars had earlier utilized to define indigenous groups as ‘primitive’ and ‘Other’ (p.xlvi) in contrast to dominant Hindu society, through deploying the language of Saidian Orientalism in perpetuating stereotypes of foreign otherness.183 ‘“Orientalist”-type constructions’ are still used today to classify marginal South Asian groups, including tribal minorities, in part due to this colonial intellectual legacy.184 At the same time, colonial authors were not monolithic or unchanging in their attitudes on the indigenous peoples they came in contact with, even expressing contrasting views within the same monograph or report.185 Colonial exploreradventurers such as Thomas H. Lewin wrote highly ‘contested and unstable’ narratives from an imperial imaginaire.186 A number promoted themselves as the friends and protectors of indigenous communities from external intervention (British and non-British), championing ‘tribal’ customary practices as superior in their simplicity to both Anglo-Saxon norms as well as those of neighbouring Page 25 of 52

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Introduction Muslim and Hindu Bengali communities. At the same time, they purported to be upholders of the benevolent and beneficent institutions of the Empire, particularly British colonial forms of law and governance.187 Many carefully recorded the ethnology and languages of the various regional tribes they met, seeing themselves as advocates of tribal tradition from acculturation by other encroaching groups, including Bengali lawyers, moneylenders, and landowners (mahajans and zamindars)188 as I have mentioned. Some described the tribal peoples in paternalistic and, at times, derogatory language, even while being charmed by them. In a number of cases, colonial authors became so enamoured by tribal culture that they went ‘native’ (dressing in local costumes, living in traditional dwellings, and advocating on behalf of tribal culture over colonial administrative and economic intervention), as did those who figure in this book. They reflect a larger historical trend of colonial officials who became enchanted with the East, even if, in the process, they exoticized and orientalized the lands they encountered.189 It would be too easy to simplify their voices or the intended purposes of their work. As a corpus, the writings of these colonial scholars provides a significant window into a broad era of imperial engagement and deals with several issues, including local environmental history, philology and linguistics, material culture (histories of architecture, dress, ornamentation, and cuisine), marital practices, religion and ritual, tribal law and governance, and cross-cultural fusions between the (p.xlvii) peoples of the CHT and other communities in Bengal, Burma, and Southeast Asia. Now let us place their work within the larger context of the current scholarship on the CHT. Framing the Debate: Borderland Studies and Northeast India

Most scholars of South and Southeast Asia have emphasized the trajectories of large nation states—India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Burma—instead of the cultural and political histories of border regions and their indigenous tribal populations, who are often seen as ‘stateless’. During the Cold War era, area studies originally developed along geopolitical lines in Euro-American universities and academic departments, creating inherently rigid, often artificial, regional categories,190 which overlooked peoples on the margins or peripheries.191 In the process, academia implicitly colluded with postcolonial nation state building in silencing the voices of indigenous peoples.192 Such ‘methodological nationalism’ by Asian historians of contemporary India, Burma, Bangladesh, and China has led to the forgetting of transregional and transnational histories,193 as national categories limit the geographic boundaries within which historians can work.194 Such ‘paternalistic and colonialist paradigms’ by South Asian nationalists has led to the exclusion of the CHT and its close neighbour, northeast India, from broader national histories. In one volume published by the Indian History Congress, northeast India was unambiguously classified as ‘non-Indian’,195 ‘banish[ing] the tribals from history’s pages’ in the process.196 Historic states that fall outside contemporary Page 26 of 52

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Introduction national borders, such as British Burma, are also largely excluded in scholarly or popular histories of South Asia.197 As Joy Pachuau and Willem van Schendel noted in a 2016 special issue on the history of northeast India, there is a ‘dismal’ lack of study on such porous border regions.198 Professional historians have largely neglected the study of the area for two primary reasons: first, the political division of land and territory in post-partition South Asia has made it difficult for scholars to collect data;199 and second, due to scholarly biases against an unconventional archive. From the 1970s to the 1990s, South Asian historians were unable to travel easily across this region to verify material artefacts (such as terracotta plaques, stone inscriptions, sculptures, and coins) or make (p.xlviii) comparative studies, linking the peoples of the CHT to Tibet, Kashmir, Nepal, Burma, western and southern China, and eastern India,200 for many of these areas are or were political hotspots and for that reason closed off to historians and ethnographers by national governments concerned with self-autonomy and insurgency movements.201 Special travel permits were often required for both foreign researchers and Indian citizens to enter and travel within these ‘sensitive border states’ and government restrictions deterred ethnographers from conducting fieldwork in the area.202 Thus, as national governments ‘waged war’ on their own indigenous peoples, views of ‘tribal’ backwardness merged with security policies to prohibit study on hill areas203 such as the CHT. Due to the difficulties in conducting research, historians increasingly became ‘hunter[s] of myths’ in their attempts to recover hidden or lost accounts of the India/Bangladesh/Burma border.204 In addition, much of the archive on this region was composed in ‘ambiguous’ hybrid languages of Buddhist–Hindu composition (such as a Sanskritized Tibetan-Bengali, for instance, used in the CHT) or was part of an oral, unwritten literary tradition, which has been undervalued by both colonial and postcolonial scholarship. In certain cases, the oral texts are no longer extant.205 Further, due to its oral nature, such historic evidence was often perceived as fragmented, contradictory, and unreliable in shedding light on pre-state periods (that is, before the late nineteenth century).206 One scholarly subfield that is blurring these constructed boundaries of nation and region is upland border studies, particularly the pioneering work of Willem van Schendel and James Scott, who have questioned this separation of South and Southeast Asia. van Schendel’s understanding of the historic connections between South, Southeast and East Asia led to his coining of the term ‘zomia’ to describe a geography that could not be simplistically bounded by a specific place or area.207 Based on various Tibeto-Burman languages spoken on the India– Bangladesh–Burma border,208 ‘zomia’ refers to the area encompassing Kashmir, Nepal, the central highlands of Vietnam, northeastern India, Southeast Asia, including Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Burma, and four provinces of China Page 27 of 52

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Introduction (Yunnan, Guizhou, Guangxi, and parts of Sichuan). In his controversial but seminal work, The Art of Not Being Governed (2009), James Scott argues that these hilly terrains created ‘shatter zones’ where their inhabitants formed ‘runaway, fugitive, (p.xlix) maroon communities, who have, over the course of two millennia, been fleeing the oppressions of the state-making projects in the valleys— slavery, conscription, taxes, corvée labour, epidemics, and warfare.’209 Due to their tenuous position on the peripheries, far from and often attempting to elude the centralized state, such borderland peoples formed complex ethnic and linguistic ‘mosaics’, which made them ‘bewildering’ studies for later ethnographers and historians, let alone political administrators.210 As David Gellner argues, the borders of this multiethnic region have long been constructed as either hard, in the modern period, or soft in the pre-modern era, and still remain ‘fuzzy and contested’ today.211 Northeast India and the CHT are particularly well placed as a vibrant borderland for zomia studies due to several reasons: first, together they served as part of the frontier between British India and Burmese and Chinese expansionism during the colonial period; second, they are situated as eastern peripheries in postcolonial South Asia; third, they form a liminal zone between ‘South Asia’ and ‘Southeast Asia’; and fourth, they are a ‘dynamic crossroads of geopolitical reconfiguration’, linking contemporary India, China, Myanmar/Burma, Bangladesh, Nepal, and India.212 As David Zou and M. Satish Kumar argue, the area has a unique regional personality of its own just like other border zones, such as the Yunnan border in southwest China, the Ganga–Yamuna doab in northern India, or the Deccan peninsula in the south.213 There is now a growing literature on colonial northeast India. In part, this is due to the opening up of the region since the mid-1990s with the ‘Look East’ policy of the Indian government, which lifted entry requirements for Assam, Meghalaya, and Tripura.214 In the past decade, there has been a plethora of new studies on northeast India as an imperial frontier zone,215 with an ‘unprecedented’ number of new monographs216 as well as special issues devoted to the topic in scholarly journals, including South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies in 2007,217 Asian Ethnicity in 2013,218 and Studies in History in 2016.219 Much of this work can be classified, as David Zou argues, within three rubrics: histories of materiality (climate); identity (community); and individuality (agency).220 Major recent representative monographs include those by Indrani Chatterjee, Gunnel Cederlof, and Sunil Amrith. In (p.l) Forgotten Friends: Monks, Marriages and Memories of Northeast India, Indrani Chatterjee examines this larger borderland region of what was earlier described in Buddhist cosmographical terms as ‘Jambudvipa’, that spanned northeast India, east Bengal, and western Burma. Investigating this region through monastic traditions which linked systems of religious patronage, marriage alliance, and Page 28 of 52

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Introduction labour productivity, Chatterjee provides a rich account of pre-colonial and colonial cultural hybridity between Hindu, Sufi, Buddhist, and Christian communities in an ambitious study that moves from the early medieval to the twentieth century.221 Gunnel Cederlof’s Founding an Empire on India’s NorthEastern Frontier, 1790–1840 likewise addresses the history of northeast Bengal, particularly the understudied areas of Cachar, Manipur, Tripura, and Jaintia, situating them within the larger canvas of subcontinental history. Focussing on the formative era of early East India Company rule, she examines the important nexus between legal and environmental studies, emphasizing the region’s strategic significance as both an entry point and buffer zone to Burma and China.222 Her study emphasizes how the northeast had fluid boundaries and significant cultural associations with surrounding regions during the early colonial period.223 Sunil Amrith’s Crossing the Bay of Bengal: The Furies of Nature and the Fortune of Migrants narrates the great cultural and religious heterogeneity in the larger Bay of Bengal and Indian Ocean area. He argues that regions such as Chittagong were connected to a global oceanic geography that stretched between China and India, the Middle East and Europe, spanning locations from Sri Lanka, Malaya, and Burma to Indonesia. As he suggests, such studies question the twentieth century conception of the division of nation states and national histories between South and Southeast Asia, as areas like the Bay of Bengal (or the CHT for that matter), historically pass right through such invisible political boundaries.224 There are also a number of works, which address more specific regional histories within the Northeast, while still connecting them with wider geographic and cultural spaces. With regard to Assam, Jayeeta Sharma’s Empire’s Garden: Assam and the Making of India addresses the racialization of indigenous, ‘aboriginal’ groups and migrants in the context of the tea industry in the colonial period,225 while Rajib Handique and Arupjyoti Saika have written on the colonial ecological (p.li) history of Assam’s forests.226 Sanghamitra Misra’s Becoming a Borderland focusses on Mughal and British colonial readings of Goalpara and its fluid boundaries and interconnected history with Cooch Behar, Bhutan, northeast Bengal, and Assam,227 resulting in a confrontation of indigenous and colonial readings of political territory.228 Similarly, there are a number of important recent works on the Mizo peoples. Joy Pachuau’s Being Mizo examines histories of identity and ethnicity among the Mizos of Northeast India through both colonial and postcolonial constructions in an ethno-historical study. She argues persuasively that colonial ethnography defined the hill tribes as ‘wild tribes’ and ‘savages’, placing them in a relative evolutionary schema, which have implications for the postcolonial, post-Independence era.229 She further collaborated with Willem van Schendel in their recent significant collection, The Camera as Witness, which is a visual history of the Mizo peoples. A never-before collected compendium of photographic works and histories on the Mizos, the study covers the colonial period, Indian nationalist movement, Page 29 of 52

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Introduction and the period following Independence with reproductions of several hundred images, which would be of particular interest to historians and visual anthropologists of the Northeast.230 As attested by these recent books, many of which were published only in the last few years, it is an important time to conduct research on this much-understudied region. Indeed, it is a vital area of future exploration for historians.231 Despite these exciting developments, there is far less work on the CHT and no similar breadth of scholarship on its colonial or pre-colonial history. Lalruatkima has published a stimulating and important article on Thomas H. Lewin’s writings232 and Tamina Choudhury has written on the larger colonial history and territorialization of the CHT, particularly in light of postcolonial realities.233 However, historical studies such as theirs are few and far between. Furthermore, as Lalruatkima perceptively argues, the CHT is additionally unique as compared to other parts of northeast India, such as neighbouring Assam, since it was not a part of the colonial white tea planter economy.234 In addition, it did not form a part of a princely state such as neighbouring Tripura.235 The majority of the current literature on the region is published by international agencies, such as Amnesty International and the United Nations, or members of indigenous people’s movements. These works (p.lii) have focussed on the post-1970s political situation, particularly significant human rights violations and economic underdevelopment.236 Academic studies by anthropologists, political scientists, and historians have similarly concentrated on the postcolonial period. These include the pioneering work of primarily German and French scholars from the 1950s through the early 1980s237 as well as more recent contributions. Amena Mohsin’s The Politics of Nationalism: The Case of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh charts the evolution of twentieth-century nationalism in the CHT. However, she provides only a very cursory analysis of the region’s earlier colonial history.238 Willem van Schendel’s The Bengal Borderland: Beyond State and Nation in South Asia is another well-researched postcolonial history, which focusses primarily on the Partition and post-Partition era.239 Willem van Schendel, Wolfgang Mey, and Aditya Kumar Dewan’s The Chittagong Hill Tracts: Living in a Borderland, while an important and expansive work, is largely a photographic history (by various indigenous and foreign authors), and is composed of ethnographic visual materials from the 1860s to 1970s.240 Philip Gain’s edited volume, The Chittagong Hill Tracts: Life and Nature at Risk, highlights the environmental, administrative, and cultural history of the region during the devastating changes of the twentieth century. It similarly relies heavily on photographic materials.241 While there are some significant scholarly annotated commentaries on colonial sources,242 there have been few works, which focus primarily on histories of the colonial era or examines in depth the archives of British administrators as does this book in framing them within the context of colonial systems of knowledge. In particular, the existing literature does not highlight the historic characters and Page 30 of 52

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Introduction personalities of the individuals involved as does this work, which is one of its main contributions.

Sources This book utilizes a wide range of source materials, including government records and colonial manuscripts, indigenous histories, and postcolonial ethnographies. In particular, it mines the colonial archive as much as it can, examining written, visual, material, and photographic archives of European administrators and visitors to the area, which have been largely understudied by historians. These include (p.liii) a host of published and unpublished materials such as tour journals and administrative reports, official government records, including regulations, geographic surveys, and gazetteers, as well as travelogues, ethnographies, anthropological monographs, memoirs, diaries, letters, short fiction, and poetry. These materials reveal a flood of information on diverse colonial perspectives and attitudes, reflecting widely varied views on the tribal peoples and the nature of colonial intervention in indigenous affairs. In this manner, government regulations and official correspondence, as Joy Pachuau argues, is helpful in establishing how the colonial state envisioned and understood the region and its inhabitants.243 Private letters, diaries, and memoirs, in particular, expose accounts of friendship and rivalry and both the heavy-handedness of colonial bureaucracy and its limitations. They also bring to life the hopes, dreams, motivations, longings, and trials of colonial administrators often far from home and the ways in which they wished to preserve their own memories for both personal reflection and remembrance and public consumption. In the process, they narrate contested encounters with indigenous subjects, other members of the colonial government and family members and friends back home in England. In addition, reading this archive against the grain and between the lines reveals various nebulous zones that are luminous with insight. In many instances, it is colonial censure that serves to reveal the region’s heterogeneity and a diverse history that the administration itself had difficulty classifying. Narratives of colonial denigration and disapprobation of the hill tribes and their customs thus expose the inherent interethnic, transregional hybridity of this border region. They also provide examples of colonial ambiguity in classificatory processes, illuminate records of imperial cosmopolitanism, and, most significantly, highlight vivid instances of indigenous resistance and agency. In contrast to perceptions that such colonial archives ‘consist only of British authored documents with heavy “colonial biases”’, as Gunnel Cederlof has argued, several of these documents are interwoven with vocal, native speech.244 These include petitions by tribal chiefs or rajas and village headmen questioning colonial policy on issues of territoriality, chiefs’ duties and privileges, and oral accounts of ‘tribal’ mythologies, clan genealogies, and histories of local customary practices, from marriage celebrations to death rites. (p.liv)

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Introduction Finally, these colonial accounts not only point out the remote ‘otherness’ of such tribal frontiers, but also their connectedness with a larger imperial geography and their centrality in a colonial imagination. As Andrew May has argued, the histories of colonial administrators expose local histories along with national and global ones and the deep connections between empire and metropole.245 The Hill Tracts figured into cross-regional comparisons not only with other parts of colonial South Asia but also with British and world geography. Colonial administrators would transpose the landscapes and peoples of the Scottish highlands, the West Indies, Indonesia, and Africa, among other locations, upon the CHT and its inhabitants. In the process, such colonial writings became as much about the British as they did about the tribal peoples they came in contact with, and many would use their knowledge of the hill peoples as a mirror to question their own society and the legitimacy of the colonial enterprise altogether. In the process of writing this book, I consulted various archives in the United Kingdom, including the Public and Judicial Department Records, Economic Department Records, and Official Publications at the India Office Records, and the European Manuscripts Collection, housed at the British Library, London. I also viewed manuscripts and images at the Senate House Library, University of London; the Archives of the SOAS, London; the Archives of the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford; and the Centre of South Asian Studies Film Archive, Cambridge University. Much work still needs to be done in finding and preserving sources in vernacular languages in the CHT as well as in northeast India. While some have been preserved in local government archives or in private collections, vernacular language, and oral materials must be collated and collected and the visual data of the indigenous peoples preserved.246 This book is only one attempt at referencing a fraction of the past record, and that limited to the colonial era.

Schemata of the Book I originally envisioned this book as an overview history of the CHT from early East India Company rule to the contemporary present. I planned that much of the second half would examine postcolonial topics, including the building of the Kaptai Dam in 1960, the Bangladesh (p.lv) war of liberation in 1971, the growing militarization of and violence within the region thereafter, the Peace Accords of 1997, and the political situation for the past few decades. However, once I began my research, I realized that such a project was too ambitious for a book of this kind and deserved two volumes of serious scrutiny, not one monograph. The colonial record itself, while sources are few, is nonetheless a deep well of information, which required careful and thorough exploration. In certain cases, British administrators left behind unwieldy written archives, as did T.H. Lewin, whose work could easily form the subject of an Page 32 of 52

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Introduction entire study.247 Others, while shorter in length, were rich with content that needed to be sifted through and carefully interpreted. I also soon discovered that there was far more written on the postcolonial period by indigenous peoples’ movements, human rights agencies, activists, and political and social scientists, while there was a dearth of scholarship on the colonial or pre-colonial periods, which would be invaluable in understanding the region’s contemporary place in the subcontinent and its longstanding transnational connections with India, Burma, and greater Southeast and East Asia. For that reason, I narrowed this study to the colonial era, ending with India’s independence in 1947, and focussed on particular colonial scholar administrators and their archives. Towards this end, I began with Company rule and late-eighteenth-century accounts. Chapter 1 examines the 1798 travelogue of Scottish doctor Francis Buchanan to the CHT. In many ways, Buchanan was well chosen for the journey and his tour diary is a seminal window into the environmental history of the region as well as the indigenous hybrid religious, cultural, and material practices of the local tribes. He is also an intriguing example of the Enlightenment era’s man of science and reason in the Hill Tracts as he utilizes the new colonial knowledge systems of botany and natural history to define the culture, language, and religion of the local peoples. Chapter 2 critiques the voluminous published and unpublished writings of Thomas H. Lewin, first British deputy commissioner and would-be ethnographer of the CHT during the 1860s and 1870s. He had complex, and at times quixotic, views on indigenous history and the limits and nature of colonial intervention. This chapter interprets Lewin’s writings through the lens of gender and sexuality, by analyzing his interactions with both indigenous hill and British women, (p.lvi) particularly his contentious relationship with the female Buddhist Chakma chieftainess, Rani Kalindi, as well as the way he frames the landscape itself in gendered language. Chapter 3 examines the role of enumerative, particularly statistical, data in defining identity and ethnicity during the late colonial period. Focussing on two surveys of the CHT from 1876 and 1909, it investigates how the census created standardized labels relating to religion, tribe, and caste, which often undermined the region’s porous border-crossing, interethnic and inter-religious history. It reveals the inherent contradictions, vagueness of definitions and at times gross inaccuracies within official bureaucratic documentation. Further, it notes how colonial demographic categories would influence later nationalist determinations of cultural and religious identity based on population numbers. Chapter 4 addresses the ways in which early-twentieth-century anthropological ideas were applied to administrative policy, particularly the traditional leadership of the three circle chiefs in the CHT. It interprets J.P. Mills’s 1926– 1927 Tour Diary, the first anthropologically oriented study of the CHT.248 Mills Page 33 of 52

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Introduction defined tribal ‘authenticity’ through peeling back later layers of cultural accretion. In the process, he reinvented aspects of tradition and ceremonial power. His proposals would influence the later 1935 Government of India Act, which further circumscribed the agency of the chiefs, and would have implications on their subsequent engagement within the Indian nationalist movement and the partition of east Bengal. In particular, his work reveals how CHT chiefs increasingly saw themselves as transregional and global cosmopolitans, linked to an India-wide and world map, that crossed narrow definitions of language, religion, education, travel, gender, social etiquette, and dress. The fifth and concluding chapter, the epilogue, examines the emergent Indian nationalist movement and debates by the colonial administration, the Indian National Congress, and the Muslim League on the future of the Hill Tracts. In particular, it charts the vulnerable position of the CHT in the decade leading up to Independence and Partition within the context of vying nationalisms and nation state making. At the time of partition in 1947, the peoples of the Hill Tracts voluntarily wished to join India through plebiscite. As the population was 97 per cent non-Muslim, its leaders opted for secular India or Buddhist majority Burma (p.lvii) rather than Pakistan. This conclusion focusses on two important letters written by the CHT leadership in 1945 regarding its future status. Studies such as this on the colonial history of the CHT are few and far between. My hope is that this work will bring out of the shadows of history an oftforgotten hauntingly beautiful borderland, which lies today on the fragile axes of shifting geographies and nations. In the past, it inhabited the space between empires, bound as much by mountains and rivers, as by vistas of the imagination.

Notes Notes:

(1.) Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights, ed. Hilda Marsden and Ian Jack (Oxford: Clarendon, 1976), pp. 6, 45, 48, 61, 62, 72. (2.) Maja-Lisa von Sneidern, ‘Wuthering Heights and the Liverpool Slave Trade’, English Literary History 62, No. 1 (Spring 1995): 171–96; Susan Meyer, Imperialism at Home: Race and Victorian Women’s Fiction (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1996), pp. 97–8; Emily Bronte, The Annotated Wuthering Heights, ed. Janet Gezari (Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2014), pp. 88–9; Radhika Mohanram, Imperial White: Race, Diaspora and the British Empire (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2007), p. 112. (3.) Neil Evans, ‘“A World Empire, Sea-Girt”: The British Empire, States, Nations, 1780–1914’, in Nationalizing Empires, ed. Stephen Berger and Alexei Miller (Budapest/New York: Central European University Press, 2015), p. 56. Page 34 of 52

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Introduction (4.) Refer to the following website which has excerpts from a number of contemporaneous reviews of the novel from 1847 to 1848: http:// www.wuthering-heights.co.uk/reviews.php; 12 January 2019. (5.) Rajkumari Chandra Kalindi Roy, Land Rights of the Indigenous Peoples of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh (Copenhagen: IWGIA Document No. 99, 2000), p. 13; Christian Erni, ed., The Concept of Indigenous Peoples in Asia: A Resource Book, IWGIA Document No. 123, Copenhagen/Chiang Mai, 2008, p. 337. (6.) Erik de Maaker and Vibha Joshi, ‘Introduction: The Northeast and Beyond— Region and Culture’, South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies 30, No. 3 (December 2007): 381–90, p. 382. (7.) For some classic accounts of the princely states, refer to the work of Conrad Corfield, Kenneth Fitze, and E.M. Forster. E.M. Forster, The Hill of Devi (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1953); Conrad Corfield, The Princely India I Knew: From Reading to Mountbatten (Madras: Indo-British Historical Society, 1975); Kenneth Fitze, Twilight of the Maharajas (London: John Murray, 1956). (p.lviii) (8.) Andrew J. May, ‘“To Lay Down the Frontier of an Empire”: Circumscribing Identity in Northeast India’, Studies in History 32, No. 1 (2016): 5–20, p. 11. (9.) Refer to Deepak K. Singh’s book, Stateless in South Asia: The Chakmas between Bangladesh and India (New Delhi: SAGE Publications, 2010). (10.) Much attention has been paid in the popular press to violence committed against Muslim minorities in Buddhist states, from Sri Lanka to Myanmar, particularly the Rohingya community, such as Melissa Crouch, ed., Islam and the State in Myanmar: Muslim-Buddhist Relations and the Politics of Belonging (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2016) and Azeem Ibrahim, The Rohingyas: Inside Myanmar’s Hidden Genocide (London: Hurst Publishers, 2016). Much less has been written on Buddhist minorities in Muslim states. (11.) Indrani Chatterjee, Forgotten Friends: Monks, Marriages and Memories of Northeast India (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2013), pp. 22–3. (12.) Gunnel Cederlof, Founding an Empire on India’s North-Eastern Frontiers, 1790–1840: Climate, Commerce, Polity (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2014), p. 2. (13.) Sanghamitra Misra, Becoming a Borderland: The Politics of Space and Identity in Colonial Northeastern India (London: Routledge, 2011), pp. 11–12. (14.) Cederlof, Founding an Empire, p. 2.

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Introduction (15.) Cederlof, Founding an Empire, p. 30. (16.) Chatterjee, Forgotten Friends, pp. 48–9, 341. (17.) Rishad Choudhury, ‘An Eventful Politics of Difference and Its Afterlife: Chittagong Frontier, Bengal, c. 1657–1757’, The Indian Economic and Social History Review 52, No. 3 (2015): 271–96, p. 272. (18.) However, it is important to note that foreign powers and merchants were less interested in the remote hill interior than in Chittagong and its immediate environs. In part, this was due to the region’s inaccessibility and economic unattractiveness (Amena Mohsin, The Politics of Nationalism: The Case of the Chittagong Hill Tracts [Dhaka: The University Press Limited, 1997], p. 26). (19.) T.H. Lewin, The Hill Tracts of Chittagong and the Dwellers Therein with Comparative Vocabularies of the Hill Dialects (Calcutta: Bengal Printing Company, Limited, 1869), pp. 17–18. (20.) Cederlof, Founding an Empire, p. 46. (21.) Choudhury, ‘An Eventful Politics of Difference and Its Afterlife’, p. 275, Sinnappah Arasaratnam, Maritime India in the Seventeenth Century (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1994), pp. 149–72; Sanjay Subrahmanyam, Improvising Empire: Portuguese Trade and Settlement in the Bay of Bengal, 1500–1700 (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1990). (p.lix) (22.) Jatis are subcastes within the larger varna or Hindu caste system, based on hereditary descent or duties. (23.) Choudhury, ‘An Eventful Politics of Difference and Its Afterlife’, pp. 275–82. (24.) Choudhury, ‘An Eventful Politics of Difference and Its Afterlife’, p. 276. Shaikh Abul Fazl ‘Allami, A’in-i Akbarī, Vol. 1, ed. H. Blochmann (Calcutta: 1872), pp. 388, 406. (25.) Choudhury, ‘An Eventful Politics of Difference and Its Afterlife’, p. 277. (26.) Tridiv Roy, The Departed Melody (Islamabad: PPA Publications, 2003), p. 28. Other sources put the date for the fall of Chittagong at 1665. (27.) Choudhury, ‘An Eventful Politics of Difference and Its Afterlife’, p. 287. (28.) Roy, Departed Melody, p. 28. (29.) Raja Devasish Roy, ‘Administration’, in Chittagong Hill Tracts: Life and Nature at Risk (Dhaka: Society for Environment and Human Development, 2000), p. 45; A.M. Serajuddin, ‘The Origins of the Rajas of the Chittagong Hill Tracts and their Relations with the Mughals and the East India Company in the Page 36 of 52

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Introduction Eighteenth Century’, Journal of the Pakistan Historical Society 19, No. 1 (January 1971): pp. 51–60, p. 55. (30.) Misra, Becoming a Borderland, p. 11. (31.) Francis Buchanan, ‘An Account of Journey Undertaken by Order of the Board of Trade through the Provinces of Chittagong and Tiperah, in Order to Look Out for the Places Most Proper for the Cultivation of Spices, by Francis Buchanan, MD’, Add MS 19286, 1798, Western Manuscripts Collection, British Library, London, UK. The travelogue was also transcribed and printed in Francis Buchanan in Southeast Bengal (1798): His Journey to Chittagong, the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Noakhali and Comilla, ed. Willem van Schendel (Dhaka: University Press Limited, 1992). (32.) Misra, Becoming a Borderland, p. 25. (33.) Choudhury, ‘An Eventful Politics of Difference and Its Afterlife’, pp. 289–90. (34.) However, Devasish Roy notes that Mughal influence in the CHT was largely limited and the Mughals had no direct control over the region. Raja Devasish Roy, ‘Administration,’ p. 45. (35.) During Jahangir’s reign in the seventeen century, the nearby kingdom of Cooch Behar (Koch Bihar) and Kamrup in northeast India were in open revolt during the Santan Sardar revolt (1614–15), which spread from contemporary Goalpara to Kamrup. David Vumlallian Zou and M. Satish Kumar, ‘Mapping a Colonial Borderland: Objectifying the Geo-Body of India’s Northeast’, The Journal of Asian Studies, 70, No. 1 (February 2011): 141–70, p. 146. (36.) Roy, Departed Melody, p. 29. (p.lx) (37.) Note for instance the origin story of Chakma Raja Bijoygiri as the son of the Hindu raja of Champanagar in Magadh (today contemporary Bihar) as recounted in Raja Tridiv Roy’s memoirs (Roy, Departed Melody, p. 28). (38.) John Whitehead, Thangliena: The Life of T.H. Lewin (Hong Kong: Paul Strachan for Kiscadale Publications, 1992), p. 127. (39.) T.H. Lewin, Wild Races of Southeastern India (London: W.H. Allen & Co., 1870), pp. 159–60. (40.) Francis Buchanan noted that the Chakmas ‘are the same with the Sak of Roang or Arakan: that originally they came from that country; and that on account of their having lost their native language, and not having properly acquired the Bengalese, they are commonly called in ridicule Doobadse . . . They call themselves Saksa, which word corrupted has, I suppose, given rise to their Bengalese name Sagma or Chakma. From the few words of their native Page 37 of 52

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Introduction language, which they retain, it is evidently a dialect of the Burma, nearly the same with that of Arakan.’ Buchanan, ‘An Account of Journey Undertaken’, 27 April, p. 114. (41.) Lewin, Hill Tracts of Chittagong and the Dwellers Therein, pp. 63–4; Choudhury, ‘An Eventful Politics of Difference and Its Afterlife’, p. 291. (42.) Lewin, Wild Races, p. 162; Lewin, Hill Tracts of Chittagong and the Dwellers Therein, pp. 62–3. (43.) Roy, Departed Melody, p. 28; Lewin, Wild Races, p. 160; Lewin, Hill Tracts of Chittagong and the Dwellers Therein, pp. 62–3. (44.) This history was mentioned in Chakma chief, Raja Bhuvan Roy’s History of the Chakma Raj Family (1919). In addition, the Chakma rulers were also referred to in the Tripura Rajmala, which is a genealogical chronicle of the royal Manikya dynasty of Tripura. Roy, Departed Melody, p. 28. (45.) Cederlof, Founding an Empire, p. 46. (46.) Vasudha Dalmia and Rashmi Sadana, eds, The Cambridge Companion to Modern Indian Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), p. xiii. (47.) Sugata Bose and Ayesha Jalal, Modern South Asia (London: Routledge, 1998), p. 51; C.A. Bayly, Indian Society and the Making of the British Empire (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), pp. 46–55. (48.) Mohsin, The Politics of Nationalism, p. 26. (49.) Cederlof, Founding an Empire, p. 3. (50.) Thant Myint-U, The Making of Modern Burma (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), pp. 46–7. (51.) Cederlof, Founding an Empire, p. 3. (52.) Mohsin, The Politics of Nationalism, p. 26; S. Mahmud Ali, The Fearful State: Power, People and Internal War in South Asia (London: Zed Books, 1993), p. 170. (53.) Myint-U, Making of Modern Burma, p. 14. (54.) Buchanan, ‘An Account of Journey Undertaken’, 27 March, p. 39. (p.lxi) (55.) Cederlof, Founding an Empire, p. 40. (56.) van Schendel, ed., ‘Introduction’, in Francis Buchanan in Southeast Bengal (1798), p. xvi.

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Introduction (57.) Cederlof, Founding an Empire, p. 40. (58.) Thant Myint-U, The River of Lost Footsteps: Histories of Burma (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006), p. 125. Within a few decades, by 1885, the British would gain Mandalay. (59.) Tamina M. Chowdhury, ‘Raids, Annexation and Plough: Transformation through Territorialisation in Nineteenth-Century Chittagong Hill Tracts’, The Indian Economic and Social History Review 53, No. 2 (2016): 183–224, pp. 183– 4. (60.) Suniti Bhushan Qanungo, Chakma Resistance to British Domination, 1772– 1798 (Chittagong: Shanti Press, 1998), p. 30. (61.) Mohsin, The Politics of Nationalism, p. 27. (62.) Note that the name ‘Khan’ was a Mughal title for a local ruler or chieftain, not an indication of conversion to Islam. (63.) Mohsin, The Politics of Nationalism, pp. 28, 142. (64.) Joy L.K. Pachuau, Being Mizo: Identity and Belonging in Northeast India (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2014), pp. 6–8. (65.) Lewin, Hill Tracts of Chittagong, p. 21; Mohsin, The Politics of Nationalism, pp. 28, 142–3. (66.) Mohsin, The Politics of Nationalism, pp. 27–8. (67.) Mohsin, The Politics of Nationalism, pp. 142–3. (68.) Mohsin, The Politics of Nationalism, pp. 28, 143; A.M. Serajuddin, ‘The Origins of the Rajas of the Chittagong Hill Tracts and their Relations with the Mughals and East India Company in the Eighteenth Century’, p. 56. (69.) Mohsin, The Politics of Nationalism, p. 28. (70.) Lewin, Hill Tracts of Chittagong and the Dwellers Therein, p. 22. (71.) Mohsin, The Politics of Nationalism, p. 27. (72.) Lewin, Hill Tracts of Chittagong and the Dwellers Therein, pp. 25–6; W.W. Hunter, A Statistical Account of Bengal, Vol. VI: Chittagong Hill Tracts, Chittagong, Noakhali, Tipperah, Hill Tipperah (London: Trübner & Co., 1876), p. 86; Chowdhury, ‘Raids, Annexation and Plough’, p. 206. (73.) R.H. Sneyd Hutchinson, Eastern Bengal and Assam District Gazetteers (Allahabad: Pioneer Press, 1909), p. 100.

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Introduction (74.) Buchanan, ‘An Account of Journey Undertaken’, 19 April, p. 103. (75.) Hunter, A Statistical Account of Bengal 1876, pp. 79–80. (76.) Hutchinson, Eastern Bengal and Assam District Gazetteer, p. 66. (77.) Willem van Schendel, Wolfgang Mey, and Aditya Kumar Dewan, eds, The Chittagong Hill Tracts: Living in a Borderland (Dhaka: University Press Limited, 2001), p. 23. (78.) Roy, Departed Melody, p. 28. (79.) Qanungo, Chakma Resistance to British Domination, p. 11. (p.lxii) (80.) Hunter, A Statistical Account of Bengal 1876, p. 78. (81.) Kyle Jackson, ‘Globalizing an Indian Borderland Environment: Aijal, Mizoram, 1890–1919’, Studies in History 32, No. 1 (2016): 39–71, p. 40. Refer also to David Hardiman, ‘Power in the Forest: The Dangs, 1820–1940’, in Subaltern Studies VIII, ed. David Arnold and David Hardiman (Delhi: Oxford University Press India, 1994), pp. 89–147; Ravi Ahuja, Pathways of Empire (Hyderabad: Orient BlackSwan, 2009); Joy L.K. Pachuau and Willem van Schendel, The Camera as Witness: A Social History of Mizoram (Delhi: Cambridge University Press, 2015); and Bin Yang, ‘Horses, Silver, and Cowries: Yunnan in Global Perspective’, Journal of World History 15, No. 3 (2004): 281– 322. (82.) Buchanan, ‘An Account of Journey Undertaken by Order of the Board of Trade through the Provinces of Chittagong and Tiperah’, in Francis Buchanan in Southeast Bengal (1798), 18 April, pp. 90–5; van Schendel, Mey, and Dewan, eds, The Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 23. (83.) Qanungo, Chakma Resistance to British Domination, p. 12; Buchanan, ‘An Account of Journey Undertaken’, 27 April, pp. 111–12. (84.) Marika Vicziany, ‘Imperialism, Botany and Statistics in Early NineteenthCentury India: The Surveys of Francis Buchanan (1762–1829)’, Modern Asian Studies 20, No. 4 (1986): 625–60, p. 632; Francis Buchanan, ‘On the Religion and Literature of the Burmas’, Asiatic Researches (London reprint, 1807), vol. 6, pp.163–308. (85.) Lewin, Hill Tracts of Chittagong and the Dwellers Therein, p. 23; Tamina M. Chowdhury, ‘Raids, Annexation and Plough’, p. 193. (86.) Lewin, Hill Tracts of Chittagong and the Dwellers Therein, p. 23; Roy, Departed Melody, p. 38.

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Introduction (87.) Lalruatkima, ‘Frontiers of Imagination: Reading over Thomas Lewin’s Shoulders’, Studies in History 32, No. 1 (February 2016): 21–38, p. 24. (88.) Chowdhury, ‘Raids, Annexation and Plough’, pp. 190–1. (89.) Mohsin, The Politics of Nationalism, pp. 28–9. (90.) Hutchinson, Eastern Bengal and Assam District Gazetteers 1909, p. 98. (91.) Mohsin, The Politics of Nationalism, p. 29. (92.) Mohsin, The Politics of Nationalism, p. 144; M. Ishaq, Bangladesh District Gazetteers: Chittagong Hill Tracts (Dacca: Ministry of Cabinet Affairs, Establishment Division, Government of Bangladesh, 1971), p. 29. (93.) Roy, Departed Melody, p. 40. (94.) Pachuau and van Schendel, Camera as Witness, p. 24. (95.) Roy, Departed Melody, p. 40. (96.) Hunter, Statistical Survey of Bengal, p. 94. (97.) van Schendel, Mey, and Dewan, eds, The Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 35. (98.) Roy, Departed Melody, p. 41. (99.) T.H. Lewin, A Fly on a Wheel or How I Helped to Govern India (originally published 1885, reprint 1912, further reprint on behalf of Tribal Research (p.lxiii) Institute, Government of Mizoram, Aizawl; New Delhi: Rakesh Press, 1977), pp. 216–20. (100.) Mohsin, The Politics of Nationalism, p. 144; van Schendel, Mey, and Dewan, eds, The Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 24. (101.) Mohsin, The Politics of Nationalism, p. 144. (102.) van Schendel, Mey, and Dewan, eds, The Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 24; Hunter, Statistical Survey of Bengal, p. 102. (103.) van Schendel, Mey, and Dewan, eds, The Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 59. (104.) Chatterjee, Forgotten Friends, p. 259. (105.) Lewin would write a detailed account of the Lushai campaign in his field notes. He kept cuttings describing the events of the campaign from the Indian Observer and The Times in his diary, parts of which were later published in Chapter 12 of his memoir, Fly on a Wheel (T.H. Lewin, Lushai Campaign Diary, Lewin Papers, MS 811/II/29, Senate House Library, London). His fellow Page 41 of 52

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Introduction participant, R.G. Woodthorpe would also publish an account with illustrations (R.G. Woodthorpe, The Lushai Expedition, 1871–1872 [London: Hurst and Blackett, 1873]). (106.) Mohsin, The Politics of Nationalism, p. 144; Wolfgang Mey, Genocide in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh, IWGIA Document No. 51 (Copenhagen: IWGIA, 1984), p. 20. (107.) van Schendel, Mey, and Dewan, eds, The Chittagong Hill Tracts, pp. 55–6. (108.) Hutchinson, Eastern Bengal and Assam District Gazetteers 1909, p. 98. (109.) van Schendel, Mey, and Dewan, eds, The Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 24. (110.) Joy L.K. Pachuau and Willem van Schendel, ‘Borderland Histories, Northeastern India: An Introduction’, guest ed. Joy L.K. Pachuau and Willem van Schendel, Studies in History 32, No. 1 (February 2016): 1–4, p. 1. (111.) van Schendel, Mey, and Dewan, eds, The Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 24. Mauza is a collection of villages grouped into a territorial unit for purposes of revenue collection. Each mauza has a headman/woman who collects revenue, maintains order, divides jhum lands, and adjudicates customary law (Roy, Land Rights of Indigenous Peoples, pp. 28–32). (112.) Mohsin, The Politics of Nationalism, pp. 33–4. (113.) Chowdhury, ‘Raids, Annexation and Plough,’ pp. 183–4. (114.) Zou and Kumar, ‘Mapping a Colonial Borderland’, p. 159. (115.) Mohsin, The Politics of Nationalism, p. 34. (116.) Roy, Land Rights of the Indigenous Peoples, p. 29; Wolfgang Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, 1926/27: Tour Diary, Reports, Photographs, annotated and commented edition 2009, p. 31. Accessible at http://crossasiarepository.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/548/1/ J.P._Mills_and_the_Chittagong_Hill_Tracts.pdf; 12 January 2019. (117.) Pachuau, Being Mizo, pp. 93–104. (118.) Mohsin, The Politics of Nationalism, pp. 34–5. (119.) Zou and Kumar, ‘Mapping a Colonial Borderland’, pp. 160–1. (p.lxiv) (120.) May, ‘“To Lay Down the Frontier of an Empire”’, p. 12. (121.) Poornima L. Paidipaty, ‘Tribal Nation: Politics and the Making of Anthropology in India, 1874–1967’, PhD dissertation, Columbia University, 2010, p. 35. Page 42 of 52

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Introduction (122.) Douglas Peers, ‘Colonial Knowledge and the Military in India, 1780–1860’, The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 33, No. 2 (2005): 157–80, p. 158. (123.) Paidipaty, ‘Tribal Nation’, p. 7. (124.) Bernard S. Cohn, Colonialism and Its Forms of Knowledge: The British in India (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996), pp. 5–11. (125.) Mary Louise Pratt, Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation (London: Routledge, 1992), Chapter 2. (126.) Refer to Richard H. Grove, Green Imperialism: Colonial Expansion, Tropical Island Edens and the Origins of Environmentalism, 1600–1800 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995); Richard H. Grove, Vinita Damodaran and Satpal Sangwan, eds, Nature & The Orient: The Environmental History of South and Southeast Asia (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1998); Vinita Damodaran, Anna Winterbottom, and Alan Lester, eds, The East India Company and the Natural World (Basingstoke, GB: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015). Also refer to Madhav Gadgil and Ramachandra Guha’s This Fissured Land: An Ecological History of India (Berkeley/Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1992), particularly their chapters on colonial Indian history, Chapters 4 and 5. (127.) Vicziany, ‘Imperialism, Botany and Statistics in Early Nineteenth-Century India’. The study of ecology in the northeast is an area, in particular, ripe for further exploration, as the fields of botany, geology, and geography were manipulated for political purposes in understanding the rubric of British imperialism in the region, fusing together science and strategy as Andrew May argues in ‘“To Lay Down the Frontier of an Empire”’, p. 12. (128.) E.M. Collingham, Imperial Bodies: The Physical Experience of the Raj, c. 1800–1947 (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2001); Durba Ghosh, Sex and the Family in Colonial India: The Making of Empire (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006); Angma Jhala, Courtly Indian Women in Late Imperial India (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2008); Anne McClintock, Imperial Leather: Race, Gender and Sexuality in the Colonial Contest (New York: Routledge, 1995); Ann Stoler, Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power: Race and the Intimate in Colonial Rule (Berkeley/Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2002). (129.) Arjun Appadurai, ‘Number in the Colonial Imagination’, in Orientalism and the Postcolonial Predicament, Perspectives on South Asia, ed. Carol A. Breckenridge and Peter van der Veer (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1993); Dipesh Chakrabarty, ‘Modernity and Ethnicity in India: A History for the Present’, Economic and Political Weekly, 30, No. 52 (30 December 1995): (p.lxv) 3373–80; Bernard S. Cohn, ‘The Census, Social Structure and Objectification in South Asia’, in An Anthropologist among the Historians and Page 43 of 52

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Introduction Other Essays (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1987); Nicholas Dirks, Castes of Mind: Colonialism and the Making of Modern India (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001); Norbert Peabody, ‘Cents, Sense, Census: Human Inventories in Late Precolonial and Early Colonial India’, Comparative Studies in Society and History, 43, No. 4 (October 2001): 819–50. (130.) Christopher Pinney, ‘Colonial Anthropology in the “Laboratory of Mankind”’, in The Raj: India and the British, 1600–1947, ed. C.A. Bayly (London: National Portrait Gallery Publications, 1990), pp. 252–63; Peter Berger and Frank Heidemann, eds, The Modern Anthropology of India: Ethnography, Themes and Theory (London: Routledge, 2013). (131.) Peter Pels, ‘The Anthropology of Colonialism: Culture, History, and the Emergence of Western Governmentality’, Annual Review of Anthropology No. 26 (1997): 163–83, p. 175. (132.) May, ‘“To Lay Down the Frontier of an Empire”’, pp. 11–2. (133.) Margaret Hunt, ‘Racism, Imperialism, and the Traveller’s Gaze in Eighteenth-Century England’, Journal of British Studies 32, No. 4 (October 1993): pp. 333–57. (134.) Pratt, Imperial Eyes, pp. 24–31. (135.) Pratt, Imperial Eyes, p. 32. (136.) Francis Buchanan, ‘An Account of Journey Undertaken’. (137.) Ronald Inden has written on the colonial need to create ‘essential’ traits and qualities in understanding their Indian subjects. Refer to Ronald Inden, Imagining India (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1990). (138.) Paidipaty, ‘Tribal Nation’, p. 31; Peers, ‘Colonial Knowledge and the Military in India’, pp. 157, 168. (139.) Susan Bayly, ‘Caste and “Race” in the Colonial Ethnography of India’, in The Concept of Race in South Asia, ed. Peter Robb (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1995), p. 168. (140.) May, ‘“To Lay Down the Frontier of an Empire”’, p. 17. (141.) Lalruatkima, ‘Frontiers of Imagination’, pp. 22–3. Lalruatkima’s article is a fascinating account of the influence of the American adventure narrative on Lewin’s fashioning of a colonial imaginaire of the CHT. In the process, his work not only influenced European imaginations of frontier spaces but also the construction of a collective tribal historical consciousness, particularly for the

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Introduction Lushai tribe (later Mizos). See Joy L.K. Pachuau and Willem van Schendel, ‘Borderland Histories, Northeastern India’, p. 3. (142.) When J.P. Mills toured the Hill Tracts in the winter of 1926–7, he would note this legacy on the reign of Raja Bhuvan Mohan Roy. Refer to J.P. Mills’s Tour Diary, IOR Neg 11712/2, India Office Library, British Library, (p.lxvi) London, UK. The diary would also be transcribed and digitally published as J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, 1926/27: Tour Diary, Reports, Photographs, annotated and commented edition by Wolfgang Mey (2009). Accessible at http:// crossasia-repository.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/548/1/ J.P._Mills_and_the_Chittagong_Hill_Tracts.pdf; 12 January 2019. (143.) Collingham, Imperial Bodies, p. 137. (144.) Pinney, ‘Colonial Anthropology in the “Laboratory of Mankind”’, p. 253. (145.) Bayly, ‘Caste and “Race” in the Colonial Ethnography of India’, p. 168. (146.) Collingham, Imperial Bodies, p. 121; Crispin Bates, ‘Race, Caste and Tribe in Central India: The Early Origins of Indian Anthropometry’, in The Concept of Race in South Asia, ed. Peter Robb (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1995), p. 239; Pinney ‘Colonial Anthropology’; Clare Anderson, Legible Bodies: Race, Criminality and Colonialism in South Asia (Oxford: Berg, 2004), p. 183. (147.) Bates, ‘Race, Caste and Tribe in Central India’, p. 238. (148.) Cohn, Colonialism and Its Forms of Knowledge, p. 8. (149.) Dirks, Castes of Mind, p. 43. (150.) Appadurai, ‘Number in the Colonial Imagination’, pp. 317–18. (151.) Peter Pels, ‘The Rise and Fall of the Indian Aborigines: Orientalism, Anglicism and the Emergence of an Ethnology of India, 1833–1869’, in Colonial Subjects: Essays on the Practical History of Anthropology, ed. Peter Pels and Oscar Salemink (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 1999), pp. 82–116, p. 90; Appadurai, ‘Number in the Colonial Imagination’, p. 318. (152.) Willem van Schendel, ‘The Dangers of Belonging’, in Politics of Belonging, ed. Daniel J. Rycroft and Sangeeta Dasgupta (London: Routledge, 2011), pp. 20– 1. (153.) Pinney, ‘Colonial Anthropology in the “Laboratory of Mankind”’, pp. 254– 5. (154.) van Schendel, ‘The Dangers of Belonging’, p. 22. (155.) Pachuau, Being Mizo, pp. 93–4. Page 45 of 52

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Introduction (156.) See Hutchinson, Eastern Bengal and Assam District Gazetteers 1909, p. 47. (157.) Dirks, Castes of Mind, p. 43. (158.) Cohn, Colonialism and Its Forms of Knowledge, p. 8. (159.) Pinney, ‘Colonial Anthropology in the “Laboratory of Mankind”’, p. 260. (160.) de Maaker and Joshi, ‘Introduction’, p. 383. (161.) Pinney, ‘Colonial Anthropology in the “Laboratory of Mankind”’, pp. 260– 1. (162.) T.C. Hodson, Naga Tribes of Manipur (London: Macmillan and Co. Limited, 1911); J.H. Hutton, The Angami Nagas with Some Notes on the Neighbouring Tribes (London: Macmillan and Co. Limited, 1921); J.H. Hutton, (p.lxvii) The Sema Nagas (London: Macmillan and Co. Limited, 1921); J.P. Mills, The Lhota Nagas (London: Macmillan and Co. Limited, 1922); J.P. Mills, The Ao Nagas (London: Macmillan and Co. Limited, 1926); J.P. Mills, The Rengma Nagas (London: Macmillan and Co. Limited, 1937); and N.E. Parry, The Lakhers (London: Macmillan and Co. Limited, 1932). (163.) Zou and Kumar, ‘Mapping a Colonial Borderland’, p. 144. (164.) Stanley J. Tambiah, ‘Edmund Ronald Leach, 1910–1989’, British Academy 97 (1998): pp. 293–344, p. 313. Accessible at http://www.britac.ac.uk/pubs/proc/ files/97p293.pdf; 22 January 2019. (165.) Sara Delamont, ‘Speaking Volumes: Edmund Leach’s Political Systems of Highland Burma’, Times Higher Education, 3 January 1997; Tambiah, ‘Edmund Ronald Leach’, p. 301. (166.) Tambiah, ‘Edmund Ronald Leach’, p. 303. (167.) Edmund Leach, Political Systems of Highland Burma (London: G. Bell & Sons, 1954), pp. 8–9. (168.) P.K Misra, ‘J.H. Hutton and the North East’, in The Anthropology of NorthEast India, ed. Tanka Bahadur Subba and G.C. Ghosh (Hyderabad: Orient Longman, 2003), pp. 33–56, pp. 48–9; Tanka B. Subba and Jelle J.P. Wouters, ‘North-East India: Ethnography and Politics of Identity’ in The Modern Anthropology of India: Ethnography, Themes and Theory, ed. Peter Berger and Frank Heidemann (London: Routledge, 2013), pp. 193–207, pp. 196–7. (169.) Pinney, ‘Colonial Anthropology in the “Laboratory of Mankind”’, pp. 260– 1.

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Introduction (170.) Stanley J. Tambiah, Edmund Leach: An Anthropological Life (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002), pp. 1–3. (171.) Chatterjee, Forgotten Friends, p. 347. (172.) Geraldine Hobson, ‘Foreword’, in J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, 1926/27, ed. Wolfgang Mey, pp. 7–11, p. 7. (173.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, pp. 112–21. (174.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, pp. 27–8. (175.) For broader arguments on ‘invented tradition’, refer to Eric Hobsbawm’s and Terence Ranger’s edited volume, The Invention of Tradition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983), particularly Bernard Cohn’s classic essay, ‘Representing Authority of Tradition in Victorian India’. (176.) Jackson, ‘Globalizing an Indian Borderland Environment’, p. 69. (177.) Paidipaty, ‘Tribal Nation’, p. 26. (178.) van Schendel, ‘The Dangers of Belonging’, p. 22. (179.) Simon A. Cole, Suspect Identities: A History of Fingerprinting and Criminal Identification (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001), p. 67. (180.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 31. (p.lxviii) (181.) Pinney, ‘Colonial Anthropology in the “Laboratory of Mankind”’, p. 261. (182.) South Asian ethnographers would play an important role in the development of South Asian anthropology, such as Sarat Chandra Roy, who founded the journal Man in India. Pinney, ‘Colonial Anthropology in the “Laboratory of Mankind”’, p. 261. (183.) Subba and Wouters, ‘North-East India’, p. 199. (184.) Pachuau, Being Mizo, p. 35. (185.) Vinita Damodaran, ‘Indigenous Agency: Customary Rights and Tribal Protections in Eastern India, 1830–1930’, History Workshop No. 26 (2013): 85– 110, p. 89; Subba and Wouters, ‘North-East India’, p. 197. (186.) Lalruatkima, ‘Frontiers of Imagination’, p. 28. (187.) One needs only think of James Achilles Kirkpatrick in eighteenth-century Hyderabad, James Tod in nineteenth-century Rajasthan, or, most famously, T.E.

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Introduction Lawrence during the First World War in Arabia, immortalized in David Lean’s eponymously named film, for similar such examples. (188.) Damodaran, ‘Indigenous Agency’, p. 90. (189.) Refer to Edward Said, Orientalism (New York: Vintage Books, 1978). (190.) Jonathan Saha, ‘Is It in India? Colonial Burma as a “Problem” in South Asian History’, South Asian History and Culture 7, No. 1 (January 2016): 23–9, p. 24. (191.) de Maaker and Joshi, ‘Introduction’, p. 382. (192.) Pachuau and van Schendel, Camera as Witness, p. 3. (193.) Pachuau and Schendel, ‘Borderland Histories, Northeastern India’, p. 1. (194.) Saha, ‘Is It in India?’, p. 25. (195.) May, ‘“To Lay Down the Frontier of an Empire”’, p. 8; B.B. Kumar, ‘North East India: Crisis of Perception & Credible Action’, Dialogue 1, No. 2 (1999), unpaginated; Zou and Kumar, ‘Mapping a Colonial Borderland’, p. 141; O.P. Kejariwal. ‘The Indian History Congress and Historical Research in Northeast India’, in Proceedings of the North-East History Association (Kohima: North-East India History Association, 1987), pp. 33–81. (196.) May, ‘“To Lay Down the Frontier of an Empire”’, p. 9. Also refer to J.H. Bentley, ed., The Oxford Handbook of World History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), Chapter 23. (197.) Saha, ‘Is It in India?’, p. 25. He notes that in Sugata Bose and Ayesha Jalal’s popular Modern South Asia, which is often used in undergraduate syllabi, or Sumit Sarkar’s earlier Modern India, there are few references to Burma. (198.) Pachuau and van Schendel, ‘Borderland Histories, Northeastern India’, p. 1. (199.) Willem van Schendel, ‘Afterword: Making the Most of “Sensitive” Borders’ in Borderland Lives in Northern South Asia, ed. David N. Gellner (Durham: Duke University Press, 2013), pp. 266–71, p. 267. (p.lxix) (200.) Chatterjee, Forgotten Friends, pp. 22–3, 354. (201.) Subba and Wouters, ‘North-East India,’ p. 201. (202.) de Maaker and Joshi, ‘Introduction’, p. 383.

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Introduction (203.) Pachuau and van Schendel, Camera as Witness, pp. 3–4. For more on the conflicts in northeast India, refer to: S. Baruah, Durable Disorder: Understanding the Politics of Northeast India (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2005); S. Hazarika, Strangers of the Mist: Tales of War and Peace from India’s Northeast (New Delhi: Penguin Books, 1994); K.P.S. Gill, ed., Terror and Containment: Perspectives on India’s Internal Security (New Delhi: Gyan Publishing House, 2001); and S.K. Das, ‘Ethnicity and the Rise of Religious Radicalism: The Security Scenario in Contemporary Northeastern India’, in Religious Radicalism and Security in South Asia, ed. S.P. Limaye, M. Malik, and R.G. Wirsing (Honolulu: Asia Pacific Centre for Security Studies, 2004), pp. 245– 71. (204.) Pachuau and Van Schendel, Camera as Witness, p. 3. (205.) Gunnel Cederlof notes similar difficulties in finding vernacular language sources for the Cachar, Jaintia, and Khasi hills and neighbouring minority communities in northeast India without the filter of dominant Assamese or Burmese voices. She emphasizes the need for scholars to discover, study, and preserve such archives, including oral materials. Cederlof, Founding an Empire, p. 8. (206.) Pachuau and van Schendel, Camera as Witness, p. 5. (207.) Willem van Schendel, ‘Geographies of Knowing, Geographies of Ignorance: Jumping Scale in Southeast Asia’, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 20 (2002): 647–68; Saha, ‘Is It in India?’, p. 25. (208.) James C. Scott, The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009), p. 14. (209.) Scott, The Art of Not Being Governed, p. ix. Some of Scott’s detractors have argued that his binary construction of the division between valleys and hills and state and non-state is not applicable to the post–World War II postcolonial environment, when the nation state became the primary form of sovereignty, which has since deleted ‘nonstate spaces from the political map’. Furthermore, Scott’s emphasis on the flight of plains peoples into the hills ignores the opposite flow of hill peoples into plains and valleys in the formation of valley kingdoms, such as Chutiya, Kachari, Dimasa, Jaintia, and Ahom, and his analysis stops short of the Indo-Myanmar border, which unintentionally furthers the academic divide between South and Southeast Asia, which zomia studies aims to undermine. Refer to Jelle J.P. Wouters, ‘Keeping the Hill Tribes at Bay: A Critique from India’s Northeast of James C. Scott’s Paradigm of State Evasion’, European Bulletin of Himalayan Research 39 (2012): 41–65, pp. 42–5. (210.) Scott, The Art of Not Being Governed, p. 16. (p.lxx)

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Introduction (211.) David N. Gellner, ‘Introduction’, Borderland Lives in Northern South Asia, ed. David N. Gellner (Durham: Duke University Press, 2013), pp. 5–7. (212.) Pachuau and van Schendel, ‘Borderland Histories, Northeastern India’, p. 1. (213.) Zou and Kumar, ‘Mapping a Colonial Borderland’, p. 142. (214.) de Maaker and Joshi, ‘Introduction’, p. 383. (215.) May, ‘“To Lay Down the Frontier of an Empire”’, p. 7. (216.) David Vumlallian Zou, ‘Environment, Social Identity and Individual Freedom in the Current Historiography of Northeast India,’ Studies in History 32 (February 2016): 117–29, p. 117. (217.) Erik de Maaker and Vibha Joshi, eds, ‘Special Issue: The Northeast and Beyond: Region and Culture’, South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies 30, No. 3 (2007). (218.) ‘Special Issue: Borderland Politics in Northern India’, in Asian Ethnicity 14, No. 3 (2013). This special issue was reprinted in Yu-Wen Chen and Chih-yu Shih, eds, Borderland Politics in Northern India (London: Routledge, 2015). (219.) Pachuau and Willem van Schendel, eds, ‘Special Issue: Borderland Histories, Northeastern India’, Studies in History 32, no. 1 (February 2016). (220.) Zou, ‘Environment, Social Identity and Individual Freedom’, p. 117. (221.) Chatterjee, Forgotten Friends. (222.) Cederlof, Founding an Empire. (223.) May, ‘“To Lay Down the Frontier of an Empire”’, p. 12. (224.) Sunil Amrith, Crossing the Bay of Bengal: The Furies of Nature and the Fortune of Migrants (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2013). (225.) Jayeeta Sharma, Empire’s Garden: Assam and the Making of India (Durham: Duke University Press, 2011). (226.) Rajib Handique, British Forest Policy in Assam (New Delhi: Concept Publishing Company, 2004); Arupjyoti Saikia, Forests and Ecological History of Assam, 1826–2000 (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2011). (227.) Misra, Becoming a Borderland. There are also several other histories on Assam, including Yasmin Saikia’s Fragmented Memories: Struggling to be TaiAhom in India (Durham: Duke University Press, 2004) on the Tai-Ahom indigenous peoples of Assam and Boddhisattva Kar’s ‘What Is in a Name? Page 50 of 52

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Introduction Politics of Spatial Imagination in Colonial Assam’, CENISEAS papers, Number 5, Centre for Northeast India, South and Southeast Asia Studies, Guwahati, Assam, 2004, on the historical process of naming Assam. (228.) Zou and Kumar, ‘Mapping a Colonial Borderland’, p. 144. (229.) Pachuau, Being Mizo. (230.) Pachuau and van Schendel, Camera as Witness. (231.) Pachuau and van Schendel, ‘Borderland Histories, Northeastern India’, p. 1. (p.lxxi) (232.) Lalruatkima, ‘Frontiers of Imagination’. See also his larger PhD dissertation project: ‘“Wild Races”: Scripts and Textures of Imperial Imagination’, (Claremont, CA: Claremont Graduate University, 2014). (233.) Chowdhury, ‘Raids, Annexation and Plough’, pp. 183–224. Also refer to her book, Indigenous Identity in South Asia: Making Claims in the Colonial Chittagong Hill Tracts (London: Routledge, 2016). (234.) Lalruatkima, ‘Frontiers of Imagination’, pp. 23–4. (235.) van Schendel, Mey, and Dewan, eds, The Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 19. (236.) Harikishore Chakma, Tapas Chakma, Preyasi Dewan, and Mafuz Ullah, Bara Parang: The Tale of Developmental Refugees of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (Dhaka: Centre for Sustainable Development, 1995); Mangal Kumar Chakma, The Status of Adivasi Hill Women in Light of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Accord (Dhaka: Bangladesh Nari Progati Sangha, 2010); Saradindu Shekhar Chakma, Ethnic Cleansing in Chittagong Hill Tracts (Dhaka: Ankur Prakashani, 2006); Kashinathn Jena and Bindu Ranjan Chakma, Ethnic Unrests and India’s Security Concerns (Delhi: Abhijeet Publications, 2008); Roy, Land Rights of the Indigenous Peoples. (237.) Denise Bernot and Lucien Bernot, ‘Chittagong Hill Tribes’, in Pakistan Society and Culture, ed. S. Maron (New Haven: Human Relations Area Files, 1957); ‘Les Khyang des collines de Chittagong (Pakistan oriental): Matériaux pour l’étude linguistique des Chin’, Homme, Nour. Ser. 3 (Paris: Plon, 1958); Lucien Bernot, Les Paysans Arakanais du Pakistan Oriental, L’histoire, le monde végétal et l’organisation sociale des réfugiés Marma (Mog), (Paris, La Haye, Mouton & Co., 1967); P. Bessaignet, ‘Tribesmen of the Chittagong Hill Tracts’, Publication No. 1, Asiatic Society of Pakistan (Dacca, 1958); Lorenz G. Löffler, ‘Khami/Khumi Vokabulare. Vorstudie zu einer sprachwissenschaftlichen Untersuchung’ in Anthropos 55 (Fribourg, 1960); ‘Patrilateral Lineation in Transition: The Kinship System of the Lakher (Mara), Arakan’ in Ethnos 26 (Stockholm, 1960); ‘Chakma und Sak. Ethnolinguistische Beiträge zur Page 51 of 52

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Introduction Geschichte eines Kulturvolkes’, Internationales Archiv für Ethnographie 50 (Leiden, 1964); ‘L’alliance asymétrique chez les Mru’, L’Homme 6 (Paris, 1966); ‘A Note on the History of the Marma Chiefs of Bandarban’, Journal of the Asiatic Society of Pakistan III, No. 2 (Dacca, 1968); ‘Basic Democracies in den Chittagong Hill Tracts, Ostpakistan’, Sociologus 18, No. 2 (Berlin, 1968), NF; Lorenz G. Löffler and S.L. Pardo, ‘Shifting Cultivation in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, East Pakistan’, in Jahrbuch des Südasien-instituts der Universität Heidelberg (Wiesbaden, 1969); H.J. Spielmann, Die Bawm-Zo: Eine Chin-Gruppe in den Chittagong Hill Tracts (Ostpakistan) (Heidelberg, 1968); Wolfgang Mey, Politische Systeme in den Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh (Bremen, 1980). (238.) Mohsin, The Politics of Nationalism. (239.) Willem van Schendel, The Bengal Borderland: Beyond State and Nation in South Asia (London: Anthem Books, 2005). (p.lxxii) (240.) van Schendel, Mey, and Dewan, eds, The Chittagong Hill Tracts. (241.) Philip Gain, ed., The Chittagong Hill Tracts: Life and Nature at Risk (Dhaka: Society for Environment and Human Development, 2000). (242.) van Schendel, ed., Francis Buchanan in Southeast Bengal (1798) and the digitally published J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, 1926/27. (243.) Pachuau, Being Mizo, p. 30. (244.) Cederlof, Founding an Empire, pp. 7–8. (245.) May, ‘“To Lay Down the Frontier of an Empire”’, pp. 10–1. For more such histories, refer to, as May notes, Linda Colley, ‘Wide-Angled’, London Review of Books (26 September 2013), pp. 18–9; F. Cooper and A.L. Stoler, eds, Tensions of Empire (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997), pp. 1–56; C. Hall, Civilising Subjects: Metropole and Colony in the English Imagination, 1830–1867 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002); A. Lester, ‘Imperial Circuits and Networks: Geographies of the British Empire’, History Compass 4, No. 1 (2006): 124–41; T. Ballantyne, Webs of Empire: Locating New Zealand’s Colonial Past (Wellington: Bridget Williams Books, 2012). (246.) Cederlof, Forging a Region, p. 8. For photographic and visual materials, refer to Pachuau and van Schendel, ‘Introduction’, in Camera as Witness. (247.) Such as Lalruatkima’s work on T.H. Lewin. (248.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts.

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‘Promiscuous’ Planting

An Endangered History: Indigeneity, Religion, and Politics on the Borders of India, Burma, and Bangladesh Angma Dey Jhala

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780199493081 Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019 DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199493081.001.0001

‘Promiscuous’ Planting Francis Buchanan’s Botanical Explorations of 1798 Angma Dey Jhala

DOI:10.1093/oso/9780199493081.003.0001

Abstract and Keywords During the eighteenth century, the travelogue flourished as a genre and was used to describe peoples both familiar and unfamiliar to the western observer. Chapter 1 examines one such account, the 1798 travelogue of the Scottish doctor Francis Buchanan in the CHT. In his tour diary, he deployed the language of natural history to describe not only the region’s unusual soil quality, topography, and local jhum or swidden agriculture, but also the religious, cultural, and linguistic practices of the various hill tribes he encountered. In the process, he exposed the tumultuous history of this border region, which found itself at the crossroads of imperial ambition by both the East India Company and the kingdom of Burma. He is also an intriguing example of an Enlightenment era man of science and reason in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Keywords:   Botany, natural history, Francis Buchanan Hamilton, eighteenth century Enlightenment science, religion, language, culture, East India Company, kingdom of Burma

In March 1798, the Scottish surgeon Francis Buchanan (later Hamilton) embarked upon a two-and-a-half month long journey in the CHT, covering east Bengal, Arakan, Tripura, Cachar, Manipur, Mizoram, and Burma. His ensuing record of the trip would be the first carefully written travel account by a visitor to the region.1 While Buchanan was ostensibly employed by the English East India Company to survey the region’s soil for potential spice cultivation, his diary entries also reference broader British strategic concerns of the time. As the area formed part of the northeastern frontier, east of Sylhet and south of the Page 1 of 40

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‘Promiscuous’ Planting Brahmaputra River, it served both as an expansion zone for the Company, to gain access to and capture foreign markets and revenue sources in Burma and China, and as a buffer against potential aggression from these two growing Asian powers.2 However, Buchanan’s interests were far broader in nature than that of a mere merchant or military strategist. ‘Ideally suited for the mission’, he brought a longstanding ‘enthusiasm for botany, geology, and geography’ to his travels in Bengal. He had already written a detailed journal of an earlier trip made through Rangoon, Pegu, and Ava in 1795, and it was this prior experience that recommended him for the tour through the CHT.3 A product of the Scottish Enlightenment, he was a man of science and rational inquiry, applying a keeneyed curiosity to the environmental conditions of the region in ways reflective of the eighteenth century’s emergent emphasis on natural history and (p.2) ethnography in travel writing. His taxonomizing mind was not limited only to recording and categorizing local flora and fauna, but also the peoples of the area. He provided one of the most illuminating accounts of the indigenous customs, religions, languages, and marriage practices of the communities in this border area, addressing both transregional conflict and cosmopolitan intercultural, and often inter-religious, fusion. As Willem van Schendel argues, Buchanan’s ‘information is simply invaluable for the reconstruction of the history of this area.’4 The CHT first came under British control in 1760 with the wane of Mughal power. After 1761, Chittagong, along with Burdwan and Midnapur, formed part of the Company’s three territories that served as the ‘bridgehead’ of Bengal, making the area a ‘political, natural and cultural’ frontier in eastern India. This border area was ‘the site at which the agrarian cultures of Bengal began to cede ground to the “tribal” societies of the Reangs, Chakmas, and Kukis.’ Along with the Lushai Hills, the CHT was separated from Burma by the Naf estuary, and it was here that ‘the Company’s military command, revenue collection regime, and ability to acquire state intelligence reached their collective limits.’5 The region was classified as a frontier district, in large part due to Arakanese claims, as well as histories of raiding by eastward dwelling hill tribes on plains inhabitants outside British control.6 After the Burmese conquest of Arakan in 1785, Arakanese refugees began to settle in the area, in locations such as Chittagong, Kumilla, and Noakhali, where resistance to Burmese occupation was centred, and where local Buddhist communities provided sanctuary and support. In response, the Burmese disrupted the trade and revenue systems of the East India Company stationed in the region, which led the Company to send Captain Michael Symes in 1795 to broker a truce. He brought Francis Buchanan with him on that trip.7 These late eighteenth-century skirmishes would eventually lead to a major military conflict

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‘Promiscuous’ Planting between these two empires in the first Anglo-Burmese war of 1826, when Arakan would be ceded to British control.8 As part of British military policy, the Company believed that firming up this border area would effectively curb Burmese expansionism and produce cash crops.9 It also hoped that border areas, such as Manipur and Cachar, would eventually ease the way to open trade routes to Burma and China.10 As historians of borderlands have observed with regard to imperial peripheries, such as eighteenth-century (p.3) North America and the Caribbean, indigenous native communities often got caught in the crossfire between competing global empires. Originally porous colonial borders gave way to rigid and hardened hierarchies.11 The city of Chittagong itself was reflective of this history of regional conflicts and cosmopolitanism. It had experienced various conquerors and overlords by the time Buchanan arrived. The Portuguese, who he noted were ‘numerous’ and who had been granted a place by the Kings of Arakan, had built their own church in the city. Earlier, Chittagong had been governed by the Tiperah, Muslim ‘adventurers’, the Arakanese, the Mughals, the Portuguese, and finally, Hindustani soldiers. At the time of Buchanan’s visit, several Englishmen, including a magistrate, collector, commercial resident, and salt agent, as well as a modest military force, were based in the city as well. The Englishmen lived comfortably in homes beautifully situated. As Buchanan noted, ‘The houses of the gentlemen are seated on the tops of the hills, and command a most noble prospect of the fine river, of the mountains to the north, east, and south, and of the fertile plains by which these are separated.’12 Buchanan’s ensuing journal of his visit provides a rich portrait of the indigenous peoples of the region some sixty years before British annexation in 1860. He interviewed members of the Chakma, Mru, Zo, Tippera, Bengali, Burmese, and Arakanese communities and the Marma chief. He also included ethnographic details on Mroung, Pankhua, Khami/Khumi, Lakher, Lushai, Borua, Bawm, Sak, Doingnak, and Khyang peoples; compiled comparative vocabularies of Mru, Marma, Zo, and two Tippera dialects; and wrote geographical descriptions of Arakan, Mizoram, Tripura, Cachar, and Manipur.13 Manipur, in particular, was facing the advance of the Burmese.14 In Tripura, he met the dewan of the Tripura raja, spoke with the priest of the raja’s father-in-law, Raja Jai Singh of Manipur, and collected information about Manipur and its then-recent occupation by the Burmese army.15 In the CHT, he discussed topics ranging from debt slavery, taxation, marriage customs, migration movements, gender segregation, and warfare to bodily ornaments.16 Due to the breadth of his study, this chapter will focus on his interpretation of the Chakma people and their chiefs.

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‘Promiscuous’ Planting In multiple ways, Buchanan was representative of his age, and like many Scottish ship surgeons of this era throughout the British Empire, was also a botanist. Trained in the Linnaean system, he emerged at a (p.4) key moment in the development of natural history writing and the significance of the man of science in the late eighteenth century. It was through other Linnaean botanists that he first gained a post in Bengal and conducted this journey across the CHT in 1798. His observational methods would make him a famous man, as this early work prefaced his mature surveys on Mysore and Bengal. Composed in an objective, and at times dry style, Buchanan’s diary has all the hallmarks of the work of a logical empiricist. The manuscript itself is written in an elegant, flowing hand, reflective of a methodical and orderly mind. He described landscapes, tributaries, and mountains with strategic accuracy and was assiduous in his duty to record soil quality. At various times, he made allusions to the novel agricultural method of jhumming or swidden cultivation, and employed the term ‘Joomea’ or jhum-cultivator to characterize the indigenous peoples of this border region. While fascinated by jhumming, he was equally concerned by its apparent ‘promiscuous’ planting of diverse seeds in the same field, which was to him a highly irregular and unorthodox farming method. Peter Pels notes that his careful ‘personal observation of specimens’ led Buchanan to be diligent in vetting his sources: ‘He was ... always interrogating his informants, questioning their veracity, and manipulating his conversations with them in the attempt to reduce the chance of bias.’17 He extended such careful attention to the people around him, describing the village settlements he visited, vernacular forms of architecture and regional traditions of material culture. He engaged with indigenous chiefs and priests, and was curious about local systems of governance. He keenly recorded the various languages spoken by his interview subjects, their forms of dress and adornment, and their religious affinities with an ethnographer’s insightful eye. As with jhumming, Buchanan was most concerned with aggregate or impure mixtures, and extended the language of botanic or agricultural cross-fertilization to cultural and religious practice. He noted particularly the intermingling of Hindu, Buddhist, and Islamic forms of worship in the Hill Tracts through the shared veneration of particular sacred sites or fused ritual practices. While clearly in favour of purist manifestations of religious expression and critical of Brahmanical influence on non-Hindu religions, Buchanan’s account (perhaps unwittingly) served as an illuminating treatment of overlapping cultural affinities and exchanges (p.5) within an ever-shifting border region. Throughout, his entries told a narrative of hybridity, from the languages heard to the aesthetic practices observed, which often interweave indigenous tribal, Bengali, and Burmese customs. He also made comparisons between tribal peoples and their neighbours, particularly plains-dwelling Bengalis, who he noted were litigious and rapacious by nature (a colonial prejudice which will become even more pronounced in the ensuing Victorian era by the mid-nineteenth century). In this Page 4 of 40

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‘Promiscuous’ Planting manner, I argue that examining Buchanan’s travelogue can serve to reclaim the region’s histories of cultural cosmopolitanism, which have unfortunately often been forgotten in the twentieth century with the rigid construction of hard national geographies in postcolonial, independent South Asia. Buchanan’s diary not only emphasized histories of transregional and interethnic practices, but also transnational connectedness in the imperial world. Not only does he compare indigenous ‘tribal’ peoples to regional and subcontinental neighbours, but also to Europeans, particularly the Scottish highlanders.18 Peoples on colonial frontiers or mountainous terrains throughout the British Empire would often be compared, within an English imagination, to the fiercely courageous (yet savagely recalcitrant) border Scottish clans. It is no surprise that the Company sent not only a botanist, but also a Scotsman, on a virgin scouting mission through the CHT. The Scots, or those who had spent time in Scotland, were often believed to be best able to relate to and administrate frontier zones. Buchanan’s chronicle should also be read within the larger context of this Scottish experience in colonial India. Furthermore, Buchanan, while no sentimental prose writer, was not entirely unsympathetic to the concerns of local indigenous groups, whether they related to issues of land territoriality and sovereignty, or to the plight of refugees fleeing violent imperial armies. He sympathized with the grievances of the Chakma raja, Tabbouka Khan, who had been abandoned and conveniently forgotten by the Company and left vulnerable to his enemies, despite being earlier an important regional ally. Also, Buchanan described in empathetic detail the condition of the Rakhains and Arakanese fleeing from the Burmese army, as well as the impecunious state of the Manipur raja, who was forced to take refuge as a political exile at the court of his son-in-law, the raja of Tripura. In the process, Buchanan subtly critiqued the policies of the very colonial enterprise, the East India Company, which was employing (p.6) him. Such insights make Buchanan’s travelogue, like those of other British colonial wouldbe ethnographers from the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, particularly compelling in revealing problems of land entitlements and indigenous customary concerns. Such readings suggest that the narratives of travellers, surveyors, and officials of the East India Company were not solely rooted in racist or evolutionary constructs of European superiority and metropolitan sophistication but, in various cases, were far more ‘ambiguous’ and multivalent in nature (although such multivalent, nuanced readings are often ignored). As Vinita Damodaran argues, historians should not be hasty to ‘dismiss colonial narratives as tending consistently to misread people and places’ but rather ‘genuine attempts were frequently made in the beginning and the latter half of the nineteenth century to document local rights and land-use customs

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‘Promiscuous’ Planting and to protect some customary practices’.19 This makes Buchanan’s chronicle that much more compelling as well.

Linnaean Disciples: Natural History, Imperialism, and Travel Writing During the Eighteenth-Century Enlightenment Buchanan’s account is presented as a travel diary, addressing the geography of the Hill Tracts, and a comparative analysis of local flora, fauna, and the sociocultural, religious, and linguistic histories of its inhabitants. His observations are neither purely descriptive nor speculative but grounded in the new scientific principles of the European, particularly the Scottish, Enlightenment. He emphasized the ‘methods of reasoning and systematic thought that are typical of scientists of his period’.20 In particular, the travelogue, a popular literary form of the period, was the genre used by natural history writers to both record their findings and share them with a larger audience that was increasingly intrigued by narratives of unfamiliar, exotic places, and travellers’ encounters with the non-European other. The travelogue as a literary genre was celebrated by the end of the seventeenth century. Sir William Petty, a ‘talented statistician, champion of trade and commerce’ had advocated that more young Englishmen of modest families should travel to London, where they could observe businessmen engaged in the Royal Exchange. In the process, they would learn about global trade and become interested in travelling (p.7) the world and seeing collections of natural artefacts. The hope was to enable a ‘new and less-than-genteel generation’ to broaden their horizons: an experience that was earlier only accessible to aristocratic youths while on their Grand Tours of the Continent. They could travel at a ‘fraction of the cost’ and with a more commercial, extra-European focus. By the first half of the eighteenth century, there was a growing demand for the accounts of such travellers,21 particularly by the literate middle classes engaged in trade and commerce. Thus, in the eighteenth century, the typical traveller was a ‘respectable private citizen’ in some manner engaged in business with the country or peoples visited (captured famously in Daniel Defoe’s protagonist, Robinson Crusoe). Many narratives focussed on highlighting the differences between the travellers’ ‘Englishness’ and the non-English foreign otherness of those they encountered. Most of these travel narratives were written as diaries, such as Buchanan’s account, or letters sent back home to waiting family and friends, at a time when both diary and letter writing had also become fashionable for the trading classes.22 Thus, travel accounts include a wide range of genres, from ‘oral texts, written texts, lost texts, secret texts, texts appropriated, abridged, translated, anthologized, and plagiarized; letters, reports, survival tales, civic description, navigational narrative, monsters and marvels, medicinal treatises, academic polemics, old myths replayed and reversed ...’ . These were ‘the varied profile of travel-related writing on the frontiers of European expansion at mid-eighteenth Page 6 of 40

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‘Promiscuous’ Planting century’.23 Very popular, it catalysed a ‘reading revolution’ for general audiences keen to ‘experience vicariously the strange and exotic’.24 In the process, the travelogue deliberately collapsed the divide between traveller and reader, especially at a time when more people were actually engaged in travel than previously. For that reason, professional writers and journalists as well as ordinary citizens wrote travelogues, making it a cottage genre similar to the diary and autobiography.25 Travel accounts included the diaries of soldiers, such as those who served in the Napoleonic wars, where much of their descriptions did not centre on battles or army leaders but rather on the customs and cultures of foreign peoples whom they encountered during the course of military campaigns.26 By the mid-eighteenth century, travel writing had become fully democratized, part ethnographic travel (p.8) narrative and part economic treatise,27 a fact clearly at play in Buchanan’s own account. In particular, with the publication of Linnaeus’s Systema Naturae (The System of Nature) in 1735, natural history became a key element of eighteenth-century travel writing and the ways Europeans conceived of themselves and others. While describing flora and fauna was a part of travel writing since the sixteenth century, such references were largely limited to appendices or digressions from the primary narrative. Linnaeus would revolutionize this concept by making nature itself ‘narratable’.28 Earlier Aristotelian or geographical systems of natural history were now supplanted by Linnaeus’s taxonomy based on sexual properties and binomial nomenclature.29 In Systema Naturae, Linnaeus outlined a simple classificatory system that could categorize all plants, familiar and unknown, to Europeans.30 It was a ‘quaint achievement’ but had profound implications, for this new system, in its very simplicity and elegance, which sharply distinguished it from earlier scientific methods, created a unified classificatory system for all plants that was concrete and eminently practical. It ‘was a tremendous breakthrough’.31 Linnaeus’s pamphlets included manuals on how to create a herbarium, plant a garden, and plan and execute a voyage of discovery, as well as encouraged botanical collecting beyond only elite collectors.32 It fostered a need to discover ‘unfamiliar floras, faunas, and geologies’ for both commercial profit as well as environmental and health concerns. Such botanical accounts were invariably written by physicians like Buchanan, who were increasingly employed as consultants to trading companies. In the process, these colonial enterprises saw the construction of a fully developed new scientific profession, long before it existed in Europe.33 In the same year that Linnaeus’s Systema Naturae was published, the first European scientific exploration set out to discover the shape of the globe. This investigation led Europeans both to reconceptualize themselves as well as the non-European others they met in a new kind of ‘planetary consciousness’ which Page 7 of 40

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‘Promiscuous’ Planting was often Eurocentric in nature.34 Thus, Linnaean principles of natural history would directly affect developing fields such as ethnography. The ideas of ‘humours’, articulated by Linnaeus and Georges-Louis Leclerc, for instance, argued that both European and Asian ‘races’ had physiognomic characteristics based on geography.35 Travel writing more generally created concepts of the (p. 9) ‘foreign other’ vs. the domestic self in European encounters in Africa, the Americas, and Asia, leading to the nascent rise of nationalism.36 Leighton James notes that such effects went far beyond the world of botany. In his study of Napoleonic soldiers’ diaries, he argues that they served as both forms of travel writing and ethnography, as such literature revealed both individual encounters with the foreign as well as the construction of national stereotypes.37 Younger botanists formed circles of Linnaean ‘disciples’, as they called themselves, and fanned out around the world to describe, collect, and classify species in the latter half of the eighteenth century.38 Several trading houses, such as the Swedish East India Company, gave free passage for Linnaeus’s students who [B]egan turning up everywhere collecting plants and insects, measuring, annotating, preserving, making drawings, and trying desperately to get it all home intact. The information was written up into books; the specimens, if dead, were mounted into natural history collections which became serious hobbies for people of means all over the continent; if alive, they were planted in the botanical gardens that likewise began springing up in cities and private estates all over the continent.39 Linnaeus’s disciples travelled to far-flung places, such as North America in 1747, China in 1750, South America in 1754, and the Near East in 1761. They also participated in Cook’s voyage in 1768, among other expeditions.40 Linnaean scientists wrote diaries and collected biological specimens (botanical and zoological) for new scientific societies, such as the Royal Swedish Academy of Science, founded in 1739. His medico-botanical studies further flourished through the auspices of new institutions such as the Linnaean Society of London, the Royal Societies of Edinburgh and London, and the Society of Arts in London.41 Through this global circulation of knowledge, pre-colonial information about non-European flora, such as South Asian plants, was retranslated and classified for occidental audiences and markets.42 As Deepak Kumar suggests, this new colonial scientist was the master of a world of flora, fauna, and minerals, which enabled him to forge a web-like network in the circulation of ideas despite far distances, while simultaneously valuing local knowledge.43 The colonial scientists included the Scotsman, William Roxburgh of Craigie, ‘the Indian Linnaeus’ as he was dubbed,44 who shared the same Edinburgh professor as Buchanan and would serve as his friend and mentor in (p.10) India. Such ‘gentlemanly efforts’ in ‘naturalizing’ resulted in Page 8 of 40

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‘Promiscuous’ Planting observations on manners, customs, languages, governmental systems, history, geography, religion, mathematics, astronomy, medicine, commerce, and arts and sciences, in a ‘novel kind of secular social hierarchy’.45 Periods of conflict, such as the Seven Years’ War (1756–63) and the Napoleonic campaigns, emphasized the need to chart historical change and human interrelationships.46 Many of these early botanists were, like Buchanan, ship surgeons. Most medical men who sailed were dubbed ‘surgeon-naturalists’.47 The ship’s surgeons originally also often served as the ship’s barbers.48 Their work provided a wealth of information—scientific and humanistic—on the regions they lived in. The East India Company surgeons, such as Samuel Browne, who began as a ship’s surgeon and was later promoted to surgeon of Madras in 1688, and Edward Bulkley, a former surgeon at Pettipoli, provided detailed natural and medical accounts of the courts of the Golconda and Arcot rulers as well as the East India company’s army camps, the Mughal and Maratha forces, and the hospital, bazaars, apothecaries, physic gardens, and ships in Madras.49 Assistant surgeon John M’Cosh would compile a list of Assam’s various timbers for the East India Company, based upon a catalogue composed by earlier medical professionals. His work and those of his contemporaries would provide rich accounts of the biodiversity of the region.50 The Scottish-born East India Company surgeon and botanist, Robert Wight, who also served within the Madras Presidency, created important botanical networks between Europe and India, as well as within India, in the period from 1820 to 1850.51 Another Scottish surgeon, who worked in the British army, would chart meteorological changes in Bombay during the years 1799–1803.52 In many ways, the eighteenth century was the age where the surgeon’s influence moved beyond the purely medical fields of study within the university, into the broader discipline of natural history and inevitably ethnohistory. The growing field of natural history also revealed a movement away from seafaring travel to more in-depth knowledge and penetration of foreign lands. While earlier circumnavigation and mapmaking of coastal regions had created a European or global ‘planetary subject’, now natural history’s ambitions were greater, moving inland away from coastal areas and river banks. This also reflected the imperial companies’ greater emphasis on commercial activity, by discovering resources, (p.11) markets, and lands, which were more profitable and associated with trade routes. These partly scientific, partly commercial endeavours, were generally conducted sub rosa. For instance, during Captain Cook’s visits to the South Seas in the 1760s and 1770s, the voyage was advertised as one of scientific exploration while its organizers had ‘secret orders’ to scout out potential commercial profit.53 Sir Joseph Banks, a natural historian who served on James Cook’s initial voyage to the Pacific, would play an important role in the development of natural history studies in the colonial world. A member of a prosperous landowning family, he Page 9 of 40

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‘Promiscuous’ Planting had both the leisure and connections to pursue his interests in science as a collector. When he returned to England from the South Seas in 1771, he remained in charge of the vast materials from the trip as well as specimens from voyages to Newfoundland and Iceland, establishing his reputation. This led to his appointment as director of the Royal Gardens at Kew, which became the premier botanical garden at the time, as well as his rise in both the Royal Society and Linnaean Society, founded in 1788. He was among the first to adopt the Linnaean classificatory systems, promoting ‘exotic’ items from distant lands as topics to be discussed and debated by ‘all educated people’.54 He also promoted the figure of the naturalist within colonial circles, advocating academic pursuits, which were conveniently veiled behind commercial endeavours.55 Banks in particular would aid in the forming of the Calcutta Botanic Gardens in 1786 and would influence British investigations into materia medica in many other parts of the British Empire, from India to Sumatra.56 Men like Banks were important in the development of botanical gardens around the colonial world, not only in Calcutta, but also Paris, and the Cape, and St. Vincent, among other locales. Botanical gardens would be linked with developing ideas of economic need and medical therapy and health.57 In India, the idea of a botanical garden germinated in the second half of the eighteenth century, when the East India Company began funding botanical endeavours in Bengal and Madras. In 1778, the company officer, James Anderson, had bought a large piece of land near Fort St. George from the Madras Government for the purpose of developing a botanical garden. He experimented with introducing cochineal insects, silkworms, and cash crops such as sugarcane, coffee, American cotton, and European apples. In 1786, former army officer and amateur botanist, Captain Robert Kyd, would advocate for the (p.12) founding of a ‘Garden of Acclimatization’ near Calcutta.58 Kyd recommended the example of the great Frenchman, Labourdonnais, who had imported the manioc root from Brazil to the islands of Mauritius, and in the process saved the local peoples, whose crops had been destroyed in annual hurricanes, from famine. Kyd argued that a large botanical garden in Calcutta might similarly prove useful in averting famine.59 At first, the Bengal government was averse to endorsing an idea derived from French agronomes and physiocrats, but Kyd soldiered on, noting that this acclimatizing garden could prove beneficial not only for India but the larger tropical worlds of which the Company formed part. It could help in transplanting plants from India for gardens in the West Indies, such as the island of St. Vincent. The Company, which was increasingly becoming convinced of the benefits of botanical science and the need for botanists after 1784, asked Joseph Banks to deliberate on the Calcutta gardens,60 which he successfully promoted later. Kyd’s successor and Buchanan’s mentor, William Roxburgh, was interested in timber for shipbuilding and advocated the founding of teak plantations in Sylhet and Bankura.61 Roxburgh was followed by Wallich, a Danish surgeon from Page 10 of 40

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‘Promiscuous’ Planting the settlement in Serampore, who would continue this Linnaean garden.62 Throughout this period, the Calcutta Botanical Gardens would maintain strong relationships with London’s Kew Gardens during Kyd’s and Roxburgh’s tenures.63 These mobile men of science not only had a major effect on travel writing but also perceptions of colonial empire and enterprise. Inevitably, such scientific studies in botany and geology straddled both the spatial and epistemological divides of metropole and periphery simultaneously.64 Historians of science and medicine have argued that students of natural phenomena—whether botanical gardens, plant collections, or plantations—assisted European powers in dominating their colonial territories by identifying foreign plants for food, medicine, and desirable commercial commodities. As Mary Louise Pratt argues, ‘In the second half of the eighteenth century, whether or not an expedition was primarily scientific, or the traveler a scientist, natural history played a part in it. Specimen gathering, the building up of collections, the naming of new species, the recognition of known ones, became standard themes in travel and travel books.’ Natural history would also engineer a more seemingly innocuous, intellectual figure of imperialism, one that appeared less overtly a conqueror, but was no (p.13) less influential. ‘Alongside the frontier figures of the seafarer, the conqueror, the captive, the diplomat’, she continues, ‘there began to appear everywhere the benign, decidedly literate figure of the “herborizer”, armed with nothing more than a collector’s bag, a notebook, and some specimen bottles, desiring nothing more than a few peaceful hours alone with the bugs and flowers.’65 Pratt suggests that this was a ‘utopian image of a European bourgeois subject simultaneously innocent and imperial, asserting a harmless hegemonic vision that installs no apparatus of domination. At most naturalists were seen as handmaidens to Europe’s expansive commercial aspirations.’66 Thus, the science of botany was inherently interlocked with European imperial ambitions and expansion.67 In the process, humans intervened in the natural world, extracting the landscape from ‘arbitrary surroundings (the chaos), and placing it in its appropriate spot in the system (the order—book, collection or garden) with its new written, secular European name’. But at the same time that humans intervened in the natural world, they also did so across human cultures, for not only were plants, animals, and soil types taxonomized, they were ‘extracted’ out of places in ‘other peoples’ economies, histories, social, and symbolic systems’,68 and this comparative process was inherently unequal. In applying Linnaean categories to human societies, botany was from the first hierarchical in nature, supporting the ‘myth of European superiority’.69 Not only did it engender a comparison between Europe and the extra-European world, but also the urban, literate cosmopolitan with the rural, illiterate simpleton.70

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‘Promiscuous’ Planting But as much as there were arguments regarding cultural or national difference and superiority, colonial travellers also observed areas of similarity and universality in the basic humanity of colonized others. During the eighteenth century, Indian tribal groups often perceived as ‘savages’ were ‘generally assumed to share essentially the same psychic nature as Europeans’ before this ‘essential unity’ was eroded by emergent concepts of racial difference during the first part of the nineteenth century. Early Company administrators and soldiers in Bengal recorded the ethnology and languages of tribal groups71 and saw themselves as the protectors of tribal customary practice and tradition from acculturation by other competing and encroaching indigenous groups, such as Bengali moneylenders. (p.14) In this way, Buchanan’s account should be read as a hybrid literary form: at once both travel adventure literature and scientific survey, which goes beyond pure economic treatise. As a travel diary, it reflects emergent European use of empirical knowledge based on personal observation.72 Buchanan is meticulous in citing his informants and critiquing their reliability through crosschecking his material, and this ‘relatively open-minded approach can actually be considered as one of the great assets of his account’. As an eyewitness, he is worthy of high praise. Willem van Schendel suggests that as ‘an anthropological fieldworker avant la lettre, Buchanan is a natural’.73 With this in mind, we will now turn to Buchanan’s identity as a Scotsman in India to shed light on his reading of the CHT.

Being a Scot in India: The Professional Man and Would-be Nabob Buchanan’s narrative not only reflects the development in eighteenth-century Linnaean natural history, but the emergence of a Scottish experience in India. The 1760s–1790s represented the golden age of the Scottish Enlightenment. After the union with England, professional Scotsmen, such as doctors, engineers, and teachers, pursued lucrative career opportunities south of the border as well as in colonial outposts, particularly India.74 Many of the surgeons who served in the East India Company were Scottish as were the military-scholar-administrators posted to ‘frontier’ zones, such as the CHT, or they were Britons who had spent time travelling in and studying the Scottish highlands. Border areas, such as the CHT, with their mountainous terrain, uncultivated hilly landscape and seemingly fierce and wild indigenous peoples, were described as having strong ‘tribal’ or clan affiliations. This language was often similar to English descriptions of Scottish highlanders and Highland lairds. Scottish novelist, Walter Scott, was himself fascinated by the relationships between highland and lowland groups in Scotland, and has long been perceived by scholars as a sophisticated interpreter of Scottish culture and history revealed through such classics as Rob Roy. David Gellner argues that the ‘lawless force’ and bravery of the highland Scots could easily be applied to the fierce wildness of tribal peoples in the ‘zomia’ lands of South and Southeast Page 12 of 40

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‘Promiscuous’ Planting Asia.75 Indeed, Walter Scott’s (p.15) romantic tales of the Scottish border would be told and replayed on various colonial frontiers in India.76 Not only would Scott’s narratives of the Highlands be used to interpret border and frontier regions in the subcontinent, but Scott himself, then Scotland’s most beloved and popular writer, would also turn his pen to India, as some of the figures in his earlier novels, particularly the courageous Highlanders and Jacobites, lost their romantic lustre. While he had not personally visited India nor had an understanding of its geography or culture, he imagined it as a land of ‘magic and romance, a place famous both in fact and fiction’. In his minor novel, The Surgeon’s Daughter, a lesser character describes India to a young man who will take up a military post there as place where Palaces rose like mushrooms ... groves of lofty trees, and aromatic shrubs unknown to the chilly soils of Europe, were tenanted by every object of the chase, from the royal tiger down to the jackall. The luxuries of a Natch, and the peculiar Oriental beauty of the enchantresses who perfumed their voluptuous Eastern domes, for the pleasure of the haughty English conquerors, were no less attractive than the battles and sieges . . .77 India was a place particularly well suited for a Scotsman, seemingly imbued with all the mystique, mystery, and adventure of the lost Highlands. As Scott’s character Chrystal Croftangry notes, India is the ‘place for a Scot to thrive in; and if you carry your story fifty years back, as there is nothing to hinder you, you will find as much shooting and stabbing there as ever was in the wild Highlands. If you want rogues, as they are so much in fashion with you, you have that gallant caste of adventurers, who laid down their consciences at the Cape of Good Hope as they went out to India, and forgot to take them up again when they returned ....’78 Scott would famously describe India as ‘the Corn Chest for Scotland’ where poor Scottish gentry and younger sons could make their fortunes.79 As a young man, Scott himself had expressed interest in serving in India.80 The poverty of Scotland’s privileged classes led many to pursue careers there, particularly a large number of the educated gentry and professional classes, who had specific technical skills, knowledge of mathematics, and the ability to analyse and present information.81 (p.16) From the early part of the eighteenth century onwards, Scots were employed in the Company’s civil, maritime, and military services as free traders and as ‘reluctant soldiers’ drafted into the royal Scottish regiments.82 This was a fact often remarked upon by their contemporaries based in India at the time.83 One Scotsman writing from Calcutta in 1771 noted that there were so many Scotsmen there that he often saw familiar faces from home.84

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‘Promiscuous’ Planting In Bengal, Scots made up 47 per cent of writers, 49 per cent of officer cadets, and more than 50 per cent of assistant surgeon recruits from 1774 to 1785. Most surgeons on East India Company ships were Scots, for instance.85 The position of surgeon was ranked high for it ‘could ... enrich a man’.86 Surgeons such as James Kerr wrote botanical papers, as did William Roxburgh. Others, such as Duncan Macpherson, collected pottery. Their life examples ‘testify to these Scots’ deep and active interest in things Indian’.87 Roughly one out of nine of civil servants, one out of eleven of ordinary soldiers, and one out of three of officers were Scots.88 Between 1776 and 1785, 60 per cent of the merchants given permission to trade in the east were Scots, and by 1813, 14 out of the 38 major merchant houses in Calcutta were mainly composed of Scots.89 The largest number of Scots was in the Company or King’s militaries90 and there were several Scottish regiments serving in India.91 In the later eighteenth century, the king’s agents found the Scottish Highlands a good place for recruiting soldiers because of the ‘martial traditions of a population disturbed and displaced by economic change’. Three of the regiments sent to India at this time were led by Lairds ‘seemingly anxious to expatiate their Jacobitism’. Highlanders found it difficult to adapt to India, in part due to the fact that they did not speak English, and company directors complained that they would only go if they could take women with them.92 While Scots travelled to other parts of the British Empire, as did Buchanan, who had earlier visited the Caribbean, India would appeal to those who wanted to make a quick fortune. Highborn Scots believed they could return a ‘nabob’, rich like Clive after the Plassey victory of 1757.93 Such India-returned individuals were seen as nouveaux riches and satirized in plays like Samuel Foote’s The Nabob.94 Those who came East embodied a small group of little more than a 1,000 between 1750 and 1815. They came to India to gain ‘an independence’ (p. 17) or ‘a competence’ before returning home to buy an estate and live on investments from government securities and East India stock. Men arrived in India in their teens, hoping to have a fortune which would provide them a free and independent life before they reached their forties. For this reason, the Scots who came to India, like Buchanan, were well-born but of modest means and, more than in North America or the Caribbean, the sons of the aristocracy or the gentry.95 The 114 extant applications from Scotsmen for the East India Company civil service, from 1750 to 1795, included an aristocrat, eighteen landed gentry, thirteen engaged in commerce, and ten from the professions.96 High-ranked Scotsmen during the 1760s and 1770s included the third son of the prime minister, the earl of Bute, who went to India in 1763 and complained about being around his social inferiors, the brother of the earl of Strathmore, the ‘natural’ Page 14 of 40

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‘Promiscuous’ Planting son and grandchildren of Lord Elibank, the son of Lord Chesterhall, and Basil Cochrane, son of the Earl of Dundonald.97 In addition, there were political and social motivations. The Jacobites among the Scots found India a desirable place after the prejudices faced in Britain following the Rising of 1745, when much of the Highland clans were slaughtered at the battle of Culloden.98 Displaced Highlanders from the Campbell clan were among the Scottish elite in India, and Jacobite leaders such as Alexander Grant, a refugee from Culloden, found success in India after serving with Robert Clive.99 There were a number of ‘legendary’ Scots who figured during this era, acquiring some staggering fortunes, such as John Johnstone of Westerhall, who returned to Scotland in 1765 to acquire three landed estates and a parliamentary interest, and William Hamilton, ‘arguably the most famous doctor to serve in India during the whole three centuries course of the empire’. A cadet of the Hamilton of Dalziell in Lanarkshire, he came to the East in 1711, where he treated the Mughal emperor for venereal disease and was richly rewarded for his services in the form of animals, jewels, and gold, securing the company’s freedom to trade in Bengal, Bihar, and Orissa. Sir John Malcolm, who was born on the Scottish borders in 1769, one of 17 children from a tenant farmer in Dumfriesshire, according to East India Company lore, was interviewed at the extraordinarily young age of 12 in 1781, and eventually rose through the ranks to become a lieutenant-colonel, a diplomat to Persia for two missions, and later achieved the ‘crowning (p.18) glory’ of the Governorship of Bombay from 1827 to 1830.100 Sir John McPherson, who went on his uncle Alexander McLeod’s Indiaman, was among the men surrounding the court of the nawab of the Carnatic in Madras and ‘intrigued on behalf of the British government against the Company, making a fortune on the way’. He had a strong sense of his clan and promoted it within the company ranks, which the Scots used to ‘gain entry into the Company’.101 As India’s attractiveness grew, it also became harder to find posts in the East India Company, and increasingly, those who wished to join required patronage from the London Court of Directors, which put the Scots at a disadvantage. Scottish success in India was largely due to the fact that they were generally of higher social status than the English in India and the pressures of the government, ‘anxious to placate the Highland gentry and manage Scottish politics’.102 They gained positions in India through ‘marriage bonds, friendships, business deals, or political connections’ such as the family of the Humes: Jacobite exiles who had established a shipping business, leasing ships to the East India Company.103 While some Scots made large fortunes of £100,000 or more, most returned with £20,000 and a barely modest competency. On average, they enjoyed a quiet retirement on a Scottish estate.104 ‘More worthy’ competencies could be had as a writer, ‘Indian Civilian’, or surgeon.105 Most Scots did eventually return to Page 15 of 40

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‘Promiscuous’ Planting Scotland and live out such an existence,106 Buchanan among them. In his case, he also inherited family estates. It was there that he would spend his last years writing and publishing a number of his travelogues and surveys of India. Having established the Scottish history in India, we will now turn to an account of Buchanan’s life.

Francis Buchanan as Surgeon, Botanist, and Surveyor: A Short Biography Francis Buchanan was born on 15 February 1762, the third son of Dr Thomas Buchanan of Spital, who later inherited the entail of the estate of Leney in Perthshire. His mother, Elizabeth Hamilton, was an heiress of Bardowie, near Glasgow.107 He studied at the University of Glasgow before embarking on a medical degree at Edinburgh,108 eventually qualifying as a doctor with a dissertation on recurrent fevers.109 (p.19) Buchanan was a student of Linnaean systems of botanical classification. While at the university, he studied with Professor John Hope, who had popularized Linnaean botany and had earlier taught Roxburgh.110 However, Buchanan was frustrated by his early career prospects. After completing his MD in Edinburgh in 1783, he rejected following in his father’s footsteps as a country surgeon, largely due to the influential example of his friend and colleague, James Edward Smith, who had shot to international fame after purchasing Linnaeus’s herbarium for ‘a mere 1000 guineas’. This enabled the 23-year-old Smith to become a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1785 and to embark upon a tour of the Continent a year later, which would open yet further influential doors.111 Unlike Smith, Buchanan did not have much money or the possibility of inheriting family estates at that time. But Smith’s early successes diminished the attractions, however modest, of the life of a provincial country doctor. At this time, the East Indies was beginning to interest prominent European scientists, as were other imperial peripheries. As the options for career botanists, like Buchanan, were few, he joined the East India Company in 1784 as a medical officer, taking Roxburgh as his example.112 After a period of delay, Buchanan eventually travelled to Asia and the West Indies as a ship’s surgeon, and was thereafter appointed to Bengal.113 He arrived in India in 1794 and remained there until 1815, employed by the East India Company for twenty years in various capacities, though he is chiefly known for his contributions to two later surveys of Mysore (1800) and Bengal (1807– 14). These surveys have long been used by historians and anthropologists to understand India under early British colonial rule.114 Buchanan was posted to the Bengal Medical Establishment in Luckipore in 1794, a remote location in the Company’s eastern jurisdiction, which he endeavoured hard to leave.115 In 1795, he served as surgeon to Captain Michael Symes’s embassy to Ava, then the capital of the Burmese court. During this journey, he Page 16 of 40

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‘Promiscuous’ Planting collected information about life in Burma and the Andamans,116 which resulted in a survey of 168 plant species and a catalogue.117 Not only did he conduct botanical studies but also examinations of the fisheries in the Brahmaputra River.118 In 1793, William Roxburgh had been promoted to director of the Botanic Garden of Calcutta, then the largest scientific institution on (p.20) the periphery of the Empire, and worked to have Buchanan relocated, recommending to the government that he be sent on a scientific expedition to Chittagong in 1798, which would also lead to his later posts in Bengal and Mysore. Roxburgh believed Buchanan was the best botanist in India, and Buchanan, realizing he had to provide independent evidence of his scientific ability, donated his herbarium from Burma in 1796 to the East India Company with the ‘vain hope’ that it would ‘bring him recognition and promotion’.119 His trip through the CHT from 2 March to 21 May 1798 would be his first survey conducted on his own.120

Francis Buchanan’s Travels in the CHT Natural History, Commerce, and Agriculture

As a Linnaean botanist, Buchanan was curious about much of the region’s natural history and the diversity of its plant and animal life, carefully noting that tigers, wild hogs, and wild elephants lived or had lived in the region.121 As company surveyor, he brought a similarly observant eye to local systems of agricultural production, the extraction of natural resources, and opportunities for future commercial activity. He described salt production in Noakhali, methods for extracting oil from the gurgeon tree, and the trade in salt, cotton, betel nut, dried prawns, timber, bamboo, thatch grass, honey, elephants, and wax.122 Such accounts of production and commerce were often interwoven with insights on local people and cultures. For instance, in describing gurgeon tree oil extraction, he mentioned not only the process required in oil extraction but also the communities who were employed, particularly their religious and social backgrounds. They were primarily Muslims paid by local zamindars to collect the oil, honey, and wax.123 His primary official objective, however, was to evaluate soil quality and determine if the land was fertile enough to grow spices. He was conscientious in this duty, reporting nearly daily on conditions appropriate for agricultural production, often comparing the rich soil quality of the CHT to that of the West Indies.124 He also discussed the potential for growing other valuable crops, both through traditional as well as jhum farming. In areas of ‘settled agriculture’, he noted that the hills produced tobacco, sugarcane, cotton, flax, castor, rice, betel nut, and capsicum.125 (p.21) Perhaps what most intrigued and befuddled Buchanan were indigenous ‘tribal’ forms of agricultural production. While his main aim was finding land fertile enough for plough farming, he was fascinated by jhumming. Early on, he Page 17 of 40

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‘Promiscuous’ Planting suggested that it was this practice that most defined and distinguished the indigenous peoples, the ‘rude tribes’ of east Bengal, as he put them, from their neighbours, the plains-dwelling Bengalis. Like nineteenth-century administrators to follow him, Buchanan carefully noted the various stages of jhum production: The Joom is a species of cultivation peculiar, I believe, to the rude tribes inhabiting the hills east from Bengal. During the dry Season, the natives of these places cut down to the root all the bushes growing on a hilly tract. After drying for some time the brush wood is set on fire, and by its means as much of the large timber as possible is destroyed: but if the Trees are large, this part of the operation is seldom very successful. The whole surface of the Ground is now covered with ashes, which soak in with the first rain, and serve as a manure. No sooner has the ground been softened by the first showers of the season, than the cultivator begins to plant. To his girdle he fixes a small basket, containing a promiscuous mixture of the Seeds of all the different plants raised in Jooms. These plants are chiefly rice, cotton, Capsicum, indigo and different kinds of cucurbitaceous fruits. In one hand the cultivator then takes an Iron pointed dibble with which he strikes the ground, making small holes at irregular distances, but in general about a foot from each other. Into each of these holes he with his other hand drops a few seeds, taken from the Basket as chance directs, and leaves the farther rearing of the crop to nature: only he resides near to drive away pernicious animals, and to reap the Crop, as each kind ripens. Next year the cultivator for his Joom selects another spot covered with wood: for in such a rude kind of cultivation the ashes are a manure necessary to render the soil productive. When the wood on the former tract has grown to a proper size, the cultivator again returns to it; and then there being no large trees standing, the operation of cutting down is easier, and the ground is more perfectly cleared.126 This was a wholly novel system for Buchanan. Not only were the preparatory stages new, from the burning of the ground to the use of a layer of manure, but so was the actual planting process. As he noted, several seeds of rice, cotton, capsicum, indigo, and cucurbitaceous fruits were placed in a ‘promiscuous mixture’ sides by side into holes. (p.22) It is not incidental that Buchanan used this language of indiscriminate sexual engagement and interbreeding to accentuate an image of adulterated hybridity. He will extend such language beyond that of the purely botanic or agricultural life of the Hill Tracts to tribal customary practice. As he travelled through the region, he observed that nearly every aspect of local social life, including indigenous forms of language, religion, and aesthetics, was essentially marked by ‘mixture’. His diary is dotted throughout with such references of ethnic and religious heterodoxy. He deemed such cultural fusion as less than ideal or appropriate (reflected through his use of adjectives such as ‘promiscuous’ with Page 18 of 40

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‘Promiscuous’ Planting their pejorative undertones).127 While he may not have liked such ‘mixtures’, he was certainly intrigued by them and duly noted and in certain cases emphasized their place in his travelogue. In the process, he constructed a portrait of ‘tribal’ indigeneity on the Bengal/Burma border, which was inherently transcultural in nature. Indeed, he even admitted that there were benefits to jhumming, if half-heartedly. The list of these benefits seems particularly prescient in the light of today’s climate concerns and would be of compelling interest to contemporary environmentalists and critics of agribusiness. In particular, Buchanan emphasized two primary advantages—first, jhumming did not necessitate arduous human labour and cost, such as that required for intensive digging. Second, the planting method would prevent soil erosion: ‘[F]rom the soil not being turned up, and from its being secured by the roots of Trees, it is not liable to be washed away by the rains.’ While providing tantalizing hints of an alternative production method in such asides, he ultimately concluded this section by conceding that such advantages were ‘trifling’. Perhaps these final words were a way to convince his Company readers that he had not forgotten his main objective: that of surveying land suitable enough for plough farming.128

Tribal Peoples and Indigeneity As with jhumming, the jhum producers or the Joomea as Buchanan called them, captivated him. Over the course of his journey, he was introduced to several hill tribes, including the Mugs (Maghs), the Sakmas or Chakmas, Marmas, Mroung, Tiperah, the Bonzu, and Koongkies (Kukis), which dwelled between the two rivers, the Currumfullee (p.23) (Karnafuli) and Sunkar.129 His accounts reveal a vibrantly fecund, intercultural landscape. These communities spoke languages of multilingual origin, observed transcultural material practices, and often performed inter-religious rituals. While partly insulated by their hilly terrain, he noted that they had also adopted customs from Bengal, Burma, and Southeast Asia, as well as Europe, including Portuguese methods of alcohol distillery130 and British styles of furniture. He also observed that there was a vibrant interregional trade network between the hills and the plains. For instance, the Bengalis gave the Mugs ironwork, earthen-wear goods, and the sugar product goor, while the hill people gave cotton, bamboos, and thatch to the Bengali traders.131 Buchanan’s narrative in particular revealed the rich intermingling of Bengali and Burmese syncretic language and cultural amalgamations, the merging of Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic, and animist systems of religious practice and the development of cosmopolitan courtly households, which were multireligious and interethnic in nature, bringing together groups from different tribes, religions, castes, and classes, in many forms of ‘promiscuous’ mixture. In one Chakma village, Raing-ghiaung-bak, he observed that the people spoke a mixed dialect with Burmese and Bengali vocabularies and practised both Hindu and Buddhist Page 19 of 40

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‘Promiscuous’ Planting rituals side by side. There he encountered a young ‘man, who was dressed in a yellow habit: [who] ... said, that he was not a priest, and that his assuming the dress was only temporary’.132 Intrigued, Buchanan discovered that he was reading a book in Bengali.133 Among the Mru people, he observed that, though there was no literary tradition, they spoke a Rakhain dialect of Burmese.134 While the region was predominantly composed of Buddhist practitioners, many places had Hindu names, such as Sita-pahar,135 and in the libraries of the Buddhist priests, he discovered Hindu epics and tales of gods, including the story of Rama and Sita.136 Communities like the Mru did not worship either Hindu or Buddhist deities but did cremate their dead: a practice which may have appeared to Buchanan to have Hindu or Buddhist antecedents.137 The Lushais, like the Mrus, worshipped various gods found in nature, such as the spirits of rivers and mountains, as well as the Burmese deity, Nat.138 In worshipping Nat of Sualuk, they hired drummers who congregated at streams, danced, and then sacrificed an animal to the deity, which was later eaten as part of a feast.139 In a number of cases, particularly among the chiefs, Buchanan (p.24) discovered inter-religious and interethnic households. The court of the Marma chief, Pomang Kuang-la Pru, included twenty Hindu servants, a Muslim dewan, and Muslim members of the administration as well as a number of Marma debt slaves140 in addition to the chief’s wives and children. The Marma, Buchanan observed, practised an Arakanese form of Buddhism rather than a Burmese strain.141 In general, Buchanan favourably contrasted the quality of life for the hill people to neighbouring Bengalis, as did Lewin and other colonial administrators to follow him. This evaluation included their forms of sanitation and hygiene, their wealth as expressed in an abundance of precious metal, and the fecundity of the landscape, which provided a fertile harvest of crops and spices. As he noted, they were ‘cleaner, and appear to be more comfortable, than the common Bengalese’. In terms of food and agricultural production, the hill people had ‘greater abundance than the cultivators in the plains’.142 Of all the hill communities he encountered, Buchanan arguably provided the most detailed accounts of the Chakmas, who in number were the largest. The diary entries devoted to them contain some of the most telling passages, which merged observations of the surrounding geography with ethnography, reflecting his keen interests in understanding indigenous societal structures and social practices through the lens of the natural world. We will now turn to his descriptions on the Chakmas.

On the Chakmas When he arrived in the territory of the Chakma raja or chief, Tabbouka, Buchanan first described the topographical features of the surrounding landscape, painting a verbal picture of rivers and mountains as well as the fertile Page 20 of 40

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‘Promiscuous’ Planting soil. Referring to cartographer James Rennell’s maps of the region, he noted that the Barcal hills were called the ‘Mug Mountains’: a designation he argued was most ‘indefinite’ in nature143 (see Map I). He provided longitudinal and latitudinal specifications of the course of the river and the hills, which would be of strategic significance for cartographers, useful in building commercial roads for trade as well as for troop movements on military campaign. While written in his characteristically objective tone, it is also clear that Buchanan was awed by the verdant fecundity and aesthetic gorgeousness of his surroundings. (p.25) He is mesmerized by the majestic scale of the vistas around him: six-feet-tall water cascades, swollen tributaries full of fish, and mountain ridges opening to magnificent views. For a man who ordinarily wrote in a prosaic style and rarely used superlatives, he employed the word ‘beautiful’ multiple times: I now went ashore, and walked up about a mile to a higher ledge of rocks, over which the river falls in various beautiful cascades about six feet high. This is opposite to the middle ridge of Barcal hills, and even now the scenery is very beautiful. When the river is much swollen, and all the small cascades united, it must be very grand, as the channel here is very wide, and there are evident traces of its being often completely filled. When I visited the fall, the river was beautifully clear, and full of fish.144 Such descriptions reflect how powerfully the landscape affected Buchanan and how deeply it was tied with the life and histories of the people inhabiting the region. He was clearly overwhelmed by the awesome majesty of the geography around him. The reader feels the force of the rivulets entering the wide and mighty river Karnafuli, the fecundity of its waters full of fish, the richness of the surrounding soil. There is a sense, as we shall see in many of the colonial accounts of the Hill Tracts, of the overabundance of life. From the mighty scale of these hills and rivers, Buchanan moved to the human plane of village life. As he did with the landscape, he was careful to preserve a record of what he had seen. A typical Chakma village, Buchanan noted, was administered by a dewan or village headman, and had fertile jhumming land nearby, where crops of plantains, ginger, betel leaf, sugarcane, indigo, tobacco, and capsicum grew. He noted that village dwellings consisted of oblong houses, forty feet by twenty feet, built on raised bamboo stilts, twelve feet from the ground. Their walls were covered in bamboo mats with thatched roofs.145 He particularly praised the health and sanitation benefits of such structures, which he argued were salubrious, practical and charming, and far superior to that of Bengali structures.146

Local Rajas: The Chakma Chief, His Residence, and Leadership Buchanan was particularly interested in the courts of the local chiefs or rajas. When he visited the Chakma chief, he described both the (p.26) primary royal residence, the Rajbari or the ‘Prince’s house’ as well as the main fort, where the Page 21 of 40

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‘Promiscuous’ Planting chief’s family and court resided. Buchanan once again provided precise cartographic measurements for the Rajbari, which emphasized colonial military strategy and surveillance needs in the hills.147 He was somewhat less impressed by the chief’s private residence, which he noted was mainly inhabited by family members and their Bengali servants, but his negative views might also be due to his inability to gain access. The resident women expressed alarm at having an unknown European ambling about in their private quarters and prevented his entrance: Taubbo Ka Mang, as the chief of the Saksa is styled in the writings of the priests of his tribe, although said to command a great number of people, seems by no means to live in great affluence. This his principal residence is far from being a large building: yet it contains the whole of his family except a few Bengalese servants who have huts in the neighbourhood. A large square enclosure made of mats, and called a Fort, contains a number of huts raised on posts, like the others of the country. None of them are of great dimensions, like the house of Kaung-la-pru. . .The Rajah not being at home, I did not go within the fort, as I found that my looking in at a gate alarmed the women, who began to squall, and were joined by a numerous band of pigs.148 This description highlights a number of Buchanan’s interests, which run throughout his travelogue. He expresses a keen curiosity in the transcultural aspects of everyday life in the Hill Tracts, from vernacular stilt architecture (which scholars have subsequently hypothesized is more Southeast Asian than South Asian in nature) to mixed interethnic households, such as that of the Chakma chief, which was composed of both Chakmas and Bengalis. In the process, Buchanan’s observations highlight the region’s inter-religious exchange and multicultural heterodoxy.

On Chakma Religion: Corrupting Heterodoxy Nowhere was this intercultural history in greater display than in indigenous religious ritual, which combined elements of Buddhism and Hindu Brahmanical practice. The Chakma religion, Buchanan observed, was ‘that of Godama, corrupted by their having adopted (p.27) many Brahminical superstitions, and especially bloody sacrifices to the Devtas’.149 Buchanan was clearly disconcerted by this religious intermingling, expressed by his condemnation in the word ‘corrupted.’ For a man wishing to compartmentalize and label plants, animals, and peoples, this was a troubling tradition, which blurred the boundaries of identifiable practice. He was particularly fascinated and repulsed by the incorporation of Kali worship: a topic of interest for British Orientalists in Bengal at the time, but which, he argued, few Englishmen truly understood.

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‘Promiscuous’ Planting At the Sita ghat, a bend in the major tributary of the Karnafuli river, Buchanan observed Chakmas worshipping an indigenous animist spirit, Taung-mang. Not only were the rituals hybrid in nature but so was the dress of the participants. He wrote: The men have adopted the dress of the Bengalese, and the women the ornaments of the Hindoo females; but the sex still cut, and dye their clothes, after the Burma fashion. Like the Joomeas and the Moroong, they eat every thing; and have no objection to eat with the individuals of these nations ...150 Such religious intermingling was not only limited to Hindu–Buddhist comingling but extended to Islam. At Sita ghat, Buchanan observed that Muslims incorporated the ritualistic practices of their Hindu neighbours: Here the Hindoos make offerings of grain flowers and eggs to the Gods of the place, Ram and Seeta: They are imitated by the foolish Mohammedans of this province, who have adopted some fable to almost every place esteemed holy by the Gentoos: probably thinking, that it would be disgraceful for their religion, were it not provided with as many ceremonies, and holy places, as that of their neighbours.151 Clearly, Buchanan was uncomfortable with such ‘mixtures’ and mimicry, which he disparaged again and again as ‘corrupt’. Such attitudes reflected, in part, his own personal antipathy against Hindu Brahmanism, which he perceived as flawed by superstition and caste hierarchy. Indeed, his principal ambition during his early years in Bengal was to undermine the work of the Orientalists, led by Sir William Jones, which focussed predominantly on Brahmanic readings of India’s religious history. In 1783, Jones had left England with the purpose of studying India more deeply than any previous European. (p.28) As a new Fellow of the Royal Society, he endeavoured to create ‘the first scientific society on the Indian periphery’—the Asiatic Society of Bengal. Its mandate was to understand both man and nature: a philosophy which found favour with imperial scientists who saw the ‘richness of imagination resembl[ing] the variety of the Indian landscape’.152 Instead of following in Jones’ footsteps, Buchanan emphasized accounts of Burmese Buddhism, recounted in his later essay, ‘On the Religion and Literature of the Burmas’ which highlighted non-Brahmanic religious traditions in the subcontinent153 as well as the heterogeneous comingling of religions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and tribal animism in his accounts of the CHT. For instance, he carefully recorded the role of additional ‘Eastern’ influences on Chakma religious life, particularly the worship of Debtas, auspicious spirits or entities, which appeared to have healing qualities.154 As Marika Vicziany suggests, Buchanan promoted the egalitarianism of Buddhism over the caste-ridden, ‘oppressive’ hierarchy of Brahmanical Hinduism. Buchanan hated the ‘entrenched Brahmin class’ in India Page 23 of 40

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‘Promiscuous’ Planting and his close, critical interpretations of religious texts made him ‘a man ideally equipped to act as the Company’s reporter on native affairs’.155 While Buchanan may not have had the vision to celebrate the syncretic religious heterodoxy of the Hills156, his eyewitness accounts nonetheless are significant in revealing the rich intercultural crosspollinations in the Hill Tracts. They powerfully illuminate the diversity of the CHT, where different forms of worship and ritual were shared or adapted by different religious communities, who lived side by side. In this manner, his travelogue with its empiricist method of observation and attention to detail, is a useful tool to reconsider histories of social practice within this border region.

Sympathizing Tendencies: Critique of Company Policy Further, while in the employ of the Company, Buchanan was not unsympathetic to the concerns of indigenous peoples. He posited criticisms and cautionary advice to the government on future management within the region. At one point in his trip, he observed that the Company had not done enough to support the Chakma chief against his enemies, particularly the raiding, neighbouring hill tribes (p.29) of the Lushai that would feature in later colonial accounts of this border region. He observed that Raja Taubboka was a ‘subject of the Company’ and should thus be ‘entitled to their assistance, in protecting him from the savage tribes by whom he is surrounded’. Furthermore, Buchanan noted that the chief still feared further reprisals from the East India Company for an earlier attack. Choosing instead to ‘live retired from the eyes of government’, the Chakma chief was ‘willing rather to submit to temporary depredations, than by his complaints to attract notice’.157 Clearly, Buchanan felt the Company could provide more assistance to a necessary ally and, here provides an example of Company negligence. Buchanan also noted that the Chakmas would not escort him on his travels as they feared the Lushais (that is, Kukis).158 He argued that this anxiety had led the Chakmas to abandon their former territory.159 In response, Buchanan argued for the need to further bolster the strength of indigenous tribal allies, like the Chakmas, and chastised the government for not providing greater support, particularly in light of the growing influence of the imperial behemoth which lurked just across the hilly border: the Burmese. Not only was Buchanan receptive to complaints regarding Company policy, but he also listened to personal criticisms railed against his own entourage. As he noted, ‘I had many complaints of the rapacity of my people’, as well as the ‘impositions’ of the local populace. Again, through such incidents, Buchanan revealed that he was not unsympathetic to local concerns, noting in his diary that ‘both complaints, I believe were well-founded’.160

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‘Promiscuous’ Planting The Spectre of Burma: The Shadowy Reach of a Southeast Asian Empire on Bengal’s Borders Buchanan’s account further is also a revealing reading on the growing tensions between the Burmese and the British. The East India Company was concerned by the Burmese treatment of Arakan after its 1795 invasion, which had catalysed the first wave of refugees, sparked an Arakanese insurgency, and led to the growingly vulnerable position of Manipur, Assam, Jaintia, and Cachar, where Ava’s ‘forward policy’ had compelled British pushback.161 The CHT lay strategically between the (p.30) East India Company’s bridgehead into Bengal and the Burmese court. At various points, Buchanan described the conditions of the Arakanese and Rakhain refugees fleeing from the rapacious Burmese army. On the west, Burma was flanked by dense jungles of ebony and mountain ranges, including the Arakan Yoma, Lushai, and Naga hills, and on the east lay thick teak jungles leading to the Shan uplands composed of a 3,000 feet high plateau. Dangerous mountain passes separated the kingdom from its lowland neighbours in Arakan, Manipur, Assam, and Siam.162 Prince Badon of Ava had ascended the throne in 1782, and his first military target was the kingdom of Arakan. The Arakanese court shared many cultural affinities with that of Burma, including the Burmese language and various court practices, but its location within the vibrant Indian Ocean region also reflected influences from Bengal and farther afield. While practising Theravada Buddhism, Arakan had strong Brahmanical influences as well as an influential Muslim minority. By the eighteenth century, there was much internal disunity, making the small kingdom susceptible to Burmese invasion. In 1785, the Burmese, with a force of 30,000 troops, captured the Arakan capital of Mrohaung, looted the city, and returned with the Mahamuni Buddha icon, as well as 20,000 captives, who would later populate the new city of Amarapura, ‘the Immortal City’.163 Buchanan encountered some Mugs who left Burma before the conquest of Arakan164 as well as Arakanese refugees. He emphasized that their conditions were desperate. At one point, he came across a small, impoverished hamlet in near destitute conditions: After the conquest of Arakan about one hundred families of the unfortunate Natives came, and settled in this valley: but as the ground has been cleared, they have decreased greatly; and there remains but about twenty houses easy to be known by their being raised upon posts. These poor people chiefly subsist by cutting ratans, Bamboos, and the leaf of a dwarf palm called Karoo, and used for making umbrellas, by making matts, building Houses, and other similar occupations. They appear to be very miserable: and say, that, were they not too poor for the undertaking, they would willingly cultivate the Ground.165 Page 25 of 40

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‘Promiscuous’ Planting Not long after, he discovered a Rakhain migrant community at the Cruzcool, or Joareeah river, where the people survived through fishing, boat and mat making, cutting rattan and Bamboo, and serving as (p.31) porters and boatmen. He observed that while they did not pay taxes, they were nonetheless often compelled by the local zamindars to work without pay. However, the situation was far more preferable to that under the Burmese due to the security of everyday life.166 The arrival of such migrant populations led to discord between the new settlers and existing landowners. In some cases, the Rakhains lived in mixed villages with Bengalis, which created tensions over land ownership and rights. In one village, made up primarily of Muslim Bengalis, the Bengalis believed it an ‘injustice’ that village land had been reserved for the migrants.167 The status of the Rakhains was a tenuous one as is revealed in this description. They were treated by both Hindu and Muslim Bengalis with ‘severe oppression’. He observed that it was only due to the influence of the British government in Bengal that greater ‘butchery [could not] be committed on them’ as had been conducted by the Burmese. Buchanan argued for the creation of a separate territory, a district for the Rakhains, namely, the Sundarbans, where they would have their own officers. He feared that no protection could be given without taking military action and ‘humbling the Burmas’.168 Accounts of Burmese military atrocities were numerous. One man informed Buchanan that shortly after the conquest of Arakan, the Burmese had killed 40,000 men, raped and forcibly married their widows, and kidnapped daughters from aging parents with indiscrimination. ‘Wherever they found a pretty Woman,’ Buchanan chronicled, ‘they took her after killing the husband; and the young Girls they took without giving any consideration to their parents, and thus deprived these poor people of the property by which in Eastern India the aged most commonly support their infirmities.’ The refugees were particularly concerned that the Bengal government would send the Arakan migrants back to Burma.169 The following decades would see further Burmese encroachment into the northeast as well as tensions with the East India Company. From 1817 to 1826, the Burmese invaded Assam three times, and after 1821, remained in the region until they were forced to retreat during the Anglo-Burmese War of 1824. After their victory in 1826, the British presence would be much more entrenched in the area.170 As Gunnel Cederlof argues, throughout this period, the Bengal government painted the North East Frontier as an ‘enormous (p.32) geographic space’, in many ways fulfilling Company dreams of conquest by ‘ “secur[ing” the region] from Burmese greed and from people lacking in entrepreneurship’.171

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‘Promiscuous’ Planting Buchanan’s Life after His Travels in the CHT: Geographical Surveys and Retirement in Scotland Buchanan would travel further through Tripura and Manipur as part of his larger trip to the CHT. On its completion, he was stationed in Baruipur for more than a year, then headed the new Botanic Gardens of Calcutta for a few months. In 1800, he went on to Mysore, Malabar, and the new territories controlled by the Company in south India, spending over a year there which led to the 1807 publication, A Journey from Madras through the Countries of Mysore, Canara and Malabar Performed under the Orders of the Most Noble the Marquis of Wellesley. In 1802–3, he was affiliated with a mission in Nepal, later publishing his impressions in 1819, and in 1803–1804, he became surgeon to the governor general of India.172 After a brief spell back in England during 1805, he once again returned to India in 1807, where he began writing the works that would later bring him renown: the statistical surveys of north Bengal and Bihar. They took seven years to complete and were mostly published posthumously.173 For his survey of Bengal, Buchanan based his work on Sinclair’s earlier survey of Scotland, once again revealing the role of Scottish systems of classification in colonial India.174 In his surveys, Buchanan’s primary concerns remained, as in his account of the CHT, natural history, antiquities, and topography.175 Buchanan’s survey of Bengal (1806–13), in particular, established a pattern of colonial intelligence gathering that lasted into the twentieth century as the statistical survey preceded the later Gazetteers of India. Buchanan was thought to be ‘in every way well qualified’ for such research because of his earlier botanical and zoological studies.176 In 1814, he succeeded Roxburgh as superintendent of the Botanic Gardens at Calcutta, a long hoped for ambition, but unfortunately, due to ill health, he was forced to retire early. He returned to his native Scotland in 1815, gave up the surname Buchanan, and adopted his mother’s family name of Hamilton. In 1816, he retired as a surgeon, (p.33) and having inherited the family estates, continued to publish studies on India until 1829.177 Several decades later, in 1905, David Prain, superintendent of the Botanic Garden of Calcutta from 1897 to 1905, would write a short biography of his life.178 Another biographer, Maria Vicziany, speculates that Buchanan reached the end of his life as an unhappy man, watching his career in science slip through his fingers while suffering a protracted and debilitating illness during his retirement. He also weathered the death of his brother, disputes with publishers, and bitterness towards the Company’s Court of Directors in London. Like Thomas H. Lewin would be a century later, he was frustrated by the lack of recognition he received from his superiors in the government. He was particularly upset by Lord Moira, who had confiscated some 570 natural history drawings on the eve of his departure from India, claiming that they belonged to the Bengal government and should remain in Calcutta.179 Later, Buchanan Page 27 of 40

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‘Promiscuous’ Planting received scant praise and acknowledgement by the Company when he presented his findings in London. He recalled that it was like ‘throwing pearls before swine’ and regretted not making more money whilst in India.180 He did go on to write a number of popular works, including The Kingdom of Nepal (1819), Fishes in the Ganges (1822), which was respected among his fellow naturalists, and Genealogies of the Hindus (1819), which established him among the European literati. After 1820, his financial concerns diminished when he inherited his brother’s estate, and he married. He was made a Fellow of various learned societies and became a known expert on the natural history of Asia.181 In many ways, Buchanan’s travelogue on the CHT and his later published works reflected the new power of travel writers as potent figures of imperialism. The eighteenth-century age of natural history coincided with the high point of slavery, plantation economies, colonial genocide of indigenous populations in North America and South Africa, as well as slave rebellions across the world—in the Andes, Caribbean, and Americas, as well as elsewhere.182 The naturalist travel writer, in creating a classificatory methodology which articulated ideas of difference, was an embodiment of the ‘anti-conquest’, a benign (p.34) figure who saw himself as separate from military imperialism, and colonial corporate greed and malfeasance.183 This taking without violence and subjugation, some scholars argue, also mirrors an intentional inability to see beyond limited paradigms and monolithic binaries on the part of colonial botanists. In Buchanan’s case, while he embodied the Enlightenment scientist, making observations on a wide range of issues, from indigenous geography to vernacular architecture, he could not value or accept the rich and complex religious heterodoxy, particularly the power-sharing relationships between Tantric Buddhist-Saiva and Muslim communities in easternmost Bengal.184 He perceived such religious pluralism as a form of degradation and dilution.185 As Indrani Chatterjee suggests, Buchanan’s work is evidence of ‘missed opportunities’ during the colonial period: Perhaps alone in his generation, he visited the various cardinal points of the monastic geographical order between the hills and the coasts—Ava, Chittagong, Kathmandu (Nepal), Goalpara (North Bengal), Purnea (Bihar) —between the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. All his journals record face-to-face encounters with Buddhist monks, monastic subjects, monastic routes and itineraries, conversations with Vaisnava Assamese literati bureaucrats and with Muslims of various persuasions, all of which the observer noted copiously but failed to synthesize. Such synthesis is left for the later reader of his journals to attempt.186

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‘Promiscuous’ Planting Indeed, as has been noted throughout this chapter, he applied botanical concepts of taxonomy to his ethnological studies. However, Buchanan was uncomfortable accepting systems of ‘promiscuous mixing’, both in the natural world through jhumming and in the human world of cosmopolitan households, marital traditions, religious ritual, language history, and material culture. Buchanan, like many scientific men of his age and as a Linnaean disciple, preferred the people he encountered to be easily determined, defined, and ultimately classified, just like the flora and fauna. Despite his own reservations in accepting hybrid religious and cultural phenomena, he was nonetheless an honest empiricist, carefully writing down his observations in simple, unstilted prose. In the process, his travelogue provides manifold instances of heterogeneity. Whatever his own personal inclinations, Buchanan’s commitment to writing a (p.35) frank account led to the very portrait of a place which he seemed least inclined to construct: one of cultural diversity and transregional cross-fertilization in a porous, multilingual, multiethnic, multireligious border region of startling geographic beauty. For this alone, his archive is an enduring source on Company rule in the CHT. As Indrani Chatterjee suggests, it is for today’s readers and scholars to interpret his journals and make the connections, which he may have hinted at, but was ultimately blind to. Notes:

(1.) Willem van Schendel, ‘Introduction’, in Francis Buchanan in Southeast Bengal (1798): His Journey to Chittagong, the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Noakhali and Comilla, ed. Willem van Schendel (Dhaka: University Press Limited, 1992), pp. xii–xiii. (2.) Cederlof, Founding an Empire, pp. 3–13. (3.) Chatterjee, Forgotten Friends, p. 106; Buchanan’s Burmah Journal, OIOC, H 687, Bengal Political Consultation of 17 April 1798, No. 1, British Library, London. (4.) van Schendel, ‘Introduction’, p. xiii. (5.) Choudhury, ‘An Eventful Politics of Difference’, p. 272. (6.) van Schendel, ‘Introduction’, p. xv. (7.) Chatterjee, Forgotten Friends, p. 106. (8.) van Schendel, ‘Introduction’, p. xvi. (9.) van Schendel, ‘Introduction’, pp. xvi–xvii. (10.) Cederlof, Founding an Empire, p. 4. Page 29 of 40

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‘Promiscuous’ Planting (11.) Jeremy Adelman and Stephen Aron, ‘From Borderlands to Borders: Empires, Nation-States, and the Peoples in Between in North American History’, The American Historical Review 104, No. 3 (June 1999): 814–41, p. 816; Nicholas Rogers, ‘Caribbean Borderland: Empire, Ethnicity, and the Exotic on the Mosquito Coast’, Eighteenth-Century Life 26, No. 3 (2002): 117–38, p. 135. (12.) Buchanan, ‘An Account of a Journey Undertaken’, with coloured drawings of cattle. Diary entry: ‘5th May till the 8th’, p. 148. (13.) van Schendel, ‘Introduction’, p. xiv. (14.) Buchanan observed that between Bengal, Ava, and China, the only rulers of significance were those of Tripura, Jaintia, Cashar, Assam, Bong, and Manipur. Buchanan, ‘An Account of Journey Undertaken’, 18 May, pp. 172–3. In particular, he encountered the rajas of Tripura and Manipur, who, a hundred years later, would head their own ‘princely states’ after the formal transition from Company to Crown rule in 1858. (15.) van Schendel, ‘Introduction’, p. xv. (16.) van Schendel, ‘Introduction’, p. xiv. (17.) Pels, ‘The Rise and Fall of the Indian Aborigines’, pp. 88–9. (18.) For instance, in describing the Mru people, Buchanan compared them to Scottish highlanders by noting that Mru tribesmen wore a garment rather like Scottish plaid: ‘a piece of Cotton cloth chequered red blue and white, something like the highland plaid’. This contrasting model was often employed by British surveyors and colonial ethnographers to describe the border peoples of South and Southeast Asia. Buchanan, ‘An Account of Journey Undertaken’, 12 April, p. 74. (19.) Vinita Damodaran, ‘Indigenous Agency: Customary Rights and Tribal Protection in Eastern India, 1830–1930’, History Workshop Journal 76 (13 August 2013): pp. 85–110, pp. 87–8. (20.) van Schendel, ‘Introduction’, p. xviii. (21.) Hunt, ‘Racism, Imperialism, and the Traveller’s Gaze in Eighteenth-Century England’, pp. 333–5. (22.) Hunt, ‘Racism, Imperialism, and the Traveller’s Gaze in Eighteenth-Century England’, p. 337. (23.) Pratt, Imperial Eyes, p. 23.

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‘Promiscuous’ Planting (24.) Leighton James, ‘Travel Writing and Encounters with National “Others” in the Napoleonic Wars’, History Compass 7, No. 4 (2009): 1246–58, p. 1247; J.V.H. Melton, The Rise of the Public in Enlightenment Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), pp. 81–6. (25.) Hunt, ‘Racism, Imperialism, and the Traveller’s Gaze in Eighteenth-Century England’, p. 338. (26.) James, ‘Travel Writing and Encounters with National “Others” in the Napoleonic Wars’, p. 1247. (27.) Hunt, ‘Racism, Imperialism, and the Traveller’s Gaze in Eighteenth-Century England’, p. 348. (28.) Pratt, Imperial Eyes, pp. 27–8. (29.) Timothy P. Barnard, ‘The Rafflesia in the Natural and Imperial Imagination of the East India Company in Southeast Asia’, in The East India Company and the Natural World, ed. Vinita Damodaran, Anna Winterbottom, and Alan Lester (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), pp. 147–66, pp. 150–1. (30.) Jayanta Bhattacharya, ‘Travel Accounts and the Eighteenth Century: Indian Medicine and Surgery Through Travelling Gaze’, Indian Journal of History of Science 48, No. 1 (2013): 39–60, p. 41. (31.) Pratt, Imperial Eyes, pp. 24–5. (32.) Barnard, ‘The Rafflesia in the Natural and Imperial Imagination of the East India Company in Southeast Asia’, p. 151; L. Koerner, Linnaeus: Nature and Nation (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999), pp. 33–55. (33.) Grove, Green Imperialism, p. 8. (34.) Pratt, Imperial Eyes, p. 15. (35.) M. Reza Pirbhai, ‘Empire and I: Reading the Travelogue of a Late Eighteenth-Century British Army Captain’, South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies 36, No. 4 (2013): 661–77, p. 667. (36.) James, ‘Travel Writing and Encounters with National “Others” in the Napoleonic Wars’, p. 1247. (37.) James, ‘Travel Writing and Encounters with National “Others” in the Napoleonic Wars’, p. 1253. (38.) Elizabeth A. Bohls and Ian Duncan, eds, Travel Writing 1700–1830: An Anthology (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), pp. xxii–xxiii.

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‘Promiscuous’ Planting (39.) Pratt, Imperial Eyes, pp. 25–7. (40.) Pratt, Imperial Eyes, p. 27. (41.) Bhattacharya, ‘Travel Accounts and the Eighteenth Century,’ p. 45. (42.) Cederlof, Founding an Empire, p. 25. (43.) Deepak Kumar, ‘Botanical Explorations and the East India Company: Revisiting “Plant Colonialism”’, in The East India Company and the Natural World, ed. Vinita Damodaran, Anna Winterbottom, and Alan Lester (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), pp. 16–34, p. 19. (44.) Anne Buddle, ‘The Scots in India’, in The Tiger and the Thistle: Tipu Sultan and the Scots in India, 1760–1800, ed. Anne Buddle, Pauline Rohatgi, and Iain Gordon Brown (Edinburgh: National Gallery of Scotland, 1999), pp. 55–8, p. 55. (45.) Bhattacharya, ‘Travel Accounts and the Eighteenth Century’, p. 39. (46.) Bhattacharya, ‘Travel Accounts and the Eighteenth Century’, p. 41. (47.) Kumar, ‘Botanical Explorations and the East India Company’, p. 19. (48.) Bhattacharya, ‘Travel Accounts and the Eighteenth Century’, p. 41. (49.) Anna Winterbottom, ‘Medicine and Botany in the Making of Madras, 1680– 1720’, in The East India Company and the Natural World, ed. Vinita Damodaran, Anna Winterbottom, and Alan Lester (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), pp. 35–57, p. 36. (50.) Saikia, Forests and Ecological History of Assam, p. 25. (51.) H.J. Noltie, ‘Robert Wight and His European Botanical Collaborators’, in The East India Company and the Natural World, ed. Vinita Damodaran, Anna Winterbottom, and Alan Lester (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), pp. 58–79, p. 58. (52.) George Adamson, ‘Colonial Private Diaries and their Potential for Reconstructing Historical Climate in Bombay, 1799–1828’, in The East India Company and the Natural World, ed. Vinita Damodaran, Anna Winterbottom, and Alan Lester (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), pp. 105–6, 102–27. (53.) Pratt, Imperial Eyes, pp. 30, 34. (54.) Barnard, ‘The Rafflesia in the Natural and Imperial Imagination of the East India Company in Southeast Asia’, p. 151; J. Gascoigne, Joseph Banks and the English Enlightenment: Useful Knowledge and Polite Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995). Page 32 of 40

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‘Promiscuous’ Planting (55.) Grove, Green Imperialism, p. 311. (56.) Jeyamalar Kathirithamby-Wells, ‘Unlikely Partners: Malay-Indonesian Medicine and European Plant Science’, in The East India Company and the Natural World, ed. Vinita Damodaran, Anna Winterbottom, and Alan Lester (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), pp. 193–218, p. 204. (57.) Grove, Green Imperialism, p. 13. (58.) Kumar, ‘Botanical Explorations and the East India Company’, pp. 22–23. (59.) Grove, Green Imperialism, pp. 333–5. (60.) Grove, Green Imperialism, pp. 335–8. (61.) Kumar, ‘Botanical Explorations and the East India Company’, p. 23. (62.) Kumar, ‘Botanical Explorations and the East India Company’, p. 26. (63.) Grove, Green Imperialism, p. 338. While Roxburgh would become a member of the William Jones’s Asiatic Society, the Indian Orientalist himself would not be so partial to a Linnaean system. William Jones was also an ‘amateur plant-lover’ and collected the Sanskrit names of one thousand plants in Sanskrit medical texts, discovering their medical or religious significance. He, however, did not care much for Linnaean classificatory systems, finding Linnaeus’s sexual system demeaning to women and his inclination to name plants after the people who first described or discovered them juvenile. He preferred using indigenous names for Indian or Arabian plants rather than Linnaean nomenclature. Noltie, ‘Robert Wight and His European Botanical Collaborators,’ pp. 58–79, 60; Kumar, ‘Botanical Explorations and the East India Company’, p. 25; Londa Schiebinger, Plants and Empire: Colonial Bioprospecting in the Atlantic World (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004), p. 223. (64.) Kumar, ‘Botanical Explorations and the East India Company’, p.16. (65.) Pratt, Imperial Eyes, p. 27. (66.) Pratt, Imperial Eyes, pp. 33–4. (67.) Bhattacharya, ‘Travel Accounts and the Eighteenth Century’, p. 41; Schiebinger, Plants and Empire, p. 7. (68.) Pratt, Imperial Eyes, p. 31. (69.) Pratt, Imperial Eyes, p. 32.

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‘Promiscuous’ Planting (70.) Pratt, Imperial Eyes, pp. 34–5. Through such classifications, the European peasantry only appeared ‘somewhat less primitive than the inhabitants of the Amazon’. (71.) Damodaran, ‘Indigenous Agency’, p. 90. (72.) van Schendel, ‘Introduction’, p. xviii. (73.) van Schendel, ‘Introduction’, p. xix. (74.) Martha McLaren, British India & British Scotland, 1780–1830: Career Building, Empire Building, and a Scottish School of Thought on India Governance (Akron, Ohio: The University of Akron Press, 2001), pp. 1–3. (75.) David N. Gellner, ‘Introduction’, pp. 3–4; C. Kidd, Subverting Scotland’s Past (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993), pp. 256–67. (76.) Douglas M. Peers, ‘Soldiers, Scholars, and the Scottish Enlightenment: Militarism in Early Nineteenth-Century India’, The International History Review 16, No. 3 (August 1994): 441–65, p. 447. (77.) Iain Gordon Brown, ‘Griffins, Nabobs and a Seasoning of Curry Powder: Water Scott and the Indian Theme in Life and Literature’, in The Tiger and the Thistle: Tipu Sultan and the Scots in India, 1760–1800, ed. Anne Buddle, Pauline Rohatgi, and Iain Gordon Brown (Edinburgh: National Gallery of Scotland, 1999), pp. 71–9, p. 71; Walter Scott, The Surgeon’s Daughter (Magnum Edition, 1829–33), p. 268. (78.) Brown, ‘Griffins, Nabobs and a Seasoning of Curry Powder’, pp. 71–2; Scott, The Surgeon’s Daughter, pp. 174–6. (79.) T.M. Devine, Scotland’s Empire, 1600–1815 (London: Allen Lane, 2003), p. 251; G.J. Bryant, ‘Scots in India in the Eighteenth Century’, The Scottish Historical Review 64, No. 177 (April 1985): 22–41, p. 22; Buddle, ‘Scots in India’, p. 55; Brown, ‘Griffins, Nabobs and a Seasoning of Curry Powder’, p. 71. (80.) Brown, ‘Griffins, Nabobs and a Seasoning of Curry Powder’, p. 72. (81.) McLaren, British India & British Scotland, p. 249. (82.) Bryant, ‘Scots in India in the Eighteenth Century’, p. 22; G. Donaldson, The Scots Overseas (London, 1966), p. 202. (83.) B.R. Tomlinson, ‘From Campsie to Kedgeree: Scottish Enterprise, Asian Trade and the Company Raj’, Modern Asian Studies 36 (2002): 769–91, p. 770.

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‘Promiscuous’ Planting (84.) Bryant, ‘Scots in India in the Eighteenth Century’, p. 22; George Bogle to his sister, Mary, Calcutta, 24 February 1771, Bogle Collection, Mitchell Library, Glasgow. (85.) Devine, Scotland’s Empire, p. 251. (86.) Bryant, ‘Scots in India in the Eighteenth Century’, p. 35. (87.) Buddle, ‘Scots in India’, p. 55. (88.) Bryant, ‘Scots in India in the Eighteenth Century’, p. 23. (89.) Devine, Scotland’s Empire, p. 251. (90.) Bryant, ‘Scots in India in the Eighteenth Century’, p. 23. (91.) Devine, Scotland’s Empire, p. 251. (92.) Bryant, ‘Scots in India in the Eighteenth Century’, p. 25. These were: 89th Duke of Gordon’s Highlanders in India, 1761; 73rd Lord McLeod’s, 1778; and 78th Earl of Seaforth’s, 1781. (93.) Bryant, ‘Scots in India in the Eighteenth Century’, p. 28. (94.) Bryant, ‘Scots in India in the Eighteenth Century’, p. 38. (95.) Devine, Scotland’s Empire, p. 252. (96.) Bryant, ‘Scots in India in the Eighteenth Century’, p. 26. (97.) Bryant, ‘Scots in India in the Eighteenth Century’, pp. 26–7. (98.) Bryant, ‘Scots in India in the Eighteenth Century’, p. 22. (99.) Bryant, ‘Scots in India in the Eighteenth Century’, p. 27. (100.) Devine, Scotland’s Empire, pp. 253–4. (101.) Bryant, ‘Scots in India in the Eighteenth Century’, p. 33. (102.) Bryant, ‘Scots in India in the Eighteenth Century’, pp. 22–3. (103.) Bryant, ‘Scots in India in the Eighteenth Century’, pp. 30–2. (104.) Bryant, ‘Scots in India in the Eighteenth Century’, pp. 37–8. (105.) Brown, ‘Griffins, Nabobs and a Seasoning of Curry Powder’, p. 74. (106.) Bryant, ‘Scots in India in the Eighteenth Century’, pp. 39–40.

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‘Promiscuous’ Planting (107.) Robert Chambers, ed., A Biographical Dictionary of Eminent Scotsmen, Volume 2 (Glasgow: Blackie and Son, 1853), p. 406. (108.) van Schendel, ‘Introduction’, p. xxi. (109.) van Schendel, ‘Introduction’, p. xxi; Francis Buchanan, De febribus inte(r)mittenibus medendo (Edinburgi, 1783). (110.) Satpal Sangwan, ‘From Gentlemen Amateurs to Professionals: Reassessing the Natural Science Tradition in Colonial India 1780–1840’, in Nature & The Orient: The Environmental History of South and Southeast Asia, ed. Richard H. Grove, Vinita Damodaran, and Satpal Sangwan (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1998), pp. 210–35, p. 217. (111.) Vicziany, ‘Imperialism, Botany and Statistics in Early Nineteenth Century India’, p. 630; A.T. Gage, A History of the Linnaean Society of London (London: Linnaean Society, 1938), Chapter 1; J. Reynolds Green, A History of Botany in the United Kingdom (London: Dent & Sons, 1914), Chapter 28; James Edward Smith, A Sketch of a Tour on the Continent (London: Longman, Hurst, Rees & Orme, 1807, 2nd Edition, Vol. I), p. xxiv. (112.) Vicziany, ‘Imperialism, Botany and Statistics in Early Nineteenth Century India’, pp. 630–1. (113.) van Schendel, ‘Introduction’, p. xxi. (114.) Vicziany, ‘Imperialism, Botany and Statistics in Early Nineteenth Century India’, p. 625. (115.) Vicziany, ‘Imperialism, Botany and Statistics in Early Nineteenth Century India’, p. 631. (116.) van Schendel, ‘Introduction’, p. xxi; Francis Buchanan, ‘A Comparative Vocabulary of Some of the Languages Spoken in the Burman Empire’, Asiatick Researches (Calcutta) 5 (1801): 219–40; ‘On the Religion and Literature of the Burmas’. (117.) Vicziany, ‘Imperialism, Botany and Statistics in Early Nineteenth Century India’, p. 630. (118.) Narendar Pani, Sindhu Radhakrishna, and Kishor G. Bhat, eds, Bengaluru, Bangalore, Bengaluru: Imaginations and Their Times (New Delhi: SAGE Publications, 2010), p. 47. (119.) Vicziany, ‘Imperialism, Botany and Statistics in Early Nineteenth Century India’, p. 631. (120.) van Schendel, ‘Introduction’, p. xxii. Page 36 of 40

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‘Promiscuous’ Planting (121.) Buchanan, ‘An Account of Journey Undertaken’, 31 March, p. 46. (122.) van Schendel, ‘Introduction,’ p. xiii. (123.) Buchanan, ‘An Account of Journey Undertaken’, 26 March, p. 36. (124.) Buchanan, ‘An Account of Journey Undertaken’, 27 April, p. 112. (125.) van Schendel, ‘Introduction’, p. xii. (126.) Buchanan, ‘An Account of Journey Undertaken’, 31 March, pp. 46–7. (127.) Indeed, eighteenth-century botany was closely linked with sexuality (in part due to the nomenclature used) and particularly ideas of promiscuity. In Europe, there were concerns that women should understand botany in part due to its sexualized language. Patricia Fara, Sex, Botany and Empire: The Story of Carl Linnaeus and Joseph Banks (New York: Columbia University Press, 2003), pp. 41–2. (128.) Buchanan, ‘An Account of Journey Undertaken’, 19 April, p. 103. (129.) Buchanan, ‘An Account of Journey Undertaken’, 18 April, p. 91. (130.) Buchanan observed that the Mru people made a kind of rice liquor, where rice water was fermented for three days, decanted, and boiled down in a method he speculated was introduced by the Portuguese (Buchanan, ‘An Account of Journey Undertaken’, 12 April, pp. 75–6). (131.) Buchanan, ‘An Account of Journey Undertaken’, 25 March, p. 34. (132.) Buchanan accurately observes a common practice, still continued in the Hill Tracts today, of lay Buddhist men adopting a monastic lifestyle for brief spells of time before returning to the secular community. Buchanan, ‘An Account of Journey Undertaken’, 27 April, p. 113. (133.) Buchanan, ‘An Account of Journey Undertaken’, 27 April, pp. 113–14. Later, he noted ‘that all the people here spoke Bengalese; and they said, that they understood no other language. The laity read Bengalese books, but the Moshangs or Priests at this village had books in the Ra-Kain language, and character.’ (Buchanan, ‘An Account of Journey Undertaken’, 29 April, p. 127.) (134.) Buchanan, ‘An Account of Journey Undertaken’, 9 April, pp. 67–8. (135.) Buchanan, ‘An Account of Journey Undertaken’, 25 March, p. 34. (136.) Buchanan, ‘An Account of Journey Undertaken’, 19 April, p. 97. (137.) Buchanan, ‘An Account of Journey Undertaken’, 9 April, pp. 67–8.

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‘Promiscuous’ Planting (138.) ‘“Nat”,’ as Thant U-Myint, suggests, ‘is a generic word for any “spirit” or “deity” and they are seen as potentially malevolent and in need of constant propitiation, usually through the ritual offering of food and water.’ (Myint-U, The Making of Modern Burma, p. 49.) (139.) Buchanan, ‘An Account of Journey Undertaken’, 19 April, p. 102. (140.) Buchanan was intrigued with debt slavery, and compared it to EuroAmerican slavery. The slaves’ working days, while long, were not inhumanly gruelling: they rose at six in the morning, worked until ten a.m. and then again from four in the afternoon until sunset. A slave’s monthly allowance was a basket of unhusked rice of 80 pounds and a piece of cotton-woven cloth. The slaves could not be sold by their master, and if they were able to repay the debt, they would be given their freedom. They also had the choice of changing masters, if they could find another who would willingly ‘advance the price of his head’ or take responsibility for paying the debt (Buchanan, ‘An Account of Journey Undertaken’, 18 April, p. 94). (141.) Buchanan describes a Marma monastic order. A platform was separated into three apartments, where he found the Poungri teaching several boys to read and write, including the son of the chief. The room itself held a few small images, which were dressed in yellow. The objects sat on a raised stage ‘adorned with Silver, and paper Ornaments’, and in front of the stage was a tall iron lamp. Buchanan found that the priest, originally from Arakan, was intelligent and was training a young novitiate. The boy dressed in yellow robes, but had not yet joined the priesthood. Buchanan noted that this was ‘contrary to the Burma Custom, and to the precepts of the Kammua, or book of Ordination’, although the priest did own some very fine copies of the Kammua. He surmised that perhaps the Rakhain differed greatly from the Burmese, for he found that there existed many differences in the religious doctrines of the two people. Also, unlike the Burmese priests, they did not beg for alms, but sat in the convent, where they received gifts from their congregants (‘the Pious’). Furthermore, he noted that the priests also had debt slaves, who were largely ‘procured by advancing money for people, who had fallen into distressed circumstances’. (Buchanan, ‘An Account of Journey Undertaken’, 19 April, p. 96.) (142.) Buchanan, ‘An Account of Journey Undertaken’, 18 April, p. 93. (143.) Buchanan, ‘An Account of Journey Undertaken’, 1 May, p. 133. (144.) Buchanan, ‘An Account of Journey Undertaken’, 1 May, p. 132. (145.) Buchanan, ‘An Account of Journey Undertaken’, 2 May, pp. 141–2. (146.) Buchanan, ‘An Account of Journey Undertaken’, 2 May, p. 142. (147.) Buchanan, ‘An Account of Journey Undertaken’, 28 April, pp. 119–20. Page 38 of 40

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‘Promiscuous’ Planting (148.) Buchanan, ‘An Account of Journey Undertaken’, 28 April, pp. 120–1. (149.) Buchanan, ‘An Account of Journey Undertaken’, 27 April, p. 114. (150.) Buchanan, ‘An Account of Journey Undertaken’, 27 April, p. 115. (151.) Buchanan, ‘An Account of Journey Undertaken’, 27 April, p. 111. Note that Gentoos are Hindus. (152.) Sangwan, ‘From Gentlemen Amateurs to Professionals’, p. 217. (153.) Vicziany, ‘Imperialism, Botany and Statistics in Early Nineteenth Century India’, p. 632; Buchanan, ‘On the Religion and Literature of the Burmas’. (154.) Buchanan, ‘An Account of Journey Undertaken’, 29 April, pp. 127–8. (155.) Vicziany, ‘Imperialism, Botany and Statistics in Early Nineteenth Century India’, p. 632. (156.) Chatterjee, Forgotten Friends, pp. 110–1. (157.) Buchanan, ‘An Account of Journey Undertaken’, 1 May, p. 134. (158.) Buchanan, ‘An Account of Journey Undertaken’, 2 May, pp. 137–8. (159.) Note that such accounts reveal the various historic enmities and conflicts between different indigenous clans and groups, which contrast with the oft portrayed image of Jhumma nationalism and unity in postcolonial narratives. (160.) Buchanan, ‘An Account of Journey Undertaken’, 22 March, p. 27. (161.) Myint-U, The Making of Modern Burma, pp. 17–8. (162.) Myint-U, The Making of Modern Burma, pp. 12–3. (163.) Myint-U, The Making of Modern Burma, pp. 13–4. (164.) Buchanan, ‘An Account of Journey Undertaken’, 1 April, p. 48. (165.) Buchanan, ‘An Account of Journey Undertaken’, 27 March, p. 39. (166.) Buchanan, ‘An Account of Journey Undertaken’, 28 March, p. 40. (167.) Buchanan, ‘An Account of Journey Undertaken’, 3 April, p. 52. (168.) Buchanan, ‘An Account of Journey Undertaken’, 7 April, pp. 63–4. (169.) Buchanan, ‘An Account of Journey Undertaken’, 14 April, p. 86. (170.) Cederlof, Founding an Empire, p. 40. Page 39 of 40

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‘Promiscuous’ Planting (171.) Cederlof, Founding an Empire, p. 72. (172.) van Schendel, ‘Introduction’, p. xxii. (173.) van Schendel, ‘Introduction’, p. xxiii. (174.) Vicziany, ‘Imperialism, Botany and Statistics in Early Nineteenth Century India’, p. 649; Sir John Sinclair, Analysis of the Statistical Account of Scotland, Vol. I (Edinburgh: Arch, Constable & Co., 1825; reprint London: Johnston Reprint Corporation, 1970). (175.) Vicziany, ‘Imperialism, Botany and Statistics in Early Nineteenth Century India’, p. 650. (176.) Pels, ‘The Rise and Fall of the Indian Aborigines’, pp. 88–9; Roxburgh as quoted in David Prain, ‘A Sketch of the Life of Francis Hamilton (once Buchanan), Sometime Superintendent of the Honourable Company’s Botanic Garden, Calcutta’, Annals of the Royal Botanic Garden, Calcutta 10 (1905), Part 1: 1–lxxv, p. xii. (177.) van Schendel, ‘Introduction’, pp. xxiii–xxiv. (178.) Vicziany, ‘Imperialism, Botany and Statistics in Early Nineteenth Century India’, p. 626. (179.) Vicziany, ‘Imperialism, Botany and Statistics in Early Nineteenth Century India’, p. 655. (180.) Vicziany, ‘Imperialism, Botany and Statistics in Early Nineteenth Century India’, p. 656. (181.) Vicziany, ‘Imperialism, Botany and Statistics in Early Nineteenth Century India’, pp. 656–7. (182.) Pratt, Imperial Eyes, p. 36. (183.) Pratt, Imperial Eyes, p. 57. (184.) Chatterjee, Forgotten Friends, p. 107. (185.) Chatterjee, Forgotten Friends, p. 244. (186.) Chatterjee, Forgotten Friends, pp. 110–1.

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’

An Endangered History: Indigeneity, Religion, and Politics on the Borders of India, Burma, and Bangladesh Angma Dey Jhala

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780199493081 Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019 DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199493081.001.0001

‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ Reading Gender, Indigeneity, and Tribal Authority in T.H. Lewin’s Archive, c. 1864–75 Angma Dey Jhala

DOI:10.1093/oso/9780199493081.003.0002

Abstract and Keywords This chapter critiques the voluminous published and unpublished writings of Thomas H. Lewin, the first British deputy commissioner and would-be ethnographer of the CHT during the 1860s and 1870s. He had complex and, at times quixotic, views on indigenous history and the limits and nature of colonial intervention. In particular, this chapter interprets Lewin’s writings through the lens of gender and sexuality, by analyzing his interactions with both indigenous hill and British women. In particular, it examines his contentious relationship with the Chakma regent queen Rani Kalindi as well as his close epistolary relationship with his mother in London. Lewin’s record is a fascinating account of a (male) colonial administrator who was strongly influenced and jostled by two maternal figures: one indigenous and the other British. The chapter also examines the way he frames the geography and landscape itself in gendered language. Keywords:   Thomas H. Lewin, gender and sexuality, Rani Kalindi, British Raj administration, histories of landscape, female authority and indigenous resistance

This great sheet of paper stares at me with a dull white opacity of countenance that is really appalling—In its vastness it reminds me of space or carries me back to my hill solitude in Sirthay Tlang in Lushai Land. I remember how I used to stand on the edge of a brown rock close to my hut Page 1 of 55

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ (Uncle Tom’s cabin) with a valley at my feet a sheer thousand feet below— but instead of a prospect of wood and stream diminishing in the distance, there rises up, striking me dumbly in the face, a mighty mass of mist piled up to heaven, and stretching far and wide on either hand—blotting out all God’s earth and putting forth a long shadowy arm even against the sky. It rises before one, dim, white, mysterious—as if possessed of an individuality of its own. Now and again there would come a slow uneasy movement in its masses as though the thing inside was stirring as a snake in the coils. . .you look and look and still go on looking; there is an impulse too within one to spring out in the air, to fling oneself off and sink into the soft fleece. (Lewin, Letter to his Mother, Rangamatee, 2/11/1873)1

Lewin and His Women: Sites of Contestation and Contradiction In 1867, the young Englishman Thomas Herbert Lewin (1839–1916) was appointed the first deputy commissioner of the CHT. He had, at times, seemingly contradictory characteristics for a colonial (p.46) administrator, being both a ‘man of action [and a] soldier’ as well as one of reflection, a ‘linguist, writer, artist and musician’.2 Descended from an established family of Anglo-Indians, who had served in India for three successive generations, Lewin set sail for India as a fresh-faced eighteen-year-old cadet in the East India Company army on 9 September 1857, in the midst of the Indian Mutiny.3 (p.47) After facing action in Cawnpore and a furlough in England following the Mutiny, he eventually made his way to Bengal, serving in the police first at Rampur, then Hazaribagh and Noacolly,4 before being posted to the CHT in 1864, where he remained for the next eleven years until 1875.5 During this period, he would produce a rich record on the indigenous peoples of the area, including both published and unpublished writings, paintings, and photographs. His contributions crossed multiple genres and included lexicons, dictionaries, grammars,6 military chronicles,7 ethnographies,8 memoirs,9 journalistic articles for periodicals,10 and short fiction

Figure 2.1 ‘My House on Sirthay Tlang above Demagree on the Kurnapoolee River, Chittagong Hill Tracts.’ Source: Folder with twenty-five sketches by T.H. Lewin intended for A Fly on the Wheel (not all were eventually used in the book). Wash, pen and ink with white

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ and poetry.11 As a corpus, it remains one of the few written archives of the CHT from the colonial era.

highlights, on pale blue or white paper. Lewin Papers. MS811/II/68. Reproduced by permission of the Senate House Library archives, University of London, London, UK.

In particular, I argue that Lewin defined the region and its peoples through the lens of gender and women’s roles. While his daily life focussed upon masculine pursuits (trekking, hunting, negotiating with the local chiefs, and leading military raids), his writings reveal a preoccupation with the lives of women. Nearly all of his works, from his introspective, private diary to his official administrative reports of the Hill Tracts, emphasize the difference between hill people and their neighbours in their treatment of women, marriage, and domesticity. In this manner, his archive serves as a revealing exposition of one Anglo-Indian Victorian gentleman’s views of family and gender in both the metropole and the colony. Lewin encountered four different categories of women during his time in east Bengal. First, there were his fellow Englishwomen, who shared a similar national history, race, and class. Most of these Englishwomen formed a part of the inner circle of his family, beginning with his mother (with whom he had a deeply affectionate and devoted relationship) and elderly aunts, and fanned out to sisters, cousins, and the wives of friends and family members. Like many Victorian gentlemen of his era and class, he was a copious letter writer and wrote regularly to both family and friends as well as received letters from them. The receipt of a letter was an event eagerly anticipated, situated as he was in the remote interior of the Hill Tracts. His elderly female relations, in particular, were among his more dedicated correspondents, and it was to them that he shared his most profound aspirations and vulnerabilities in letters such as the above 1873 epistle to his mother. One can visualize Tom Lewin in his bungalow, the lone Englishman for (p.48) miles, keenly waiting for a letter or package from his mother or aged aunts. This one parcel or gift of words was his only tenuous connection to the far removed, wider world. Second, he engaged with hill women of prominence and political influence, particularly the Chakma queen, Rani Kalindi. As deputy commissioner, one of Lewin’s primary duties was to control the three indigenous circle chiefs or rajas of the Hill Tracts, namely, the Mong, Bohmong, and Chakma rulers, and bring them to heel under the suzerainty of the new Crown Raj. While partially successful in his expansionist ambitions on behalf of the Empire, Lewin consistently faced opposition from the Chakma chieftainess, the elderly regent queen, Rani Kalindi, who ruled the largest territory with the greatest population. The rani governed on behalf of the minor chief, her step-grandson,

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ strengthening the chiefship against the local aristocracy and at various points resisting the colonial state. Lewin perceived her maternal authority as meddlesome, ruled by superstition and customary practice. She became both his personal nemesis and an embattled opponent of the colonial administration, regularly petitioning Lewin’s superiors in Calcutta for his removal from the Hill Tracts and allegedly was even behind an assassination attempt.12 He described her as an ‘energetic, ambitious and clever widow’ and a real ‘thorn in the side of government’.13 In his eyes, she was ‘an old widow woman, swayed and directed by interested advisers, and her attitude remained persistently hostile during the whole term of my residence in the Hill Tracts.’14 The twentieth-century British administrator, J.P. Mills, similarly noted that her reign marked a period of oppression, where she sold the Chakmas out to Bengali munshis.15 Lewin’s views, in many ways, reflected the broader attitudes of colonial administrators on the flaws of indigenous female leadership. In one official correspondence, he described the rani as ‘an old woman of 60 with all the weakness & foibles of her sex aggravated—she is in the hands of an unscrupulous clique of Bengallee omlah.’16 British administrators in general undermined the sovereignty of the local chiefs, arguing that their roles mainly involved revenue collection with no administrative duties.17 Such views were not uncommon at the time, and British officers from the late eighteenth century onwards also increasingly focussed on illegitimatizing women’s authority, (p.49) particularly female rulers who practised purdah (or seclusion).18 Lewin’s contentious relationship with the rani is a particularly revealing episode on female resistance and agency and one colonial official’s response to it. Furthermore, it powerfully reveals the significant place of maternal influence in the lives of nineteenth-century men, British or Indian. Dealing with one mother by day, Lewin spent his evenings writing to another and it is a curious reality that two mothers, his own and the step-grandmother of the young minor chief whom he wished to control, were arguably the most influential people in his life during his years in the Hill Tracts. While Lewin’s pejorative views of Rani Kalindi embody common attitudes by European administrators towards the political ambitions of native women rulers, they contrast sharply with his perceptions of ordinary hill women in general. This is the third category of women Lewin closely interacted with.19 His descriptions of the freeness of hill women with regard to their bodies and choice in marriage reflect his profound admiration for tribal custom and society. His portraits of hill women also sharply contrast with colonial views of secluded upper-caste Hindu and upper-class Muslim women, who were often the subjects of European travelogues and political commentaries on South Asian or Middle Eastern polities during the age of imperialism.20 Orientalist accounts by colonial Page 4 of 55

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ authors, legislators, and administrators often perceived these women, who practised purdah, as silent, repressed, and subjugated by tradition, law, and patriarchy.21 In contrast, Lewin suggested that the public visibility and physical mobility of tribal women had much to teach both Bengali and European women about natural grace, social equality, and bodily freedom. In this manner, he clearly differentiated between what he argued was a ‘Burman’ sensibility and both plains-dwelling Bengali and European culture.22 Fourth, he interacted with half-caste or mixed-race women, in particular the young girl, Mary Winchester, whom he successfully ‘rescued’ after she was captured by the Lushai tribe. Mary, the daughter of a British tea plantation manager and an indigenous woman, was abducted along with several plantation workers during a raid. The military campaign to retrieve her and her eventual rescue would receive a good deal of press at the time and make the careers of several British officers involved. Lewin’s responses to the young child abductee and the later adult Mary (p.50) reveal multiple ambivalences regarding intercaste or mixed-race persons, which further complicate his views on gender and race. His emphasis on the feminine further extended into a larger reading on hill geography. The ‘freedom’ and ‘naturalness’ of tribal women was inherently connected, in Lewin’s mind, to the aesthetic beauty of the surrounding landscape. He deployed romanticized lyricism to describe the topography, flora, and fauna of the Hill Tracts, which evocatively emphasized its wild primitivism through the familiar language of Enlightenment philosophy, in particular Montaigne’s classic figure of the ‘noble savage’.23 Such descriptions were not unusual but a part of a recurrent pattern in romanticizing colonial northeast India.24 Europeans had been obsessed with ‘the tropics’ as a ‘site for European pornographic fantasies long before conquest was under way, with lurid descriptions of sexual license, promiscuity, gynecological aberrations, and general perversion marking the Otherness of the colonized for metropolitan consumption.’25 This imperial fantasy found no greater outlet than in the penetration and domination of foreign landscapes and climates. From the age of the Renaissance to the zenith of Victorian imperialism, the language of ‘pornotropics’ was employed by male imperial travellers crisscrossing the globe from Africa and Asia to the Americas, and read through the lens of an ‘erotics of ravishment’.26 Through such accounts, ‘cartographers filled the blank seas of their maps with mermaids and sirens. Explorers called unknown lands “virgin” territory. Philosophers veiled “Truth” as female then fantasized about drawing back the veil. In myriad ways, women served as mediating and threshold figures by means of which men oriented themselves in space as agents of power and agents of knowledge.’27

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ Lewin interlaced his writings with such descriptions of the arresting visual beauty of the terrain, dotted with rivers and mist-clad hilltops, vibrant, colourful flowers, and teeming animal life, in sensual, often erotic, terms. In such accounts, the land is depicted as one of lyrical purity and virginal innocence to be penetrated and appropriated by the colonial military entrepreneur cum scholar-administrator. His work arguably falls into this long tradition of imperial eco-eroticism to describe geographies vulnerable to foreign plunder and capital. The aestheticization of the landscape embodies what Mary Louise Pratt terms as ‘the monarch-of-all-I-survey’ genre. While earlier generations utilized Linnaean classifications or Humboldtian poetics of (p.51) science, the Victorians created a form of ‘verbal painting’ to introduce home audiences to distant geographical locations conquered by England. This Victorian ‘discovery rhetoric’ had three essential characteristics. First was the landscape as an aestheticized object, where it was described in a painterly manner, providing background, foreground, symmetry, and colours for land and water that expressed the aesthetic pleasure of the journey itself. This was coupled with a density of meaning, articulated through abundant use of adjectival modifiers often deployed indiscriminately, such as ‘capped’ and ‘mound-like’, to express physical materiality or ‘emerald green’, ‘pearly mist,’ or ‘plum-colour’ to create exact hues or sub-shades of colour to describe landscapes and water. It further involved the mastery of the seer over the seen.28 Ultimately, the monarch-of-all-Isurvey is a gendered encounter from the start, where the ‘Explorer-man paints/ possesses newly unveiled landscape-woman.’29 In many ways, Lewin’s 1873 letter to his mother, which begins this chapter, employs this monarch-of-all-I-survey language. Refer also to the scene in his drawing (Figure 2.1). He describes both the haunting evocativeness of the Hill Tracts as well as his overwhelming need to capture and explain it in words. He compares the ‘dull white opacity’ of the blank page to the very landscape surrounding him in its mysterious opaqueness. Into this untamed wilderness, he literally writes himself in, as imperial pioneer and seer, ‘an Uncle Tom’s cabin’, evoking the colonial adventure literature that fuelled many young boys’ imaginations of unnamed spaces on the global map as well as grown men’s desire to conquer them. Instead of a scene of pleasantly tamed, human domesticated geography, that of a bucolic ‘wood and stream diminishing in the distance’, Lewin is confronted with an awesome unknown, beyond human control and perhaps cognition. A ‘mighty mass of mist piled to heaven’ stretches as far as the eye can see, a ‘dim, white, mysterious’ thing, which is both enticing and frightening. Interlaced with this description is a latent sense of danger, silent, yet easily stirred ‘like a snake in the coils’. Such descriptions are prescient of Joseph Conrad’s use of a similar image in Heart of Darkness for the continent of Africa, which would be published some fifteen years later.30 I argue that throughout his writings, including private reflections such as these, Lewin

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ was trying to grasp this mysteriousness and, in some ways, both tame it and be tamed by it.

(p.52) The Man of Paradox: A Quixotic Colonial Administrator Lewin himself was a man of paradoxes. His contemporaries as well as later historians had mixed feelings about Lewin the man and his legacy within the Hill Tracts. One commentator was perplexed that Lewin’s life would be of interest to readers at all.31 John Whitehead, in his 1992 biography, provided a largely favourable and, at times, eulogistic account of his life, while Indrani Chatterjee interpreted Lewin as a rapacious colonial merchant capitalist and political military administrator who exploited the native peoples while investing in the local tea economy, eventually leading the Lushai campaign to protect his own interests.32 Amena Mohsin has argued that Lewin was the ‘architect of British hegemony in the area and on whose recommendations most of the policies for the area were formulated.’33 Lalruatkima interpreted Lewin’s works as constructing an imaginative literature on the frontier border in a contested and fluid relationship between the colonial government and the hill tribes.34 Among the hill peoples of the CHT, there are similarly divergent opinions. Rani Kalindi’s descendent, Raja Tridiv Roy, observed that Lewin saw himself as ‘king’ in everything save name, and that he bifurcated the old Chakma raj territory, dramatically eroding indigenous authority.35 In contrast, the Lushais described him as their first white friend in a commemorative plaque erected in 1921, shortly after his death.36 Indeed, like other nineteenth-century British officials across the Indian subcontinent, Lewin was a study in contrasts. As a member of the middle classes and diminishing gentry in Britain, he saw India as a place of possibility, where a young man could find opportunity, fortune, and name, and live in a manner no longer attainable in his home country.37 Lewin was charmed by the indigenous peoples he came in contact with as well as the beauty of the landscape, and, like other imperial military scholar-administrators, was influenced by the twin potent themes of medievalism and romanticism, at times blurring the lines of fact and fiction in his writing,38 being deeply impressed by the work of Walter Scott.39 He also occasionally went ‘native’, dressed in local clothing, lived in traditional dwellings, ate with his hands,40 and allegedly took a local woman as lover.41 At one level, he perfectly embodied the well-trained mid-nineteenth-century military administrator. Hardworking, he clocked (p.53) in long hours in a disciplined and, at times, gruelling routine.42 Athletic and fit, having served in the Indian army, he trekked for miles throughout his time in the Hill Tracts, spent long hours in the saddle, and enjoyed hunting with the local chiefs,43 even sending home to England tiger and leopard skins to be converted into hearthrugs.44 Activities like hunting and sport particularly reflected the principles of manliness promoted by both British public schools and Oxbridge,45 which gave greater respect to ‘energetic action’ over ‘unhealthy reflection’.46 In Page 7 of 55

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ many ways, Lewin was the quintessential Anglo-Saxon gentleman of his age, being ‘muscular in build and supremely athletic in habits, as evinced by his horsemanship and capacity in sports and hunting’, with the virtues representative of the ruling race: strong character, energy, daringness, decency, readiness, pluck, fair-mindedness, moral responsibility, endurance, and patriotic duty to one’s country.47 At the same time, Lewin was an aesthete. He loved reading literature and composing poetry and short fiction, listening to western classical music and playing the violin and piano, painting watercolours, and writing long, detailed and, at times, emotionally maudlin letters to his female relations. Such interests, particularly in literature, were rooted in his childhood, and he had a boyhood ambition, often expressed fervently in his diary and letters, to be a published author. He was also a hidden romantic, both in his desire for the opposite sex as well as in a certain perception of the world around him. He often wrote of his longing for female companionship which suggested more than purely bodily need by a man distant and removed from the company of his fellow Europeans, but as much or more so a desire for emotional and intellectual companionship and female friendship. Lewin similarly did not fall easily into the general literary stereotypes of British colonial administrators. He was neither the effete, inebriated, corpulent district administrator of M.M. Kaye’s Mutiny novel, Shadow of the Moon, nor the rigid Raj official, narrow-minded and public-school educated, aesthetically disinterested and ‘holier-than-thou’ of E.M. Forster’s A Passage to India, nor did he personify the most enigmatic and ruthless victor and victim of rapacious colonial capital: the mad and eccentric Kurtz of Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.48 In many ways, as Ann Stoler argues, colonialism created categories that were fluid and often beyond the boundaries of rigid definition which (p.54) ‘were binding but unbound by those within them, were excessively rigid and exceeded their limits, had nuanced criteria for inclusion that were reworked by people who made them and by those they could not contain.’49 As Lalruatkima suggests, Lewin created an imperial imaginaire of the CHT, which was not monolithic but problematic, contested, and unstable.50 Indeed, his writings on the hill people reflect these various overlapping ‘limits’, revealing a personality as much on the boundaries as his subjects were.

The Colonial Administrator-Scholar in Training: Educating the Young Tom Lewin Thomas Herbert Lewin was born on 1 April 1839 to Mary Friend and George Lewin, and was the first of six children. His mother was described as a most indulgent and sweet-natured parent, who her children longed to please. In their later years, her sons would woo her affections almost like suitors.51 Page 8 of 55

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ Lewin was sent off to boarding school as a boy, and his leave-taking of his mother would be one of the most painful experiences of his life. His first school was an academy for boys, run by a Mr Grix, in Littlehampton, on the Sussex coast. As a boy, he was often mischievous, being sent early to bed at ten in the morning, ‘lonely, cold, and miserable’ as a form of punishment. He remembered those mornings, gazing miserably at the other boys who were outside playing. Occasionally, his mother would break the gloom of those years, when she visited him like an ‘angel from another world’. From there in 1854, he moved to Mr Hopkirk’s academy at Eltham in Kent, which was a prep school for boys who intended on entering a military career.52 While a skilled athlete, Lewin was often bored by the dry monotony of school life. He enjoyed music, drawing, and reading for pleasure, particularly adventure narratives, which was typical of any schoolboy growing up during the heyday of the Empire.53 The novels of Walter Scott and James Fennimore Cooper, such as The Last of the Mohicans (1826) and The Deerslayer (1841), as well as the Arabian Nights and the legends of Jack the Giant Killer and Tom Thumb were among his favourites.54 He also read Mayne Reids’s Scalp Hunters (1851) and Rifle Rangers (1850),55 Herman Melville’s Typee (1846) and its sequel, Omoo (1847)56 as well as ancient Greek mythology.57 (p.55) Such adventure tales were a fundamental part of the nineteenth-century Victorian Englishman’s experience of the Empire, and imaginative accounts, such as novels, painted renditions of military campaigns, travelogues, missionary stories as well as the new science of ethnography, were as much staples of everyday life as the material products and consumables of the Empire, like sugar, tea, coffee, cocoa, and tobacco. Middle-class periodicals discussed issues of colonialism and the popular press printed adventure tales that spanned the breadth of the Empire, from stories of North American ‘Red Indians’ to African tribes.58 The novel, in particular, became ‘the aesthetic object’ in the age of imperialism for British and French readers, and adventure literature served as a mesmerizing method to recreate history. As Edward Said observed, stories were at ‘the heart of what explorers and novelists say about strange regions of the world; they also become the method colonized people use to assert their own identity and the existence of their own history.’ Novels such as Robinson Crusoe for young would-be imperialists-in-training was ‘not accidentally . . . about a European who creates a fiefdom for himself on a distant, non-European island.’59 In the process, these texts were as much about mapping the globe as about defining English identities, determining what it meant to be English, white, Anglo-Saxon and part of a ‘master race’ which ruled a quarter of the globe’s population. As Catherine Hall argues, ‘the Empire offered the English adventures beyond “the old country”, forms of authority which they might not be able to achieve at home, visions of “native” sexuality. Empire, it can be argued, was indeed constitutive of English masculinities in the mid nineteenth century.’60 A number of acclaimed British novelists, including Lewin’s Page 9 of 55

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ contemporary, Anthony Trollope, were also successful travel writers. Not only beloved for his Victorian novels but also his travel reportage, Trollope may well have been the kind of author that Lewin both read and aspired to be. Trollope published The West Indies and the Spanish Main (1859) on his return from an 1858 visit to the West Indies, which became a great success, went into a sixth edition the year following its publication, and was released in USA.61 Lewin was particularly influenced by adventure narratives of the American frontier, such as Fennimore Cooper’s novels, which depicted the ‘wrenching’ destruction of Native American culture, rendering wild frontiers familiarly foreign in the process.62 Reading such works (p.56) would have fuelled the young boy Lewin with the tantalizing prospects of discovery in the extra-British world as well as the adult colonial administrator with ambitions of literary greatness. Lewin also read the major eighteenth- and nineteenth-century poets and novelists, including Longfellow, Wordsworth, Byron, Pope, Browning, and Tennyson. He noted that Don Juan was ‘one of the finest poems that has ever been written.’ As he matured, he grew into the classics, including the Bible, the plays of Shakespeare, Cervantes’s Don Quixote, and the philosophical works of Plato, John Stuart Mill, and Herbert Spencer, whom he enjoyed in his thirties as well as Laclos’s Les Liaisons Dangereuses, which he read in the original French. During the time he was in the Hill Tracts, he most admired De Quincey and Ruskin as stylists, while loathing Milton. He was predisposed to the philosophies of Anaxagoras, Plato, and Marcus Aurelius (although he attempted Compte, Descartes, Kant, and Schlegel without much success). Music came to him only in his twenties, but he adored the work of the Trinity, that is, Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven, as well as Bach and Handel.63 In addition, Lewin eventually did well enough in ‘regular subjects’ at school, such as geometry and French, to pass the entrance exam for Addiscombe, the East India Company’s military seminary near Croydon in Surrey. Addiscombe had emerged out of the new educational reforms made by the Company, which was increasingly critical of existing institutions such as the College of Fort William in Calcutta, which provided three-year courses on Indian languages. The new system emphasized the study of English and European literatures, religion, constitutional history, and law over those of South Asia, and led to the eventual founding of Haileybury College in Hertfordshire in 1806 and, three years later, Lewin’s alma mater, Addiscombe. These younger schools encouraged merit rather than privilege among their students.64 At Addiscombe, the basic curriculum for cavalry and infantry officers was modelled on the English public school with a few additions. Students learned mathematics (in vulgar and decimal fractions), English, Greek, Latin, and French, the classics, geography, chemistry, geology, cartography, civil and Page 10 of 55

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ military drawing, surveying, the principles of fortification, history, Indian vernaculars, and fencing. In particular, they studied practical skills relating to warfare and colonial governance, (p.57) including road and bridge building and the construction of railways and telegraph lines.65 While at Addiscombe, Lewin got caught in various scrapes and was often required to do extra drills as punishment, but he was also keen to excel. He spent his holidays in a crammer, and was disappointed by his poor performances in mathematics, which disqualified him from joining the artillery, an area he had set his sights on. After 1833, approximately forty to fifty students passed out every half year and joined regiments in India. Through the influence of his uncle and godfather, Tom Lewin was nominated for a cadetship by Sir James Hogg, a Member of Parliament, and director of the Company.66

The Young Cadet: Tom Lewin Arrives in India Lewin arrived in India, having witnessed the ‘glories and wonders of Alexandra and Cairo’,67 just in time to serve in the Mutiny as an ensign in His Majesty’s 34th Regiment ‘C’ Company.68 It was a baptism by fire. As he recalled, watching his comrades killed, he felt a ‘fever’ seize him with ‘the desire to fight’.69 He entered the Bengal army and was sent into action immediately, witnessing civilian casualties up close at Cawnpore.70 While such acts of violent anticolonial resistance would greatly impress him upon his arrival, Lewin would also openly criticize the British project in India. Throughout his career, he was at loggerheads with official colonial policy and disliked the censure of his superiors. Several times, he contemplated resigning in frustration, but often necessity prevented him from doing so. In his letters home to his family, he repeatedly expressed his ambition to save enough money and return home to Britain, perhaps not with the fortunes which his ancestors had made, but with an adequate income. He knew he had to make a career in India as his grandfather’s estate, which he received on his father’s death, was not enough to live on, and he doubted he could attain gainful employment back home, having neither the required qualifications nor aptitude. His frustrations were further heightened by a deep homesickness, in general terms, for his own country in contrast to the ‘brutal’ conditions in India, but, more particularly, for his mother.71 He wrote regularly to her, (p.58) and throughout his years abroad, she would remain his only consistent female companion, for there were few available or unattached European ladies in east Bengal. While he may have been attracted to the occasional Indian woman he encountered in the bazaars or a nautch dance, he could not have considered marrying them.72 As his biographer John Whitehead suggests, his longing for home coloured his entire experience in India.73 After the Mutiny, Lewin transitioned to the police, being appointed as the senior police officer in Hazaribagh following the peasant resistance towards the Page 11 of 55

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ growing of indigo in 1858.74 In 1861, after a brief furlough in England, he returned to Calcutta, where he was appointed as an adjutant and second-incommand at ‘one of the newly raised police battalions’ as the district superintendent of police at Rampur Bandleah through the intervention of a family connection, Arthur Grote.75 He quickly distinguished himself as a gifted linguist, having dexterity for Indian languages, which had earlier placed him high above ‘the ordinary run of cadets from Addiscombe’.76 At the time, his hope was to make money quickly and return home to England. He dreamed of buying a cottage for his mother somewhere in the English countryside, where they could live together peacefully.77 His daily life became one of lacklustre routine, filled with letter writing, answering petitions, and physical exercise, and played out in a slow, regimented monotony. Days started early, with a full schedule, and ended with an evening ride, followed by a novel and pipe before bed.78 Certainly, such a tedious and often lonely existence was the general norm for members of the Indian Civil Service. It was largely a desultory existence of ‘magisterial duties and office work, limited to the space of cutcherry (office or courthouse) and bungalow, where their bodies were regimented by office hours, the rules of administration, and the need for good time-keeping and self-discipline’.79 In general, his way of life was comfortable, ‘even luxurious’. He lived in a nicely furnished bungalow, had servants, horses, and a buggy, and a wide assortment of food when the local cuisine became tiresome. He had hampers sent from Crosse & Blackwell’s as well as Fortnum’s in London, which included German sausages, hams, pressed fish, plum cake, strawberry and raspberry jams, honey, and chocolate. Soaps, scents, and toiletries were mailed from Pierse & Lubin of Bond Street and whalebone brushes from a shop in Haymarket.80 (p.59) He also began to contemplate publishing a guidebook for entrants to the Bengal police, The Constable’s Guidebook,81 with translated editions in Hindustani, Bengali, and Urdu. This project on the ‘troubled sea of authorship’ was his first attempt at writing.82 He also wrote sketches and stories of life in India, poetry ‘of no great literary merit’ (according to his biographer), short stories with titles such as ‘Queen of the Rubies’ and ‘Buffaloe Hunting in India’, as well as a novel, which he never finished.83 Indeed, Lewin was not blind to his literary abilities, admitting that his ‘verselings’ were ‘mean’ in comparison to the ‘mighty utterances’ of Milton or the grace of Tennyson.84 Such literary dabbling was not unusual for colonial scholar administrators. Many a military scholar produced similarly turgid poetry or overly melodramatic accounts of life in India which they published in literary and scientific journals.85 Lewin had greater success in reportage, later publishing articles in Calcutta journals as well as sketches for The Englishman, which were reprinted in book form with the Calcutta Central Press in 1866, and brought him some additional money.86 Among these essays were serious commentaries on poetry (including a Page 12 of 55

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ retrospective on Wordsworth, Southey, Scott, Shelley, Tennyson, and Longfellow) and on music, praising compositions by Weber, Mendelssohn, Spohr, Mozart, and Haydn. Lewin argued that a great master was one who compelled the listener to recall ‘scenes and places, memories of long ago’ in laughter or tears; a sentiment he may well have wished to emulate in his own writings.87 All this served as prelude to his years in the CHT, which would define him as both an administrator and writer.

Into the Woods: Lewin’s Entrance to the Hill Tracts By autumn 1864, Lewin was sailing up the Karnaphuli river, having accepted a post in the Hill Tracts. He immediately warmed to his new district.88 He particularly liked the indigenous people, whom he described as of Burmese origin, delightfully free of the caste prejudice of the Bengali Hindus and far friendlier. He wrote: I had found that at least one-half of my district was peopled by men and women of a like nature to myself, I mean those of Burmese origin and the hill tribes; they were pleasanter to deal with, more manly, more easy to understand, than the population of almost any other (p.60) district in Lower Bengal that I could hope to get. The Burman, or Mugh, was a fellowcreature, without caste prejudice, with a noble religion, a man with whom I could eat, drink, and make fellowship; the Chittagong Bengali was like a fox with a cross of the cat—not a man and a brother for me by any means.89 Lewin saw the Bengalis as ‘cringing, cowardly, lying and litigious’ in contrast,90 a position shared by many of his fellow colonial administrators. Indeed, Bengalis were often described as ‘feeble ... cowardly and avoiding conflict’ as well as effeminate in comparison to normative British masculinity.91 At one point, Lewin observed that it was the illiterate, Bengali Muslims of Sylhet who were ‘barbarians’, obstructing Englishmen from making money.92 Here, he clearly distinguished the Burmese hill tribes from their Bengali neighbours. In addition to the Bengalis, there were also Afghans, Pathans, and Portuguese descendants in the region.93 For Lewin, these were not purely academic observations. He himself attempted to experience life in the Hills first hand. In spring 1865, he wrote a detailed letter recounting his experiences travelling through the hill interior after a visit of several weeks alone. As he noted, ‘I determined at the outset to see men and things as they were, and with my own eyes,’ and not ‘through the dirty spectacles of the crowd of petty native officials who hung about the footsteps of every European in authority in this country.’ Leaving behind ‘servants, clerks, clothes and luxury, I shouldered my rifle and with a soft pair of yellow leather boots and a grey flannel suit, set forth in the fresh early morning’ taking only an interpreter and a young boy as his companions. He travelled light, going ‘native’ Page 13 of 55

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ by adopting local forms of clothing, ablutions, and living conditions. His baggage was ‘contained in a cotton handkerchief and consisted of a white muslin shirt, a scarlet silk dhotie and a toothbrush and comb’.94 This was by no means a hardship tour for Lewin. Rather, he noted to his mother, that with ‘these slender appurtenances of comfort I really managed to pass a very pleasant 10 days in the jungle—a queer life indeed!’ Dressed in a dhoti, he sat in a tribal house surrounded by dozens of men and women ‘speaking an unknown tongue’ who had come ‘to look at the strange Sahib’. But he found such a visit informative and hugely interesting for his ever-curious mind. He was fascinated with all aspects of the meeting, from indigenous forms of (p.61) architecture (the ‘solid black plank floor and massive teak beams’ of the house) to the language spoken, which he hoped soon to master. He shared with his mother the first phrase he learned from his young boy companion, Apo, ‘Nama sheay, makroke, chuggi promey’, which he interpreted as ‘Sweet little sister do not be afraid will you not speak to me.’95 The visit was particularly refreshing for Lewin as, after a long spell, he saw women, both married and unmarried, walking about unveiled, socializing equally with men, and openly inviting a stranger to dine with them.96 If Lewin was pleasantly charmed by the easy lightheartedness of the hill people, they in turn, were stunned by the new military technologies of the white man. Lewin’s newfangled, fast-firing breechloader captivated them. As he recounted, ‘when I fired off the revolver 6 times, I thought there would have been no end to the obayas, obayas of applause.’97 Around this time, Lewin began petitioning for a post in Burma. In 1865, he wrote to Phayre, the chief commissioner of British Burma, for an appointment. To that effect, he added Burmese to his earlier study of Urdu, Hindi, and Bengali.98 In time, he not only became comfortable in Burmese, but learned the patois of the Chakma dialect99 as well and sailed down the coast to Cox’s Bazaar, which had many Burmese migrants. There, again, he was impressed to see both men and women walking the streets, women smoking white cheroots alongside saffrondressed Buddhist monks, and the air scented with ngapi, a condiment made of rotted prawns favoured in Burmese cooking.100 At the same time, Lewin expressed concern about his post, informing his mother that he was travelling to Calcutta to meet with the governor general. He had suspicions that he might be compelled to resign the service and come home due to the fact he was ‘turning up all kinds of dirty corners, exposing abuses and recommending extra expenses to Gov’t’, actions which did not please the lieutenant-governor. Yet he remained ambivalent of staying or going, noting that his was a ‘most noble career’ and that ‘I should like if possible to stay on till the end of 67 when I intend taking my furlough.’101

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ By November 1865, Lewin was planning a trip through the borderland area between Chittagong and Burma. It had already been a year since he had applied to become superintendent of the CHT, and he thought such a trip might be one way to further his candidacy. (p.62) He had corresponded with the Zoological Society in London, which sent him a list of specimens they wished him to collect, as well as the Asiatic Society, which requested a full account of the hill people, especially their believed penchant for headhunting and a collection of representative skulls.102 Mr Young, the commissioner of Chittagong, supported his trip and convinced Colonel Pughe, the inspector general of police, to grant him leave as well as some money for gifts, such as beads, looking glasses, mouth organs, cloth, and spirits, which he could present to the chiefs.103 The journey began in Manikpur and included a stay at a Mrung village within the territory of the Bohmong raja. There the village headman and elders greeted him. The company, cheered and mellowed by wine, soon relaxed. Learning that the headman’s name was ‘Twekam Tongloyn’, in a moment of brotherly bonding, Lewin mentioned that his name was also ‘Tongloyn’, that is, Tom Lewin. Thereafter, it was modified to ‘Thangliena’, which became the name he was called in the Hill Tracts.104 By December 1865, Lewin was travelling to Kyar Village on the upper Koladyne, and was on his way to the country of the Shendoos. He had marched for five days through the jungle, averaging fifteen to twenty miles each day, and slept out in the open, ‘too tired to think of comfort’. A ‘sandy hollow’, Lewin recalled, proved as comfortable as ‘a bed of down’. Such physically demanding days were a daily part of his duties in the Hill Tracts, but all for the purpose, as he emphasized often to his mother, to ‘do [her] credit and make a name’ for himself.105 His trip paid off. A few months later, in March 1866, the Calcutta Gazette reported that Lewin had been promoted to the rank of captain in her Majesty’s 104th Regiment and won a desired appointment as superintendent of the CHT. He took charge a few weeks later on 15 April, his new position giving him full powers as magistrate over criminal, civil, and revenue cases.106 This was his opportunity to make a name for himself, and his letters home express less interest in returning to England thereafter.107 From his first visits to the Hill Tracts, Lewin was entranced by its landscape, which he tried to capture in his own writings. In the description below from his memoirs, he depicted the superintendent’s dwelling, where he lived in Chandraghona (see Figure 2.2). He noted that it was situated in a beautiful location, between the ‘jungle clad hills’ and the river: Chandraguna, then the head-quarters of the Hill Tracts, is situated eighty miles from Chittagong up the river, just on the borders of the regulation Page 15 of 55

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ (p.63) district of Chittagong. The Superintendent’s bungalow, provided rent-free by Government, was built on a small hill, overlooking the broad reaches of the river Karna-phuli to the west and south, and backed on the east and north by high jungle-clad hills, grading backward higher and higher to unknown distances. The house was small, containing only a sitting-room and a bed-room, with bath and store-room; the situation was beautiful, and it was my delight to sit and work at a table in the verandah with all this new and lovely scenery spread out before me. The ground outside the verandah was carpeted thick with the mimosa (sensitive plant), while at the corner of the bungalow there grew a fine pomegranate tree, which was, when I arrived, covered with scarlet blossoms. A little lower down the hill was the kutcherry or court-house, where the administration of justice was carried out; and here also, under a police guard, was deposited the Government treasure-chest, in which were kept the revenues of the State. Lower still, on the banks of the (p.64) river stood ten or twelve shops, dignified by the name of ‘The Bazaar,’ and close by were the mud huts of the police barracks. Here there were quartered some fifty men in reserve, who were employed from time to time to relieve the garrisons of the three frontier guard-posts, which were situated in different parts of the hills, and which were maintained to repel the incursions of the independent frontier tribes.108 Lewin began keeping a personal diary around this time in the spring of 1866, which would serve as an important private record for him. At times, he wrote daily, at others sporadically, but the diary remains an illuminating lens into the internal life of an official situated in the interior of the India/Burma hills, who had few if any of his peers Figure 2.2 ‘My Bungalow on the Hill at nearby. For that reason, his Chandraguna, Chittagong Hill Tracts.’ diary served as an audience and Source: Folder with twenty-five sketches sounding board for his many by T.H. Lewin intended for A Fly on the ruminations and interpretations Wheel (not all were eventually used in the of the people and places he book). Wash, pen and ink with white encountered. As he noted on 21 highlights, on pale blue or white paper. May 1866, ‘I have delayed a Lewin Papers. MS811/II/68. Reproduced long time in commencing this by permission of the Senate House diary. Why I hardly know. Save that having lost my last diary ... containing as it did nearly 2 years of my life with Page 16 of 55

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ sketches, poems, memoranda, Library archives, University of London, every written thing almost that London, UK. I cared about and as moreover the same kind of accident is now just as likely as not to happen again, it seemed a useless labour to write what one could not preserve.’ He acknowledged, however, that it was this need for human contact and companionship that led men to write and simultaneously inspired his own reflections: ‘I often wonder indeed what makes men keep a diary—I think with me it is the want of someone to speak to, some outlet for thought which here in these solitudes I do not possess.’109 What spurred Lewin to compose such a copious written archive was this need to lessen his loneliness, heightened by the remoteness of the very landscape that clearly enthralled him. As he noted in an entry a few days later, he longed for intellectual debate and discussion, particularly of a literary nature: ‘The greatest or one of the greatest disadvantages of the solitary life is that one is driven entirely upon one’s own brains to analyze, criticize, and think over any new books that may come under notice.’110 As for his position in the Hill Tracts, he saw it as an advantageous one that would give him considerable influence. He enjoyed the work, which he described as ‘noble’ in nature and boastfully acknowledged that he was now ‘lord and master over a tract of country as big as 2 English counties but whose population is not above 60,000 ... subdivided among 3 chiefs—The Bohmong, the Kalindi Ranee and the (p.65) Mon Rajah’.111 Lewin’s language is the familiar one of the smug, arch imperialist, fired by a young soldier’s romanticized dreams of heroism. ‘My task therefore’, he continued, ‘is the crushing and extinguishing of these men’s influence’. His objectives were to subdue the frontier tribes who carried out ‘periodical raids into our territory carrying off men and women into slavery’ through implementing a militarized police force and a reform of the Revenue system.112 He also pushed to curb the Bengali muktears who were extorting large sums through litigation as well as the Bengali mahajans who lent money at high interest rates to the detriment of the hill people. He further hoped to find schools which would help protect the hill people from these abuses of justice as well as introduce a Christian missionary, preferably an unmarried one, who would teach them the rudiments of Christianity.113 By the autumn of 1866, Lewin’s title had changed to deputy commissioner114 and he was ‘king in everything save name’, having absolute power over thousands. His assumption of a royal identity intensified, leading him a year later to propose visiting the king of Burma on the issue of Burmese tribes on his border.115 In July 1868, he informed his mother that he was working from ten to four on his ‘virgin district’ in order to ‘mould [it] to my own will and very proud I am of the work’.116

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ In 1869, he returned home for a two year leave and tried hard to find other employment as again he did not want to return to India.117 During this year, he published The Hill Tracts of Chittagong and the Dwellers Therein with Comparative Vocabularies of the Hill Dialects, which was, in many ways, a revealing work of military scholarship, highlighting the various skills he had acquired at Addiscombe, including a close attention to cartographic detail, botany, geography, population statistics, and local customs and languages. It served as a precursor for his subsequent book, Wild Races of South-Eastern India, which was published in 1870.118 This second book was written while living in his bungalow situated on a pathless jungle, on boats poling through the streams and by the firesides of the hill peoples burning in their bamboo houses. In his introduction to the work, he emphasized that it was not composed with a specific plan in mind but as a record of the hill people, ‘a people worthy of esteem, worthy of note’.119 Perhaps more than any other group, Lewin was intrigued by the lives of women. All of his studies on the Hill Tracts would devote (p.66) substantial space to covering the social practices of women such as courtship, marriage, separation and divorce, ornamentation and dress, gender-based labour, and family dynamics. Not only was he keenly observant on the daily practices of women, but he also saw women as a key audience for his own ruminations. Throughout his years in the Hill Tracts, he wrote regularly to his female relatives in England with his impressions of India and the nature of colonial governance. They were also invariably the first readers of his later published works. None was as seminal a sounding board as his mother with whom he maintained a regular correspondence from his early youth to middle age.

Lewin’s Women A Maternal Audience: Mrs Lewin, the Loving Mother

During his years in the Hill Tracts, Lewin would regularly write to his mother every Sunday, sharing with her his trials and tribulations, hopes and despairs, and especially his ‘tormenting love for her’. At one point, he noted that their ‘letters might pass as love letters, for are you not the one, the only love I have had during my life?’ His mother would be his main correspondent and the one person with whom he could be honest and vulnerable throughout his time in the Hills. It was this devotion that sustained him during the ‘exile’ of his youthful years, according to his biographer,120 and his subsequent posting in India. As he wrote in one letter: Oh my own darling what would I not give to lay my head on your dear bosom just once again. I pray always and from the depths of my heart to be allowed to see you and kiss you again. If I lose you what shall I do. I would not come to England again but make a home for myself in some other country. I have followed all your Scotch tours with great interest and am very glad to see you so lively and enjoying yourself. If you are happy that is Page 18 of 55

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ everything to me—kiss me dear I cannot write any more my head is aching.121 Some may conclude that theirs was an unnatural affection, but such closeness to older female relations was not rare during this period. Mothering in the Victorian world had achieved an elevated status, and mothers served as carers and nurturers with a new kind of intensity than before.122 Mrs Lewin may have simply fallen into that mould. Arguably, she was her son’s ideal audience for his private ruminations, (p.67) and she was the closest to providing that feminine ear and fellowship he so dearly sought. In one 1865 letter, he emphasized that she was his privileged correspondent. He apologized that he could not write home to his many other relatives, including his aunts, Charlotte and June, and his siblings and cousins, Bob, Harry, and Jenny. Rather, he felt most comfortable confiding in her for he could be himself, without having to be amusing or informative: It is very different writing to you because I can sit down and say exactly what comes into my head knowing whether stupid or not the words will be more the less appreciated but to others you know I have to be clever and cannot always be that.123 This inclination only grew with time. In 1878, more than a decade later, he confessed that he was fine if his siblings did not write. He was quite content to write to her and his aunts only, ‘to whom I owe reverence and respect’. He noted that these older women correspondents were more than sufficient for him.124 As he grew older, he often dreamed of his mother, imagining himself transported back to his childhood. He saw himself as a small boy going to boarding school for the first time and panicking that he had lost her with a ‘sense of horror and loneliness’, only awakening to realize once again that he was a middle-aged man in a land far from home, among a people she could not have dreamt of, not having spoken English for days and days.125 His own sense of mortality would increasingly concern Lewin in his later years. He confided tender memories of his boarding school days at Grix’s when the taste of food—bread and butter and milk—were ‘delicious’ and ‘ambrosial’, and where being sent to bed at ten in the morning was the most ‘refined punishment—this sending one to bed for in addition to keeping one out of mischief, one was moped and lonely, cold and miserable—your clothes were taken away and the bed was hateful, all that remained for the wretched white shirted mite was to sit in the window and gaze longingly at the other boys playing merrily below in the meadows.’ But despite all those hardships of the public schoolboy life, there had been one thing for which he was grateful: ‘that of youth—youth the golden—the elastic—the hungry —the dainty freshness of ... sensations and the insatiability and all absorbingness of pleasure.’126 (p.68) Page 19 of 55

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ Certainly, Lewin believed that his character was changing while stationed in India. He hoped that she would be proud of the new, more confident man he had become: I was thinking that I have changed very much since last I saw your face— changed not in love for you—for that could not be greater my own dear— but I feel that I am a man in self command in thought and in action. I only pray God I may be such a man as you shall be proud of—and although I fear I am not clever enough to make a name still I will do my best and you dearie should think that all I have good in me comes from you. God bless you.127 For Lewin, his mother’s approval remained paramount. This need was intertwined with his aspiration to financially provide for her and the family. He hoped to ‘realize a comfortable little independence’ and eventually ‘leave the service’.128 He confided to Mrs Lewin that he sent her every saved penny and hoped to eventually attain a good pension of 180 pounds per annum in 1875.129 Thereafter, he would set her up in an independent house in England, possibly a little cottage they could both share.130 Indeed, he confided that the only homes he felt thoroughly comfortable in were hers.131 It was during this time that Lewin was asked to settle a legal dispute in the Hills that most reminded him of his mother and his obligations to her. He recounted how a young tribal girl asked for a divorce from her husband on the grounds that he was ill-treating her mother. Lewin greatly sympathized with these sentiments as basis for marital discord, seeing his own mother’s tenuous position as a widow reflected in the young wife’s quandary. As he wrote to Mrs Lewin, ‘I thought to myself I should be sorry for the husband or wife of any of your children if your comfort were brought into question.’132 Yet time and again, he could not return to his mother and provide for her due to financial constraints. In 1873, he noted that an unnamed ‘financial crisis’ had reduced everyone’s salaries including his own. ‘My pay is now £138 a month,’ he wrote, ‘and I have had no promotion for a long time. It does not matter my dear, I have long ago given up grumbling and take things as they come.’133 He had also unintentionally miscalculated his pension, which, due to a year’s leave he took in England in 1861, would now be delayed by an additional year.134 By November 1873, he feared he did not know when and if he could retire and what he would do in that eventuality. In one letter, he observed (p.69) that his sister Harriet had asked him when he would retire, a ‘problem that haunts me now— because unless I have some settled employment I shall never be either a happy or a good man.’135 His mother tried as much as possible to cheer him with mementoes of home. She regularly dispatched luxuries for him from London. While he appreciated the Page 20 of 55

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ gestures, he had little use for the delicacies she sent as he did not often entertain. In June 1873, he thanked her for sending him champagne and sherry, but lamented the fact that he would be unable to enjoy them as ‘there is no one to help me drink it all.’ He continued that ‘my position up here is not one to give occasion for payment hospitality.’ He was forced to throw away the claret, raspberry vinegar, and Dutch anchovies she mailed as ‘no one could either drink or buy it.’ He asked her to forgive him for writing so bluntly and ‘grumbl[ing] at the quality of things [she] sen[t]’ but he only did it so she would not waste money: an idea that was as ‘objectionable’ to him as to her.136 Not only did Lewin share his financial aspirations and anxieties with his mother, but also his fear of aging far removed from his own family and social network. In later letters after 1878, Lewin confessed to his mother his growing physical infirmities: ‘I am coming to that stage which you yourself know very well—when one feels that the years are going by and that one has reached one’s limit in accomplishments.’ His body was changing and slowing: ‘the fingers will not arrive at the pitch of lissome excellence which your music master had hoped … your pen or pencil will never produce shapes that satisfy your eye.’137 His affection and deep connection with his mother reflected Lewin’s more general interest in female friendship and companionship. Perhaps, more than anything, Lewin wished for a companionate marriage of love and intimacy. Like many young colonial administrators posted to remote frontier provinces, he had little exposure to European women. This concern resonated in his letters to his mother and preoccupied much of his leisure time in the hills.

On Longing: Love and Marriage Lewin questioned his mother if this resonant desire for female company was an unhealthy one he had inherited from her or his father. He wrote: One great weakness I have one—one sin which most easily beats me—viz. the love of women’s society. I wonder do I get the passionateness (p.70) of my nature from you or from my poor father. There is his portrait looking down at me now from the wall—They say I am like him—but I know I am not half so good. I shall never have his gentleness and a certain charm of manner which was entirely his and peculiarly dangerous to women.138 In an 1867 diary entry, he expressed candidly his loneliness and the adversities of being posted so distant from other Europeans: ‘I argue that the flower of a man’s life is his youth and that the perfume of that flower is the power of making himself loved.’139 Companionship, he noted some weeks later, was more important than wealth or fame. This yearning for love grew with the years and his diary records increasingly became more urgent. ‘No one can be set on a mountain without feeling the cold and bitterness of isolation’, he wrote.140 ‘I ask myself what is this feeling that in the intervals of work swallows up every other thought. Not least for that can be satiated while this lasts—the want of Page 21 of 55

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ something to love ... robbing my body of spring and elasticity of the power of enjoyment.’141 At the same time, Lewin confessed that he had no inclination to marry. Though the local women were comely and he was encouraged to marry, he argued it was now too late. He had similar reservations about wedding Englishwomen. When his mother encouraged him to marry a wealthy English girl, he responded that his bride would have to travel out to India and follow his career, which would be too much of a hardship for a European woman. He vowed that his darling mother was sufficient female company: she was the world to him.142 Lewin’s views on marriage were, on the one hand, not surprising for British administrators in India, but on the other, they varied greatly from Victorian normative behaviour with regard to marriage in the metropole. For the Victorians, a man had to be married to be sexually adult, and the bachelor, who in an earlier age might have been quite acceptable and even perceived as ‘admirably rakish’, was, by the nineteenth century, a ‘problematic and ambivalent character.’ Men who could not support a household were seen as ‘unmanly’. At the same time, a married man was sexually restrained, for the essence of marriage was romantic rather than sexual love and more ‘spiritual’ and sentimental in nature.143 Lewin certainly fell into this general pattern in terms of his emotional yearning for companionship, particularly female friendship, as expressed in his writings. But the main reason he (p.71) was unable to marry was most likely financial—a reality faced by many young civil servants and army officers around the Empire.144

Rani Kalindi: The Intractable Grandmother and Troublesome Queen While Lewin spent most of his evenings writing to his mother in England, his days were spent with another maternal figure, Rani Kalindi, the regent queen of the Chakmas, with whom he had a contentious relationship. Lewin opined that the local chiefs or rajas were suspicious of him, hoping he remained ‘an ornamental representative’ of the central government.145 To counteract such perceptions, he exerted his authority as East India Company and Mughal revenue officers had before him, by changing the revenue system, particularly the poll tax, which was a head tax for each adult person.146 While Lewin was able to bring the two other circle chiefs into line through some clever manoeuvring, the chieftainess of the Chakmas, the tribe with the largest population and territory, remained elusive. Throughout his tenure in the CHT, he would remain at loggerheads with her. Rani Kalindi herself came to power due to an unforeseen lacuna in male leadership. When her husband, Raja Dharam Bux Khan, died in 1832147 without a male issue, she succeeded him as his senior-most rani and served as regent during the minority of his grandson.148 This was a fairly common practice in royal Indian dynasties throughout the subcontinent.149 She became the Chakma Page 22 of 55

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ chief after ousting the claims of her fellow co-wives in a litigious contest within the Bengal courts. As one British administrator complained, the ranis were ‘ignorant women’ who had fallen into the clutches of a Bengali clique.150 The minor chief, Harish Chandra, was the son of the daughter of Dharam Bux Khan’s third wife and Rani Kalindi’s cousin, Hari Bibi, Rajkumari Chikan Bibi151 and was born in 1841, seven years after Dharam Bux Khan’s death. He was subsequently educated by and became a ward of the government, and would largely be perceived as an ineffectual and weak boy ruler.152 The dowager rani fought for twelve years to claim the properties of the erstwhile raja, which the courts awarded in her favour in 1844.153 Colonial accounts suggest that she claimed to be a Hindu widow (p.72) in order to argue for sole management of her husband’s estates. She monopolized jhum tax collection, charging collateral male heirs for rebellion and riot, and coerced other members of the clan through redefining the role of ‘dewan’, not as the prime minister of the state, but as a class of families. She further surrounded herself with a coterie of Bengali advisors.154 As the daughter of the former dewan or prime minister, Gujan Chakma of the Kurakutya Goza, and the cousin to her husband’s two junior ranis or queens, Kalindi had strong kinship networks, which provided her a powerful base of support when she assumed the de facto sovereign powers of the Chakma darbar.155 She had earlier won favour from the colonial government when she delivered troops of mutinying sepoys then stationed in Chittagong in 1857,156 but would prove to be an indefatigable opponent in the years following the 1860 annexation of the hills. In the ensuing decade, the British proposed replacing customary non-territorial kinship-based jurisdiction with the mouza, a territorial unit comprising of a number of villages, and Rani Kalindi worked hard on behalf of her step-grandson to resist colonial intervention in Chakma affairs. She pushed to gain rights over permanent settlement, so indigenous agents could collect taxes, while continuing to employ traditional capitation (or ‘couple’) tax, a form of kinship-based levy. Later, when Lewin appointed Kalindi’s Marma subject, Maung Kioja Sain, as the Mong raja or sarbarakar, the collector of capitation taxes in the northern part of the Chakma kingdom, and thereby divided Chakma territory, she resisted by appealing to the courts, which led to years of litigation, although her claim was ultimately rejected in 1870.157 The rani was a formidable and erudite woman. Despite not having a biological son of her own, she had skilfully manoeuvred to become the regent queen and the senior-most rani. Indeed, her step-grandson’s loyalty was so great that in 1868, when the government attempted to depose her, he would not contest her authority.158 She also was a great patroness of religious sites, including Buddhist and Hindu temples and Muslim mosques, as well as of a flourishing market.159 She was ‘renowned for her wisdom, statesmanship and generosity to all her subjects’ across different religions. While the Chakmas were practitioners of Page 23 of 55

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ Mahayana Buddhism, Rani Kalindi reformed the Buddhist church, established the Mahamuni temple, and commissioned the first (p.73) book on Buddhism into Bengali, the Bauddharanjika, from Burmese. In 1856, she invited a Theravada monk from Saramedha in Arakan and engendered much needed reforms within the Buddhist church.160 Colonial accounts noted that her court and the satellite aristocracy were increasingly gravitating towards Hinduism and Bengali practices, even while the majority living in the more remote interior maintained their Buddhist customs.161 Her resistance to the colonial government began through creating test cases for Lewin to adjudicate in the kutcherry or law courts and appealing his decisions, first to the commissioner at Chittagong and then to the High Court in Calcutta. Lewin thwarted her by maintaining meticulous records of his work and keeping the commissioner minutely informed, and thereby preventing her from ‘catch[ing] [him] tripping in the performance of [his] official duties’. In turn, she sent petitions to Calcutta, charging him with ‘all sorts of crimes’. This was a mode of practice, he noted, that was ‘much in favour in the East’.162 At first, Lewin shrugged off the rani’s charges, seeing ‘no difficulty in refuting groundless accusations’, but with time, her resistance proved effective. Her persistent complaints wore ‘away even a stone’ and gradually ‘an impression ... was set up that something must be wrong’ to his superiors in Calcutta. Eventually, the lieutenant-governor received a petition signed by seven leading men of the Hill Tracts, who charged Lewin with oppression and injustice. The lieutenant-governor responded by writing to the commissioner in Chittagong, who started a rigorous inquiry into Lewin’s administration.163 It was a trying and embarrassing period, and reveals the astuteness of indigenous female leaders in thwarting and often adroitly resisting colonial intervention. Indeed, Rani Kalindi’s use of legal resources and the petitioning of higher-level colonial officials were actions taken by other indigenous women rulers, despite their perceived seclusion form the larger public sphere, whether through physical or intellectual isolation, and, in Kalindi’s case, furthered by geographic remoteness. As Lewin’s account below demonstrates, she was a skilled adversary. Lewin observed in his memoirs that he was ‘deeply hurt and mortified’ by the inquiry and took himself ‘in high dudgeon’ back to Chittagong to await the result of the enquiry.164 ‘I do not know (p.74) that I ever “sowed the wind”,’ he wrote, ‘but I appear to be “reaping the whirlwind” just at present.’165 On 1 November 1867, Lewin was promoted to a third-grade deputy commissioner with a salary of 1,330 a month. This was quite a step up. In his words, a ‘rise with a vengeance’.166 However, it was also at this period that he began to record in his diary the growing conflicts with the Chakma regent queen.

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ An Assassination Attempt The rani continued to resist Lewin’s encroachments. Her endeavours to humiliate him did not end with petitions and inquiry into his management skills but, according to Lewin, took more ruthless forms as well. She was certainly a wily woman, adept at realpolitik strategy. When thwarted by the courts and diplomatic measures, he suggested, she looked to more deadly means to eliminate a political opponent. ‘Having failed in her attack on my honour’, he wrote, ‘she next directly assailed my life.’167 This is perhaps one of the most melodramatic episodes from his memoirs. The supposed assassination attempt occurred shortly after he celebrated the great Mahamuni fair. He was ‘over-tired’ that evening and went to bed early but he could not sleep.168 Restless, he eventually got up to light a pipe, but finding no matches, and his servants being in their own quarters some distance away, made do without light. The hours dragged by wearily as he lay tossing, hoping that sleep would come. In his memoirs, Lewin creates an atmospheric feel to the night, describing ‘the sky-line of the distant forest and the stars sparkling above ... the square frame of the door leading from my sleeping-room into the verandah ... mistily outlined in grey, as the moon shone fitfully through the clouds.’ Lying in the dark, watching a grey square drowsily, he began wondering what might be ‘the round black knob’ that seemed to be a part of the door-jamb. In an instant he awoke, realizing that the ‘knobs represented two men silently peering into the darkness of my chamber’.169 He grasped a loaded revolver, which lay beneath his pillow, silently slid from his bed and awaited an opportune opening, realizing there were not two but four potential assassins in the room, ‘their spears (p.75) glinting in the faint moonlight’. After debating who would enter, ‘one came in and crept stealthily to the near side of the bed. I heard the thud of his knife striking at my empty place; and then I could stand it no longer, but let drive at him with my pistol, and with a yell jumped for the assassins.’ The ‘cowardly ruffians’ fled before Lewin and his staff could ascertain their identities. He believed the rani was behind the incident, but he had no proof to officially charge her.170 The solution to further attacks came through religion. At first, Lewin slept with a sentry keeping watch on the verandah of his house, but later, on the advice of the Mong raja, whom he described as a friend, he turned his bedroom into a ‘holy place’ by ‘enshrining there a fine image of a Buddha with which he presented me’. By making his bedroom sacred, it could no longer be a place ‘where deeds of blood’ were possible. He situated the Buddha on a pedestal and slept thereafter ‘under its protection’.171

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ According to Chakma accounts, Lewin fabricated this incident. Allegedly, he attempted to personally meet the queen, who observed purdah, in the palace at Rajanagar. When he was forcibly prevented from entering, he constructed the false assassination attempt to embarrass the rani. As her descendent, Raja Tridiv noted, ‘his sustained campaign of calumny and hostility could not diminish by a jot the love and reverence the people had for her,’ and not merely among the indigenous people of the region, but also her Hindu and Muslim subjects.172 By May 1868, the rani had submitted another petition against him with the government, which led to a further inquiry that finally exonerated him.173 Irrespective of the truth of the incident, its telling reveals the undoubted charisma and influence of the rani. Whether or not she was behind the assassination, she continued her campaign to erode Lewin’s credibility. When a new commissioner was appointed to Chittagong, she sent Harish Chandra to Calcutta with Lewin’s dismissal in mind. Accompanied by a suitable retinue and legal advocates, Harish Chandra presented himself to the lieutenant-governor of Bengal, arguing that the former commissioner had been Lewin’s friend and too partial to his policies. With a fresh ‘impartial inquiry’, he argued, the oppressed hill people would come forward with additional evidence of Lewin’s mismanagement. In response, the new commissioner of Chittagong spearheaded a second inquiry (p.76) and sifted through various petitions. Ultimately, Lewin was exonerated again, except for a minor admonishment that he had not fully observed the ‘Regulations’.174 However, his reputation would be forever tarnished. ‘Rebuffed’ and angry, Lewin chose one of Rani Kalindi’s roazas (headmen) of some influence from a northern Palaingsa sept of Marma, as the newly formed Mong raja. The Mong raja’s territory was formed from 653 square miles of existing Chakma raj lands.175 The Mong raja was a close relative of the Bohmong raja, Kyaw Jaw Sain. Rani Kalindi contested his decision, but her appeal was rejected in 1870.176 He also tried twice to suborn two of her important dewans (ministers), who nonetheless remained loyal to the rani. In response, she created more taluks under dewans and talukdars. She had entered into a written treaty with the Bohmong raja in 1869 as a further preventative measure to curb Lewin’s encroachment, thus reinforcing her southern border and recognizing the Bohmong’s dominions in the Hill Tracts south of the Sangu river.177 In response, he replaced the Bohmong chief, Kong Hla Nyo, with his ‘more accommodating cousin’ during this period. His relationship with the rani remained tense throughout his time in the Hill Tracts. By the time he left in 1875, he was on ‘good and cordial terms’ with all the chiefs (whom he had indirectly appointed), with the sole exception of the ‘ever-truculent and irreconcilable Rani and her Bengali advisers’.178 After her death in 1874, the government of Bengal gave the title of ‘raja’ to Harish Chandra, partly to reinforce his dependence on the paramount power. He Page 26 of 55

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ received a formal costume for investiture (although no photographs remain of the event).179

Hill Women: Gender Equity and Freedom among the Indigenous People While Lewin may have been at loggerheads with Rani Kalindi, he found most indigenous hill women enchanting. He was, as mentioned earlier, deeply impressed by the indigenous tribal peoples and praised them in contrast to neighbouring Bengali Hindus and Muslims. For Lewin, hill women best epitomized the essence of tribal egalitarianism, embodied through gender equity and women’s physical (p.77) and social agency. Their forms of dress, physical mobility outside the home, and relative choice in marriage and divorce provided them with the ‘perfect freedom of action’. They ‘conversed freely with friends and acquaintances with much propriety, buying, selling, and guiding household affairs.’180 He repeated often that they did not practise purdah, the seclusion customs of Muslim or high caste Hindu women, and that this easy interaction between the sexes empowered hill women, who, he believed, were better positioned than other women in India181 because they did not cover their bodies or faces. Even if a hill woman had to work harder for her daily survival, she was ‘still honoured as a wife and mother, trusted in her in-comings and out-goings, and her words of advice listened to with respect’.182 He also suggested that hill women compared favourably to Muslim women in Persia and Turkey. Indeed, they enjoyed a social equality similar to that of Englishwomen and in certain cases went beyond it. As he wrote: If we turn our eyes to the nations of Hindoostan Proper, Persia, and Turkey, we shall find women reduced to the position of coveted chattels preserved for the convenience of the male sex. Here amongst the hill races, women enjoy almost perfect freedom of action; they go unveiled, they would seem to have equal rights of heritage with men, while their power of selecting their own husband is to the full as free as that enjoyed by our English maidens.183 Such examples of gender equity were particularly fascinating to colonial administrators during this period where women’s issues were so hotly debated within the larger framework of colonial governance and legal reform. In nineteenth-century India, colonial courts had passed various pieces of legislation against sati and child marriage, and in favour of raising the legal age of marriage.184 In particular, he emphasized that none of the hill people practised child marriage (a custom which was seen as a crime by the British and progressive Hindu social reformers in colonial Bengal, such as Brahmo Samaj leaders Ram Mohun Roy and Keshub Chandra Sen, as well as Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, who strongly advocated against child marriage eventually leading to the British ban on the practice).185 Hill men did not marry until they were older, Page 27 of 55

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ some as late as twenty-four or twenty-five years of age, and when they did, they married for choice.186 (p.78) Even in those instances where marriages were not immediately condoned by the families, the potential spouses still had many more options than in other South Asian communities. When parents did not approve, the young couple eloped. If the parents of the girl demanded her home, she would return. If the couple eloped again, they could not be prevented from marrying a second time. The groom would present a reconciling gift to his father-in-law and feast with his new relatives before being formally admitted into the family.187 Here again Lewin emphasized the relative flexibility of indigenous marriage making in the Hill Tracts on generational and gender lines, from that of neighbouring subcontinental Hindu and Muslim communities.188 Lewin also heard rulings on divorce. In one case, he recounted how the Mong raja adjudicated an unhappy marriage effectively. It was a humorous anecdote and in many ways reflected the sense of playful teasing that one hears even today in rulings of domestic conflicts among the indigenous peoples in the CHT. This particular case emphasized the strong feistiness of indigenous women in pleading their grievances, resisting their husbands, and applying a fluid system of customary marriage law. Certainly, they do not appear to be the silent and veiled victims of male patriarchy we often encounter in colonial readings of South Asian women. In this particular instance, a young bride approached the Mong raja one day when Lewin was visiting with him, smoking and drinking tea. The girl who was ‘young and very pretty ... with flowers in her hair and silver ornaments on neck and arms’ climbed up the ladder to the house platform and fell to her knees before the raja in a flood of tears. She was followed by a number of other villagers who silently sat beside the weeping supplicant.189 The Mong raja noted that ‘weeping is good for women’. He then went on to question the woman on the reason for her distress. It was revealed that her husband, Tawngey, had been treating her poorly. The chief asked if he had beaten her or physically harmed her. No, the young woman replied. Rather, he was so suspicious of her flirting with other men that his jealousy was making her life miserable. The wife claimed that she was blameless in her conduct but that her husband was spying on her and humiliating her in front of her neighbours. She implored the Mong raja to free her from her marriage and give her a divorce. (p.79) The raja was silent at first. Finally, he gave his ruling in a brisk tone. He ordered two or three elders from those who were assembled to take the husband and wife together, strip them of their clothes, except for one cloth for the woman, and leave them together in an empty guest house. He would hear their Page 28 of 55

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ grievances again in the morning. As Lewin recounted, ‘the young couple were [sic] hustled off, and shut up in a bare empty house, with but one garment between them. The night was very cold, and as I pulled my thick wadded quilt over my shoulders before going to sleep, I admired the shrewd wisdom of the Raja.’ Indeed, the raja was astute for in the morning when ‘the door was opened to conduct them before the chief, they quietly slipped away hand in hand, and departed peaceably to their own abode’.190 Divorce on the whole was permissible and not difficult to arrange, once adjudicated by a jury of village elders or the chief, as noted above. The party deemed in fault paid the highest fine. Nonetheless, divorce according to Lewin was ‘uncommon’ and Chakma women were ‘good and faithful wives’.191 In general, there was little violent crime in the Hill Tracts. However, the crimes that did occur, on the whole, involved women. For crimes such as adultery, marriage between closely related partners, or the forced abduction of girls, the chief and his dewan meted out judgements in the form of both monetary fines and some form of corporal punishment. For the last crime, the perpetrator not only paid a fine, but was also beaten by the young men of the abducted girl’s village.192 Lewin argued that the low rates of adultery and the absence of prostitution were due to the greater gender equity within tribal society, manifest in women’s freedom of movement and bodily nakedness as well as their ability to make sexual choices before and after marriage. He observed that ‘in these hills the crime of infidelity amongst wives is almost unknown; so also harlots and courtesans are held in abhorrence among them, and rendered unnecessary moreover by the freedom of intercourse indulged in and allowed to both sexes before marriage. These things are doubtless strange to us; their very dress, or perhaps I should say undress, might almost be called indecent; but it is not really so.’193 Indeed, he often emphasized that their nudity was not based on primitivism or lasciviousness, but rather on customary (p.80) practice and environmental conditioning. ‘Habit and temperature make usual and proper among them what we should consider the reverse,’ he emphasized. We cannot then condemn them on the score of indecency, for to the pure all things are pure. Our present notions of sexual decorum are highly artificial. The question of more or less clothes is one purely of custom and climate. If it were the custom for the legs of horses and dogs to be clothed, it would assuredly in a short time be stigmatized as gross indecency were they to appear in the streets without trousers. We, in England, wear many articles of clothing, simply because life could not be preserved in that climate without them; but here any large amount of clothing is absolutely

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ insupportable. True modesty lies in the entire absence of thought upon the subject.194 As noted in this excerpt, Lewin turned his critical lens upon European society, suggesting that the hill people’s perceptions of nakedness and sexuality were ones of ‘purity’ and conditioned by climate and custom.195 As he suggested, it was this entire absence of self-awareness that was ‘true modesty’, rather than the obsession with the hiding of the physical form in both European and neighbouring South Asian societies. In tribal society, indigenous women’s nudity rendered them natural equals rather than sexualized objects of male desire.

On Hill Women’s Beauty and Concubinage Lewin not only found indigenous women’s freedoms appealing, but he also thought them particularly beautiful. Their hair was ‘glossy black’ and often ‘fastened in a knot ... adorned with sprays of orchid and other gay-colored blossoms.’196 Racially, their skin tones were more pleasing than the white Caucasian colouring of Europeans. ‘The colour of some of the girls in this country is something simply marvelous,’ he praised, ‘It is almost a gold colour, they are like statues of transparent gold through which shines out the life light.’197 In contrast he felt the white man’s skin was mordantly diseased: ‘I feel almost ashamed of my dead white skin—it looks leprous + unhealthy among these gun metal beauties.’ The physical beauty of the women was further enhanced by their clothing, which, unlike the corseted and beribboned clothing of European women, was not ‘graceful’ but was ‘adapted for hard work + not for delicate feminine home duties’.198 (p.81) They wore ‘home-spun skirts of dark blue bordered with scarlet, and white breast-cloths barred with chocolate and red’ and an assortment of jewellery and hair ornaments: ‘silver or coral chains round their necks, and orchid blossoms stuck coquettishly in the long hollow, truncated, silver cones which most of them wore through the lobe of the ear.’ In one particularly lyrical allusion, Lewin observed that ‘the girls loved flowers, and the young men would rise before dawn and go far into the woods to seek the graceful sprays of white, lilac, or orange-coloured orchid bloom, which was the favourite adornment of their sweethearts.’199 Lewin himself is believed to have had a Lushai woman as a lover, who gave birth to a son. Unfortunately, the child died just as he was learning to walk.200 Colonial regimes, whether Dutch, French, or British, had historically advocated concubinage over prostitution, which was believed to lead to medical and social problems (such as rampant venereal disease or disinclination for permanent settlement). Concubines, in contrast, kept the men ‘in their barracks and bungalows rather than in brothels or hospitals’,201 and could also serve as effective intermediaries for learning local languages, local customs and etiquette systems, and indigenous medical practices. In many parts of the global empire, indigenous women would guide European men in their first forays into tropical life. Even in the British Empire, while concubinage was banned in 1910, it was Page 30 of 55

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ ‘tacitly condoned’.202 Tribal regions were particularly relaxed in their attitudes towards interracial social (or sexual) intimacy. Generally, there were fewer opportunities for interracial sexual unions in post-Mutiny India, except in peripheral border areas, such as the CHT, Burma, the Lushai hills, and Assam, in part due to the greater social fluidity of indigenous society. In Burma, Assam, and Ceylon, for instance, tribal societies may have been less ‘protective’ of lower-status women and open to mixed race encounters, while the British, who often saw tribal communities in a ‘romantic’ light, may have found tribal women more attractive native mistresses.203 When Lewin left the hills, he asked his mistress Dari to come with him, according to local lore. But she refused his request—she refused to be treated as the wife of a high official—and returned to her old village to live as an ordinary woman. In time, she would marry one of her own people.204 In 1915, after Lewin returned to Britain and was dying, he received a letter from Herbert Lorrain, a missionary (p.82) who was visiting Lungleh in the Lushai Hills. There, Lorrain had discovered Dari, who remembered Lewin with great fondness. In a lengthy passage, he described Dari’s current fate and the death of her husband. In particular, she asked that Lewin remember her kindly as she was now a childless widow without anyone to care for her in her old age.205 While local indigenous women would intrigue Lewin, it would be an English girl who would figure in one of the most seminal events of his career in the CHT. The abduction of Mary Winchester and her subsequent rescue, which involved a campaign against the raiding Kukis/Lushais, would be dramatically covered in the popular press of the day. It would throw a shadow on Lewin’s final years in the Hill Tracts.

The Abduction of the Half-Caste Girl: The Case of Mary Winchester Lewin’s most significant military campaign while in the Hill Tracts centered on the kidnapping of a young, half-English girl. While, as noted, much of his personal and professional life centred on women, particularly the women of his family and Rani Kalindi, it would be little Mary Winchester’s abduction that would be most celebrated in the popular press. She was the six-year-old daughter of a tea plantation manager, Mr Winchester, and an unnamed local woman, who was captured along with several labourers on a tea plantation near Alexanderpur, the extreme east of Sylhet.206 The ensuing Lushai expedition of 1871–2 was charged with rescuing Mary from her Lushai abductors, the Haulong, who had raided the plantation. Troops, in two columns, under the command of General Boucher coming from Cachar, and General Brownlow, C.B., from the CHT, led a successful five-month operation, resulting in ‘submission’ of the Lushai and the payment of a ‘heavy fine for their lawless and unprovoked attacks’.207 The left column travelled southward, approaching the chiefs east of the Lushai territory, while the right column entered the Lushai hills from

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ Chittagong in the west. Lewin was a part of the right column under the direction of General Brownlow.208 Raiding was not historically uncommon. Tribal peoples raided to find new means of wealth, in the form of female and child labour, or as a result of the growth in firearms in the region.209 The Lushai (p.83) tribes in the north and the east, such as the Lakhers, Haulongs, Syloos, Chakmas, and Marmas, did occasionally ‘plunder and pillage’ the lower hills and valleys. These ‘raids and headhunting was healthy fun and profit to the marauding,’ Tridiv Roy recalled, which furthered the image of romanticized savagery in the hills.210 The colonial government reacted to such raiding with punitive campaigns, and with the creation of districts and tracts, such as in the Khasi Hills, Jaintia Hill District, and the CHT, between 1830s and 1860s.211 Colonial administrator-scholars often invoked such histories of raiding to emphasize the savagery and lack of ‘orderly’ governance within hill tribes, particularly when addressing the Lushais (or Kukis, later the Mizos). While these skirmishes may have included the extraction of plunder in the form of human captives, their labels as ‘raids’ was based on colonial concepts of territory and territoriality, which differed from the hill people’s own definitions and perceptions. Creating clear physical boundaries became a way to determine the limits of local jurisdiction and the hierarchy of colonial command, an important element of a modernizing, bureaucratic empire.212 Lewin himself found the Lushai Hills a ‘charming’ geography and, like colonial administrators before him, compared them with the Scottish Highlands.213 The hill people had chieftains and divided up their peoples into clans, which invariably feuded with each other. Although their chiefs were descended from a ‘strain of royal blood’ of ‘semi-divine origin’, they did not necessarily practise primogeniture. Their chiefs wore mantles woven from red and blue tartan, and enjoyed music similar to that played on bagpipes. However, their instruments substituted a gourd with the skin bag. And when they wished to cement friendships or engender conflict, Lewin recounted that they imbibed an ‘ardent spirit’ similar to Highland whiskey.214 He believed rather than punitive expeditions, the government should form diplomatic relationships with the Lushais, and Lewin eventually formed a friendly alliance with the Lushai chief, Rutton Puia. Rutton Puia would provide important logistical information on local geography, internal Lushai politics and resistance by the Sylu (Sailo) chiefs which would work in favour of the British campaign. He would also be the one who eventually retrieved Mary Winchester.215 In Figure 2.3 to follow, Lewin poses with the Lushai chiefs a few years later. (p.84)

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ Mary Winchester, a ‘fair complexioned [girl] with hazel eyes and European features’ was eventually found on the log platform of the chief’s home, dressed in a ‘blue rag around her loins’ and with a ‘pipe in [her] mouth.’ It appeared she was ‘issuing sententious commands to a troop of small boys’ nearby. During her time in captivity, she had forgotten the English language and could not speak to the officer who arrived to claim her, only responding to his offer of a sweetie, for it was an ‘ancient and familiar question’.216 Thereafter, she was released along with one hundred other British

Figure 2.3 ‘T.H. Lewin with the Seven Lushai Chiefs Who Accompanied Him to Calcutta (1873).’ Source: Photographs of people and places in India. Lewin Papers. MS811/II/66. Reproduced by permission of the Senate House Library archives, University of London, London, UK.

subjects.217 She returned home to Scotland via Calcutta, and ten years later, Lewin would see her name on an examination list of students at the Royal Moray College. He observed that it was only a twist of fate that had prevented her from becoming the ‘bride of some dusky Lushai chief, wearing a scanty kirtle and an amber necklace!’.218 (p.85) Indeed, life in captivity on all accounts had been humane. One tea labourer who was abducted at the same time, Shabitri Culini, later recalled that Mary was fed three times a day with boiled rice and molasses, and often given an egg on each day they travelled, a testimony that revealed not ‘a vengeful and hostile group of men, but the reverse’.219 According to indigenous records, Mary had become so comfortable among her Lushai captors that she ‘flatly refused’ to return with the British contingent. Her desire was so great to return to the Hills that she escaped on a cargo ship bound for India. However, when it arrived at Aden, she was found and sent back to Scotland again.220 Mary Winchester herself fondly recalled that childhood interlude: ... a dear old motherly woman who was so good and kind to me. There was a younger man of whom I was afraid as he threatened to kill me but the old woman would not let him have anything to do with me ... she wove me garments, a blue striped skirt and a red tartan shawl made of silk, which I treasure not only as a relic of my life there, but of the love, Divine given, that prompted the weaving of them. Then came troublous times. I was threatened to be killed as being the cause of it all, but the old woman Page 33 of 55

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ shielded me. One could see villages being burnt lower down the slopes, and a general uneasiness prevailed where I was. Then I was fetched and with grief I left my friends ... I was given up on the 21st of January, 1872 one year except six days after my being taken prisoner.221 The British press lapped up news of the Lushai expedition, expounding the touching tale of an English girl kidnapped by the marauding, savage Lushai raiders. One of Lewin’s fellow participants, R.G. Woodthorpe, would later publish a book with illustrations in 1873,222 which contained the first colour prints of the indigenous peoples.223 The English public interpreted the expedition as a liberation narrative of English subjects freed from the bonds of slavery.224 In the process, Mary Winchester became ‘an unwitting icon at a besieged intersection of gender, class and ethnicity’. The raid also served as a smokescreen for the colonial government’s primary administrative agenda: to further annex territories in southern Kachar for growing tea around Chittagong and Arakan.225 In 1912, with the second printing of his memoir, Fly on a Wheel, Mary Winchester wrote to Lewin, confessing that after forty years, she ‘like the leper who returned to give thanks ... to say “Thank you” + “God bless you”’ for his many acts of courage and hardship in her (p.86) rescue. She noted in her ‘hazy recollection’ that she and the Lushai children had played soldiers, and that Lewin had described her as their young leader, with a ‘pipe in my mouth, Commander in Chief’. She had affectionate memories of her time there, and mentioned that she had recently received a letter from the grandson of the old woman, who had taken care of her with such loving kindness during her captivity. After returning to England, her grandparents sent her to an exclusive public school for boys and girls. Thereafter she attained a higher woman’s university certification before becoming the headmistress of a high school. At the time she wrote to Lewin in 1912, she had three children, Frank, Molly, and Peggy, aged 24, 15, and 13, respectively.226 While her sentiments were warm, Lewin’s feelings for the adult Mary Winchester were ambivalent. In a letter to his daughter, he described her as ‘a stuck up conceited little half-caste woman’. Such sharp observations may have reflected his racist views on Mary’s mixed ethnic heritage or her romanticized recollections of a happy captivity that undermined male military bonds and middle-class standards of civility, fraternity, and cosmopolitanism.227 Perhaps it was reflective of Lewin’s discomfort with intercaste or interracial unions, but not with indigenous society or indigenous women themselves. Indeed, he may have found Mary’s memories and mannerisms, in their effusiveness, patronizing or paternalistic towards the hill people. Certainly, she would not have written to him in the first place as she had after reading Fly on a Wheel if she did not sense his deep affection for the place and the people of the CHT.

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ The Lushai campaign ultimately had lasting effects for both Lewin and his archrival, Rani Kalindi. The colonial administration did not recognize Lewin for his service. While the generals involved were knighted and the senior expedition officers made ‘Companions of the Bath’, Lewin received no similar mark of commendation.228 He was particularly disappointed that his fellow political officer on the campaign, John W. Edgar, who was attached to the left column, was presented with the Companion of the Star of India,229 while he received nothing. Raja Harish Chandra, who had assisted with the Lushai expedition, was seen in quite another light. At the time of the campaign, more than 500 Chakma volunteers had withdrawn their cooperation, forcing the government to seek assistance from Rani Kalindi, who directed her (p.87) grandson to intervene. The British rewarded Harish Chandra’s intervention by addressing him thereafter with the title of Rai Bahadur and bequeathing him a ceremonial gold chain and watch.230

A Mere ‘Fly on the Wheel’: Lewin and Colonial Officialdom I knew and loved my hill people. I lived among them and was their friend. They admitted me into their homes and family life as few Englishmen have been admitted. I ate with them, talked with them, played music at their feasts, and joined in their hunting expeditions. They concealed no thoughts from me; I had their confidence. They gave me their sons to educate, and invited me to the marriage-feasts of their daughters. I was ready to spend and be spent in their service. But, after all, I was only ‘a fly on the wheel’; they were not my people. I did but represent and make known to them the impartial justice, the perfect tolerance, and the respect for personal freedom which characterise the British rule in India, gaining for it the respect of all creeds and all classes, and making it, in spite of many blunders, misunderstandings, and mistakes, the strongest and wisest Government, since the old Roman Empire, that this world has known.231 As this excerpt from his memoirs reveals, Lewin saw himself as both part of and apart from his hill people. Their friendliness gave him an access and intimacy few of his fellow countrymen had experienced. He did not experience the exclusions of commensality and living that defined Hindu caste or Muslim hierarchy. He lived, slept, and dined with the hill people, educated their children, and celebrated their wedding rites as if one of them. Yet, at the same time, he was not fully part of them, but merely a spectator, a ‘fly on the wheel’, who remained the subject and servant of the colonial regime. He attempted to bring the best of British ‘impartial justice’ to the hill people, but was acutely aware nonetheless of the limitations and problems of colonial officialdom and its ‘many blunders, misunderstandings, and mistakes’. In many ways, Lewin was in an awkward ethical position of being a ‘scholar-hero’ who Page 35 of 55

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ was ‘circumspect but chivalrous in his dealings with natives’.232 Lewin, the ‘intrepid administrator-cum-explorer’ risked his life in understanding this unknown frontier, ‘tamed’ the indigenous ‘wild tribes’ through trickery and diplomacy, and used alliances rather than armed conflict (p.88) to forge relationships.233 While an upholder of the Empire, he was a harsh, at times damning, critic of merchant capitalism. He observed in Wild Races: Here we have the strange spectacle of a great nation wishful to do good to the people subject to its rule, but powerless when the interests of trade are supposed to be endangered. India is a monument of English greatness and philanthropy, but it is also the outlet for the piece goods of Manchester, and the receptacle for Birmingham hardware. It is due to Englishmen to say that they do try to do good to the country and the people; but when it is a question of the people’s benefit or an increased or diminished sale of Manchester cottons, piff! paff! the people are nowhere.234 In the process, he critiqued the very civilizing mission at the heart of imperial policy.235 Ultimately, in a moment of prescience, which hinted at the troubling futures that indigenous people around the world would experience, Lewin opined: ‘Civilization brought into contact with these simple aboriginal races would not improve but exterminate them.’236 He concluded his book Wild Races with a rare sensitivity that seems strikingly accessible and appealing to our postcolonial sensibilities. He advocated for a new kind of administrator, one who was more fully engaged with the local people and sympathetic to their own cultural histories, and who acted with altruism through wise, enlightened administration. ‘This I say, then’, Lewin wrote: [L]et us not govern these hills for ourselves, but administer the country for the well-being and happiness of the people dwelling therein. Civilization is the result and not the cause of civilization. What is wanted here is not measures but a man. Place over them an officer gifted with the power of rule; not a mere cog in the great wheel of Government, but one tolerant of the failings of his fellow-creatures, and yet prompt to see and recognize in them the touch of Nature that makes the whole world kin;—apt to enter into new trains of thought and to modify and adopt ideas, but cautious in offending national prejudice.237 Lewin hoped that through such a vision, a new concept of civilization could emerge, a synthetic amalgamation that both retained and built upon the best of East and West, modern and indigenous, rather than the ‘mimic men’ of Macaulay’s vision, remade and broken through heavy-handed intervention and assimilation. ‘Under a guidance like this, let the people by slow degrees civilize themselves,’ Lewin (p.89) recommended, ‘ With education open to them, and yet moving under their own laws and customs, they will turn out, not debased and miniature epitomes of Englishmen, but a new and noble type of God’s Page 36 of 55

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ creatures.’238 This is a prescient vision, and one which unfortunately would not be followed by Lewin’s administrative successors—British or South Asian. If it had, perhaps the future of the indigenous peoples would have been better protected.

Writing a Memoir: Concluding Thoughts on a Life in the Hills After leaving the CHT in 1785, Lewin would serve as the superintendent of Cooch Behar State and the deputy commissioner of Darjeeling before retiring in 1879.239 Following a long-distance courtship through correspondence over several years, he wed a wealthy widow, Margaret, who had three children of her own.240 As a middle-aged bachelor, he had acquired an inimitable air of vitality and natural energy, so often used to describe the hill people themselves, which imbued him with a masculine appeal in addition to his manifold intellectual and aesthetic interests: being a linguist, anthropologist, writer of various genres, musician and artist. Physically, he was just under six foot, with ‘masculine good looks’ and ‘fearless eyes’, elegantly dressed like a dandy. Lewin held himself with an animal gracefulness and magnetism, which his biographer suggested he had gained from his adventurous life in the Hill Tracts. It was this natural elegance and sensitivity that appealed to his bride.241 Indeed Lewin was shaped by the Hills, and as much as he had longed to return to England as a young man, he would spend his years in retirement remembering his time there with great nostalgia. He would go on to publish a number of works based on his writings of Bengal, continue to correspond with the people of the Hill Tracts throughout the remainder of his lifetime, and leave behind a substantial unpublished record that remains one of the most important archives of the Hills and its peoples from the mid-nineteenth century. In particular, after the publication of his memoir, A Fly on a Wheel, Lewin acquired some fame and recognition. Like Buchanan two generations earlier, his works would validate his legacy in India in later years, even if he had not received official recognition. His admirers among his family (p.90) and other wellwishers endeavoured to have Fly on a Wheel reviewed in leading quarterlies242 and his writings were later deposited in the records of the British Museum.243 Among his reviewers would be the prominent painter, critic, and philosopher, John Ruskin. Ruskin sent Lewin several admiring letters in the winter of 1885. Perhaps Ruskin was drawn to Lewin’s painterly style of writing and his deep interest in the natural world expressed through his descriptions of botanical and animal life. In one letter, Ruskin remarked that he was often sent books to review, most of which remained unread, but A Fly on a Wheel had captured his attention from the first. ‘Yours I opened’, he confessed to Lewin, ‘read on in, and have finished: always putting off writing my letter of thanks, that I might make it more glowing.’244 The following month, Ruskin wrote that he was reviewing the book. He again praised Lewin’s writing, but brought up one primary criticism: that it was written with overly wrought schoolboy romanticism, a tendency Page 37 of 55

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ which had characterized Lewin’s prose from his first letters home. ‘You write always like an amiable, reckless, jest-loving, generous schoolboy,’ Ruskin chided, ‘and I cannot help thinking you were very wrong in that juggling trick, well as it turned out.’245 It is possible that Lewin’s publishers may have encouraged these more florid and less objectively factual anecdotes in order to reach a wider reading public.246 Ruskin also questioned why Lewin had not laid out a specific policy for the hill people, why he had not given his opinions on what ‘should be done with these wild races’.247 This, as I have mentioned earlier, in part was due to Lewin’s own grave reservations about the role of colonial influence in the Hills and his strong concerns on Europe-derived ideas of ‘civilization’. In March, Ruskin wrote again, this time apologetically, that his publishers had forced him to cut some of Lewin’s original quotations, thereby destroying ‘the dignity and simplicity’ of the book, and ‘robb[ing] it of half its historical value’. Nonetheless, he remained Lewin’s champion, repeating that the memoir was ‘one of the most wonderful and beautiful stories I have ever read’.248 As I have argued throughout this chapter, Lewin’s writings are illuminating on a number of issues, from the nature of colonial policy and ethnography on the tribal peoples of the Bengal–Burma border, and the formation of indigenous languages, law and customary practice to the use of traditional agriculture and revenue collection. However, it is (p.91) through his engagement with women across a wide spectrum of racial, religious, and national categories that Lewin most tellingly reveals the attitudes and prescriptions of both nineteenth-century British and tribal indigenous society. His work provides a unique window upon Victorian domesticity and maternal authority as well as indigenous marital practice and law. As a young British official in India, Lewin’s life was charted and dominated by women. He spent his days feuding with Rani Kalindi, who consistently resisted his reforms, petitioned the colonial government in Calcutta for his removal, and perhaps even attempted his assassination. In the evenings, he wrote long letters home to his mother, his closest correspondent, who served as his guide and sounding board, advising him on career decisions, financial prospects, and concerns of household management, both in London and in the Hill Tracts. It was two mothers, his and the step-grandmother of the minor Chakma raja, who were undoubtedly the strongest influences upon his life as a colonial official. Lewin was also deeply interested in gender roles within tribal society, particularly the place of ordinary hill women. He perceived gender equality as one of the distinct and defining qualities of tribal culture in the CHT. He praised the hill society, contrasting it with the rigidities of Victorian social mores as well as the cloistered gender segregation of neighbouring Bengali Hindu and Muslim communities. He was particularly impressed by indigenous women’s ability to Page 38 of 55

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ make their own choices in marriage, divorce, and separation as well as their relative freedom of movement and forms of dress. He celebrated their beauty and saw their nudity as reflective of unselfconscious grace, rather than either sexualized licentiousness or primitive wildness.249 In the process, Lewin believed indigenous tribal culture was far more inclusive and open to relationships of friendship and intimacy than the caste-ridden Hindu society. Later, near the end of his time in the CHT, it would be the abduction and rescue of young Mary Winchester during the Lushai Campaign, which would define his career in India. In this celebrated and widely reported incident, Lewin’s career as a colonial official would be assessed and determined inadequate, for he would be among the few who did not receive honours or merits from the imperial government for his part in the campaign. Lewin’s later ambivalent responses to the adult (p.92) Mary reveal a host of paradoxes and suggest perhaps his own bitterness at being passed over by British officialdom in Bengal. Lastly, Lewin’s broader understanding of the region, expressed through descriptions of its landscape, flora, and fauna, was often along gendered lines. The very fecundity of the landscape, replete with wide rivers, mist-covered hills, vibrant flowers, plants, and wildlife, is often portrayed with a latent eroticism. It is fitting to end this chapter with one of Lewin’s letters to his mother. In this epistle, he described the evocative geography of the Hill Tracts. In his eyes, it is a place of awe-inspiring overabundance and almost violent power, of majestic views and mysterious unknowns. He invites his mother, and through her, all readers, to join him in this extraordinary, otherworldly place. He evokes the Hill Tracts as a feminine space and addresses the visitor as a female traveller (beware of unknown creatures climbing up your petticoats, he cautions playfully). He writes: Thinking of the hills—thinking of the hills. Come then along with me. It is cool this evening and the weary tropical downpour that has lasted so long has at length ceased. Let us scramble down into the nearest ravine (beware oh petticoats! There be leeches in these parts) and see this swollen stream come dashing down, hurling its brown masses of topaz coloured water against the opposing rocks; foaming, raging, roaring, tumbling headlong down with such uproarious outpour of living strength that one shouts again in very sympathy with the wild water (Don’t you remember ‘The way the water came down from Lodore’). This dark cleft where we are is bright with flower like leaves and feather ferns and darkly overhung with giant trees through whose tops one sees the sky reddening to evening. The evening is calm and bright as we walk up to my shanty again—the day is dying peacefully—see how the light fades off from one purple ridge.... Down below us is the fast deepening darkness of the depths thousands of feet down there, comes twinkling out from odd nooks the Page 39 of 55

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ small light of some Hill hut that nestling in the hill side has escaped observation by day.250 In this wistful letter, we feel both the living, visceral sense of nature (the ‘foaming, raging, roaring, tumbling’ river) in all its undomesticated abundance as well as the quiet serenity of this remote landscape. The river gives way to a hidden ‘dark cleft’ of flowers and feather ferns (perhaps a subtly eroticized allusion to the female genitalia?) and (p.93) the descending evening calm. The day dies ‘peacefully’ as he escorts us back to his small ‘shanty’ dwelling. In his letter, Lewin reminds his mother and, through her, all of his readers how small the human condition is against the majestic scale of the hills themselves. A hill hut ‘nestle[s] in the hill side’ camouflaged by the foliage, forgotten in the light of the day. The use of such personal sentiment in Lewin’s own recollections and writings would be undermined in the censuses, gazetteers and surveys to follow, which emerged in the late nineteenth century. As we shall see in the following chapter, within a few decades, enumerative statistics would dominate over such lyrical accounts of the Hill Tracts and the dwellers therein. Notes:

(1.) Letter from T.H. Lewin to his mother, Rangamatee, 2 November 1873. Lewin Papers, MS 811/II/38, Senate House Library, London, UK. (2.) van Schendel, Mey, and Dewan, The Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 68. (3.) Lewin, Fly on a Wheel, p. 1. (4.) For more on this period of his life, refer to his memoir, Fly on a Wheel. (5.) The Lewin Family Papers, London University: Senate House Library, British National Archives. Accessible at http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/ rd/ab28086c-fda8-4556-9672-30397c98cb3a; 18 January 2019. (6.) T.H. Lewin, Hill Proverbs of the Inhabitants of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (Calcutta: Bengal Secretariat Press, 1873); T.H. Lewin, Progressive Colloquial Exercises in the Lushai Dialect of the ‘Dzo’ or Kuki Language (Calcutta: Calcutta Central Press, 1874); T.H. Lewin, A Manual Of Tibetan: Being A Guide To The Colloquial Speech Of Tibet in a Series of Progressive Exercises Prepared With the Assistance of Yapa Ugyen Gyatsho (Calcutta: G.H. Rouse at the Baptist Mission Press, 1879). (7.) T.H. Lewin, unpublished diary kept during the Lushai Expedition of 1871–2. Lewin Papers, MS811/II/29, Senate House Library, London, UK. (8.) Lewin, The Hill Tracts of Chittagong and the Dwellers Therein; Wild Races of South-Eastern India. Page 40 of 55

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ (9.) Lewin published his autobiography, A Fly on the Wheel, or How I Helped Govern India, which covered his life from 1857 to 1873. A second edition was printed in 1912. It was later republished by the Tribal Research Institute at the Government of Mizoram in 1977. (10.) Lewin published a number of sketches for The Englishman, which were later reprinted by the Calcutta Central Press Company in 1866 (Whitehead, Thangliena, p. 111). (11.) He wrote a number of short stories under the pseudonym Newell Lewin, including ‘Queen of the Rubies’ and ‘Buffaloe Hunting in India’. ‘The Queen of the Rubies’ was attributed to Newell Herbert [T.H. Lewin] and dated Bhowanygange 28 July 1864; later, it was altered slightly as noted on 4 July 1871 for publication in ‘Once a Week’ (Lewin Papers, MS811/II/34, Senate House Library, London, UK). ‘Buffaloe Hunting in India by A. Skrimly C.S.’ was signed Newell Herbert [T.H. Lewin], Hattea (26 Feb 1864) (Lewin Papers, MS811/II/35, Senate House Library, London, UK). (12.) John Whitehead, Thangliena: The Life of T.H. Lewin (Hong Kong: Paul Strachan for Kiscadale Publications, 1992), pp. 170–1. (13.) van Schendel, Mey, and Dewan, The Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 35; R.H. Sneyd Hutchinson, An Account of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (Calcutta: Bengal Secretariat Book Depot, 1906); Whitehead, Thangliena. (14.) Lewin, Fly on a Wheel, p. 217. (15.) Mey, ed., J. P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 85. (16.) Whitehead, Thangliena, p. 180. (17.) Hunter, A Statistical Account of Bengal, p. 91. (18.) For instance, in the late eighteenth century, Company officials in Bengal worked to prevent widowed ranis from managing zamindari lands on behalf of their minor sons (see Chatterjee, Forgotten Friends, p. 99). Colonial administrators also separated male aristocratic children from their mothers and the larger sphere of traditional female authorities, which they believed was ‘nefarious’ in nature, breeding unhealthy, stultifying, and overtly dangerous environments. Refer to my article, Angma Jhala, ‘The Jodhpur Regency: Princely Education, Politics and Gender in Postcolonial India’, South Asian History and Culture 1, no. 3 (2010): 378–96, p. 381. (19.) Lewin’s biographer, John Whitehead, even intimates that Lewin took a local, indigenous woman as his mistress.

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ (20.) Rana Kabbani, Imperial Fictions: Europe’s Myths of the Orient (London: Pandora, 1994), p. 19; Reina Lewis, Rethinking Orientalism: Women Travel, and the Ottoman Harem (London: I.B. Tauris, 2004), pp. 182–3; Janaki Nair, Women and Law in Colonial India: A Social History (New Delhi, 1996), p. 150. (21.) Angma D. Jhala, ‘The Malabar Hill Murder Trial of 1925: Sovereignty, Law and Sexual Politics in Colonial Princely India,’ The Indian Economic and Social History Review 46, no. 3 (2009): 373–400, p. 379. (22.) In many ways, these descriptions anticipate the later language of a South Asian vs. Southeast Asian cultural identity, which informed various twentiethcentury nationalist movements, including India’s independence in 1947 and Bangladesh separatism in 1971. Such distinctions unknowingly classified indigenous ‘tribal’ peoples as ethnic, racial, linguistic, religious, and historical ‘others’, further marginalizing and alienating them from a ‘South Asian’ political and territorial geography. Tribal women’s behaviour and dress (especially their nudity) has often been emphasized in these discourses of ‘otherness’. (23.) Lalruatkima, ‘Frontiers of Imagination,’ p. 27. (24.) Arupjyoti Saikia similarly describes British administrators invoking the evocative beauty of the hills and rivers in their accounts of colonial Assam (Saikia, Forests and Ecological History of Assam, p. 22). (25.) Stoler, Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power, p. 43. (26.) McClintock, Imperial Leather, p. 22. (27.) McClintock, Imperial Leather, p. 24. (28.) Pratt, Imperial Eyes, pp. 201–4. (29.) Pratt, Imperial Eyes, p. 213. (30.) Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness was originally published in serialized form by Blackwood’s Magazine in London in 1899. Conrad would similarly emphasize the image of the river, in his case the Congo River, to highlight the dangerous elements of the African continent and the nature of colonial enterprise. (31.) Refer to Frank McLynn’s review of John Whitehead’s biography of Lewin, Thangliena, in the Independent (accessible at http://www.independent.co.uk/ voices/book-review--a-bureaucrat-goes-native-among-the-hill-folkthangliena-thelife-of-t-h-lewin--john-whitehead-kiscadale-pounds-1499-2320871.html; 18 January 2019). See Lalruatkima, ‘Frontiers of Imagination’, p. 22. (32.) Chatterjee, Forgotten Friends, pp. 246–8. Page 42 of 55

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ (33.) Mohsin, The Politics of Nationalism, p. 29. (34.) Lalruatkima, ‘Frontiers of Imagination’. (35.) Roy, Departed Melody, p. 41. (36.) van Schendel, Mey, and Dewan, The Chittagong Hill Tracts, pp. 68–9; Lalruatkima, ‘Frontiers of Imagination’, p. 22. (37.) Collingham, Imperial Bodies, p. 154. (38.) Douglas Peers has written on such influences upon the writing of military writers in colonial India. Peers, ‘Colonial Knowledge and the Military in India’, pp. 160–1. (39.) Lalruatkima, ‘Frontiers of Imagination’, p. 30. (40.) Willem van Schendel, ‘A Politics of Nudity: Photographs of the “Naked Mru” of Bangladesh’, Modern Asian Studies 36, no. 2 (2002): 341–74, p. 360. (41.) Whitehead, Thangliena, p. 282. (42.) Lewin noted in a letter to his mother that when he was posted in Hazaribagh, he kept to a tight schedule, rising at 5:30 a.m., going on parades, addressing petitions, preparing estimates for the building of barracks, paying bills, and riding before he retired after 8 p.m. with a pipe and novel (T.H. Lewin, letter to his mother, Hazaribagh, 16 August 1862. Lewin Papers, MS 811/II/38, Senate House Library, London, UK). (43.) Incidentally, it may have been Rani Kalindi’s inability to similarly hunt alongside him due to her practise of semi-purdah that could have affected his relationship with the Chakma queen. (44.) Whitehead, Thangliena, p. 94. (45.) Hunting particularly acquired a mythic stature in the memoirs and sporting periodicals of Lewin’s era, and much attention was paid to the close proximity between the hunter and his noble prey, as well as that between rider and his horse that was often a pureblood thoroughbred. In the process, animals themselves conferred nobility upon their human counterparts, which reflected English racial superiority (Collingham, Imperial Bodies, p. 125; Bruce Haley, The Healthy Body and Victorian Culture [Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1978], p. 164). (46.) Allen Warren, ‘Popular Manliness: Baden-Powell, Scouting and the Development of Manly Character’, in Manliness and Morality: Middle-Class Masculinity in Britain and America, 1800–1940, ed. J.A. Mangan and James

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ Walvin, pp. 199–219 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1987), pp. 199– 200. (47.) Collingham, Imperial Bodies, pp. 122–4; Haley, The Healthy Body and Victorian Culture, pp. 123–40, 161, 164; J.A. Mangan, Athleticism in the Victorian and Edwardian Public School (London: The Falmer Press, 1986), pp. 136–8; Warren, ‘Popular Manliness’, pp.199–200. (48.) Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness (originally published in Blackwood’s Magazine, 1899; published later as a book in 1902); E.M. Forster, A Passage to India (New York: Harcourt, Brace and company, 1924); M.M. Kaye, Shadow of the Moon (New York: St. Martin’s Press, c. 1979). (49.) Stoler, Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power, pp. 8–9. (50.) Lalruatkima, ‘Frontiers of Imagination’, p. 28. (51.) Whitehead, Thangliena, pp. 45–6. (52.) Whitehead, Thangliena, p. 47. (53.) Whitehead, Thangliena, p. 48. (54.) T.H. Lewin, personal diary, entry dated 28 August 1873 at Demagree, Chittagong Hill Tracts; Whitehead, Thangliena, p. 48. (55.) T.H. Lewin, personal diary, entry dated 28 August 1873 at Demagree, Chittagong Hill Tracts. (56.) Lalruatkima, ‘Frontiers of Imagination’, p. 30. (57.) T.H. Lewin, personal diary, entry dated 28 August 1873 at Demagree, Chittagong Hill Tracts. (58.) Catherine Hall, ‘Going a-Trolloping: Imperial Man Travels the Empire’, in Gender and Imperialism, ed. Clare Midgley, pp. 180–99 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1998), p. 180. (59.) Edward Said, Culture and Imperialism (New York: Knopf, 1993), p. xii. (60.) Hall, ‘Going a-Trolloping’, p. 180. (61.) Hall, ‘Going a-Trolloping’, p. 181. (62.) Lalruatkima, ‘Frontiers of Imagination’, pp. 30–2. Lewin’s biographer, Whitehead, observed that in its ‘more lurid passages’, his later memoir, Fly on a Wheel, revealed this boyhood influence from Fennimore Cooper. Whitehead, Thangliena, p. 334.

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ (63.) T.H. Lewin, personal diary, entry dated 28 August 1873 at Demagree, Chittagong Hill Tracts. (64.) Whitehead, Thangliena, pp. 48–51. Of the two, historians have paid less attention to Addiscombe as it was focussed on military training (Paidipaty, ‘Tribal Nation’, p. 34; Peers, ‘Colonial Knowledge and the Military in India’, p. 170). (65.) Paidipaty, ‘Tribal Nation’, p. 34; Peers, ‘Colonial Knowledge and the Military in India’, p. 170; Whitehead, Thangliena, pp. 50–1. (66.) Whitehead, Thangliena, p. 51. (67.) Lewin, Fly on a Wheel, p. 2. (68.) Lalruatkima, ‘Frontiers of Imagination’, p. 21. (69.) Lewin, Fly on a Wheel, p. 2. (70.) Arriving in Cawnpore a few days after the massacre, he encountered the brutal sight of dead Englishwomen and children at the bottom of a well, their blood-splattered clothing covering the nearby courtyard, huts, and trees. In his later published memoir, Lewin would recall: ‘Is it possible to wipe out the memory of the fatal 15th of July, 1857, when, with the sounds of the British guns in their ears telling of help near at hand, these hapless helpless ones were ruthlessly slaughtered?’ (Lewin, Fly on a Wheel, pp. 5–6). (71.) Whitehead, Thangliena, p. 77. (72.) Whitehead, Thangliena, p. 83. Nautch is a form of entertainment in India, centred on dance by professional female dancers. It became prominent during the Mughal era and under later British East India Company rule. It was also practised in the courts of Indian princely states and aristocratic households. (73.) Whitehead, Thangliena, p. 77. (74.) Chatterjee, Forgotten Friends, p. 247. (75.) Lewin, Fly on a Wheel, pp. 56–7. (76.) Whitehead, Thangliena, p. 83. (77.) Whitehead, Thangliena, p. 87. (78.) Letter from T.H. Lewin to his mother from Hazaribagh, 16 August 1862. Lewin Papers, MS 811/II/38, Senate House Library, London, UK. (79.) Collingham, Imperial Bodies, p. 138.

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ (80.) Whitehead, Thangliena, p. 92. (81.) Whitehead, Thangliena, p. 92. (82.) Letter from T.H. Lewin to his mother, from Hazaribagh, 3 November 1862. Lewin Papers, MS 811/II/38, Senate House Library, London, UK. (83.) Whitehead, Thangliena, p. 93. (84.) Whitehead, Thangliena, p. 110. (85.) Peers, ‘Colonial Knowledge and the Military in India’, p. 164. (86.) Whitehead, Thangliena, p. 111. (87.) Whitehead, Thangliena, pp. 111–12. (88.) Lewin, Fly on a Wheel, pp. 123–4. (89.) Lewin, Fly on a Wheel, p. 135. (90.) Whitehead, Thangliena, p. 104. (91.) Margaret Strobel, ‘Women’s History, Gender History, and European Colonialism’, in Colonialism and the Modern World, ed. Gregory Blue, Martin Bunton, and Ralph Croizer, pp. 51–68 (London: M. E. Sharpe, 2002), p. 61; Mrinalini Sinha, Colonial Masculinity: The ‘Manly Englishman’ and the ‘Effeminate Bengali’ in the Late Nineteenth Century (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1995). (92.) Indrani Chatterjee misinterprets the use of ‘barbarian’ as referring to the indigenous hill peoples when he was actually referring to Bengalis (Chatterjee, Forgotten Friends, p. 258; Lewin’s letter to Jeanie 15 June 1871, OIOC, Mss Eur. C 80, f.166). (93.) Whitehead, Thangliena, p. 104. (94.) Letter from T.H. Lewin to his mother, on the river, 20 March 1865. Lewin Papers, MS 811/II/38, Senate House Library, London, UK. (95.) Letter from T.H. Lewin to his mother, on the river, 20 March 1865. (96.) Whitehead, Thangliena, pp. 120–1. (97.) Letter from T.H. Lewin to his mother, on the river, 20 March 1865. (98.) Whitehead, Thangliena, p. 122. (99.) Whitehead, Thangliena, p. 172. Page 46 of 55

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ (100.) Whitehead, Thangliena, p. 123. (101.) Letter from T.H. Lewin to his mother, Chandragoonah, 14 October 1865. Lewin Papers, MS 811/II/38, Senate House Library, London, UK. (102.) Whitehead, Thangliena, p. 137. Lewin and his fellow scholar administrators engaged in such exercises of anthropometry in the nineteenth century, that is, the logging of cranial measurements, nasal indices, and skin colour, to label and identify peoples (Bayly, ‘Caste and “Race” in the Colonial Ethnography of India’, p. 170). (103.) Whitehead, Thangliena, p. 137. (104.) Whitehead, Thangliena, p. 139. (105.) Letter from T.H. Lewin to his mother, from the Kyar Village on the upper Koladyne, 15 December 1865. Lewin Papers, MS 811/II/38, Senate House Library, London, UK. (106.) Lewin, Fly on a Wheel, pp. 185–6; Whitehead, Thangliena, pp. 155–6. (107.) Whitehead, Thangliena, p. 156. (108.) Lewin, Fly on a Wheel, pp. 186–7. (109.) T.H. Lewin, personal diary, entry dated 21 May 1866, Chandragona. Lewin Papers, MS 8II/II/27/53, Senate House Library, London, UK. (110.) T.H. Lewin, personal diary, entry dated 28 May 1866. Lewin Papers, MS 8II/II/27/53, Senate House Library, London, UK. (111.) T.H. Lewin, personal diary, entry dated 8 August 1866. Lewin Papers, MS 8II/II/27/53, Senate House Library, London, UK; Whitehead, Thangliena, p. 159. (112.) T.H. Lewin, personal diary, entry dated 8 August 1866. Lewin Papers, MS 8II/II/27/53, Senate House Library, London, UK. (113.) Whitehead, Thangliena, p. 159. (114.) T.H. Lewin, personal diary, entry dated 17 October 1866. Lewin Papers, MS 8II/II/27/53, Senate House Library, London, UK. (115.) Whitehead, Thangliena, pp. 168–9. (116.) T.H. Lewin, letter to his mother, Barn House, Rangamattee, 7/2/68. Lewin Papers, MS 811/II/38, Senate House Library, London, UK. (117.) Whitehead, Thangliena, p. 200.

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ (118.) Lewin, The Hill Tracts of Chittagong and the Dwellers Therein (1869). (119.) Lewin, Wild Races of South-Eastern India, pp. 1–3. (120.) Whitehead, Thangliena, p. 107. (121.) Letter from T.H. Lewin to his Mother, Chandragoonah, 14 October 1865. Lewin Papers, MS 811/II/38, Senate House Library, London, UK. (122.) Eleanor Gordon and Gwyneth Nair, Public Lives: Women, Family and Society in Victorian Britain (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003), p. 134. (123.) Letter from T.H. Lewin to his mother, Chittagong, 3 September 1865. Lewin Papers, MS 811/II/38, Senate House Library, London, UK. (124.) Letter from T.H. Lewin to his mother, Berchwood, 6 April 1878. Lewin Papers, MS 811/II/38, Senate House Library, London, UK. (125.) Whitehead, Thangliena, p. 174. (126.) Letter from T.H. Lewin to his mother, Demagree, 10 February 1873. Lewin Papers, MS 811/II/38, Senate House Library, London, UK. (127.) Letter from T.H. Lewin to his mother, Chittagong, 3 September 1865. Lewin Papers, MS 811/II/38, Senate House Library, London, UK. (128.) Letter from T.H. Lewin to his Mother, Chittagong, 3 September 1865. (129.) Letter from Lewin to his mother, Rangamattee, 22 September 1872. Lewin Papers, MS 811/II/38. Senate House Library, London, UK. (130.) Whitehead, Thangliena, p. 87. (131.) Letter from Lewin to his mother, Rangamattee, 22 September 1872. (132.) Letter from Lewin to his mother, Rangamattee, 22 September 1872. (133.) Letter from T.H. Lewin to his mother, Demagree, 10 February 1873. (134.) Letter from T.H. Lewin to his mother, Sirthay Frontier Post, Chittagong Hills, 30 June 1873. Lewin Papers, MS 811/II/38, Senate House Library, London, UK. (135.) Letter from T.H. Lewin to his Mother, Rangamatee, 2 November 1873. (136.) Letter from T.H. Lewin to his mother, Sirthay Frontier Post, Chittagong Hills, 30 June 1873. Lewin Papers, MS 811/II/38. Senate House Library, London, UK.

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ (137.) Letter from T.H. Lewin to his Mother, Berchwood, 6 April 1878. (138.) Letter from Lewin to his mother, Chittagong, 3 September 1865. (139.) T.H. Lewin, personal diary, entry dated 17 September 1867. Lewin Papers, MS 8II/II/27/53, Senate House Library, London, UK. (140.) T.H. Lewin, personal diary, entry dated 4 November 1867. Lewin Papers, MS 8II/II/27/53, Senate House Library, London, UK. (141.) T.H. Lewin, personal diary, entry dated 27 June 1868. Lewin Papers, MS 8II/II/27/53, Senate House Library, London, UK. (142.) Whitehead, Thangliena, p. 184. (143.) Susie L. Steinbach, Understanding the Victorians: Politics, Culture and Society in Nineteenth-Century Britain (London: Routledge, 2017, 2nd edition), p. 242. (144.) Up until 1929, British members of the political service were recruited at the age of 26 and could not marry within the first three probationary years (Stoler, Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power, pp. 52–3). (145.) Lewin, Fly on a Wheel, p. 205. (146.) Lewin, Fly on a Wheel, p. 207. (147.) Mey, ed., J. P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 84. (148.) Roy, Departed Melody, p. 39. (149.) Jhala, Courtly Indian Women (2008), p. 44. (150.) Hunter, A Statistical Account of Bengal, p. 92. (151.) Roy, Departed Melody, p. 39. J.P. Mills argues that this choice of successor broke with Chakma tradition. Harish Chandra came from the Wangsa tribe, which, Mills notes, was an ‘insignificant’ tribe, and that inheritance through the female line was against tribal custom (Mey, J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 85). (152.) Mey, J. P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 85. (153.) Kabita Chakma, ‘The Lands of Kalindi Rani’, Himal Southasian (July 2011). (154.) Mey, J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, pp. 84–5. (155.) Roy, Departed Melody, p. 39.

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ (156.) Whitehead, Thangliena, pp. 170–1. (157.) Chakma, ‘The Lands of Kalindi Rani’. (158.) J.P. Mills speculated that Harish Chandra did not act out of affection, but because he was ‘too frightened’ to oppose her (Mey, J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 85). (159.) Roy, Departed Melody, p. 41. (160.) Roy, Departed Melody, p. 39. Some scholars, such as Indrani Chatterjee, have mistakenly described Rani Kalindi as the widow of a Rakhain Muslim soldier-governor in a perhaps overzealous celebration of cultural and religious hybridity within the CHT. This is a grave misinterpretation, which reflects all too powerfully the unfamiliarity of these border histories and more generally difficulties in reconstructing their archives. See Chatterjee, Forgotten Friends, p. 252. (161.) Hunter, A Statistical Account of Bengal, pp. 92–3. (162.) Lewin, Fly on a Wheel, p. 217. (163.) Lewin, Fly on a Wheel, p. 217. (164.) Lewin, Fly on a Wheel, p. 217. (165.) Whitehead, Thangliena, p. 171. (166.) T.H. Lewin, personal diary, entry dated 1 November 1867. Lewin Papers, MS 8II/II/27/53, Senate House Library, London, UK. (167.) Lewin, Fly on a Wheel, p. 218. (168.) Lewin, Fly on a Wheel, p. 218. (169.) Lewin, Fly on a Wheel, p. 219. (170.) Lewin, Fly on a Wheel, pp. 219–20. (171.) Lewin, Fly on a Wheel, p. 220. (172.) Roy, Departed Melody, p. 41. (173.) T.H. Lewin, personal diary, entry dated 31 May 1868. Lewin Papers, MS 8II/II/27/53, Senate House Library, London, UK. (174.) Lewin, Fly on a Wheel, pp. 249–50. (175.) Roy, Departed Melody, p. 41. Page 50 of 55

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ (176.) Mohsin, Politics of Nationalism (1997), p. 30. (177.) Roy, Departed Melody, p. 42. (178.) Lewin, Fly on a Wheel, p. 251. (179.) van Schendel, Mey, and Dewan, The Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 35. (180.) Lewin, Fly on a Wheel, p. 137. (181.) Lewin, Wild Races of South-Eastern India, p. 347; Lalruatkima, ‘Frontiers of Imagination’, p. 29. (182.) Lewin, Wild Races of South-Eastern India, p. 346. (183.) Lewin, Wild Races of South-Eastern India, p. 347. (184.) Refer to Partha Chatterjee, ‘The Nationalist Resolution of the Women’s Question’, in Recasting Women, ed. K. Sangari and S. Vaid, pp. 233–53 (New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1990); Lata Mani, Contentious Traditions: The Debateon Sati in Colonial India (Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1998); Gayatri Spivak, ‘Can the Subaltern Speak?’, in Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture, ed. C. Nelson and L. Grossberg, pp. 271–313 (Illinois: Illini Books, 1988). (185.) Thomas Metcalf, The Aftermath of Revolt, India 1857–1970 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1964), p. 116; Jhala, ‘Malabar Hill Murder’, p. 376; N. Jayapalan, Women’s Studies (New Delhi: Atlantic Publishers and partners, 2000), pp. 73–4. (186.) Lewin, Wild Races of South-Eastern India, p. 175. Lewin provides detailed accounts of marriage ceremonies, bride and groom selection, omens involved and gift giving. See Wild Races of South-Eastern India, pp. 178–9; The Hill Tracts of Chittagong and the Dwellers Therein, pp. 70–1. (187.) Lewin, Wild Races of South-Eastern India, p. 179. (188.) Lewin, Wild Races of South-Eastern India, pp. 179–82; The Hill Tracts of Chittagong and the Dwellers Therein, pp. 72–3. Occasionally, there could be disastrous elopements as well. Lewin recounted one incident when a brother learned of his sister’s disappearance. Armed with his dao (long knife), he went off after the covert couple and attacked the suitor, only to accidentally knife his own sister. He told Lewin that if only the groom had approached the family openly and given the appropriate bride price, they would have happily incorporated him into their family. (189.) Lewin, Fly on a Wheel, p. 230.

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ (190.) Lewin, Fly on a Wheel, p. 231. (191.) Lewin, Wild Races, p. 187. (192.) Lewin, Wild Races of South-Eastern India, pp. 186–8. (193.) Lewin, Wild Races of South-Eastern India, p. 348. (194.) Lewin, Wild Races of South-Eastern India, pp. 348–9. In a later account of nudity among the hill people, John Beames, the then-commissioner of Chittagong, in Rangamati, described how, in 1878, a Lushai chief by the name of Vanhnuaia visited Circuit House in Calcutta naked. At first, this caused a problem for the commissioner’s wife and the European ladies who were present. They compromised by having a blanket held up before Vanhnuaia when he entered and was entertained in the drawing room. Beames described him as a ‘splendid animal—tall, muscular and active, with a keen bright eye and a lordly demeanour’. Though he would not wear the blanket, he condescended to take it as a present as well as a glass tumbler. While the description referenced the animal vigour of the indigenous man, Beames simultaneously emphasized Vanhnuaia’s inherent intelligence, dignity, and grace of manner. Through such descriptions, the very nakedness of the hill people served to emphasize their vitality and robust health (perhaps in marked contrast to the effeminacy of the plains-dwelling Bengalis) rather than anything of a sexual or developmental nature (van Schendel, Mey, and Dewan, The Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 27; John Beames, Memoirs of a Bengal Civilian: The Lively Narrative of a Victorian District Officer [London/New York: Eland/Hippocrene, 1984], pp. 288–9). (195.) Lalruatkima, ‘Frontiers of Imagination’, p. 29. (196.) Lewin, Fly on a Wheel, p. 137. (197.) T.H. Lewin, personal diary, entry dated 28 February 1873. Lewin Papers, MS 8II/II/27/53, Senate House Library, London, UK; Whitehead, Thangliena, p. 269. (198.) T.H. Lewin, personal diary, entry dated 28 February 1873. (199.) Lewin, Fly on a Wheel, p. 221. (200.) Whitehead, Thangliena, p. 269. (201.) Stoler, Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power, p. 48. (202.) Stoler, Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power, p. 49. (203.) Collingham, Imperial Bodies, pp. 184–5. (204.) Whitehead, Thangliena, p. 282. Page 52 of 55

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ (205.) Whitehead, Thangliena, pp. 415–8. Lewin would, shortly thereafter, have money sent to her. (206.) Chatterjee, Forgotten Friends, p. 259. (207.) Hunter, A Statistical Account of Bengal, pp. 20–1. (208.) Lalruatkima, ‘Frontiers of Imagination’, p. 35. (209.) Pachuau and van Schendel, Camera as Witness, p. 27; Jangkhomang Guite, ‘Civilisation and Its Malcontents: The Politics of Kuki Raid in Nineteenth Century Northeast India’, Indian Economic and Social History Review 48, no. 3 (2011): 339–76. (210.) Roy, Departed Melody, pp. 38–9. (211.) Lalruatkima, ‘Frontiers of Imagination’, p. 24; P.N. Luthra, ‘North-East Frontier Agency Tribes: Impact of Ahom and British Policy’, Economic and Political Weekly 6, no. 23 (5 June 1971): 1143–5, pp. 1147–9. (212.) Pachuau, Being Mizo, pp. 99–100. (213.) Whitehead, Thangliena, p. 116. (214.) Lewin, Fly on a Wheel, pp. 242–3. The correlation with Scotland was not incidental. Several of the early surveyors and cartographers in India were recruited for their knowledge for mapping the Scottish highlands or for having been educated during or soon after the Scottish Enlightenment. This led to a close connection between the Company’s territorial expansion and a political narrative of scientific discovery, which emerges in the diaries, tour journals, and travelogues of nineteenth-century European officers in India (Paidipaty, ‘Tribal Nation,’ p. 30; also see Chapter 1 of this volume). (215.) Lalruatkima, ‘Frontiers of Imagination’, pp. 33–5. (216.) Lewin, Fly on a Wheel, pp. 276–7. (217.) Lewin, Fly on a Wheel, p. 288. (218.) Lewin, Fly on a Wheel, p. 277. (219.) Chatterjee, Forgotten Friends, p. 262. (220.) Roy, Departed Melody, p. 43. (221.) Chatterjee, Forgotten Friends, p. 273; Mary Winchester letter to Col Lewin in Ms 811/II/54, Lewin Papers, Senate House Library, London; quoted with an additional missing paragraph in Mary Winchester to D.E. Jones in J.

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ Meirion Lloyd, History of the Church in Mizoram (Harvest in the Hills) (Aizawl, Mizoram: Synod Publication Board, 1991), pp. 6–7. (222.) Woodthorpe, The Lushai Expedition. (223.) Pachuau and van Schendel, Camera as Witness, p. 29. (224.) For more on histories of British captives and imperialism, refer to Linda Colley, Captives: Britain, Empire and the World, 1600–1850 (New York: Anchor Books, 2002). (225.) Chatterjee, Forgotten Friends, p. 264. (226.) Letter from Mary Winchester to T.H. Lewin, 22 October 1912. Lewin Papers, MS 811/II/54, Senate House Library, London, UK. (227.) Chatterjee, Forgotten Friends, p. 274. Lewin may have had mixed feelings about interracial relationships. In one diary entry, he mentioned two Europeans he knew who lived with native women: ‘I stayed on the way with Mountjoy the tea planter on the Myo River, a well-educated gentlemanly fellow with an unfortunate liking for Bengallees which has developed itself into a wife and a black child. Then onto ... the Extra Asst. Com. at Morungdoo—he is a bore with good connections, aristocratic tendencies and keeps a Burmese girl.’ (T.H. Lewin, personal diary, entry dated 17 September 1867. Lewin Papers, MS 8II/II/ 27/53, Senate House Library, London, UK). Certainly, his dismissive views of the tea planter with the Bengali mistress seem to indicate his contempt for mixedrace cohabitation. However, the passing reference might reflect his dislike particularly for Bengalis rather than hill peoples. (228.) Whitehead, Thangliena, p. 256; Lalruatkima, ‘Frontiers of Imagination’, p. 36. (229.) Whitehead, Thangliena, p. 311; Lalruatkima, ‘Frontiers of Imagination’, p. 36. (230.) Roy, Departed Melody, pp. 42–3. (231.) Lewin, Fly on a Wheel, pp. 313–4. (232.) Paidipaty, ‘Tribal Nation’, p. 36. (233.) Lalruatkima, ‘Frontiers of Imagination’, p. 37. (234.) Lewin, Wild Races of South-Eastern India, p. 351. (235.) Lewin, Wild Races of South-Eastern India, p. 343. (236.) Lewin, Wild Races of South-Eastern India, p. 344. Page 54 of 55

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‘Beware Oh Petticoats! There Be Leeches in These Parts’ (237.) Lewin, Wild Races of South-Eastern India, pp. 351–2. (238.) Lewin, Wild Races of South-Eastern India, p. 352. (239.) Lalruatkima, ‘Frontiers of Imagination’, p. 21. (240.) Whitehead, Thangliena, pp. 286–7, 308. (241.) Whitehead, Thangliena, p. 303. (242.) ‘From Lady Eastlake to Mrs. Margaret Lewin, Fitzroy Square, January 29th, 1885’, in The Lewin Letters: A Selection from the Correspondence & Diaries of an English Family, 1756–1885, 2 vols, ed. Thomas Herbert Lewin (London: Archibald Constable & Co Ltd, 1909), pp. 352–3. (243.) ‘From Mr. Arthur Lister to Colonel T.H. Lewin, Highcliff, Lyme Regis, February 19th, 1885’, in Lewin, The Lewin Letters, pp. 353–4. (244.) ‘From Mr. John Ruskin to Colonel T. H. Lewin, Brantwood, Coniston, January 27th, 1885’, in Lewin, The Lewin Letters, p. 352. (245.) ‘From Mr. John Ruskin to Colonel T. H. Lewin, Brantwood, Coniston, February 12th, 1885’ in Lewin, The Lewin Letters, p. 353. (246.) Lalruatkima, ‘Frontiers of Imagination’, p. 32. (247.) ‘From Mr. John Ruskin to Colonel T. H. Lewin, Brantwood, Coniston, February 12th, 1885’ in Lewin, The Lewin Letters, p. 353. (248.) ‘From Mr. John Ruskin to Colonel T. H. Lewin, Brantwood, Coniston, March 10th, 1885’ in Lewin, The Lewin Letters, p. 354. (249.) Lewin’s distinctions are particularly striking in light of later postcolonial interpretations of nakedness, tribal indigeneity, and otherness in the region. The hill people, particularly women, became targets of sexual violence by Muslim Bengalis in East Pakistan and later Bangladesh, in part due to perceptions that their nudity and social behaviour invited sexual overture and were provocative in nature. (250.) Letter from T. H. Lewin to his mother, Rangamatee, 2 November 1873.

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’

An Endangered History: Indigeneity, Religion, and Politics on the Borders of India, Burma, and Bangladesh Angma Dey Jhala

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780199493081 Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019 DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199493081.001.0001

Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ Colonial Enumeration, Religion, and Governmentality, c. 1876–1909 Angma Dey Jhala

DOI:10.1093/oso/9780199493081.003.0003

Abstract and Keywords The chapter examines the role of enumerative data in defining identity and ethnicity during the late colonial period. Focussing on two surveys of the CHT from 1876 and 1909 by W.W. Hunter and R.H. Sneyd Hutchinson respectively, it investigates how the census created standardized labels, relating to religion, tribe, and caste, which often undermined the region’s porous border-crossing, interethnic, and interreligious history. It reveals the inherent contradictions, vagueness of definitions, and, at times, gross inaccuracies within official bureaucratic documentation. Further, it notes how colonial demographic categories would influence later nationalist determinations of cultural and religious identity based on population numbers. Keywords:   enumeration, census, survey, colonial statistics, W.W. Hunter, R.H. Sneyd Hutchinson, religious categories, demography

At the same time that Lewin was engaged in the Lushai campaign, an entirely new method of colonial information gathering was being devised, which would dramatically alter the nature of colonial knowledge in the late nineteenth century. In 1871–2, the colonial state instituted the first India-wide census, and with it came new ways of documenting ecologies and people through the technologies of the modern survey and gazetteer. These new classificatory systems reflected a shift in emphasis away from narrative descriptions of indigenous places and peoples to statistical analyses, which prioritized enumerative data over subjective interpretation or personal observation. Such Page 1 of 57

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ analytical modes rejected the earlier literary genres favoured by British administrators, such as Buchanan’s use of natural history travelogue or Lewin’s orientalized imperial adventure story, which incorporated subjective experiences of colonial travel, administration, and work in favour of more objective and ‘factual’ geographically oriented encyclopedias, useful for a colonial government that saw the rotation of provincial administrators frequently. A few years after the first census, W.W. Hunter would publish his famed survey, the multi-volume Statistical Account of Bengal, which later formed a part of the condensed Imperial Gazetteer of India (1881).1 The volume dedicated to the CHT, printed in 1876,2 was partially a product of Lewin’s earlier writings. It incorporated several sections, (p.107) particularly on the cultural history and customs of the hill tribes verbatim from Lewin’s prior published works or directly quoted him, presumably from written or verbal exchanges between him and Hunter or his assistants.3 Hunter was an ambitious Scot,4 who found in Lewin a fellow administrator also aspiring to be an author. While there are glimpses of literary ambitiousness in the survey, it is predominantly a numberbased, statistical account. His gazetteer would be important as an official government record, read by subsequent district officers and used as a model for later surveys. It would, perhaps most significantly and troublingly, misclassify religious identities in numerical terms. More than thirty years later, R.H. Snyed Hutchinson would publish his 1909 Gazetteer on the Chittagong Hill Tracts. This, too, was heavily quantitative in nature, omitting much of the personal asides, picaresque vignettes, and sentimental remembrances of his earlier 1906 work, An Account of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, upon which the gazetteer was based.5 Both these official government publications represent a new colonial bureaucratic mindset, where indigenous peoples and knowledge about them was quantified and, in the process, essentialized. Places, peoples, and institutions became ‘things’ and then categories, which could be grouped together numerically and effectively, and, in the process, efficiently and systematically governed. Thus, the census introduced a new ‘enumerative modality’, as Bernard Cohn has argued, where British administrators saw India as ‘a vast collection of numbers’. In particular, they used the census as a sociological device to objectify ‘social, cultural, and linguistic differences among the peoples of India’.6 This system, Nicholas Dirks has suggested, reflected the rise of a colonial ‘ethnographic’ methodology in the late nineteenth century, supplanting an earlier historical mode.7 Enumerative studies were used to justify colonial rule and the state’s necessary intervention into indigenous spheres of influence8 by using anthropological techniques.9 Colonial ethnographic encounters with hill tribes, such as those in the CHT, emphasized the inherent governability and otherness of indigenous groups who required the disciplining hand of colonial law, sovereignty, and territoriality. These government surveys, in the process, defined ‘tribalness’ and the tribal person. In documenting the landscapes and Page 2 of 57

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ their inhabitants through indigenous forms of language, religion, law, rites of marriage, birth and death, and clothing, architecture, and village planning, these works endeavoured to (p.108) reveal and classify a region, which lay beyond the official reach of the colonial state. Through these enumerative accounts, hill peoples were categorized as wild, naked, spear-throwing savages, headhunters and ‘ferocious slave raiders’ with ‘no recognizable religion’.10 In part due to its geographic remoteness, the region was seen as a place ‘of awe and mystery, full of tales of people who lived on trees, and of sorcerers and wizards’.11 Invariably Hunter’s and Hutchinson’s accounts portray the tribes as aborigines who were forced into border peripheries, such as forests or wastelands, by more advanced communities.12 Through the science of statistics, categories of tribe, religion, and race were used to identify indigenous peoples, often in static and straightjacketed ways, as groups rather than in terms of lineages or families and as ‘types’ rather than individuals. Before entering into a discussion on Hunter’s and Hutchinson’s surveys, it is useful to briefly examine the development of this new enumerative modality.

New Forms of Colonial Knowledge: The Enumerative Census and Survey During the nineteenth century, modern states—European and Asian—began to categorize their subject populations and resources through censuses, gazetteers, and formal archival procedures. As Dipesh Chakrabarty argues, these new forms of measurement were a hallmark of the modern political process or state.13 However, such classificatory systems were not entirely new. China already employed the oldest system of district gazetteers in the world, which had originally been devised between the thirteenth and seventeenth centuries, to enable imperial officials to navigate relationships with local elites. Even after the nineteenth-century fragmentation of the Chinese government, new editions were being published for the use of provincial states and foreign entrepreneurs. In the Ottoman Empire and across the Islamic world, modernizing officials utilized the existing system of kaiyfyat, or ‘local description’, in gazetteers.14 Enumerative systems for categorizing populations likewise existed in pre-colonial India. In western India, the Rajasthani kingdom of Marwar commissioned a ‘mammoth survey’ of its people between 1658 and 1664, which would later provide the foundation for the first colonial census of western Rajasthan undertaken by Alexander Boileau in 1835. British (p.109) colonial officials wrote their censuses based upon the pre-existing khanasumaris (Rajasthani genealogical systems of household enumeration) and relied upon native information.15 In the process, the census became a collaboration ‘however asymmetrical’ between the British and indigenous Indian actors.16 Collecting numerical data was a defining and central part of British commercial enterprise in India from the East India Company’s first arrival in the subcontinent. During the seventeenth century, British merchants wrote up lists of products, prices, customs, duties, weights, measurements, and coin values when trading and travelling in India.17 By the nineteenth century, devises such Page 3 of 57

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ as gazetteers, maps, and censuses became the ‘symbolic and practical tools’ of a developing nineteenth-century modernizing state. Originally, the census was constructed as a means to collect systematic information on Indian society and its economic systems,18 particularly for the purposes of revenue collection. In time, geographic surveys, explorative missions, and cartography assisted not only with revenue collection, but also in furthering the Company’s ambitions regarding trade and agriculture.19 With the acquisition of new territories through annexation and military conquest, officers of the Company made concise evaluations, which covered local population, land area, agricultural and craft output, and systems of governance, based on the reports of subordinate officials.20 Such localized studies focussed on the political histories of regional royal houses. In mid-eighteenth-century Bengal, Henry Verelst, governor of Bengal, for instance, requested that information be collected on the family histories of leading landholders using rent rolls and agricultural and craft production indexes from 1769. In the process, gazetteers were used for law and governance purposes, population estimates, and defining castes and tribes in specific regions.21 Walter Hamilton’s A Geographical, Statistical, and Historical Description of Hindostan and the Adjacent Countries (1820), was the first full gazetteer of India. Hamilton’s ambition was to systematically describe India’s geography while also providing an overview of its economy. He structured the gazetteer into a select number of primary territories, modelled upon Mughal provinces and districts, and incorporated existing published records, such as Major James Rennell’s Memoir of a Map of Hindoostan (1793), articles from the Asiatic Researches and the (p.110) Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, as well as manuscripts from the India Board. Such initiatives served as the foundation for the later writing of more formalized gazetteers in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.22 While the eighteenth century highlighted the importance of mapping marine and topographical spaces, such as coastlines, rivers, and land masses, and the first quarter of the nineteenth century focussed upon a need for revenue (land tax) surveys in British territories, it was only after the 1857 Mutiny that the British Raj began to compile comprehensive censuses and linguistic, anthropological, and archaeological surveys. The Mutiny fostered the need for the ‘centralization of (and control over) knowledge’ which was now ‘tantamount to the centralization of (and control over) power itself’. As Nicholas Dirks notes, the nineteenth century saw the need in India and Europe for the world to be understood numerically. Numbers could explain the reasons for political unrest, the ‘progress’ of India under imperialism, and methods to prevent crime.23 Unlike the earlier partial surveys and population enumerations of the first half of the nineteenth century, the period from the 1870s to 1890s saw the rise of a common protocol system to collect information.24 The first official census was Page 4 of 57

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ originally planned to be undertaken in 1861 but, due to the disturbances of the rebellion of 1857–9, was postponed until 1871–2.25 With the haunting memory of the Mutiny still fresh, the new Crown government shifted its emphasis away from collecting data on revenue collection to understanding social order as a way to stabilize colonial rule. For this reason, colonial ethnology thereafter overrode an earlier interest in colonial history.26 The belief was that anthropological studies could be used to understand and control Indian subjects and legitimate the civilizing mission itself. Thus, the government embarked on census taking measures as a way to gauge the ‘progress’ of its rule over a large cross section of Indian society through statistics.27 The new field of statistics was based upon the German idea of Statistik or Staatenkunde (‘state-craft’), a late eighteenth-century concept emerging out of travel expeditions conducted for the sole purpose of gathering knowledge through a questionnaire format.28 Etymologically, statistics refers to the collection of facts relating to the ‘condition of a state or community’.29 Statistics first became (p.111) popular in England with John Sinclair’s Statistical Account of Scotland, published in 1788. Sinclair’s work replaced the earlier concept of the grand tour narrative with a comparative analytical system based upon questionnaires.30 By the 1820s, statistics was popular and began being used for censuses in North America and Ireland,31 as well as in British India, with the later surveys of Francis Buchanan, Colin McKenzie, and William Henry Sykes, who gathered statistical information for the East India Company. In many ways, Buchanan’s later surveys embodied both the new German Statistiker and John Sinclair’s methodology, reflecting the shift from ‘travelogue to survey—from the temporality of a narrative of fact-gathering to the two-dimensional space of maps and tables—that constituted this early conception of statistics.’ Buchanan’s emphasis on topography and population enumeration would become the formula for subsequent gazetteers and statistical surveys of India.32 In the 1860s, various attempts were made to compile statistical information. In 1862, the government of Madras proposed that each district have its own manual, which led the collector of Vizagapatam, Mr Carmichael, and his counterpart in Madura, Mr Nelson, to collect such data for their respective districts. However, when the manuals were finished several years later, the Madras government found them too superficial, as they did not employ enough statistics. The government also observed that a single officer could become too dependent on the records of his own district to the exclusion of those of other districts, providing less than comprehensive statistical references. Additionally, they were criticized for being defective due to poor organization and excessive cost.33 The 1871–2 all-India census was more comprehensive in nature, as it covered both provinces and princely states. However, it, too, was critiqued for being unreliable with various problems in its conception34 and execution, particularly Page 5 of 57

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ when compared to the later decennial census.35 Census reports also reflected the influence of rumours on data collection, which inhibited people from giving accurate information or even partaking in the census process. For instance, in 1869, rumours spread in Oude that one male in every family or every fourth man in the general populace would be drafted into the British Indian army and that women were being counted for the primary purpose of satisfying the sexual needs of European soldiers. Other (p.112) gossip abounded that England’s climate had become so hot that Queen Victoria required two virgins from each village to serve as her fan bearers. Many perceived the census to be merely a subterfuge for such nefarious schemes.36 By 1881, the census required specific sets of information, including ‘name, religion (e.g. Hindu, Muslim), sect, caste, subdivision of caste, sex, age, marital status, language, birthplace, means of subsistence, education, language in which literate and infirmities.’37 It would subsequently become a prerequisite for both the Imperial Gazetteer and the Tribes and Castes series.38 More than half a million people were involved in the process of collecting census data.39 While the published censuses were largely statistical documents, they also included narrative accounts on regional histories and information on fertility, morbidity, domestic household makeup, and economic structures. They, along with the new surveys and gazetteers, served as the emblematic ‘model of the Victorian encyclopedic quest for total knowledge’.40 As ‘ethnographic’ surveys, they were reference guides for colonial administrators, members of the colonial police, revenue agents, district magistrates, and military personnel. Such ‘protoethnographic’ studies were undertaken by various levels of the colonial government, from regional officials up to the British parliament.41 They were used for army recruitment, policing, labour immigration, emigration, and limiting prostitution.42 Broad-ranging in nature, they also included information on the customs, manners and ‘measurements’ of castes, including information on caste genesis, kinship structures, marriage and funerary rites, forms of material culture (dress and ornamentation), and occupational profiles.43 In this way, this enumerative process reconstructed Indian society, affecting the results of subsequent census enquiries.44 It resulted in three new ideas regarding Indian identity: (i) communities could be enumerated and through numbers groups could attain political influence; (ii) a community’s social or economic progress could be measured (that is, through their education, professions, employment, and so on); and (iii) both governments and communities could create ‘objective’ tests to measure the ‘backwardness’ of a particular group.45 However, the more colonial administrators focussed on empirical data, the less they actually knew. In Bengal, it became particularly difficult to calculate an accurate list of villages or even to define what a (p.113) village was, which was critical in census calculations of demographics. Additionally, thanas (police circles) were similarly hard to classify as village boundaries were invariably Page 6 of 57

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ vague and nebulous in nature. Some census officials felt that administrators should personally check the physical boundaries of each village.46 While refining caste categories, H.H. Risley, the census commissioner and superintendent of the Ethnographic Survey, discovered that they were invariably ambiguous and indefinable, having ‘overlapping, unstable, and contested’ status. Such concerns emphasized the need to move from earlier narrative accounts, like those employed by Buchanan in his journeys through Mysore and Kerala (or his 1798 trip through the Hill Tracts), which were largely criticized for being too descriptive in nature, to more statistically driven work. Buchanan’s later survey of Bengal (1806–13), where he limited narrative insights and included more statistics, was seen as the new model.47 In a similar manner, R.H. Sneyd Hutchinson reserved his own narrative descriptions and personal opinions for his 1906 book, An Account of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, while his later 1909 official gazetteer was much more enumerative in nature.48 Furthermore, this system of enumeration, expressed in censuses, maps, and agrarian surveys, was fundamentally different in the colonies than in the metropole. While the census in Britain and France was largely used to observe those on the margins of society, such as the poor, the sexually divergent, the mentally ill, and the criminal, in the colonies, the entire subject population was categorized as ‘different’.49 In the first half of the nineteenth century, the use of data, whether through revenue settlements, land surveys, or legal-bureaucratic developments, did more than commodify land, transform lords and peasants, and transfer new structures of gifts and honours or agrarian practices: it led to a ‘huge diversity of castes, sects, tribes, and other practical groupings of the Indian landscape ... rendered into a vast categorical landscape untethered to the specificities of the agrarian landscape’.50 This had never happened back in Britain, and population categories became a key way to normalize ‘the pathology of difference through which the Indian social body was represented’.51 Indian society was, thus, everywhere ‘other’, and statistics could be used to label an entire society as ‘deviant.’52 Thus, if the peoples of imperial India as a whole were seen as deviant, the hill tribes of frontier zones were even more so than their (p.114) subcontinental neighbours. Tribe as a concept had been introduced to India by Europeans and had long been used interchangeably with ‘race’, ‘people’, ‘caste’, ‘class’, and ‘clan’. Each word had different meanings in various languages, whether Portuguese, Dutch, English, or French. In time, ‘tribe’ was further differentiated from ‘race’ and ‘caste’. By the nineteenth century, European administrators increasingly used racial definers, arguing that the plains dwellers were Caucasian types, whose ancestors were the Aryan introducers of Indo-European languages to the subcontinent, while the ‘aboriginal’ or ‘tribal’ peoples were primitive and backward forest and hill dwellers.53 Photographs of tribes were used to document and order different levels of humanity and conceptions of culture and progress within Indian society as a whole.54 The concept of tribe, in Page 7 of 57

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ the process, ‘became part of a comparative taxonomy: contemporary societies that Europeans considered to be farthest behind in time were designated as “tribes”, “primitives”, “aborigines”, or “savages”’. In colonial South Asia, tribal groups increasingly were ranked on a spectrum of civilization and modernity in contrast to other Indic groups.55 Thus, these surveying techniques not only contrasted South Asia against Europe or North America, but also created dichotomies of lowland vs. hill, tribe vs. nontribe, plough cultivator vs. jhum agriculturalist, within the subcontinent itself. There were further cleavages of ‘order’ and ‘chaos’, and ‘savage’ and ‘civilized’ in comparing the Hill Tracts to the settled Brahmaputra valley and other regions within colonial Bengal. As Joy Pachuau notes, ‘[N]ot only were particular hill tracts given particular identities, but these characterizations of wildness and barbarism were always juxtaposed to the tranquility and order of the lands already under colonial control.’56 Invariably, colonial administrators saw jhum agriculture as both ‘primitive’ and ‘unremunerative’, in contrast to plough cultivation.57 This ‘evolutionalist framework’, which contrasted the ‘civilized and uncivilized’ led to perceptions of anarchy (the hills as ‘unorganized’ and ungovernable, while the plains were organized and peaceful), economic dependency (hill peoples, as a major exporter of India rubber, being dependent upon the plains for a market), and, later, a growing rural–urban divide.58 Both Hunter and Hutchinson would base their gazetteers on enumerative models then in vogue, counting landscapes, animals, and the customary, legal, and domestic practices of the various hill tribes. In (p.115) the process, their surveys furthered such colonial perceptions of the inherent foreignness of indigenous peoples, while also revealing the problems within western enumerative systems. Survey writers often used inapplicable categories or inaccurate results to classify regions. Their descriptive analyses exposed the underlying ambiguities and complexities at the heart of colonial knowledge, engendering paradoxical interpretations of hill peoples’ histories.

W.W. Hunter and the Writing of the Imperial Gazetteer of India Sir William Wilson Hunter (1841–1900), KCSI, like Buchanan before him, was an ‘ambitious Scot turned loose on the empire’.59 By the end of his career, he would be an intellectual and literary lion, whose many ‘talents were harnessed to the Indian empire and multiplied by virtue of his office.’60 While a prolific author, he was best known for his multi-volume work, Imperial Gazetteer of India. After graduating from Glasgow in 1860, Hunter briefly studied in Paris and Bonn, before passing the British Civil Service exam in London in 1861. A strong student, he placed fifth among the 86 who passed the examinations. In March of the following year, he was first among 60 men who sat for the Indian Civil Service exam, followed by a second round of examination in Indian languages, law, history, geography, and political economy.61 Page 8 of 57

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ Wide eyed and full of dreams, Hunter arrived in Calcutta in late 1862 as a 21year-old ICS probationer with a ‘sense of self, profession and destiny’ expressed in his letters home and his diary. He had high expectations to achieve swift fame and riches, not dissimilar to the ambitions of young Tom Lewin. He wrote to his fiancée, Miss Jessie Murray, that he believed ‘we shall be rich before we are 50. I mean three or four thousand a year from our savings and my pension.’ This wealth would, he hoped, come through a flourishing writing career. ‘It has always been my belief since boyhood that literature was my natural career,’ he opined. ‘[M]y present vocation is only a means toward giving me an opportunity of becoming an independent man of letters.’62 India seemed just the place for an ambitious litterateur and Bengal a vivid subject. From the first, he was taken by his exotic surroundings, (p.116) noting that every scene in Bengal appeared like one ‘out of the Arabian Nights’. He began his literary career by writing short sketches on ‘colourful Indian subjects’ and editorials on upcoming legislation for the Indian Daily News of Calcutta in 1864, and was paid £3.4s for each piece. Later, he became a lead editorialist for the Englishman, a Calcutta daily, and a regular contributor to the Allahabad Pioneer and the London Pall Mall Gazette. By 1865, he was making £400 a year from his journalistic writing, above his ICS salary of £500.63 In 1867, he published his first book, The Annals of Rural Bengal. It was based on a close study of the district records for Birbhum, where he served as assistant collector of revenue in 1863. ‘Despite purple passages on famine and tribal warfare and lurid reflections on pre-British regimes’, the book was a resounding ‘tour de force’ for it had made that dullest of entities, ‘colonial administration interesting’.64 It established him as an ‘extraordinary stylist’, with an ethnological account of Bengal ‘steeped in passion and high drama’. In particular, he emphasized that Birbhum was the stage for a grand ‘primitive struggles’ between the ‘tall’ and ‘noble’ Aryan invaders and the ‘inferior tribes’.65 In the account, Hunter described the Santals after their 1851 rebellion in anthropometrical ways, detailing their physiology and forehead shape using ‘the familiar stereotypes of “feckless”, “simple” tribal with his “happy disposition”, his “sociability” and his “freedom from ‘cringing’”’. Hunter chided his fellow colonial administrators for not cherishing the tribals as valuable intermediaries between them and the ‘timid’ Hindu dwellers of the plains, who themselves had been unable to tame and ‘civilize’ these wild inhabitants. Hunter saw the Santals and other ‘hill-men’ who lived apart from Hindus as preserving their own customs and were those best able to ‘furnish the sinews by which English enterprise is carried on in Eastern Bengal.’66 Hunter’s work thus emphasized ‘movement and drama’ and clashes between civilized and savage groups, and was based less on Edward Gibbon’s chronicle of ancient Rome and more on Thomas Babington Macaulay’s History of England, published between 1849 and 1861. In his history, Macaulay had applied the Page 9 of 57

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ ‘rhythms, narrative drive and telling details of the novel’ to history, thus enabling him to sell his first two volumes in four months: a success that Hunter hoped very much to replicate. While Hunter’s readership was far smaller, the Annals were (p.117) well received officially and made him famous with India scholars in Britain and beyond. It was followed by The Comparative Dictionary of the Non-Aryan Languages of India and High Asia (1868), which served as a compressed vocabulary in a handbook. These two published books and his ongoing journalism cemented his status as a ‘versatile and productive intellectual’.67 Despite his literary abilities and prodigious output, the Bengal Government did not know how best to use his talents and he was moved from assignment to assignment. In 1869, he was made press advisor to the colonial government, when it was considering inaugurating an official newspaper, and during that same year the lieutenant governor of Bengal requested him to compile the province’s district gazetteers, a ‘long-deferred project’. Hunter thereupon travelled to Bombay, Madras, Lahore, as well as other sites.68 In 1871, the same year the first India-wide census was being gathered, he became an undersecretary in the Home Department and the newly created director-general of statistics.69 There, he oversaw the publication of a series of gazetteers,70 which would ‘systematize official colonial knowledge about India’.71 He was employed to oversee the production of five provincial gazetteer series and personally prepared the gazetteers for Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, and Assam. Such compilations required approval at the highest official levels and it was the viceroy, Lord Mayo, who personally appointed Hunter as directorgeneral.72 Later, Hunter would publish a two-volume series, Life of Earl Mayo, in 1875.73 The Imperial Gazetteer had been several decades in the making. Hunter noted in his preface that The Court of Directors in London had first written to Calcutta as early as 1807, requesting the compilation of a statistical survey. By the late nineteenth century, as mentioned earlier, gazetteers no longer primarily played an economic role. Their purpose now was to list a district’s major products as well as provide an overview of the ‘local administrative structure, topography, history, social organization, population, roads, industry and customs.’ They were read and referenced by a rotating round of local British civil servants who needed a concise document that could give them easily readable, broad overviews of their districts. In this way, ‘systematized local knowledge’ became a ‘prerequisite for the flexible exercise of imperial authority’.74 (p.118) At the time of his appointment, Hunter had established a formidable intellectual and journalistic reputation. By 1875, he had five published books and more than 10 years of published newspaper stories, which came out several times a week. In 1871, he wrote his best known work, The Indian Musalmans, and, in 1873, Page 10 of 57

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ while working on the Gazetteers, he wrote Famine Aspects of Bengal Districts with great speed.75 From 1875 to 1877, Hunter published 20 volumes in his series, The Statistical Account of Bengal. Much of his data were based upon the 1872 census. The surveys counted roads, railways, factories, newspapers, natural disasters, famines, fruit trees, domestic animals, wages, prices, cases in law courts, educational institutions, incarcerated populations within jails, methods of controlling infectious disease, and public health initiatives, among other things.76 Within 10 years, he had published one hundred volumes, finally capped with the nine-volume Imperial Gazetteer of India.77 Throughout the process, he relied heavily on secretariat officials and district officers as sources for his gazetteers. He instructed them to complete exhaustive questionnaires, requested special reports, and interviewed them personally when they visited Calcutta. He presumably did the same with Thomas Lewin while compiling his gazetteer on the CHT. Hunter was open and flexible to canvassing a wide variety of informants, including planters, sailors, businessmen, and missionaries, and expressed little race or ethnic prejudice, speaking with both Indians and Europeans alike as long as their accounts were accurate and verifiable.78 To gather the extensive information that was needed, he employed an energetic staff of junior British officers as well as Indian clerical personnel. In the 1870s, he had two private assistants, James S. Cotton and Charles A. Dollman, and five young ICS officers, C.J. O’Donnell, H.M. Kisch, D.B. Allen, A.W. Mackie, and H.H. Risley, who worked in the office of the director-general of statistics for three years.79 Several enterprising Indians were also involved in the compilation process, although their names are not included in Hunter’s biography.80 While Hunter was a literary writer, able to appeal to a popular audience, he also saw himself as a man of science, and was well-read on the latest French, German, and English scientific publications. It was this incorporation of both a literary language and a scientific mindset that influenced his ‘sweeping and multi-layered style’ and led his contemporaries to call him a veritable ‘Victorian Jehovah’ (p.119) of his day. His style, while ‘not subtle’, was ‘attractive’ and ‘strikingly different from the bureaucratese that wafted from Writers Building in Calcutta or the India Office in Whitehall’.81 He would bring this interdisciplinary outlook to the writing of the statistical account on the CHT.

W.W. Hunter’s A Statistical Account of Bengal, Volume VI, Chittagong Hill Tracts, Chittagong, Noakhali, Tipperah, Hill Tipperah (1876): Religious Enumeration Hunter’s account of the CHT and its neighbours was among the first of his published gazetteers and owed a lot to Lewin’s previous writings as well as (presumably) his oral testimonies regarding the region. Hunter acknowledges that large sections of the text are ‘quoted verbatim from Captain Lewin’s work; but where this has not been done, it has, except when the contrary is stated, Page 11 of 57

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ been condensed from the same work.’82 Several parts, relating to the history and cultures of the hill tribes, descriptions of local geography, including scenic views of rivers or mountain passes, and jhum agricultural practices, are taken directly from Lewin. Clearly, one of the central legacies of Lewin’s work lay in the formation of subsequent colonial knowledge on this border region as it was presented in this imperial gazetteer and in the later ones that followed. This statistical account would have been read by nearly every subsequent colonial official posted to the Hill Tracts and in nearby areas, and had a lasting impact on later surveys, including Hutchinson’s 1909 gazetteer, published more than 30 years later. One could almost argue that Lewin was a co-writer of this work, since he is alluded to liberally, reflecting Hunter’s own methods of appropriating the works of local provincial officials in the compilation of imperial digests. However, unlike Lewin’s works, as noted in the last chapter, the key emphasis of Hunter’s gazetteer was not a subjective narrative of a place and society but a statistical overview. Much of the text focusses on sorting and distinguishing peoples, animals, revenue taxation methods, and local institutions through an enumerative modality, where numbers heighten the significance of certain tribes, religions, commodities, and forms of agricultural production over others, and where much of the unknown and untamed (p.120) majesty of the surrounding environment is controlled or literally ‘cut down to size’ numerically. Mountains are categorized by height, not visual beauty or sacral significance as abodes of auspicious spirits; roads are defined by their length in miles or kilometres rather than their geographic surroundings; religious groups—Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim or animist—or tribal clan identities, whether Chakma, Marma, or Lushai/Kuki, are listed in demographic terms. Everything is counted, from the tons of imported and exported goods,83 revenue collected, and law courts84 to police personnel, educational institutions,85 and kinds of infectious diseases.86 There is a clear sense of streamlining and ‘essentializing’ knowledge of a place and its people into certain definable and often rigid categories. Through determining the ‘exact locations of rivers, peaks and their distances from one another’, surveys such as Hunter’s enabled the colonial domination of indigenous land in border frontiers, such as the Lushai Hills, Chin Hills, CHT, and Cachar. These measurements further defined the land and its people through a ‘network of communication’, such as rivers, roads, heliographic and telegraphic systems, as well as postal runners. Thus, surveying the land ultimately led to surveying the people, where hill people were relabelled: from being ‘raiders’ and ‘savages’, they were now members of known ‘tribes’, with village networks governed by hereditary chiefs, who were defined through their relationship with the colonial regime as either ‘friendly’ or ‘recalcitrant’.87 Hunter’s statistical account is divided into a few central categories: topography; the peoples of the region, including a discussion of the 1872 Census and short ethnohistories of the various tribes (lifted largely from Lewin); agriculture; Page 12 of 57

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ natural calamities; foreign and absentee landholders; means of communication, manufacturers, and trade; administration; and meteorological and medical requirements. The section on the CHT is limited to the first 106 pages of the 530-page account (the first fifth of the entire volume), which also deals with Chittagong, Noakhali, Tipperah, and Hill Tipperah. In the preface, Hunter highlighted the cultural fluidity of the CHT. He observed that it was a place of transregional border crossing, noting that it stretched from Burma, northwards to the Lushai ‘watershed’ and to the rivers of the Sylhet and Cachar valley. From the beginning, he emphasized the CHT’s connections with the larger Indian Ocean economy, cosmopolitan trade routes, and inter-religious (p.121) and intercultural exchange. Every ‘nationality, language and creed,’ he observed, ‘from the Arab and Afghan, to the Brahman and the Burmese’ live in the area.88 The Chittagong seaboard, he informed his readers, had a long history of trade with the Portuguese in the Bay of Bengal and also served as the centre for the development of Christianity in northeast India. He painted a dramatic picture of the galleys of both Christian and Muslim pirates in Noakhali sweeping through the Bay.89 He then addressed the hill ‘belligerent tribes’, whose more dangerous tendencies had been controlled by a lone British officer (presumably Lewin). Through such descriptions, he constructed a portrait of a remote colonial frontier, teeming with diverse people crossing turbulent waterways and impassable mountainous terrain. The solitary yet heroic figure of the colonial officer emerged standing alone, both friend and tamer of this wild and ‘ungovernable’ landscape and the peoples within it. But such romantic imagery, perhaps expressive of Hunter’s literary leanings, is quickly disposed of, once we read beyond the preface. From there on, the survey becomes a largely statistical account. Within a few lines, the pirate galleys are forgotten and replaced by numerical information. As of 1875, Hunter informs us the region encompasses a territory of 6,882 square miles with 63,054 inhabitants. Its map components are given as between N 21°13' and N 23°47' latitude, and E 91°46' and E 92°49' longitude, and its borders are clearly demarcated, surrounded as it is by its neighbours: Hill Tipperah in the north; the District Akyab in the south; the Regulation District of Chittagong in the west; and the eastern border formed by the southeastern corner of Hill Tipperah, where the Tulienpuli or Sajjuk river joined the Karnaphuli until meeting the southern hill station of Keokradang on the Arakan frontier.90 Providing such clearly determined boundaries created more permanent ideas of territoriality. Through such colonial measurements, peoples, who earlier had fluidly moved back and forth between spaces, became linked to geographies in ways that they never had been before in the past in order to create ‘macro identifications’ of communities which also distinguished them from others,91 particularly

Page 13 of 57

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ neighbouring indigenous groups. In the process of defining and naming, the colonial state simultaneously divided and destroyed.

(p.122) Geological, Mineral, Flora, and Fauna Measurements Hunter began this systematic deconstruction of the region by measuring the landscape using numerical calculation. He listed longitudinal and latitudinal locations of mountains taken from Lewin’s records as well as rivers, namely, the Karnaphuli, Pheni, Sangu, and Matamuri, with details on their lengths and direction of pathways, their depths, waterfalls, and inflow and outflow of tides. Lakes and other watercourses were given particular attention. Hunter noted that a mountain lake ‘of great beauty’ was discovered by Lieutenant Gordon, the assistant commissioner of the Sangu Subdivision, in 1875.92 A mile long and a quarter mile wide, it was further fed by streams at its west end.93 Such references were included to emphasize the untamed and impassable nature of the terrain and the difficulty for both men and animals to travel, thereby introducing (and likewise alerting) the novice colonial official to the realities of serving in this remote outpost. It is a clear endorsement for road building. If roads were broken, Hunter argued, load-bearing animals could more easily move through the hills.94 Roads, like mountains and lakes, animals and people, were also defined by measurements, not important landmarks of significance to the local people. He mentioned the following list of available roads, which are largely paths beaten back from the jungle undergrowth: (1) A footpath from Rangamati to Chittagong, forming part of the Dak road, 21 miles long. (2) A footpath from Demagiri to Sirthai Tang, mainly used by the police, 6 miles long. (3) A footpath from Demagiri to Kasalang, only used during the dry season by the Kukis, 25 miles long. (4) A footpath from Rangamati to Ruma, headquarters of the Sangu Subdivision, via Bandarban, 104 miles long. (5) A footpath from Manikchari to Kanchanpur in Chittagong District, 8 miles long. (6) Footpath from Manikchari to Ramghar on the River Pheni, 20 miles long.95 If roads had a tangible purpose in enhancing colonial needs for communication, infrastructure, trade, and policing, the gazetteer also (p.123) recorded all and sundry concerns of daily life. The types of manure, irrigation systems, and natural calamities that affected crop production, foreign and absentee landowners (namely the Europeans who own four tea plantations in the area), and indigenous production (largely related to the construction of kunda or dugout boats) were all counted. Hunter also included a brief discussion on the mineralogical makeup of the Hill Tracts, like his predecessors before him. He Page 14 of 57

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ noted that while there were lignite and coal deposits in the Hill Tracts, there was too much ash in the soil to be profitable, and no high quality limestone. Sandstone, while available, could not be used for building. There was no local metal production either.96 Far more valuable was the forest produce, for several trees brought in ‘strong profits’ through a forest tax.97 Hunter listed the most valuable of these trees, which included the jarul, shuruzabad (tun in Bengal), gamar, kaundeb, telsur, chaplais, pitraj, chakrasi, garjan, tali, kumkoi, bailsar, and badi. The jarul, telsur, chaplais, and gamar were used to build superior-quality kunda boats; bailsar, urjang, and kaundeb woods were used to build boats of the ‘second quality’; and boats of inferior quality came from the garjan, chudhul, tula, and pitraj woods. He noted that there were 11 kinds of bamboo and many forms of cane as well as oil-seed, wax, and ivory, again referencing Lewin’s records. He observed that as of 1874–5, the government had reserved 580.5 miles from the CHT as forest lands. However, it had not been successful in convincing the hill people to transition from jhumming to plough cultivation.98 He similarly classified the wild animals of the district (the ferae naturae) as well as birds and fish. Assam rhinoceros, tiger, leopard, Malay black bear, jungle cat, the gayal, wild buffalo, barking deer, sambar, lemur, gibbon monkey, fisher monkey, small common monkey, long-tailed whiskered monkey, pangolin, hare, badger, mongoose, large brown squirrel, field-rat, musk-rat, red squirrel, yellowbellied squirrel, bamboo-rat, porcupine, flying fox, horse-shoe bat, and house bat all abounded in the area, and in 1866–8, 200 wild elephants were captured. As for birds, there were bhimraj, shrike, bulbul, warbler, water-wagtail, hoopoe, koel, carion crow, maina, hornbill, green parroquet, kingfisher, nightjar, barbet, peacock, polyplectron pheasant, matura or Arakan pheasant, button quail, jungle fowl, green pigeon, wood pigeon, ringdove, (p.124) kites, fish eagle, partridge, duck, and snipe,99 all taken again from Lewin’s writings. Likewise, he separated the various forms of fish life into categories based on size (large or small) or habitat (lake, marsh, or river). Large river fish included katla, rui, mirgal, gagat, boala, bacha, mahal (mahsir), kalbaus, baghi, ghania, chital, koral or bhekti, and panga, while the bangash, selas, baila, punthi, guldia, phashiya, papla, popa, bogori, langadu, narai, shalang, nabalang, puinya, kuchia, phanda, bashpatia, harpota, katabacha, chingri, ramdarika, burgani, kurja, kakila, chirung, shamuj, rakhal, koinchalang, harinkopalia, bagur, and tengabogri were the local small fish. The fish of the marshes and lakes included gajal, shail, magur, singi, kai, tagi, malia or murala, cheng, phalui, and khaiya.100 In the process, Hunter blurred the boundaries between animals and humans, clearly connecting the ‘wild’ undomesticated animal life thriving in the overabundant hills with the animal-nature of its autochthone peoples. He observed that the hill people ate and prized as delicacies some of these wild Page 15 of 57

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ creatures, including snakes.101 In the colonial imagination, humans who consumed undomesticated creatures, particularly insects, snakes, and reptiles, were seen as less human and civilized.102 No matter how tempered and matterof-fact these descriptions appear to be on the surface, one cannot help but feel that Hunter relished in the recounting of their unusual eating habits. It was no coincidence that this section on the zoological biodiversity of the CHT preceded his ensuing discussion of human groups. Humans, too, could be named just as animals and identified by certain primal, essential qualities.103

Human Measurements: The 1871 Census and Its Consequences Hunter devoted nearly a third of the ensuing survey (30 or so pages) to descriptions of the indigenous tribes, including the Khyoungthas, Chakmas, Toungtha, Tipperahs, Kumis, Mros, Khyengs, Banjogi, Pankho, and Lushais or Kukis.104 Marriage practices and rituals, clan genesis narratives, and tribal traditions of dress and ornamentation were all documented, along with the topics of immigration, emigration, castes, religious divisions of the people, places of historical interest, material condition of the people, dress, dwellings, furniture, (p.125) food, and amusements. Most of this information was taken directly from Lewin’s earlier works.105 However, it was Hunter’s discussion of religious demographics which is of particular interest. An earlier study from 1862 had calculated the human population of the region as 66,778 persons, based on the residents of the territories of the three primary circle chiefs. These findings concluded that there were 36,073 inhabitants in the Bohmong territory, 28,345 in the Chakma region, and 2,360 in the Mong circle. Bohmong, Mong, and Chakma rulers, along with their dewans or sub-chiefs and roazas (village headmen), assisted in the gathering of the relevant demographic data for the 1872 census, which Hunter concluded was largely unreliable. The census counted 63,054 residents for the CHT.106 As mentioned earlier, many scholars have argued that the census became a way to group communities by virtue of certain key descriptors, such as caste and religion. It was clear in the categories employed for the Hill Tracts that demographers were interested in three main identity signifiers: religion, tribe and race. In addition to the indigenous peoples, the census included the religious categories of Hindus, Muslims, and Christians, however small their number. Only 570 Gurkhas, 381 Muslims, 142 Hindus, 3 Europeans (2 English, 1 Irish), and 1 native Christian107 were tallied. Ethnically, the majority of the population was composed of Chakmas or Maghs (Khyoungtha). The Chakmas were listed as 28,097 in number or 44.56 per cent of the entire population. The Maghs (Khyoungtha), subject to the Bohmong raja, constituted 22,060 in number or 34.98 per cent of the entire population. Together, these Buddhist groups comprised 50,157 persons or 79.55 per cent of the population.108 The remaining 11,800 were parts of other non-Hindu Page 16 of 57

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ aboriginal tribes and the non-tribal groups mentioned above. This information was then tabulated into a chart labelled as ‘Return of Nationalities, Races, Tribes and Castes, in each Division of the Chittagong Hill Tracts’, reproduced below (Table 3.1).109

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’

Table 3.1 ‘Return of Nationalities, Races, Tribes and Castes, in Each Division of the Chittagong Hill Tracts’ Names of races

Total

Chakma Chief’s territory

Mong Raja’s territory Poang Raja’s territory

Khas mahal

I.—NON-ASIATICS European. . . English. . .

2

...

...

...

2

Irish. . .

1

...

...

...

1

TOTAL. . .

3

...

...

...

3

...

...

...

570

...

...

...

305

...

...

II.—MIXED RACES None. . .

...

III.—ASIATICS A.—Other than natives of India and British Burmah Gurkhas. . .

570

B.—Natives of India and British Burmah 1. Aboriginal Tribes Banjogi. . . Chakma. . .

28,097

28,097

...

305 ...

... ...

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’

Names of races

Total

Chakma Chief’s territory

Mong Raja’s territory Poang Raja’s territory

Khas mahal

Khyeng. . .

306

...

...

306

...

Kumi. . .

534

...

...

534

...

Mros. . .

2,378

...

...

2,378

...

Pankho. . . Tipperah or Mrung. . . TOTAL

177

46

...

...

131

8,100

159

5,001

2,094

846

39,897

28,302

5,001

5,617

977

2. Semi-Hinduised Aboriginals None. . .

...

...

...

...

...

3

...

...

...

3

Vaidya. . .

10

...

...

...

10

Kayasth. . .

27

...

...

...

27

TOTAL

40

...

...

...

40

(p.127) 3. Hindus (a) Enumerated by Caste Brahman. . .

(b) Enumerated by Nationality only

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’

Names of races

Total

Chakma Chief’s territory

Mong Raja’s territory Poang Raja’s territory

Khas mahal

Assamis. . .

55

...

...

...

55

Manipuris. . .

47

...

...

...

47

TOTAL

102

...

...

...

102

GRAND TOTAL OF HINDUS

142

...

...

...

142

1

...

Sayyid. . .

2

...

Shaikh. . .

375

Others. . .

4

TOTAL. . .

381

247

37

Maghs. . .

22,060

701

2,673

15,793

2,893

TOTAL NATIVES OF INDIA

62,481

29,250

7,712

21,410

4,109

TOTAL OF ASIATICS

63,051

29,250

7,712

21,410

4,679

4. Persons of Hindu origin not recognizing caste Native Christian. . .

1

...

...

5. Muhammadans ... 247 ...

37 ...

...

2

...

91

...

4

...

97

6. Burmese

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’

Names of races

GRAND TOTAL

Total

Chakma Chief’s territory 63,054

29,250

Mong Raja’s territory Poang Raja’s territory 7,712

Khas mahal

21,410

4,682

Source: Hunter, A Statistical Account of Bengal, pp. 37–8.

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ Certainly, this table, reduced to certain basic elements, is reflective of various categories which were seen as formative in the construction of Indic identity by the colonial state. These include nationality, tribal or ‘aboriginal’ clan affiliation, religion, including Christianity and Islam (broken into specific sects), caste (within the (p.126) (p.128) Hindu spectrum), and regional ‘nationality’. In the process, this table constructs who and who are not truly ‘indigenous’ to the region. Assamis/Assamese, Manipuris, Gurkhas, and Burmese (in this case Maghs) are defined as other ‘nationalities’ within British India, foreign to the CHT. The chart also implicitly defined what was a ‘true’, observed religion. While the table breaks down identity within Hindu categories of caste (Brahman, Vaidya, and Kayasth) as well as Muslim sects (Sayyid, Shaikh, and those classified as ‘others’ within Islam), there is no discussion on the majority religion practised in the region, Buddhism, in this table, which was meant to serve as an easy access guide. Such colonial classification systems denied the inherent ‘movement of and between “tribes”’ and their neighbours, which had always been a part of indigenous identity, ‘forc[ing] [such fluid categories] to come to an end’.110 It further essentialized groups through certain limiting categories. Gurkhas, whom Hunter acknowledged are Hindus in another passage, are, for the purposes of the Census, listed according to ‘nationality’ rather than religion.111 Many of these categories would appear highly arbitrary today, and convenient for colonial administrative purposes of classification rather than local realities. No allusions are made, for instance, to subsets within Buddhist groups (in terms of sectarian differences or roots in particular Buddhist regional, cultural centres, such as Burma or other parts of Southeast Asia), nor to the fact that certain tribes are Buddhist and others are not. It also overemphasizes Indic groups that were most familiar to the British surveyors through earlier encounters in plainsland Bengal or other parts of colonial India, where the majority populations were Hindu or Muslim, at the cost of a close understanding of the regional diversity of the hill people. The fact that the census even has a category for ‘Native Christrian’ (of which there is only one person) or ‘Sayyid’ Muslim (which includes two people) shows how these groups were prioritized by the colonial state even though they did not have numerical representation in the Hill Tracts. Both groups are so statistically small in this population survey as to be almost negligible, and yet are mentioned at the purposeful neglect and absence of other more salient cultural criteria which were historically relevant and particular to this region. Not only is Buddhism not referenced, but neither are the animistic beliefs of the indigenous peoples, which certainly have a greater statistical significance and have more than one adherent. (p.129) Nor are other factors important for indigenous, traditional identities included, such as familial or genealogical lineages, goza or ‘clan’ identities within the main tribal groups, village names, and chiefs’ capitals. In the process, this short census table reveals not only how foreign this Europe-derived taxonomic system Page 22 of 57

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ was to India as a whole, but also how overwhelmingly alien and immaterial its use of certain ‘Indic’ categories was, employed in a general all-India imperial survey, when applied to the CHT in particular. Certainly, superscribing a reading of Hindu caste divisions onto the Hill Tracts seems almost irrelevant when there are less than 150 Hindus counted in this table. Even employing the terms ‘Hindu’ or ‘Muslim’ for this area seemed questionable, as Buchanan had noted nearly 80 years earlier, because Hindus, Muslims, and Buddhists had adopted overlapping syncretic ritual practices and respected joint sites of worship, which would not have had the same meaning in greater Bengal or colonial India as a whole. Indeed, it is arguable that the non-tribal residents of this area had adopted many of the customs, attitudes, and religious practices of hill people, which may not have made them categorizable in the standard definitions of ‘Hindu’, ‘Muslim’, ‘Brahman’, or ‘Sheikh’. Some of the Hindus and Muslims numbered in the chart may have been in the employ of the native chiefs or their dewans, where they would have come into close contact with the household practices of indigenous families and, most likely, adopted certain regionally specific beliefs and rituals that would have defined and separated them from their fellow co-religionists living in other parts of Bengal or the subcontinent. In this manner, the table is eye-opening not only for what it reveals but also what it does not. It is unclear whether certain categories were absent due to sheer ignorance or wilful exclusion on the part of the census writers. It also reveals the problems of using such standardized forms without taking into account regional particularities and local customary practices and institutions. The census however is useful in other ways to expose certain historic realities. It highlights the groups that form clear majorities (such as the Chakmas) as well as histories of migratory colonial labour and the making of new professions by the colonial state. It is probable that the majority of the Manipuris and Assamese had been brought in by colonial tea planters as labour because local indigenous hill people were averse to working in the fields.112 Likewise, the (p.130) Gurkhas were employed by the colonial police to maintain order against the ‘eastward’ raiding tribes, like the Lushai.113 Their numbers would be reduced later after the Lushais and other border tribes were formally suppressed. So, imbedded within these numbers are also records of colonial labour, new imperial military and police recruits to the region, and the implicit connections, through trade linkages and agricultural production, between the CHT and other regions of British-governed India. Hunter did include a short section several pages later, which is only one paragraph long, that delves deeper into the particularities of religious composition within the region. In this passage, he (very cursorily) addressed Buddhism and aboriginal religions. Under the short heading of ‘Religious Divisions’, he again referenced the census in tabulating 50,157 Buddhists and 11,800 ‘aboriginal’ tribals, whom he quoted from Lewin, as ‘worship[ping] the terrene elements, and have vague and undefined ideas of some divine power Page 23 of 57

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ which overshadows all’.114 However, this reference is very short—only a few sentences long—and does not address, once again, issues of sectarian difference or the vibrant diversity of indigenous faiths beyond a belief in the so-called earth or ‘terrene’ elements and worship of a vague ‘divine power’. He did acknowledge that the remaining 1,097 people consist of those ‘not strictly’ of the region, including 381 Muslims, 142 Hindus, 570 Gurkhas, and 4 Christians. He classified Gurkhas under nationality rather than religion even though he admitted they were Hindu. It is not until much later in the document, under the heading of ‘Administrative Divisions’, that Hunter finally addressed the real demographic diversity of the region with greater depth and touched upon local religious practices, largely consisting of Buddhist and animist beliefs as well as other faiths, which transgressed the boundaries of recognized world religions. Here, he relied not upon the charts of the official census, but rather population statistics collected from the four major subsections of the district, namely the Chakma, Bohmong, and Mong circles, and the government or khas mahal, where the units of classification were ‘households’. The Chakma jurisdiction consisted of 5,488 households, totalling 29,250 persons, of whom none were Hindu, 247 were Muslim, 28,798 were Buddhists, and 205 comprised ‘other denominations’ (possibly different animist faiths). Hunter calculated that Buddhists (p.131) formed 98.5 per cent of the population, with a proportion of males at 54.8 per cent and an average household size of 5.3 people. In the Bohmong jurisdiction, there were 5,300 households, equalling 21,410 people, with no Hindus or Muslims, 15,793 Buddhists, and 5,617 people belonging to ‘other denominations’, where Buddhists constituted 73.8 per cent of the population. Males made up 52.9 per cent and the average household count was four. In the Mong jurisdiction, there were 1,594 households and a population of 7,712. There were no Hindus, only 37 Muslims, 1 Christian, 2,673 Buddhists, and 5,001 composing of ‘other denominations’. Buddhists were obviously in the minority, at 34.6 per cent, with males comprising 56.2 per cent of the overall population, and an average household size of 4.8.115 It is only in this later section, printed on page 102 and near the conclusion of the gazetteer, that Hunter began to address the particularities of religious composition in the CHT. Here, we learn not only of the predominance of Buddhists in two territories, but also the vibrancy of other indigenous religions, which form the majority in the Mong circle. Yet, the fact that certain groups are named at all and others are not given culturally sensitive or particularized nomenclature still suggests the degree to which the colonial state did not understand these categories and perceived the hill region as a whole as unknown and alien, not only in contrast to Europe, but also to other subcontinental regions. First, there is still the need to identify Muslims and Page 24 of 57

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ Hindus, despite the fact that Hindus are absent in all three chiefs’ jurisdictions and Muslims total up to only a few hundred. (This was most likely factually incorrect, however, as later censuses and eyewitness accounts record the presence of both Hindus and Muslims in the chiefs’ territories.) Second, while Buddhism is noted here as the majority faith, there is once again no allusion to distinctions of sectarian groups (unlike colonial taxonomies of Hindu castes or Muslim denominations as noted in the earlier census chart). Third, and perhaps most tellingly, is the use of the carte blanche term ‘other’ to describe aboriginal religions outside the bounds of recognized world faiths. There is no attempt to classify these indigenous beliefs as animist, and they are all lumped together numerically. Additionally, the term ‘other’ as descriptor emphasizes their marginality—as being on the fringes of mainstream religious practice. (p.132) In contrast, there is religious diversity in the khas mahal jurisdiction, the government’s subdivision, which had the smallest population. This is composed of 799 households with a total number of 4,682 people. Of this, there are 142 Hindus, 570 Gurkhas, 97 Muslims, 3 Christians, 2,893 Buddhists, and 977 of ‘other’ denominations. Buddhists constituted 61.8 per cent of the total population, males made up 56.7 per cent of the overall population, and the average household size was 5.9.116 As evidenced by this demographic breakdown, a number of the residents in the government section were most likely migrants to the area employed in government offices, tea plantations, and the military. An ‘expensively armed’ operation, the local army had grown in large part to fend off raids from tribes in the east (the Lushais).117 While Hunter provided a fuller portrait of religious composition here under local jurisdictions, it is puzzling that this information was not included after the summary of the census chart earlier on pages 37–8 of the survey: a section that presumably new and more seasoned, colonial officials would use as a handy, easy go-to reference, especially when first familiarizing themselves with the region before taking up a new post. As a snapshot of local demographics, the 1871 census table is woefully under-representative and misleading, revealing the troubling limitations of a standardized system in addressing individual regions, especially ones where there are hybrid, transregional, and interethnic religious, cultural, and linguistic affinities that do not fit comfortably into narrow, defining labels. It is also concerning that Hunter situates this more detailed discussion of regional demographic composition much later in the document and only five pages from its end. These numbers are buried under a minor subheading of a chapter addressing local administrative divisions, and do not have a visually attractive or easily accessible presentation, like a reference table or chart. Indeed, the novice administrator would have had to sift through the document and read carefully and slowly to even find this information, making it a passage easily missed or forgotten altogether. Its placement near the document’s end is Page 25 of 57

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ also significant as it not only revealed how the colonial state understood or would understand religious and ethnic identities and heterogeneity in the Hill Tracts but also how the later nationalist movement would inherit such a posture. It, too, would conveniently (p.133) forget such regional religious histories when redrawing national borders and constructing states based on religious majorities at the cost of tribal, interethnic groups. These numbers further highlight the startling absence of non-indigenous peoples in the Hill Tracts, whether Hindu or Muslim, in the late nineteenth century. They would remain demographically minor up through the eve of Partition. At the time of Indian independence, over 97 per cent of the CHT population was Buddhist.118 The indigenous peoples believed they would be situated in the more culturally similar postcolonial nation states of India or Burma. Despite cultural and historical ties with India and Burma, the region was still placed in East Pakistan, in part due to issues of land contiguity and energy development concerns (which were never fully realized), rather than common cultural, social, and especially religious, affinities.119 Thirty years later, R.H. Sneyd Hutchinson would similarly utilize Hunter’s methodology in his early twentieth-century gazetteer on the CHT. He, too, would employ statistics to understand the region, but his focus was not primarily religious; it was on racial categories. His work exposed various grey zones in colonial classification systems. Just as Hunter’s demographic calculations were misleading, Hutchinson’s descriptive categories of race and tribe were vague. Both administrators, in trying to use standardized and universal systems of classification, revealed the inherent limitations within colonial intelligence gathering, accurate documentation, and, ultimately, interpretation.

R.H. Syned Hutchinson’s 1909 Eastern India and Assam District Gazetteers, Chittagong Hill Tracts: Problems of Racial Typologies in Classifying Tribes Some 30 years after Hunter’s gazetteer, R.H. Sneyd Hutchinson published his Eastern India and Assam District Gazetteers, Chittagong Hill Tracts. Hutchinson was originally posted to the region in 1890. After a short stay in Rangamati, he moved on to the South Lushai Hills and then subsequently to Assam in 1898, before returning to the Hill Tracts in 1900.120 Hutchinson had published a fuller chronicle, An Account of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, three years previously. This prior work was a (p.134) much more personal narrative, often placing the author squarely amidst his subjects. As Hutchinson noted in a prefatory remark, ‘[T]he peoples of the hills have always greatly interested me, and I have made a careful study of their manner and customs.’ Most of the early chapters of that work, written ‘in the style of an official report’ for a government blue book, would inform his later gazetteer.121

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ The account included several personal impressions and picaresque tales, which would be absent from the gazetteer. At one point, Hutchinson described listening to an older man perform a haunting and ‘simply marvelous’ song and the following morning a Bohmong puja to appease a lake spirit.122 At another, he witnessed the death and mourning for the Lakher chief, Vantura, in 1892,123 and in yet another, he gave an amusing account of experimenting with an indigenously made ‘bullet’ for the first time in an impromptu shooting competition with a Pankho warrior to a full audience.124 He also included some 25 photographic illustrations of the region, which showcased mountain and river views, the indigenous peoples in various forms of customary dress, as well as a reproduction of his own bungalow. Most of these autobiographical asides, where he literally writes himself into the scene, whether grave or hilarious in nature, are completely absent in the later gazetteer, further reflecting its purpose as an informative, objective, and enumerative document. Published some 30 years after Hunter’s account, the 1909 gazetteer is largely derivative in nature, using a similar style, form, and structure. Divided into 15 chapters, Hutchinson addressed the familiar subjects of physical aspects, history, the people, the tribes, folklore, public health, agriculture and forests, natural calamities, rents, wages and prices, occupation and trade, means of communication, land revenue administration, and general administration. However, he did include some sections, which are reminiscent of Lewin’s earlier evocative, colourful descriptions. Much of his readings on the region’s history and administration repeat earlier information discussed by Hunter or Lewin and, for that reason, will not be addressed here. It is how he taxonomized the hill tribes—by virtue of race, appearance, sanitation, and moral character—that is most telling of how new surveying systems were creating and perpetuating certain myths of cultural and social makeup through employing anthropological methodologies. The West’s fascination with Eastern social practices (p.135) was not new, originating with Megasthenes in antiquity and continuing up through De Bry and Picart in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. The East India Company School of Art further introduced stylized visual renditions of caste and occupation, which were collected by British travellers and residents in the mideighteenth century.125 During that period, race theorists debated the political and moral character of ‘Aryan’ vs. ‘non-Aryan’ groups through studies on linguistics, philology, and the environment rather than evolutionary development. By the mid-nineteenth century, however, ‘scientific’ methods based on evolutionary change were increasingly addressing broader themes of racial ‘degeneration’ in both European and extra-European societies, as part of the larger imperial struggle for global supremacy. Ethnographers examined a range of material—from gazetteers, census reports, and scholarly journals like the Indian Antiquary to the empirical work of colonial scholar-administrators, as well as metropolitan publications such as the Journal of the Ethnological Society, Page 27 of 57

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ Memoirs of the Anthropological Society of London, and the Mémoires de la Société d’Anthropologie—to make ‘complex and unexpected decisions’ regarding India’s races. They defined them in contrast to each other and to the ‘Aryan’ Britons who governed them. Many of these colonial ethnographers emphasized distinctive characteristics unique to specific regions (whether South India, the Punjab, or Bengal) rather than generalized stereotypes applicable to a panIndian caste identity.126 For most colonial scholars, India was composed of several types of people, such as superior ‘Aryan’ blood descendants, Dravidians, and aborigines. Wild tribes and those of ‘mixed’-race backgrounds, who were ethnologically distinct, were categorized as not all belonging within the ranked Brahmanical Hindu caste system. By the mid-nineteenth century, British ethnological journals were hotly engaged in analysing how these new forms of data collection could illuminate physiological, moral, and intellectual capacities for specific human races and types.127 In 1869, the Ethnological Society of London asked specialists to construct maps of different subcontinental regions, based on various ‘scientific’ criteria, such as ‘physical character’, ‘language’, ‘civilization’, and ‘religion.’ This discussion occurred during a meeting held in the Museum of Practical Geology and included ethnographic photographs, (p.136) geological samples, and flint axes, among various ‘specimens’.128 In this context, race coexisted uncomfortably with caste. In the nineteenth century, ethnological systems of craniometry, anthropometry, and photography were also increasingly used to measure height, skull, arm and leg length, skin, eye and hair colour, as well as the customs, manners, and behaviour of indigenous subjects.129 Phrenological studies, that is, studying cranium size, had been pioneered by Franz Gall in the 1820s. He argued that the human mind was divided into 37 faculties, all of which were found in the brain, and could be used to classify racial difference. Various scholarly societies were created for the study of phrenology, the most prolific being the Phrenological Society of Edinburgh, established by George Coombe in 1820. Measurements were used to determine human traits such as hope, strength of character, combativeness, secretiveness, and covetousness, among a host of qualities. Colonial scholars particularly focussed on the study of skulls, which were organized on the basis of origin and catalogued in the Society’s Minute Books. The Society’s members had their own collections as well.130 As we would suspect, European crania were deemed most superior. In India, William Sleeman would be among the first colonial scholar-administrators to use phrenological methods in the 1830s, partly as a way to measure and, thereby, criminalize the Thugee, who were perceived as a separate caste or tribe, with their own languages and customs, including forms of intermarriage and religious Page 28 of 57

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ practice. Phrenology grew in popularity, even among educated Indians, such as Rammohun Roy, who, in 1822, sent 12 Hindu craniums to the Phrenological Society in Edinburgh for examination.131 After his death in 1833, his skull was contrasted favourably to that of a deceased courtesan who was characterized as cunning, secretive, and fond of monetary excess. Additionally, his skull was believed to have been larger than most Indians. By 1860, the Asiatic Society of Bengal had more than 300 ‘ethnographic heads’ in its collection, cast by the German firm Messrs Herman and Robert de Schlagintweit, and, by 1873, the ethnographer W.E. Marshall had incorporated phrenological data in his study of the Todas, a South Indian community he believed was connected to ancient Ethiopians and Jews. He argued that they remained at a lower developmental stage, which corresponded more closely with their human forefathers from the European Ice Age.132 (p.137) This colonial ‘search for order’ and need to classify, measure, and standardize differences between various groups through physical data led to the rise of the ‘living museum of mankind’ during the nineteenth century.133 Live subjects were placed in museum spaces such as the Great Exhibition of London in 1851 and Jabalpur exhibition of 1866–7. At the Jabalpur exhibition, examples of produce, handicrafts, and archaeological finds from across the Central Provinces were displayed alongside live subjects from the ‘aboriginal tribes’, inspired in part by the prior circulation of a report from the Asiatic Society of Bengal. The report was based upon the work of divisional commissioners, who had observed and catalogued the manners, customs, dwellings, names, ages, sexes and parentages, heights, lengths of upper arm, lower arm, thigh, leg, heel, breadth of chest, and colours of skin, irises and pupils, beards, and moustaches, as well as the diets of individual aboriginal subjects. Thereafter, a museum was constructed to include among other things, clay replicas of the original ‘aborigines’.134 Herbert Hope Risley, earlier an assistant director of statistics for Hunter’s Survey of India (1881), published a four-volume series in 1891, Ethnographic Survey of Bengal, which listed the seven main racial types of India as Mongoloid, Dravidian, Indo-Aryan, Turko-Iranian, Mongolo-Dravidian, Aryo-Dravidian, and Scytho-Dravidian. The Mongoloid and Dravidian groups were specifically categorized as the autochthones of northeast India.135 Such ideas of racial difference led to specific physical traits being identified with particular regions or subregions of the subcontinent.136 In the process, ideas of race were connected with physiological, moral and intellectual traits,137 and ‘physical character’, ‘language’, ‘civilization’, and ‘religion’.138 During this period, there was also a growing concern with the link between ethnicity and perceived lawlessness and disorder.139 In Europe, criminal typology was linked with race and social evolution. In 1869, the British eugenicist Francis Galton, cousin of Charles Darwin, published Hereditary Page 29 of 57

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ Genius, which emphasized nature over nurture for individual growth,140 suggesting that social advance could be predicated on selective reproduction. This led to various new forms of legislation targeting such ‘lawless’ castes and tribes, including the Criminal Tribes Act of 1871.141 In that Act, the Maghyar Doms of Bihar, the Kunjur/Khangars of Bundelkund, and the Ramosi, Mang, Kaikari, and Bowrie tribes of the Narmada valley were classified as ‘habitually (p.138) criminal’ and their adult male members had to report weekly to the local police station.142 Hutchinson’s gazetteer emerged within this larger context. He would also use quantitative measurements derived from the fields of anthropometry and craniometry, which measured a subject’s height, skull, arms, and legs and noted skin, eye and hair colour, into his pseudo-ethnographic survey on the customary practices, manners and social etiquette143 of the hill people. While Hunter’s survey reveals religious demographics and the problems of numbering and defining religious identities, Hutchinson’s gazetteer focusses more on ethnological interpretations of race and tribe. He provides a graduated hierarchy of more civilized to less civilized groups, reflecting a comparative race theory that not only contrasted occidental subjects with non-Europeans but also South Asian groups with autochthone ‘others’ and ‘tribal’ groups with each other. He classified different tribes according to certain traits, behaviours, and physical characteristics, and ranked them on a scale of least to most anarchic or ‘wild’. His readings are, to say the least, overly simplistic and problematic to our eyes. Nonetheless, in trying to provide definitive readings of tribe and race, Hutchinson’s account is rich with ambiguity.

Cartographic Coordinates Hutchinson began his gazetteer, as did Hunter before him (and Lewin even earlier), with cartographic coordinates. His map degrees are more specific than Hunter’s and the territory is smaller, situated between N 21°25' and N 23°45' latitude and E 91°45' and E 92°50' longitude, with a total of 5,138 square miles. Population number based on the 1901 census is also much larger—124,762—in part due to the greater accuracy of the censuses from 1881 onwards and also possibly due to marginal population growth. As Hunter had previously, Hutchinson described the surrounding valleys, the four principal rivers of the Pheni, Karnaphuli, Sangu, and Matamuri and their tributaries.144

Regional Biodiversity Hutchinson provided a more thorough and detailed account of the region’s biodiversity than many of his predecessors, listing not only plants and animals that might have been relevant for earlier commercial (p.139) needs but also reptiles and insects. This may reflect a growing interest in the lives of insects, such as butterfly collecting, in the nineteenth century. There is a palpable sense

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ of Hutchinson’s deep interest in his surroundings and pleasure in carefully tallying such numbers. He described the region’s botanical richness as well as the various species of animals, trees, plants, birds, reptiles, insects, and fish life, in some cases providing both Latin and English names for the plants and animals. Animals included large numbers of elephants, two-horned rhinoceri, gyal, buffaloes, Himalayan goats, barking deer, wild pigs, tigers, leopards, black leopards, clouded leopards, Himalayan black bears, sloth bears, Malay bears, and many different kinds of cats, including golden cat, leopard cat, marbled cat, jungle cat, and fishing cat, as well as Indian civets, palm civets, binturongs, linsangs, mongooses, and hares. He specified the various species of monkeys including white-browed gibbon, Himalayan monkey, brown-stumped monkey, Himalayan langur, capped monkey, and lemur. Indian wild dogs, jackals, foxes, armadillos, grey and bay bamboo rats, field rats, muskrats, house rats, large dark brown squirrels, red squirrels, flying squirrels, flying foxes, otters, and bats also resided in the CHT.145 Like Hunter and Lewin, he emphasized the rich bird diversity. Jungle fowl, kalij pheasant, Polipectrum, hill partridge, swamp partridge, bush quail, bluebreasted quail, Hodgson’s imperial pigeon, and pin-tailed green pigeon, all lived in the region as did snipe, woodcock, and teal. Predatory birds included vultures, peregrine falcons, shahin falcon, hawks, kites, owls, carrion crows, hornbills, kingfishers, woodpeckers, parrots, mainas, magpies, jays, thrushes, babblers, bulbuls, orioles, finches, minivets, pittas, doves, drongos, shrikes, and swifts. Babbler, bulbul, thrush, barbet, weaver bird, hawk cuckoo or ‘brain fever bird’, copper smith, dhayal, flycatcher, hoopoe, koel, night jar, nutmeg bird, peko, robin, sibia, sparrow, purple honeysucker, wagtail, cotton teal, whistling teal, paddy bird, and bogla also flourished.146 But less than savoury inhabitants are mentioned too. He highlighted the poisonous snakes (for which he provided both their English and Latin names), including cobra, northern hill krait, banded krait, common krait, coral snake, slender coral snake, small-spotted coral snake, large-spotted viper, Gray’s viper, Formosan viper, Jerdon’s viper, green viper, Russell’s viper; various harmless, non-poisonous snakes; as well as 20-foot-long pythons. Reptiles included (p. 140) river-dwelling crocodiles, iguana lizards, turtles, and land tortoises. The last three he noted were in high demand as edible delicacies for the hill people. There were also chameleons, gekkos, baminis, and house lizards as well as insects from beautiful butterflies of ‘the most modest to the most gorgeous colouring’ to ‘curious insects, weird beetles of every shape and colour, wonderful moths, specially the varieties of the hawk moth, abound; while the other side of the picture, scorpions, large and poisonous centipedes, hideous spiders, vicious mosquitoes, maddening sand flies with several varieties of other flies . . .’.147

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ The principal river fish listed were the mahseer, rohu, kalabans, mirgha, white carp, catla, bawal, goonch, chital, butchwa, beckti, and chilwa. He noted the presence of dolphins that were often destructive to fishing. Eels, prawns, and fresh water turtles formed part of the fishermen’s daily catch.148

People, Population, and Religion: New Censuses Just as Hunter did 30 years ago, Hutchinson counted and named human populations right after he listed animals and insects. He, however, provided a very different set of numbers, reflecting the newer census results from 1872 to 1901. The decennial census was believed to be far more historically accurate. Perhaps most revealing in the later figures is the much larger number of both Hindu and Muslim residents in the region, indicating how misleading the original census was. Hutchinson himself noted that the original census was ‘not trustworthy’, largely due to a fudging of data. He attributed these inaccuracies to the indigenous chiefs. Hutchinson’s population chart listed numbers from recent censuses, which reveal a dramatically larger population (see Table 3.2). Table 3.2 Censuses in the CHT, 1872–1901 Census

Total Population

1872

63,054

1881

101,597

1891

107,286

1901

124,762

Source: Hutchinson, Eastern India and Assam District Gazetteers, Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 14. (p.141) He broke down the numbers to populations within each of the three primary circles: Chakma, Bohmong, and Mong. The Chakma circle, then governed by Raja Bhuban (Bhuvan) Mohan Roy, with its capital at Rangamati, had an area of 2,421 square miles, with 763 square miles reserved for government forests. The total population was 48,792, exclusive of forest reserve, giving a population density of 29.4 per square mile. While the majority of the population was Chakma, there were also resident Maghs, Tippera, Kuki, Mro, and Kumi (although in much smaller numbers), as well as more than 2,000 Muslims and 1,692 individuals classified as ‘Hindus and others’.149 The Bohmong circle, governed by the Bohmong chief, Cholafru, headquartered at Bandarban on the Sangu river, had an area of 2,064 square miles, with 620 square miles of forest reserve and a population of 44,072. Population density, exclusive of forest reserves, was at 30.56 per square mile. The majority of the population was Magh, with a sizeable number of Mros, Tipperahs, and Chakmas, and much smaller communities of Kuki, Kumi, Khyeng, Pankho, and Banjogi. Page 32 of 57

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ More than 2,700 Muslims and 1,783 classified as ‘Hindus and others’ were also residents.150 The Mong circle, governed by Raja Nefrusain, whose capital was at Manikseri, contained a territory of 653 square miles and had no forest reserves. Its population was 31,898 with a density of 48.8 per mile and a majority of Tipperahs with sizeable numbers of Maghs and Chakmas. A total of 122 Muslims and 381 people classified as ‘Hindus or others’151 also dwelled in the region. In Hutchinson’s survey he clearly pointed out religious categories, and listed the fact that Buddhism was the majority religion at 83,000 (composed mostly of Chakmas and Maghs), followed by Tipperas (Hindus) at 36,000 and 5,000 Muslims. Hutchinson though was most interested in the rise of Christianity, which he believed was ‘making headway’.152

Categorizing Ethnic or Racial ‘Types’ in Hutchinson’s Account Perhaps what is most telling in Hutchinson’s account, beyond sheer population numbers, was the way he categorized the indigenous tribes in ethnological terms, creating often overly simplistic and, at (p.142) times derogatory, caricatures. He focussed primarily on the physical and racial features of his subjects and the focal events of the human life cycle, the rituals of birth, marriage, and death, in such a manner as to construct reified portraits. Colonial administrators attempted to preserve local histories of indigenous tradition, which were being forgotten in the wake of the rapidly turning ‘wheels of civilization’: an inevitable, if poorly prevented, side product of imperial intervention. In this manner, ‘ethnographic material ... was seen as a way of connecting the people with their own histories and was often scripted as a service to a people who lacked the technology to do so.’ In the process, it became incorporated as a tool of colonial governmentality.153 I will begin by describing how Hutchinson generally characterized the hill people before addressing his interpretation of specific hill tribes. Hutchinson divided the hill people as a whole into those of undoubted Arakanese origin, such as the Chakma and Magh, and those of mixed descent, whom he deemed ‘in all probability the aboriginal inhabitants of the country’. He observed that they spoke diverse languages and were ‘savages’. Those who understand Bengali were called Jumiyas, while all others were described as Kukis. Physically, he described them as being generally of ‘short and ... thick-set build, with distinct Mongolian features’. He emphasized their muscular and lithe bodies in the familiar language of colonial racializing: ‘They have splendidly developed chests, arms and legs due to the nature of their daily tasks and physical surroundings.’ In terms of facial hair, they are ‘pulled out by the root as they appear, so that one seldom sees a hillman with either a moustache or beard’. In fact, Hutchinson often identified body hair, either facial hair or hair on the head of his subjects, as a way to define different groups. Ways of Page 33 of 57

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ ornamenting and styling the hair with oils, scents, and flowers distinguished one group from another. In addition, he cited their average heights: five feet six inches (for a man) and five feet four inches (for a woman).154 These linguistic and racial typologies were followed with sexual, marital, and divorce practices. Marriage was often the key social institution that anthropologists used to understand foreign cultures as well as study their own. Hutchinson listed the average age of spouses, incest laws and taboos, and attitudes towards polygamy, divorce, and out-of-wedlock pregnancies. The hill people, he observed, were upholders (p.143) of adult marriage, with girls wedding at 15 or 16 years of age and men between the ages of 20 and 25 (unlike the child marriages of other religious, ethnic, or caste communities in the subcontinent), and adhered to certain incest prohibitions. A man could not marry his paternal or maternal grandmother, paternal or maternal aunts, sisters, stepsisters, or first cousins on the father’s side. Similarly, women could not wed their own male relations of the same degree. Polygamy was the right of the wealthy, while widow remarriage was permitted with no restrictions regarding choice of partner. Divorce was obtainable for a man on the basis of incompatibility with his wife, neglect of household obligations, or adultery. (However adultery was not considered a major offence, and ordinarily was settled through paying a fine of 30 rupees.) For a woman to receive a divorce, there had to be evidence of cruelty or desertion from the husband. Unmarried girls were unrestricted in partners before marriage, and if they became pregnant, they were married thereafter to their child’s father. If a man did not marry a girl he had impregnated, he would pay a fine of 30 rupees and gift a pig to the elders, who were deciding the case, to feast upon. Despite freedom in sexual partners before marriage, infidelity after marriage was uncommon.155 After describing such general qualities in the hill people or jhumias, as he termed them, through a basic descriptive racial phenotype and marriage customs, he proceeded to catalogue the specific tribes, namely the Chakma, Magh, Tippera, Banjogi, Pankho, Mru/Mro, Kumi, Khyangs/Khayengs, and Kukis/ Lushai.156 He paid the greatest attention to the Chakma, Magh, and Kuki/Lushai communities. His catalogue of the hill tribes was not alphabetical or based entirely on descending population numbers. Rather, the entries implicitly reflected the hierarchy created by him, of most ‘civilized’ to least ‘civilized’. Indeed, while all hill tribes were pejoratively characterized as ‘wild’ or ‘primitive’ in colonial taxonomy, some were deemed more savage and less developmentally sophisticated than others on a variable scale of intelligence, viciousness, and violence. He was particularly vivid and emphatic in describing the barbarism of the Kukis (identified during this period also as Lushais and, after 1946, as Mizos), who had long been raiding their fellow tribes as well as British settlements as revealed in the 1871–2 Lushai campaign. In his description of the Kuki/Lushai, Hutchinson emphasized their ‘deviant’ moral traits. These (p.144) included indolence and overindulgence in pleasure, which Page 34 of 57

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ he correlated with particularly egregious vices: the ill treatment of women,157 whom he believed did the majority of everyday work, in contrast to the ‘lazy’ men, and an indiscriminate inclination to violence, expressed through internal blood feuds, vendettas, and raiding. In the process, he classified the tribes in the same manner as he did the region’s animals or plants by employing certain overarching physical traits that reflected particular psychological, intellectual, and moral stages of development, reducing the tribes into familiar colonial stereotypes that emphasized rigid binaries of ‘civilized’ and ‘uncivilized’, ‘anarchic’ and ‘ordered’, or ‘law abiding’ and ‘criminal’. At the same time, Hutchinson’s attempt at classification introduced a whole new set of questions, which undermined this entire system. A close reading of his descriptions highlights inherent paradoxes, ambiguities, and conflicting realities. He noted that the hill tribes were childlike yet at the same time cunningly intelligent; brave and generous but also mean-spirited and vicious; indolent yet industrious; godless savages who also were devoted worshippers. Tribal men are described as romantic lovers but also neglectful husbands, while the women are beautiful, erotic, and promiscuous ‘maidens’ who become chaste, unattractive, devoted (and submissive) wives overnight. Even the most fierce headhunter warriors among the Kuki are portrayed as loving and sweetly indulgent fathers, who ‘spoil’ their children. The hill tribes practise debt slavery yet are humane to their ‘slaves’ treating them more as dependents to be protected than dehumanized labourers.158 In the process, Hutchinson, while attempting to define the tribes as alien, divergent, and criminal ‘others’, in the end, revealed a common humanity rather than a foreign savageness. Thus, his gazetteer created liminal and fluid areas of interpretation. Can a tribe be both cruel and loving, god-fearing and apostate, patriarchal yet supportive of women’s choice in marriage and divorce? While Hutchinson attempted to create rigid ‘types’ based on certain physio-social traits, he ultimately failed to do so.

The Chakmas and Maghs Hutchinson began his chapter on the tribes by addressing his first subjects, the Chakmas, who were then governed by Raja Bhuvan Mohan (p.145) Roy and who were 50,000 in number. Chakmas, Hutchinson believed, were of Arakanese ancestry. He suggested that the Champannagar origin story recounted by Lewin and others was highly suspect and a complete myth, and rejected it wholly. He suggested that they ‘immigrated’ to Chittagong district and intermarried with Bengalis, which led to their hybrid language.159 As he would in all his descriptions of the hill people, Hutchinson connected physical attributes with social characteristics that would define them as a community. Physically, he observed that they were of ‘medium stature and thickset build, with a fair complexion and a cheerful, honest-looking face’. This ‘cheerful’ and ‘honest’ countenance reflected an industrious and independent nature—meritorious qualities for Hutchinson. He noted that the Chakma Page 35 of 57

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ ‘possesses none of the hereditary laziness of the [Magh] and although his independence will prevent him from working as a menial for others, yet he works exceedingly hard to further his own interests.’ Furthermore, the Chakma had an innate intelligence, which marked him as clever—having a ‘retentive memory, [he] grasps detail quickly, and appreciates the advantages that can be secured by industry’. As a tribe, the Chakmas were ‘stolid, argumentative and stubborn’ but ‘on the whole truthful.’ While they enjoyed alcohol (often addictively) and appreciated paan eating, they did not smoke or indulge in drugs such as ganja and opium. In particular, Hutchinson marked the upper-class Chakma for special attention as an ‘intellectual man, an excellent manager and of thrifty habit’, who was progressive and advanced enough in thinking to advocate the colonial policy of plough cultivation over traditional jhumming.160 Much of this emphasis on Chakmas as intelligent, honest, and moderate in temperament may be linked to their perceived culturally hybrid history: they are seen to have closer ties with Bengali sophistication and, through Bengal, European attitudes. The Chakma man himself had a transcultural form of dress, similar to those of Bengalis, consisting of a white turban, dhoti, and coat and, among the upper classes, the adoption of white socks and European shoes,161 reflecting yet again a more ‘civilized’ appearance, one which appealed to fastidious colonial attitudes regarding dress and etiquette. Furthermore, when describing Chakma women, Hutchinson observed that they practised female seclusion, which was a fact absent (p.146) from Buchanan’s or Lewin’s earlier accounts (although Lewin made allusions to Rani Kalindi residing in a secluded part of the palace). Arguably, this custom was due to the growing influence of both Bengali Hindu and Muslim aristocratic attitudes on the Chakma court and gentry.162 Female seclusion served as an indicator of cultural sophistication and assimilation. For Raja Bhuvan Mohan Roy, his court’s adoption of the practice reflected his interest in gaining greater proximity to British India as well as the London metropole. The raja himself had been a ward of the British. He would have his sons educated in Calcutta and arranged their marriages to the daughters of prominent Hindu cosmopolitan and royal families.163 For Hutchinson, these adoptions of Bengali Hindu social customs and seemingly more Anglo-European forms of dress or mannerisms were manifestations of superior development—intellectual, cultural, and moral. Twenty years later, colonial administrators would have widely different views. For instance, J.P. Mills would correlate the Chakma chiefs’ Bengalization and anglicization with moral weakness, indulgence, and alienation from their local histories and traditional responsibilities. In contrast, Hutchinson perceived the tribes who had adopted less ‘civilizing influences’, whether from plains Bengal or metropolitan Calcutta, as farther down an ascending spectrum of cultural sophistication.

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ Maghs Hutchinson then discussed the Maghs, the majority of whom lived south of the Karnaphuli river in the territory of the Bohmong chief, whose capital was at Bandarban. Their population numbered 34,706. He suggested that the Magh was a popular Indo-Chinese tribal designation, and their subgroups included the Marma, who came from Burma, and the Kyongsa, who lived next to the river. The tribe is further divided into several septs based on profession, location of residence, or ancestor’s history. They practised a form of Buddhism mixed with animist worship of many ‘malevolent and evil spirits’. While Buddhists, they found ‘little favour’ with teetotalism, Hutchinson bemoaned.164 While he described the Chakma as intelligent and industrious, he identified the Magh as a child of nature. He argued that the Magh (p.147) was ‘indolent’ by temperament and ‘will only do such work as he is compelled to’. As the epitome of laziness, if ‘given a sufficient number of cheroots and pan, and a comfortable spot on which to recline’ he would be ‘quite content to laze away the whole day.’ However, this was not the case for poorer Maghs, who had a demanding schedule during various seasons. However, even the modest Magh worked only as much as he needed for his family to survive.165 Hutchinson coupled this spirit of indolence with a naively joyful, childlike nature that was inherently upright, courageous, and full of humour. ‘The Magh is a happy-go-lucky fellow, easily pleased and of a most independent nature,’ Hutchinson recounted: There is no cringing about him, and he is quite prepared to render respect where such is due. Though addicted to drink and taking opium, he is not in any way a debased specimen of manhood. He has a ready wit, a full appreciation of humour, and can pay a pretty compliment with the best. He is also of a poetical nature and can turn out crisp lines, full of local colour and apt rhyme. He has a child’s love for anything bright—especially flowers, and they occupy a very important position in his devotions and love passages.166 Perhaps more than any other hill tribe, Hutchinson here used ‘wild child of nature’ to define the Magh as carefree and sweet tempered, with no greater concern than to compose a witty refrain, sing a song, or delight in colourful flowers. While the description had elements of charm, the Magh was simultaneously minimized in the familiar language of colonial paternalism. The Magh was a hapless but sweet child that was to be indulged by the colonial administrator as imperial father, and yet, also must be disciplined and governed, since he did not have the (mental) capacity to do so himself. His simplicity, ‘poetical’ nature, and childlike joy rendered him the noble savage of a romantic imagination. But this noble savage is forever silenced as the infant without

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ speech, as the object who gives pleasure, but not the subject who formally creates it. Not only is the language of childhood incorporated in this description but also that of sensual adolescence. While the men are childlike in behaviour and interests, the women are sensuous and overtly sexual. Hutchinson described them as particularly beautiful (more so than the women of any of the other tribal groups in his estimation). A Magh woman had a ‘fascinating little body, possessing (p.148) a very pleasing face’, and she dressed neatly in bright clothes on festive occasions. The use of terms such as ‘fascinating little body’ denotes a highly sexualized and objectifying attitude towards the women (similar to metropolitan and colonial accounts used to describe prostitutes or loose women) and belied Hutchinson’s own sexual preferences or fantasies. It also described a feminine body that was small enough to be easily subdued (presumably by a man, white or indigenous). He continued by observing that they wear topknots on their heads, with silver combs, hairpins, and bright flowers arranged ‘coquettishly’ on the sides of their heads. On formal occasions, they tied their hair in handkerchiefs, with neck and shoulders exposed, a fabric tied around the breasts, and petticoats of cotton or silk. He praised this aesthetic: ‘in spite of its quiet simplicity’, Magh women were always ‘well dressed’. They also wore gold and silver bracelets, silver necklaces, and hollow silver cones in their earlobes. In those cones, women placed flowers or cheroots, as they smoked as much as the men. These forms of dress were invariably perceived in a sexualized manner. Hutchinson, as a Victorian, connected female sexual freedom and choices with immorality and societal chaos. He noted that there was no ‘chaste maiden’ and no shame for girls who were promiscuous. However, he admitted that after marriage, Magh women were chaste and rarely unfaithful, and they became passionate and devoted mothers. At the same time, in another Victorian aspersion, Hutchinson questions their close intimacy with their children: an excessive ‘fondness is common to both sexes and leads to the children being terribly spoilt; indeed they early pass entirely beyond parental control.’167 However, Hutchinson noted that Magh women’s circumstances changed over the course of the lives, particularly after they married. They end up shouldering the majority of the domestic labour, in the process losing their health, beauty, and established place in the family. Their lot in life is poor, consisting of ‘constant toil and self-denial’ with ‘rest [only] in death’. In addition to domestic work and maternal obligations, Magh women did most of the planting and harvesting, sowing, weeding, fetching, and carrying for the ‘indolent husband’. What free time they had remaining was spent in weaving cloth for the home. As they aged and lost their looks, Hutchinson argued, they were given more work and were ‘systematically (p.149) neglected’. When they died, their funeral pyre was lit with extra layers of wood finally in acknowledgement of their ‘position as the

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ general provider for the family’. However, the elderly of both sexes were ‘treated with scant respect’ and seen ‘as useless encumbrances’ in society.168 Hutchinson rendered the Magh in these descriptions as childlike, lazy, and ruled by their sensuous appetites. As much as the Magh are extolled for the charm of their simple natures, so are they excoriated for their simple cruelties.

Kukis/Lushais But it was the Kukis, last in Hutchingson’s catalogue of tribes, who most vividly represent the essential savage in the colonial mind. Unlike the ‘intelligent and industrious’ Chakma or the childlike, indolent Magh, the Kuki was portrayed as having a violent and unnatural nature. Due to the history of raiding in the region, it was this tribe which the colonial government was most trying to curb and contain. The Kukis, a name derived from a Bengali term meaning highlander,169 originally referred to all hill people, but, by the late nineteenth century, was associated with those living on the northeast frontier of Bengal in British India—the Lushai and Chin Hills.170 After the 1871–2 campaign, they would be renamed as ‘Lushai’, referring to the tribe or tribes living south of Cachar and west of the Koladyne river. Those living to its east were Shendus. The name ‘Lushai’ was derived from the words lu (head) and shai (to cut), emphasizing their perceived histories as headhunters. British occupation further legitimized and formalized the use of this term.171 Largely animistic, Hutchinson noted that they propitiated the ‘spirits of evil’ and that their dead resided in a land of ‘Mi-thi-khua’ or ‘the village of Dead Men’. The Kuki afterlife is divided into two spheres: a happy realm for those who died naturally, which is free of evil spirits, and a restless purgatory for those who died violently and unavenged. This social need for revenge was the primary cause, Hutchinson observed, for the ‘prevalence of blood feuds’. Like several of the other jhumias, the Kukis were ‘entirely nomadic’, and each village had jhums, which they harvested once the land was exhausted before moving again.172 (p. 150) In describing the Kukis or Lushais, Hutchinson employed a far more blatant language of savagery than he did for any other tribe. The terms used are reminiscent of those employed in colonial settler accounts of Native American warriors as ‘braves’. Presumably, in the colonial mind, headhunting tribes had attributes similar to scalp-takers, irrespective of their differences in geography, culture, and regional history. He described the Kuki fighting men as ‘braves’, characterized by great physical strength, fortitude, and virility. Racially, he noted that they were of medium height with Mongolian features, having wide-set eyes, high foreheads, broad nostrils, long upper lip, and high cheek bones. Physically, the ‘Kuki is a man of fine muscular development, and has astonishing powers of endurance. He will cover in one day, what an ordinary man will take three or four days to march.’ He described how the warriors beautify themselves, and Page 39 of 57

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ particularly their hair. The ‘young braves’ greased their hair with bear or pig fat, so it was glossy and dressed ‘neatly’, ornamented with ivory combs, carved ivory or metal ‘skewers’, and brass hairpins. They had no facial hair except at the corners of their mouths and were fair complexioned. Such vanity had a purpose in the pleasure life of such virile men, Hutchinson concluded. In their leisure time, as did the Maghs, young Kuki men indulged in romancing. A Kuki man’s ‘favourite pastime is to laze away an afternoon stretched at full length on the platform outside the house, his head resting in the lap of his sweetheart, who combs out his hair and generally cleans his parasite infested head.’173 In terms of cultural traits, Hutchison emphasized that they are a passionate people of strong and intense emotions, having a sense of humour and generosity but also dangerous and ‘lewd’ vices. ‘The Kukis as a race are easily pleased, and greatly enjoy a joke,’ Hutchinson notes, [E]ven at their own expense. They are very imitative, quick to understand and possess a retentive memory. They are also hospitable and generous: but this exhausts their virtues, while their vices are many. They are vicious, and coarse-minded to a degree. Their minds run constantly on lewd and bestial subjects, and the coarser and more degraded these may be the better are they pleased.174 Furthermore, they have no moral compass for they ‘are treacherous and untruthful by nature. They are also very indolent, and will only lay hand to such tasks as are absolutely necessary.’175 (p.151) However, there were notable paradoxes as well, particularly in the treatment of women. While their customary laws and attitudes towards marriage, divorce, and bride price were far more gender equitable than those practised by plainsdwelling Hindu and Muslim communities, such as child marriage, female infanticide, destitution of widows, and limitations on divorce, Hutchinson, unlike Lewin before him, saw indigenous women as victims rather than equal partners in indigenous society. Women served as the foundations of Kuki society, but their agency is always compromised by men. In their youth, they are sexual objects of male enjoyment, and, in old age, with the loss of bodily allure, they lose all social respect. ‘Everything else is left to their unfortunate women,’ Hutchinson castigated, ‘while [the men] spend their time in smoking, drinking and generally loafing. Their chiefs also lead a dissolute, drunken life—in fact to get royally drunk constitutes the greatest idea of happiness amongst the whole race.’ The woman’s life was one of ‘excessive hardship and exposure’. During the course of her life, a Kuki woman’s status only degenerated. As a young girl she takes a certain amount of pride in her personal appearance, and manages to make herself fairly presentable. She is also fairly modest; but once married she finds her household duties and Page 40 of 57

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ maternal cares too much for her, and speedily neglects the rudiments of cleanliness and modesty. She is, by force of circumstances, extremely industrious, and makes a kind and indulgent mother indeed; affection for their children is a trait common to both sexes, and this goes a long way to lessen the dislike their other numerous shortcomings excite.176 Due to this hard life, she aged prematurely and her oppressive conditions led to physical deterioration. She became ‘unsightly’ even when young and a ‘veritable hag, repulsive in her awful hideousness’ in old age.177 Such descriptions further essentialize the tribal woman as the victim of indigenous tradition, and justified colonial intervention into customary law to protect them from the apparent vicissitudes of their own patriarchal societies. In terms of dress, Hutchinson described the customary clothing of the Kukis as well as newer introductions of European clothing.178 He described the quixotic image of a local chief, wearing an eclectic, hodgepodge collection of clothing articles. His description sounds almost Dickensian: ‘... the noble savage chieftain may be seen wending his way over the mountains wearing a battered white Ellwood’s sun-hat, (p.152) a filthy flannel shirt, a pair of old dress trousers, ammunition boots well down at the heel, with a flaring “Como” silk rug (a present from the Political Officer) thrown across his shoulders, and the ubiquitous eight-anna bazaar umbrella held over his head.’179 The chief was at once the epitome of rugged courage, the ‘noble savage’ walking blithely across a mountain pass and a ragtag eccentric, wearing old hand-me-downs (battered sunhat, worn dress trousers, and ammunition boots) coupled with a rich silk rug. Such images reinforced colonial romantic fantasies of the tribal ‘other’ as free of guile, a child of nature, as well as a misfit in the modern world, developmentally backward with no understanding of the importance of appearance (ever of quintessential concern to Anglo-Indian officialdom).180 For the other tribes, Hutchinson provided much briefer descriptions of their marriage and death rites, as well as forms of clothing and ornamentation. Tipperahs, Banjogis, Pankho, and Mru/Mro are listed in cursory manner and as alien ‘others’, if not to the degree of the Kukis/Lushais. Their histories are simplified into brief categories—ritual and religious practices are not elaborated upon and their primitive underdevelopment is emphasized and reflected in less sophisticated rites for marriage and death. It is likely that colonial administrators like Hutchinson had less access to these groups or did not have as much accurate information. Their animistic worship of spirits, consumption of animals not ordinarily eaten by other groups, tribal or otherwise (such as dogs), and less formalized marriage rites rendered them less familiarly human in Hutchinson’s eyes. There is a sense of their even greater ‘wildness’ and remote separation from a plane of shared humanity, which is purposefully painted in often rudimentary and spare descriptions. In a number of cases, Hutchinson argued that they had no history altogether, suggesting that their unknown Page 41 of 57

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ origins coupled with an inability to leave a mark on history, through literary texts, architectural monuments, and religious movements of note, signified that they had no ‘civilizational’ record to share. In this way, Hutchinson introduced a hierarchy of primitivism in his gazetteer. All CHT tribes were inherently less civilized in contrast to Anglo-European norms, but on a comparative scale. Those who adopted more Bengali and Western modes of expression, whether in language, dress, or social etiquette, were more culturally sophisticated, (p.153) and culture here was connected with intelligence and industry. Those least familiar with the two factors mentioned above, based upon their eating patterns, marriage rites, and religious rituals, were most barbaric, expressed through forms of indiscriminate violence, raiding, and ill treatment of women. Hutchinson’s gazetteer serves to reveal that while colonial officialdom perceived all tribes as ‘wild’, there was a spectrum of wildness. It also reveals various inherent contradictions within the colonial mindset, where certain groups or social practices are both condemned and praised at the same time. Both Hunter’s 1876 A Statistical Account of Bengal and Hutchinson’s 1909 Gazetteer interpreted the hill tribes and the larger region of the Hill Tracts through new colonial knowledge technologies that were quantitative in nature. The imperial gazetteers of India incorporated statistical data from the first Indiawide census of 1871–2, using enumerative methods to classify and standardize the hill region and all that dwelled therein: its mountains, rivers, plants, animals, insects, and, ultimately, its peoples. Everything was measured: from mountain heights, river depths, imports and exports, and lengths of foot-trodden paths and roads to numbers of hospitals, law courts, schools, and types of infectious diseases. People were counted, and thereby categorized, by religion, tribal affiliation, gender, marital status, and so on. Their bodies were also measured, their heights tabulated, their facial features typecast, as well as their forms of hair dressing, clothing, and ornamentation documented. Such numerical classifications of indigenous groups almost always followed animal taxonomies, further linking these human societies to their animal cousins, and defining them as fundamentally primitive, wild, and savage aliens. Furthermore, a racial phenotype was associated with certain social, psychological, and moral characteristics. In the process, these newer standardized data collection systems privileged numerical information as more accurate and useful than previous scholarly-administrative genres, such as the natural history travelogue or memoir, in categorizing indigenous populations, which were useful in the larger colonial ambition of governing and suppressing native ‘others’. (p.154)

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ In the process, both Hunter and Hutchinson attempted to essentialize the Hill Tracts as a whole in addition to objectifying individual tribes and religious groups. Hunter’s compilation was published only a few years after the census in 1876, and reveals the problems of using universal and standard categories rather than regionally specific ones, which are sensitive to local communities. The census counted particular religious and caste groups, which were so demographically small to be almost statistically negligible, at the cost of understanding the major religious, ethnic, and cultural identities that informed the hill peoples. Arguably, the census writers were far more familiar with the religious and social traditions practised in greater Bengal or colonial India at large, such as Hinduism and Islam, which was reflected in their inclusion of particular Hindu subcastes and Muslim denominations rather than the subtleties within Buddhism and ‘aboriginal’ religions. Both are poorly defined and represented in this document, despite the fact they are the main faiths practised by the people under examination. All Buddhist groups are lumped together haphazardly under the general umbrella of ‘Buddhism’, without delving into the specifics of denominational difference, regional antecedents, cultural practices, or tribal lineages. Even more egregious is Hunter’s complete unawareness of autochthone faiths, which receive scant attention, and, when they are acknowledged, are described in often vague and misleading terms. While the census defined the peoples of India as ‘different’ and ‘other’ in contrast to those of the metropole,181 it accentuated hill tribes and frontier zones as additionally divergent, foreign not only to the colonial observer but also to fellow South Asian communities. Ideas of otherness were also delineated in Hutchinson’s gazetteer along the lines of racial phenotype and socio-cultural attributes. Written 30 years later, Hutchinson’s gazetteer continued the tradition of adopting enumerative techniques in understanding region, place, landscape, and animal and human populations. His application of quantifying modalities—whether to count animals, peoples, natural landmarks, and trade commodities—created a general sense of ‘thing-hood’, where all entities were objectified as things. In classifying tribal hill people generally as well as specifically as ‘things’ with particular attributes, he connected racial typologies to specific cultural and social traits that extend earlier colonial constructions of primitive otherness that emerged out of the late (p.155) nineteenth-century census. He used anthropometric markers, such as the height of the hill people as well as racial phenotypes (Mongoloid) to accentuate their difference. In addition, he connected these physical markers to certain psychological and moral characteristics and social patterns of behaviour. In the process, he created a graduated hierarchy of the different tribes, where some are more or less industrious, civilized, and familiarly human. Each tribe is defined by specific racial, physical traits linked to particular moral and intellectual weaknesses and strengths, whether bravery, generosity, fearfulness, cruelty, childishness, or Page 43 of 57

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ intelligence. His adjectives highlighted generalities to typecast entire communities, not individuals, and physical traits were connected with economic and political developmental patterns and sociological traditions. In particular, Hutchinson focussed on the major rites of the human life cycle, such as marriage and death, in understanding, and thereby labelling, different groups. Those who had more aberrant social customs, such as eating wild animals, insects, or snakes—that is, wildlife ordinarily outside more conventional dietary patterns— worshipping unknown and unfathomable deities, spirits, or elements, or partaking in rites such as headhunting or animal sacrifice, were labelled as more barbarous, criminal, inhuman, and, ultimately, animal-like.182 In the process of constructing such animalistic ‘otherness’, Hutchinson also created liminal spaces of paradox and ambiguity. Often in the same passages where he underlined certain ‘tribal’ vices, such as childishness, indulgence, violence, or the denigration of women, he also noted native intelligence, industriousness, familial, and communal solidarity and kindness, as well as social laws and customs that enabled female agency and mobility. When describing the savagery of the Lushai/Kuki, whom he condemned as godless heathens having no real concept of the afterlife and partaking in blood feuds and raiding, he also mentioned their love and compassion as parents. He generally perceived the tribal woman as the workhorse of indigenous society and marked her as a victim: a symbolic figure for protection by the colonial state (a language which was used to describe Indian women generally throughout the subcontinent by the imperial power). He defined her as being a sexual object in her youth and a downtrodden and neglected ‘hag’ in old age, yet, he also recounted again and again various customary practices across tribes, which protected women’s sexual, (p.156) reproductive, marital, and economic choices. These included women’s adult status as brides (in contrast to many neighbouring communities that practised child marriage), their freedom to pursue premarital sex without censure, their choice in spousal selection, including the right to elope despite lacking the support of elders, rights to separation, divorce, and widow remarriage, and, in several communities, the groom’s expectation of living in the bride’s family home to earn his way up, thereby, enabling women to remain close to both familiar kinship and economic networks after marriage.183 Thus, in the very process of compiling a definitive compendia of negative traits, customs, and quantifiable ‘facts’ on the tribal peoples, he (perhaps inadvertently) included information that simultaneously questioned the very binary paradigms and monolithic determinations, as well as their technologies of information gathering, which lay at the heart of colonial knowledge construction of the indigenous ‘other’. Hunter’s and Hutchinson’s readings on the hill people reveal how significant the late nineteenth-century enumerative modalities of censuses, surveys, and gazetteers were in constructing tribals as savage aliens, but they also reveal how very flawed and troublesome this system was and how far they were from Page 44 of 57

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ being truly encyclopedic in nature. Indeed, a lot is absent in this official documentation. Hunter’s interpretations of the 1871–2 census are misleading readings on the religious demography and heterogeneity of the Hill Tracts, which inevitably influenced later gazetteers and colonial and nationalist interpretations of religious identity in the region up till Partition. He highlighted categories, groups and constructions of identity, which were not rightly applicable to the Hill Tracts. Hutchinson adopted many of the same techniques (and occasionally the data) of his predecessor in an attempt to characterize hill peoples along socio-cultural and racial lines of otherness but, in the process, he revealed rich areas of contradiction and misinterpretation. Both expose how the gazetteer, as a genre, in trying to be all-encompassing in nature, inevitably failed, thus questioning its usefulness as a source in reading the history of the Hill Tracts. Nonetheless, such surveys remained significant devices for understanding the region both in the colonial and postcolonial imagination, and they would cast long shadows, influencing governmental policies, institutional changes, and the way this region would be seen by both (p.157) internal and external audiences long afterwards, as Joy Pachuau has argued.184 They also, as noted earlier, reflected the colonial state’s use of an anthropological modality, by privileging ethnographic material over other forms of knowledge, particularly history.185 While less overt in his gazetteer, Hutchinson narrated in his earlier 1906 account that he attended local wedding feasts, funereal rites, religious pujas, festivals, fairs, and sporting events and took detailed notes on them. These experiential encounters with local people were and are the hallmarks of modern ethnographic fieldwork. Such techniques reflect the incorporation of ethnographic methods by colonial administrators and, with the early twentieth century, the rise of formal anthropology. The following chapter will address how this border area increasingly saw colonial officials who coupled fieldwork with administration. An anthropological eye would inform both their attitudes towards the tribal peoples they encountered as well as the project of imperialism itself, which would have deep repercussions both on colonial governmentality and postcolonial nationalism. Notes:

(1.) John Marriott, The Other Empire: Metropolis, India and Progress in the Colonial Imagination (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2003), p. 209. (2.) Hunter, A Statistical Account of Bengal, Volume VI; IOR/V/27/62/6, India Office Records Official Publications Series, India Office Library, British Library, London, UK. (3.) Lewin had discussed much of the information that Hunter referred to, including cartographic components, topographical features such as rivers and mountains, the biodiversity of plants and animals, as well as the customs of the Page 45 of 57

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ various indigenous peoples of the CHT, from forms of dress and material culture to marriage practices, in his earlier published books, The Hill Tracts of Chittagong and the Dwellers Therein (1869) and Wild Races of South-Eastern India (1870), as well as various published newspaper articles, which Hunter used as references. (4.) Paul Greenough, ‘Hunter’s Drowned Land: An Environmental Fantasy of the Victorian Sundarbans’, in Nature and the Orient: The Environmental History of South and Southeast Asia, ed. Richard H. Grove, Vinita Damodaran, and Satpal Sangwan, pp. 237–72 (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1998), p. 241. (5.) Hutchinson, An Account of the Chittagong Hill Tracts; IOR/V27/62/222, India Office Records Official Publications Series, India Office Library, British Library, London, UK. (6.) Cohn, Colonialism and Its Forms of Knowledge, p. 8. (7.) Dirks, Castes of Mind, p. 43. (8.) Cohn, Colonialism and Its Forms of Knowledge, p. 8. (9.) Dirks, Castes of Mind, p. 43. (10.) Pachuau and van Schendel, Camera as Witness, pp. 25–6. (11.) Roy, Departed Melody, p. 38. (12.) Paidipaty, ‘Tribal Nation’, p. 6. (13.) Chakrabarty, ‘Modernity and Ethnicity in India’, p. 3375. (14.) C.A. Bayly, The Birth of the Modern World, 1780–1914: Global Connections and Comparisons (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2004), pp. 275–6. (15.) Peabody, ‘Cents, Sense, Census’, pp. 819–50. (16.) Peabody, ‘Cents, Sense, Census’, p. 820. (17.) Cohn, Colonialism and Its Forms of Knowledge, p. 8. (18.) Cohn, ‘The Census, Social Structure and Objectification in South Asia’, p. 231. (19.) Charles E.D. Black, A Memoir on the Indian Surveys 1875–1890 (London, 1891); Cohn, ‘The Census, Social Structure and Objectification in South Asia’, p. 231; Survey of India, Historical Records of the Survey of India, collected and compiled by Col. R.H. Phillimore, 4 vols (New Delhi, 1945).

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ (20.) Cohn, ‘The Census, Social Structure and Objectification in South Asia’, p. 232; M. Elphinstone, Report on the Territories Conquered from the Paishwa (Calcutta, 1821, 2nd edn); Sir John Malcolm, A Memoir of Central India, 2 vols (London, 1823); Lt. Col. A. Walker, ‘Reports on the Resources of the (Ceded) Districts in the Province of Gujarat 1804–1806’, Selections from the Records of the Bombay Government, N. S. no. 39, pt. 1, 1856. (21.) Cohn, ‘The Census, Social Structure and Objectification in South Asia’, pp. 231–2. (22.) Cohn, ‘The Census, Social Structure and Objectification in South Asia’, pp. 231–2. (23.) Dirks, Castes of Mind, p. 199. (24.) Greenough, ‘Hunter’s Drowned Land’, pp. 244–5. (25.) Cohn, ‘The Census, Social Structure and Objectification’, p. 238. (26.) Dirks, Castes of Mind, p. 44. (27.) Cohn, Colonialism and Its Forms of Knowledge, p. 8. (28.) Justin Stagl, ‘The Methodizing of Travel in the Sixteenth Century: A Tale of Three Cities’, History and Anthropology, 4 (1990): 303–38, p. 327; Han Vermeulen, ‘The Emergence of “Ethnography”, ca. 1770 in Gottingen’, History of Anthropology Newsletter 19, no. 2 (1992): 6–9, p. 6, found in Pels, ‘The Rise and Fall of the Indian Aborigines’, p. 89. (29.) Chakrabarty, ‘Modernity and Ethnicity in India’, p. 3375. (30.) R.C. Emmett, ‘The Gazetteers of India: Their Origin and Development During the Nineteenth Century’, M.A. Thesis, Graduate Library School, University of Chicago, 1976, p.15. (31.) Ian Hacking, The Taming of Chance (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), p. 17. (32.) Pels, ‘The Rise and Fall of the Indian Aborigines’, pp. 89–90. (33.) Dirks, Castes of Mind, p. 198. (34.) Cohn, ‘The Census, Social Structure and Objectification in South Asia’, p. 238. (35.) Dirks, Castes of Mind, p. 200. (36.) Cohn, ‘The Census, Social Structure and Objectification in South Asia’, p. 239. Page 47 of 57

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ (37.) Cohn, ‘The Census, Social Structure and Objectification in South Asia’, p. 243; Colonialism and Its Forms of Knowledge, p. 8. (38.) Cohn, ‘The Census, Social Structure and Objectification in South Asia’, p. 242. (39.) Cohn, Colonialism and Its Forms of Knowledge, p. 8. (40.) Cohn, Colonialism and Its Forms of Knowledge, p. 8. (41.) Joy Pachuau, Being Mizo, p. 94. (42.) Dirks, Castes of Mind, p. 201. (43.) Dirks, Castes of Mind, p. 50. (44.) Frank Conlon, ‘The Census of India as a Source for the Historical Study of Religion and Caste’, in The Census in British India: New Perspectives, ed. N. Gerald Barrier, pp. 103–17 (Delhi: Manohar, 1981), p. 104. (45.) Chakrabarty, ‘Modernity and Ethnicity in India’, p. 3377. (46.) Cohn, ‘The Census, Social Structure and Objectification in South Asia’, p. 239. (47.) Dirks, Castes of Mind, pp. 44–5. (48.) Nonetheless, as Frank Conlon argues, narrative sections in such texts ought not to be wholly ignored when they are included, as they provide qualification or useful observations on the statistical data or the process of their collection (Frank Conlon, ‘The Census of India’, p. 112). (49.) Appadurai, ‘Number in the Colonial Imagination’, pp. 317–8. (50.) Appadurai, ‘Number in the Colonial Imagination’, pp. 326–7. (51.) Appadurai, ‘Number in the Colonial Imagination’, p. 330. (52.) Pels, ‘The Rise and Fall of the Indian Aborigines’, p. 90. (53.) van Schendel, ‘The Dangers of Belonging’, pp. 19–20. (54.) Collingham, Imperial Bodies, pp. 121–2. (55.) van Schendel, ‘The Dangers of Belonging’, p. 20. (56.) Pachuau, Being Mizo, pp. 90–1. (57.) Gadgil and Guha, This Fissured Land, p. 151.

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ (58.) Pachuau, Being Mizo, pp. 105–7. (59.) Greenough, ‘Hunter’s Drowned Land’, p. 241. (60.) Greenough, ‘Hunter’s Drowned Land’, p. 246. (61.) Greenough, ‘Hunter’s Drowned Land’, p. 241; Francis H. Skrine, Life of Sir William Wilson Hunter (London, 1901), pp. 42, 48–9. (62.) Greenough, ‘Hunter’s Drowned Land’, pp. 241–2; Skrine, Life of Sir William Wilson Hunter, p. 89. (63.) Greenough, ‘Hunter’s Drowned Land’, p. 242; Skrine, Life of Sir William Wilson Hunter, pp. 100–5, 213–4. (64.) Greenough, ‘Hunter’s Drowned Land’, p. 242. (65.) Bayly, ‘Caste and “Race” in the Colonial Ethnography of India’, p. 198. (66.) Bayly, ‘Caste and “Race” in the Colonial Ethnography of India’, pp. 202–3. (67.) Paul Greenough, ‘Hunter’s Drowned Land’, pp. 242–3. (68.) Greenough, ‘Hunter’s Drowned Land’, p. 243. (69.) Greenough, ‘Hunter’s Drowned Land’, p. 243. (70.) Dirks, Castes of Mind, pp. 45, 198–9. (71.) Dirks, Castes of Mind, pp. 45–6. (72.) Paul Greenough, ‘Hunter’s Drowned Land’, pp. 243–5; Skrine, Life of Sir William Wilson Hunter, pp. 175, 199, 202. (73.) Greenough, ‘Hunter’s Drowned Land’, p. 268. (74.) Greenough, ‘Hunter’s Drowned Land’, pp. 243–5; Skrine, Life of Sir William Wilson Hunter, p. 281. (75.) Greenough, ‘Hunter’s Drowned Land’, p. 245. (76.) Dirks, Castes of Mind, pp. 199–200. (77.) Greenough, ‘Hunter’s Drowned Land’, p. 243. (78.) Greenough, ‘Hunter’s Drowned Land’, p. 268. Herbert Hope Risley, Hunter’s assistant director in the Survey of India, spoke about the seminal role of language and biological determinacy in defining ‘tribal’ ancestry. Risley argued that the ‘gobbling speech of the people of Chittagong and Eastern Bengal, and their inability to negotiate certain consonants seem to suggest that Page 49 of 57

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ their original tongue belonged to the Tibeto-Burman family, and that their vocal apparatus must differ materially from that of their western neighbours’ (Bates, ‘Race, Caste and Tribe’, p. 243; H.H. Risley, The People of India [London, 1915, 2nd edn], p. 9). (79.) Greenough, ‘Hunter’s Drowned Land’, pp. 268–9. Herbert Hope Risley later went on to publish major works on developing theories of race, caste, and tribe in India, including the four-volume work on the tribes and castes of Bengal (1891), which articulated the seven principal ‘races’ of India, namely Mongoloid, Dravidian, Indo-Aryan, Turko-Iranian, Mongolo-Dravidian, Aryo-Dravidian, and Scytho-Dravidian (Bates, ‘Race, Caste and Tribe’, p. 242). (80.) Greenough, ‘Hunter’s Drowned Land’, p. 269. (81.) Greenough, ‘Hunter’s Drowned Land’, pp. 245–6. (82.) Hunter, A Statistical Account of Bengal, p. 39. (83.) Hill men brought down to market timber, cotton, bamboos, rattans, thatching grass, sesamun (til), mustard, India rubber, and small quantities of ivory and wax. In return, they purchased rice, salt, spices, dried fish, pigs, cattle, piece goods, tobacco, trinkets, and other imported goods from the district of Chittagong. Trade in the CHT also included rice (husked and unhusked), salt, tobacco, cattle, goats, fowl, dried fish, betel nuts, cloth, daos, pottery, and pedlars’ inexpensive wares. Export items included cotton, kunda boats (dugouts), timber, bamboos, cane, thatching grass, leaves for umbrellas, garjan oil, til seed (sesamun), mustard, and India rubber. Most significant imports were rice and salt. In 1874–5, ‘439 tons of unhusked rice, 643 tons of husked rice and 378 tons of salt were imported’ (Hunter, A Statistical Account of Bengal, pp. 27, 84). (84.) The number of law courts (magisterial, civil, and revenue), educational institutions, and deaths due to disease were also listed. Before 1860, no courts existed in the CHT and most people were tried in courts in Chittagong District. By 1860–1, there were two magisterial courts and two civil and revenue courts, which increased to three magisterial courts and three civil and revenue courts in 1870–1 (Hunter, A Statistical Account of Bengal, p. 98). (85.) By 1875, there were two government schools in the CHT, including the Government English middle school at Rangamati, which fed and clothed boarders. Graduates could obtain government posts and were encouraged to teach in the new schools being founded. The school was divided into two sections: the Burmese department, whose pupils were largely Khyoungtha boys, who studied Burmese and English, and the Bengali department, attended by Chakma and Gurkha boys. At the boys’ boarding schools in Rangamati and Manikchari, those with merit (academically ‘most promising’) could receive free tuition. However, Hunter noted that most hill people were reluctant to send their Page 50 of 57

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ children to the government school (Hunter, A Statistical Account of Bengal, p. 99). (86.) Diseases were counted and fatalities listed. Based on mortuary statistics for 22.44 miles in the CHT, Hunter cited a death-rate of ‘only’ 13.24 for every 1,000 people. The major illness and cause for death was fever, which comprised 65.7 per cent of deaths. Based on the deaths of members of the CHT police, the region was one ‘of the most unhealthy of the Districts of Bengal’. Cholera and smallpox proliferated in the hills, especially in the two months prior to the monsoons. The deputy commissioner noted that these cases developed from drinking river water which ‘after heavy rain becomes thick, turbid, and mixed with much decomposed organic matter’ (Hunter, A Statistical Account of Bengal, p. 104). (87.) Pachuau, Being Mizo, pp. 93–4. (88.) Hunter, A Statistical Account of Bengal, pp. v–vi. (89.) Hunter, A Statistical Account of Bengal, p. v. (90.) Hunter, A Statistical Account of Bengal, pp. 17–8. Recording such measurements was not a new practice. Buchanan had already recorded cartographic measurements nearly a century earlier and so had Lewin in his earlier published materials in the 1860s and 1870s. (91.) Pachuau, Being Mizo, p. 99. (92.) Hunter, A Statistical Account of Bengal, pp. 25–6. (93.) Occasionally, Hunter breaks from this enumerative account to make some insights into local cultural attitudes and prejudices. In describing the lake, he not only focussed on its physical features but also how it exposed the superstitious fearfulness of the hill people. According to Gordon’s testimony, the lake was a favourite retreat for the wild elephants who ‘have trampled out everything except the large trees, and so have converted a dense jungle into a cool open glade’. The hill men were loath to boat on this lake and Gordon had to induce them to build rafts to accompany him. Gordon recounted that they narrated ‘dreadful legends of how some foolhardy adventurer had tried to cross’ only to be lost midway, which Gordon undermined as testimony to the childishness and foolishness of local views. Hunter, A Statistical Account of Bengal, pp. 26–7. (94.) Hunter, A Statistical Account of Bengal, p. 25. (95.) Hunter, A Statistical Account of Bengal, p. 83. (96.) Hunter, A Statistical Account of Bengal, p. 29. Page 51 of 57

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ (97.) Hunter, A Statistical Account of Bengal, pp. 30–1. (98.) Hunter, A Statistical Account of Bengal, pp. 30–2. (99.) Hunter, A Statistical Account of Bengal, pp. 33–4. (100.) Hunter, A Statistical Account of Bengal, p. 34. (101.) Hunter, A Statistical Account of Bengal, p. 34. (102.) Often colonial writings on tribal peoples included references to savage animals in their titles or subtitles, making this close connection between the animal and human primitive from the start. A small sample include: John Barrow’s An Account of Travels into the Interior of Southern Africa: In the Years 1797 and 1798: Including Cursory Observations on the Geology and Geography of the Southern Part of that Continent; the Natural History of such Objects as Occurred in the Animal, Vegetable, and Mineral Kingdoms; and Sketches on the Physical and Moral Characters of the Various Tribes of Inhabitants Surrounding the Settlement of the Cape of Good Hope (New York: G. F. Hopkins, 1802); John Drummond Hay’s Western Barbary: Its Wild Tribes and Savage Animals (London: John Murray, 1844), and Roualeyn Gordon-Cumming’s Five Years’ Adventures in the Far Interior of South Africa: With Notices of the Native Tribes and Savage Animals (London: John Murray, 1856) are some examples, but there are many more. (103.) van Schendel, ‘The Dangers of Belonging’, p. 20. (104.) Hunter, A Statistical Account of Bengal, pp. 39–66. (105.) Hunter, A Statistical Account of Bengal, pp. 66–71. While I will not speak of Lewin’s interpretation of hill people here, what should be noted, however, is how significant his readings became in later official understandings of the region, in large part through their reproduction in this gazetteer, which would subsequently inform future generations of colonial administrators in how they perceived the Hill Tracts. For scholars interested in colonial readings on individual tribes and this ealier ‘pseudo-ethnography’, I would recommend a fuller reading of both Lewin’s and Hunter’s works. (106.) Hunter, A Statistical Account of Bengal, pp. 34–5. (107.) Hunter, A Statistical Account of Bengal, pp. 36–7. (108.) Hunter, A Statistical Account of Bengal, p. 37. (109.) Hunter, A Statistical Account of Bengal, pp. 37–8. (110.) Pachuau, Being Mizo, p. 97.

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ (111.) Hunter, A Statistical Account of Bengal, p. 68. (112.) Hunter, A Statistical Account of Bengal, p. 78; Chatterjee, Forgotten Friends, pp. 236–42. (113.) Pachuau and van Schendel, Camera as Witness, pp. 87, 138–9; Pachuau, Being Mizo, p. 107; van Schendel, Mey, and Dewan, The Chittagong Hill Tracts, pp. 55–7. (114.) Hunter, A Statistical Account of Bengal, p. 68; Lewin, The Hill Tracts of Chittagong and the Dwellers Therein, p. 76. (115.) Hunter, A Statistical Account of Bengal, p. 102. (116.) Hunter, A Statistical Account of Bengal, p. 102. (117.) Hunter provided a detailed account of the salaries of police officers, their travelling allowances, horses, as well as the ratio of police to the general population, which was one policeman to every 96 inhabitants. The force consisted of three ‘superior’ European officers and 653 soldiers (officers and men), including eight subahdars (chief Indian officer in a company of Indian troops in the British Indian army. It is the second highest rank for an Indian officer, but they could not command British troops), six jamadars (lowest rank for the viceroy’s commissioned officer, often commanded platoons or troops within a sepoy regiment; second in rank to the subahdar), 35 havildars (seen as equivalent to a non-commissioned sergeant in the British Indian army), 42 naiks (a rank between lance naik and havildar in the British Indian army), 12 buglers, and 550 privates (Hunter, A Statistical Account of Bengal, pp. 98–9). (118.) Saradindu Mukherji, Subjects, Citizens and Refugees: Tragedy in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (1947–1998) (New Delhi: Indian Centre for the Study of Forced Migration, 2000), p. 16; Arnab Dewan, dir., Life Is Still Not Ours: A Story of Chittagong Hill Tracts, 2013. (119.) Mukherji, Subjects, Citizens and Refugees, pp. 16–7. (120.) Hutchinson, ‘Introduction’, An Account of the Chittagong Hill Tracts. (121.) Hutchinson, ‘Introduction’, An Account of the Chittagong Hill Tracts. (122.) Hutchinson, An Account of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 13. (123.) Hutchinson, An Account of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, pp. 141–2. (124.) Hutchinson, An Account of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, pp. 71–2. (125.) Pinney, ‘Colonial Anthropology in the “Laboratory of Mankind”’, p. 252.

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ (126.) Bayly, ‘Caste and “Race” in the Colonial Ethnography of India’, pp. 168– 70. (127.) Bayly, ‘Caste and “Race” in the Colonial Ethnography of India’, pp. 170–1. (128.) Bayly, ‘Caste and “Race” in the Colonial Ethnography of India’, p. 189. (129.) Collingham, Imperial Bodies, p. 121; Bates, ‘Race, Caste and Tribe’, p. 239; Pinney, ‘Colonial Anthropology in the “Laboratory of Mankind”’. (130.) Anderson, Legible Bodies, p. 183. (131.) Bates, ‘Race, Caste and Tribe in Central India’, pp. 231–2. (132.) Anderson, Legible Bodies, pp. 184–8. (133.) Pinney, ‘Colonial Anthropology in the “Laboratory of Mankind”’, p. 253. (134.) Bates, ‘Race, Caste and Tribe in Central India’, pp. 238–40. (135.) Bates, ‘Race, Caste and Tribe in Central India’, p. 242. (136.) Bayly, ‘Caste and “Race” in the Colonial Ethnography of India’, p. 169. (137.) Bayly, ‘Caste and “Race” in the Colonial Ethnography of India’, p. 171. (138.) Bayly, ‘Caste and “Race” in the Colonial Ethnography of India’, p. 189. (139.) Pinney, ‘Colonial Anthropology in the “Laboratory of Mankind”’, pp. 254– 5. (140.) Anderson, Legible Bodies, p. 181. (141.) Pinney, ‘Colonial Anthropology in the “Laboratory of Mankind”’, pp. 254– 5. (142.) Bates, ‘Race, Caste and Tribe in Central India’, p. 228. (143.) Collingham, Imperial Bodies, p. 121; Bates, ‘Race, Caste and Tribe’, p. 239; Pinney ‘Colonial Anthropology in the “Laboratory of Mankind”’, pp. 252–63. (144.) R.H. Syned Hutchinson, Eastern India and Assam District Gazetteers, Chittagong Hill Tracts (Allahabad: Pioneer Press, 1909), pp. 1–2. (145.) Hutchinson, Eastern India and Assam District Gazetteers, p. 5. (146.) Hutchinson, Eastern India and Assam District Gazetteers, pp. 5–6. (147.) Hutchinson, Eastern India and Assam District Gazetteers, p. 6.

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ (148.) Hutchinson, Eastern India and Assam District Gazetteers, pp. 6–7. (149.) Hutchinson, Eastern India and Assam District Gazetteers, pp. 15–6. (150.) Hutchinson, Eastern India and Assam District Gazetteers, p. 16. (151.) Hutchinson, Eastern India and Assam District Gazetteers, p. 16. (152.) He included a brief overview of the primary missionary organization in the region, the London Baptist Missionary, which had been founded in 1812. By 1822, there were 163 converts and churches in Chakariya, Munjariya, Harbung, and Cox’s Bazar, but during the Anglo-Burmese wars, most Christians were dispersed and died due to famine or were killed. As of 1907, the Christian population numbered 750 (Hutchinson, Eastern India and Assam District Gazetteers, pp. 19–20). (153.) Pachuau, Becoming Mizo, p. 95. (154.) Hutchinson, Eastern India and Assam District Gazetteers, p. 14. (155.) Hutchinson, Eastern India and Assam District Gazetteers, pp. 18–9. (156.) Hutchinson, Eastern India and Assam District Gazetteers, pp. 21–50. (157.) As part of the larger language of the civilizing mission, the colonial state in Bengal often saw itself as the protector of indigenous women from the vicissitudes of religious orthodoxy and patriarchal tradition by passing various pieces of legislation, including the prohibition of sati (1829), the legalization of widow remarriage (1856), and the Age of Consent Act (1891) to protect women. Refer to F. Agnes, ‘Law and Gender Inequality: The Politics of Women’s Rights in India’, reprinted in Women and Law in India: An Omnibus (New Delhi, 2004), pp. 64–5; Spivak ‘Can the Subaltern Speak?’, and Mani, Contentious Traditions, for a fuller discussion of the way in which women’s issues (particularly sati) were interpreted by both colonial and Indian reformers. (158.) Among the more ‘savage’ indigenous practices was debt slavery. However, Hutchinson, like his predecessors, highlighted the fact that it was more a form of sanctuary for societal dependents. The chief’s home served as a ‘refuge’ to all. Some became ‘slaves’ of the chief, for instance, when seeking sanctuary for crimes such as murder, theft, and other serious misdemeanours. All orphans and widows without relatives became his slaves, and a man could bequeath his children at the time of his death to his chief as slaves. Slaves were treated generally well and partook of the chief’s resources and, eventually, could buy their freedom through the payment of one or two gyals or, for girls, a similar marriage price. A beautiful slave often became the chief’s concubine (Hutchinson, Eastern India and Assam District Gazetteers, p. 49).

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ (159.) Hutchinson, Eastern India and Assam District Gazetteers, p. 21. (160.) Hutchinson, Eastern India and Assam District Gazetteers, pp. 21–2. (161.) Hutchinson, Eastern India and Assam District Gazetteers, p. 21. (162.) The Chakma raja had adopted various aspects of the material culture and social etiquette of the Indian princes. See van Schendel, Mey, and Dewan, The Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 35. (163.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 89. (164.) Hutchinson, Eastern India and Assam District Gazetteers, pp. 28–31. (165.) Hutchinson, Eastern India and Assam District Gazetteers, p. 29. (166.) Hutchinson, Eastern India and Assam District Gazetteers, pp. 29–30. (167.) Hutchinson, Eastern India and Assam District Gazetteers, p. 30. (168.) Hutchinson, Eastern India and Assam District Gazetteers, pp. 30–1. (169.) Pachuau, Being Mizo, p. 102. (170.) Hutchinson, Eastern India and Assam District Gazetteers, p. 45. (171.) Pachuau, Being Mizo, p. 102. Pachuau notes that the name ‘Mizos’ only acquired a political meaning after 1946. (172.) Hutchinson, Eastern India and Assam District Gazetteers, pp. 49–50. (173.) Hutchinson, Eastern India and Assam District Gazetteers, p. 46. (174.) Hutchinson, Eastern India and Assam District Gazetteers, p. 47. (175.) Hutchinson, Eastern India and Assam District Gazetteers, p. 47. (176.) Hutchinson, Eastern India and Assam District Gazetteers, p. 47. (177.) Hutchinson, Eastern India and Assam District Gazetteers, p. 47. (178.) He described the Kuki man wearing a white turban, ordinarily wrapped around the head but, in some tribes, around the topknot that falls over the forehead, a ‘tight-fitting’ homespun coat, rather like a ‘mess-jacket’ fastened at the neck and a ‘body cloth’ (for example, lungi) wrapped around the waist or body. The chiefs dress in coloured woven, ‘handsome’ cloths, generally of stripes made in various colours, including green, yellow, and red on a dark blue background, which include zig-zag patterns. In contrast, the Kuki woman parts her hair in the centre and combes it back into a knot, and her clothing includes a Page 56 of 57

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Measuring Tribal ‘Otherness’ simple white coat of homespun cloth and a short petticoat, which ‘barely’ reaches the knees, with a cloth wrapped around her body (Hutchinson, Eastern India and Assam District Gazetteers, p. 46). (179.) Hutchinson, Eastern India and Assam District Gazetteers, p. 47. (180.) Collingham, ‘Chapter 5’, Imperial Bodies. (181.) Appadurai, ‘Number in the Colonial Imagination’, p. 330. (182.) Colonial officials emphasized practices such as marriage, diet, family life, and religious beliefs to identify and classify groups as tribes and associate them with criminal behaviour (Carl Skutsch, ed., Encyclopedia of the World’s Minorities, Volume 1 [London: Routledge, 2005], p. 1214). (183.) Hutchinson, Eastern India and Assam District Gazetteers, pp. 26–49. (184.) Pachuau, Being Mizo, p. 91. (185.) Dirks, Castes of Mind, p. 43.

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The Administrator (as) Anthropologist

An Endangered History: Indigeneity, Religion, and Politics on the Borders of India, Burma, and Bangladesh Angma Dey Jhala

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780199493081 Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019 DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199493081.001.0001

The Administrator (as) Anthropologist Reinventing Tribal Chiefs as Indian Princes in J.P. Mills’s 1926–7 Tour Diary, Report, and Proposals Angma Dey Jhala

DOI:10.1093/oso/9780199493081.003.0004

Abstract and Keywords This chapter addresses the ways in which early twentieth century anthropological ideas were applied to administrative policy, particularly the traditional leadership of the three circle chiefs in the CHT. It interprets J.P. Mills’s 1926–7 Tour Diary, the first anthropologically oriented study of the CHT. Mills defined tribal ‘authenticity’ through investigating later layers of cultural accretion; in the process, he reinvented aspects of tradition and ceremonial power. His proposals would influence the later 1935 Government of India Act, which further circumscribed the agency of the local chiefs, and would have implications for their subsequent engagement within the Indian nationalist movement and the partition of east Bengal. In particular, his work reveals how CHT chiefs increasingly saw themselves as transregional and global cosmopolitans, linked to an India-wide and world map, that crossed narrow definitions of language, religion, education, travel, gender, social etiquette, and dress. Keywords:   anthropology, ethnography, J.P. Mills, CHT chiefs, authenticity, 1935 Government of India Act, princely India

In the winter of 1926–7, John Philip Mills, a young administrator posted in the Naga Hills, who was making quite a name for himself as a specialist on the Northeast Frontier, toured the CHT for the first time. Over his two-month visit (a period which nearly mirrored the length of Francis Buchanan’s trip 130 years Page 1 of 41

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The Administrator (as) Anthropologist earlier), he trekked some 500 miles, interviewed a host of subjects, from the three circle chiefs, their sons and families to village headmen and priests, and maintained detailed notes on formal ceremonies, rituals, and forms of architecture and dress. His ensuing tour diary, which eventually resulted in a submitted report to the Bengal and Assam governments1 on the local chiefs and proposals for policy reform, were the classic writings of a colonial frontier administrator. But they also innovatively employed the new language of modern, early twentieth-century anthropology. If eighteenth-century travelogues incorporated the observational methods of botany and natural history and the nineteenth century utilized censuses, gazetteers, and surveys in the new science of enumerative statistics,2 the early twentieth century witnessed modern anthropology and anthropologically trained administrators engaging in the governance of the Empire, particularly in northeast India.3 The first few decades of (p.168) the twentieth century witnessed a proliferation in monographs on the tribes of northeast India and Burma by colonial administrators. Several of them, like Mills, would go on to become university professors in post-imperial Britain, and more broadly determine the intellectual development of the field after Independence. In Mills’s case, he embarked upon a distinguished academic career at SOAS in London. Mills’s tour diary, which, in the years after it was written, was largely forgotten and languished in a library archive, is both a conventional colonial administrator’s report as well as a detailed and rich record of original fieldwork. As the first administrator who actively ‘applied anthropological methods of inquiry and interpretation’ to the Hill Tracts,4 his work is interspersed Figure 4.1 ‘Rangamati Lake.’ with observations on local Source: Album V, Image V.060, J.P. Mills clothing, dress, and tribal Photographic Collection. SOAS Digital clanship as well as comparative Collections. Reproduced by Permission of references to other South Asian, the SOAS archives, University of London, Southeast Asian, and African London, UK. societies and anthropological theories of cultural development. He also collected ethnographic artefacts, which he sent back to the new Pitt Rivers Museum of Anthropology at Oxford and took photographs, which are now housed in the SOAS Special Collections. (See Figure 4.1 above Page 2 of 41

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The Administrator (as) Anthropologist and Figures 4.2–4.5 as examples of this visual record.) Long classified an ‘excluded area’, few earlier colonial anthropologists had travelled to the Hill Tracts. This policy of (p.169) restricted access would remain in place during the postcolonial period as national governments, concerned by the rise of tribal insurgency or autonomy movements, prevented both foreign and South Asian anthropologists from visiting the region.5 For this reason, Mills’s tour diary, report, and proposals are the only significant sources on the hill peoples during the volatile decade of the 1920s, when the Indian nationalist movement was beginning to energize. Mills would ultimately advocate for the continued excluded status of the area, culminating in his comments regarding the 1935 Government of India Act.6 Ostensibly, Mills was in the CHT to address problems of local mismanagement. The Government of Bengal, having received reports of corruption and miscarriages of justice by the three circle chiefs, the Chakma, Bohmong, and Mong rajas, directed Mills to formulate new propositions for administrative reform. His ensuing suggestions focussed on limiting the chiefs’ rights over the twin concerns of revenue tax (jhum) collection and local jurisprudence. Through employing anthropological methodologies, he recommended new duties and privileges for the chiefs and, in the process, redefined indigenous leadership. His anthropological leanings led him to advocate for the revival of tribal tradition over the perpetuation of what he perceived to be colonial introductions. Seeing himself as both an administrator and an anthropologist, he pointedly highlighted the inadequacies and problems of the colonial administration in the CHT, while simultaneously unearthing what he deemed as corrupt practices among the chiefs.7 For this reason, much of his time was spent discovering and redefining the essence of tribal culture and society, which he believed had not been diluted by colonial intervention and resulting social change. By protecting so-called ‘traditional’ or ‘authentic’ culture, Mills emphasized certain social practices and histories of genesis and evolution over others and made comparative regional analyses that may or may not have been applicable to the CHT. For instance, Mills suggested cultural connections between the CHT tribes and the indigenous chiefs of highland Indonesia, concluding that they were more ‘Indonesian’ than South Asian or Bengali in nature. Similarly, he compared the colonial educational systems of the CHT with those of the Ashanti people of West Africa. He also incorporated anthropological theory, particularly Malinowskian interpretations of reciprocity, in his understanding of the relationships between tribal chiefs and their clansmen. Such (p.170) cross-cultural, multi-regional comparisons, however tenuous, were not unusual in colonial reports, particularly when administrators were transferred from post to post in the Empire, but his conscious use of anthropological theory suggests that this was far more than a

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The Administrator (as) Anthropologist routine bureaucratic exercise for him. Rather, it was born of keen curiosity and interest in colonial knowledge collection and formation. However, in the process, Mills, like other colonial anthropologist-administrators before him, advocated policies for political, economic, and administrative reform, which reinvented ideas of indigenous ‘culture’ and ‘authenticity’. In particular, he questioned the legitimacy and sovereignty of the chiefs, whom he derided as colonial misfits. Mills argued that some of the chiefs’ traditions, such as jhum collection and customary law courts, were later inventions, introduced by external imperial powers, Mughal and British, and were not truly native to their tribal societies. Mills advocated, instead, a return to certain ‘authentic’ practices as well as the adoption of honours and privileges that would more closely reflect the chiefs’ roles as symbolic figureheads of their people rather than rulers with executive powers. Some of his recommendations would later be applied following the institution of the Government of India Act of 1935, when the chiefs, who had previously been charged with the administration of their circles, now found themselves acting more as advisors to the colonial government with their powers acutely limited.8 Mills’s recommendations were very similar to those given to the Indian princes of the native states, whose kingdoms covered two-fifths of the subcontinent and one-third of the population (excluding Burma).9 It is clear, at various points, that the CHT chiefs increasingly saw and promoted themselves as Indian princes in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and were identified as such by the colonial state. In transitioning from regional chiefs to India-wide princes, these indigenous rulers became hybrid colonial figures who straddled multiple cultures as well as geographic locations in British India and the larger empire. Their world views, attitudes, and political ideas of cultural allegiance were formed not only by their tribal constituencies and geographies, but also by bustling Calcutta and the London metropole. They adopted Bengali, Burmese, and English forms of education, Bengali and Western modes of dress and ornamentation, Hindu princely titles such as ‘raja’ (king) and ‘yuvraja’ (heirapparent), new systems of aristocratic (p.171) marriage alliance, forms of female social etiquette, reformed religious worship, and colonial princely architectural and aesthetic patronage, among other social practices, often at the express encouragement of British administrators, advisors, and tutors.10 Their ensuing cultural cosmopolitanism, in terms of their outlook on education, marriage choice, politics, and travel within and beyond their circles, also ironically branded them as constructed foreign ‘others’, ill-equipped to serve as the ‘authentic’ leaders of their own people and to advocate compassionately on their behalf. For colonial administrators like Mills, this imperial cosmopolitanism ultimately diminished the chiefs’ legitimacy as natural-born leaders of their own peoples and suggested that they were products of what I have termed as a ‘colonial confusion’.11 Many of Mills’s arguments against the chiefs—their absenteeism, Bengalization, Anglicization, corruption, moral turpitude, Page 4 of 41

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The Administrator (as) Anthropologist effeminacy, dandyism, and inappropriate choice of wives—were similar to those used to vilify the Indian princes during the 1920s and 1930s. Such perceived irregular predilections suggested that native leaders made poor or ineffectual rulers, thereby legitimating continued colonial intervention into princely state politics, in acts such as forced abdication and deposition, construction of regency councils, colonial wardships when princes were minors, and the prohibition of so-called illicit marital or cohabitating relationships. The vices of Indian princes or, in this case, those of the chiefs at a broader level also reflected India’s unfitness for self-governance or, in the language of Indian nationalism, for self-rule. Paradoxically, it was invariably earlier generations of colonial administrators who had first advocated these very same alien cultural practices, which now led to the estrangement of indigenous leaders from their own people. The social practices that Mills lamented—the trips of the chiefs to modern colonial metropolises such as Calcutta and Chittagong, their education in Englishmedium Calcutta universities, and the wedding of Hindu brides—were originally encouraged by the British themselves. Earlier, colonial officials had recommended companionate marriage, Western education, and travel to the chiefs as part of the larger language of ‘civilization’ and progress. The Chakma chief, Raja Bhuvan Mohan Roy—a particular subject of Mills’s ire—had been a child ward of the British, and it was no surprise that he saw himself as a product of his colonial upbringing. He embodied simultaneously several roles: a tribal chief, an eastern Indian prince, a (p.172) Calcutta nobleman, and a British Victorian gentleman, who aspired to place himself at the heart of the global empire. Thus, Mills’s tour diary and report serve to illustrate the rise of twentiethcentury anthropological administrators and their contested role in shaping imperial policy. In Mills’s case, his anthropological leanings led him to question local chieftainship and sovereignty in the CHT, which would have a lasting impact on how the region was understood and categorized in both the colonial and postcolonial periods. Before we continue, it is useful to start with a discussion on the twentieth-century evolution of anthropology as well as a short biography of Mills’s life.

Early-Twentieth-Century Colonial Anthropology Scholars have debated the blurred, often problematic, boundaries between anthropology and colonial governmentality. Some argue that anthropologists collaborated with colonial governments in advancing particular political and administrative outcomes, while others have minimized this connection, claiming they were ‘reluctant imperialists’. In the case of northeast India, Tanka Subba and Jelle Wouters suggest this correlation was ‘fairly straightforward’. Most ethnographers at some point were colonial administrators. The majority were not formally trained, but were missionaries, travellers, and explorers who Page 5 of 41

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The Administrator (as) Anthropologist engaged in ethnography.12 By the early twentieth century, there was a marked change in how ethnography was conducted in the Northeast Frontier and who collected it. This emphasis evolved out of the ‘teach yourself ethnography’ guidebook, Notes and Queries on Anthropology (1874), which was prepared by the Ethnographical Society founded in 1843.13 Subsequent works focussed on the evolution, origin, and spread of particular cultures. By the twentieth century, this need for understanding evolutionary history was heightened by the shifting political climate, where the colonial government felt the need to better understand the peoples it administrated. The Chief commissioner of Assam, Sir Bampfylde Fuller, proposed the publication of a series of monographs on significant castes and tribes of Assam, to be written ‘by experienced administrators with intimate knowledge of the people concerned’.14 (p.173) Most of these works had seven common structural similarities. These included: (i) an ‘evolutionary paradigm’ for each tribe, based upon the earlier work of Tylor, Morgan, Spencer, and Frazer; (ii) a ‘uniform style’ with ‘minor variations’ in the ‘naming and sequencing of chapters’, while the content varied depending upon an individual ethnographer’s data and his personal interests; (iii) not being ‘monolithic’ portraits of tribes or attempts at representing them as ‘primitive isolates’; (iv) ‘negative stereotyping’ (although there were exceptions); (v) a ‘Eurocentric evaluation’, which contrasted the tribes unfavourably with Western paradigms (this view would lessen as the colonial era ended); (vi) a positive evaluation of the role of Christian missionaries with preference given to Christian over non-Christian communities; and lastly (vii) a deliberate omission of narratives regarding local resistance to colonial rule, whether towards taxation policies, religious proselytization, administrative or judicial intervention, or land surveillance systems.15 Mills, as well as his colleague, J.H. Hutton, emerged out of this new system of colonial anthropology. Hutton was Mills’s immediate superior, friend, and admirer, with whom he shared a close collaboration and the common interest of writing on the hill tribes.16 Hutton wrote supplementary notes and a detailed bibliography for Mills’s The Ao Naga (1926), although he was not a trained anthropologist. After retiring from the colonial service, he would enter academia, serving as the William Wyse Professor of Social Anthropology at Cambridge from 1936 to 1950 and, in 1938, the Frazer Lecturer at Oxford. As a member of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, he received the Annandale Gold Medal in 1937, rose to the presidency of the Royal Anthropological Institute, and was appointed Honorary Fellow of St. Catherine’s College, Cambridge.17 Mills would later follow him into the academy.

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The Administrator (as) Anthropologist Mills, the Young Anthropologist John Philip Mills was born in 1890 at the end of the Victorian era in Stockport, Cheshire. He had a conventional education of the English upper classes: he was first sent to public school at Winchester College, Hampshire, and then up to Corpus Christi College, Oxford.18 While studying the Greats at Oxford, he was first introduced to anthropology. Oxford had established a diploma in anthropology in 1905, a few years before he began his degree, and Mills would meet (p.174) Henry Balfour, the director of the Pitt Rivers Museum of Anthropology, before joining the Indian Civil Service.19 This would be a seminal meeting as Balfour would have a lifelong influence on Mills. Not only would he suggest that Mills adopt an anthropological mode of inquiry for his subsequent travels abroad as a colonial administrator, but he also advised Mills to collect ethnographic and photographic material. The two men maintained a meaningful correspondence for several years during the time Mills was posted to northeast India.20 Balfour toured with Mills in the Naga Hills during October and November 1922, at which time Mills introduced him to the Naga villages, where he had been collecting ethnographic materials for several years. Four years later, when Mills visited the CHT, he also gathered some 89 ethnographic items, which he first loaned to the Pitt Rivers in 1927 and then later donated to the museum in 1928, where they still remain.21 Balfour wrote the preface for Mills’s second book, The Ao Nagas (1926), arguing that it was a valuable account of indigenous customs and beliefs, reflective of an empathetic and ‘enlightened’ colonial administration.22 Mills had entered the Indian Civil Service in 1913, and was posted to the Naga Hills in 1916 when he was 26 years old. He would go on to serve nearly 30 years in the Northeast, first as a subdivisional officer, then, after a promotion in 1933, as a deputy commissioner at administrative headquarters in Kohima.23 In 1928, the colonial government founded the Department of Historical and Antiquarian Studies and Mills was appointed as one of its directors.24 More than a decade later, in 1943, he rose to advisor to the governor for tribal areas and states, addressing issues on tribal matters across the Northeast. He would make a name for himself as a specialist on the peoples of the Naga Hills, publishing his three classics of ethnographic writing, The Lhota Nagas (1922), The Ao Nagas (1926), and the Rengma Nagas (1937),25 during this period. While ethnographies on the Nagas thrived through his work and those of his contemporaries, the information on the CHT remained far more limited and vague.26

Mills’s Tour of the CHT Mills’s diary began on 18 November 1926 and ended on 13 January 1927. He was accompanied by the deputy commissioner of the CHT, Mr Stevens, throughout his visit. His diary entries included the (p.175) itinerary for the Page 7 of 41

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The Administrator (as) Anthropologist trip, descriptions of his meetings with specific individuals and the topics discussed, his own personal interpretations on the history and status of the chiefs, and his goals for their improvement.27 Due to the fact his visit was only a few months long, his record was superficial in nature. He acknowledged these limitations himself: ‘Such accounts can only come from those who have lived among the people.... A casual visitor like my self can only record what he sees; beliefs and social systems must remain hidden from him.’ However, he still managed to trek a wide distance of several hundred miles, and collect writings and photographs on the region.28 The primary reason he was sent to the Hill Tracts was due to perceived mismanagement by the chiefs, which had forced the government in 1925 to take plough rent collection into their own hands. Such issues had been discussed in prior official correspondence.29 These concerns led to the perception that the chiefs were, in Mills’s words, in ‘danger’ of becoming ‘useless’.30 As a government emissary, his role was to bring the chiefs in line with the British administration. To do so, he first collected information on what he called the ‘tribal’ foundations of their indigenous societies, to prevent them becoming demoted to ‘mere figureheads’.31 He based his report on the oral testimonies culled from his original ethnographies, earlier publications on the CHT, his prior knowledge of the Naga Hills, and his anthropological understanding.32 From the beginning, he was unsure if he would be able to settle the matter.33

Anthropologist as Administrator From the outset, Mills saw his tour of the CHT as an opportunity to conduct new ethnography. By the time he arrived in the region, he already had 10 years of experience in the Northeast and an Oxford education in anthropology. Wolfgang Mey argues that he would have seen himself as an anthropologist first and an administrator second.34 Thus, while employed by the government to assist with issues of local administration, particularly curtailing the political influence of the chiefs, his tour diary simultaneously served as field notes on the peoples of the region.35 This position, as administrator and anthropologist, gave him a unique perspective. Through anthropological systems of inquiry, description, and interpretation, Mills created an ‘ethnographic reality’ with ‘reliable and correct description[s]’, according to Mey.36 (p.176) Mills deemed the standard information on the Hill Tracts to be both paradoxical and lacking in precision from an anthropological point of view.37 He knew of Lewin’s work but was unfamiliar with most of the other colonial writings on the region before his trip. While on tour, he did read a number of them,38 many of which have been discussed in previous chapters, including administrative and census reports.39 However, he concluded that these previous works on the Hill Tracts were inaccurate and viewed the hill people through a falsely occidental lens. Prior Page 8 of 41

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The Administrator (as) Anthropologist colonial administrators had placed Victorian perceptions of society and development upon the hill peoples in Mills’s mind. He thought that such Victorian attitudes were outdated, misleading, and dangerous. He did, however, appreciate Lewin’s work, whose books he cited at various times in his own report and proposals to government. In trying to expose colonial misreadings, Mills followed an anthropological style of analysis, which emphasized fieldwork and data.40 This led him to search for ‘authentic’ narratives of tribal genesis and cultural diffusion over time. He also emphasized understanding the role of traditional practices in a contemporary present. In the process, Mills was trying to discover the essence of a tribal identity that had been untouched by subsequent colonial influence.41 In the process, he redefined and reinvented what was authentic and essentially ‘tribal’, advocating that the chiefs cease practising certain traditions which he believed were not fundamental to their duties.42 Furthermore, Mills’s uses of anthropology created a particular kind of administrative response. Concerned like his predecessors in the past by the exploitation of the hill people by plainsmen, many of his recommendations emphasized preserving ‘tribal’ customs, languages, and institutions in the context of growing internal and external political unrest.43 His primary goal was to protect indigenous peoples from inauthentic or foreign influences. To that end, Mills believed that colonial administrators needed to empathize with and ‘like’ their frontier subjects44 by imbedding themselves among the people of their districts and striving to truly understand their own ‘authentic’ practices.

The Indonesian Connection In exploring histories of cultural authenticity, Mills would question the legitimacy of the circle chiefs, in part by arguing that they had (p.177) Southeast Asian (Indonesian) origins, not South Asian ones. Such colonial interpretations would affect how both the colonial state (and the postcolonial nation states of Pakistan and Bangladesh to follow) would classify the hill tribes as non-South Asian others, further undermining their validity as the original, autochthone peoples of this border zone. In large part, his ethnographic analysis suggested that the hill peoples were similar to the chiefs of upland Indonesia, specifically with regard to agricultural cultivation, forms of clan leadership, and practices of reciprocity.45 Mills observed in his tour diary that when he visited Rangamati on 20 December 1926, he saw abundant examples of Indonesian influence in forms of local architecture, clothing, shifting cultivation, and the use of tension loom, firethong, hearth, and fish traps. He also encountered Indonesian chieftainship in the home of the Bohmong chief.46 Indeed, he classified all three rajas, Chakma, Bohmong, and Mong, as quintessentially Indonesian in nature.47

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The Administrator (as) Anthropologist While he observed that this Indonesian connection was self-evident on the surface, he conceded that making connections in terms of social structure required more careful analysis. He speculated that this was in large part due to the subsequent and confusing adoptions of later South Asian cultural practices. He argued that Bengali Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist customs had been grafted upon an Indonesian social foundation, which was further complicated by an additional layer of British influence. These Indonesian origins were most clearly reflected in the patterns of CHT tribal leadership. While observing the Bohmong chief, Mills noted that he was addressed as ‘father’ just like the Indonesian chief. Furthermore, the chief was bound in a relationship of reciprocity to his clansmen. Chiefs received gifts from their subjects in exchange for protection and security, which, he argued, was also Indonesian in nature. In interpreting this reciprocal relationship, Mills referred to leading anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowksi’s work, Crime and Custom in Savage Society, arguing that reciprocity was the foundation of service in all primitive societies.48 He used such connections to suggest that the hill chiefs’ collection of tax and the payments of first fruits were not a ‘traditional’ privilege of tribal chieftainship but a later, foreign, cultural introduction. In making these Indonesian connections, Mills argued that the hill chiefs were not true chiefs at all since they had wandered so far from (p.178) original customary practice. He argued that the terms ‘“tribal Chiefs” and “tribal jurisdiction”’ were misleading. Nor were the chiefs like the princes of India either, in Mills’s mind. Rather, he concluded that there were no true chiefs in the Hill Tracts: the Chakma chief was only a ‘sarbarakar’ to the Chakmas, while the Maghs, Kukis, Mros, Khyengs, and Khumis had no chiefs, and the Tipperas paid allegiance to the maharaja of Tripura. Continuing with his Indonesian connection, Mills concluded that ‘each clan, as elsewhere in Indonesia, still in its heart of hearts regards itself as entirely independent of any other.’49 The Indonesian comparisons served to support his arguments relating to the reform of traditional chiefly duties and the implementation of newer privileges. He posited that the jhum tax and the giving of first fruits was not an indigenous custom but rather a Mughal invention, as there was no such practice recorded in Indonesian accounts.50 He contended that the jhum tax was a Mughal invention first conceived as a tribute in cotton and after 1789, in cash payments, and was appropriated by the chiefs who later required both cotton and first fruits from their subjects. For these reasons, he argued that the chiefs should no longer serve as revenue collectors or magistrates, as neither were ancient nor fundamental duties of tribal leadership. He believed that the chiefs were incapable of performing the required duties with their attitudes towards ‘book-keeping, rules, codes and inspecting officers’.51 Mills noted that in jhum collection, the chiefs were, in any Page 10 of 41

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The Administrator (as) Anthropologist case, violating traditional practice. For instance, the Chakma chief required widows and mauza headmen to pay taxes, who were ordinarily exempt from doing so according to tribal customary law.52 To bolster such conclusions, Mills described an ‘ethnographic encounter’ with the Bohmong chief’s son, who told him that the jhum tax was historically presented only to larger imperial or paramount powers, perhaps originally to the king of Arakan and, subsequently, to the Mughals but not to local clan chiefs. Mills also referenced Lewin’s Wild Races of South-Eastern India to argue that the chiefs were like talukdars, selling and subletting land.53 It is puzzling why Mills made these cross-cultural comparisons with Indonesia.54 Indeed, several of his arguments were flawed and reveal a prevailing ignorance of the traditional systems of South Asian kingship and clanship. For instance, ‘father’ was an ancient term of endearment (p.179) and reverence in Indic kingship. The sovereign was often addressed as the ‘Bap’ or ‘father’ of his people (praja), and his state or kingdom, the ‘Ma–Bap’ or ‘mother–father’.55 ‘Father’ has also long been used throughout South Asia as an honorific title for the head of a clan.56 Clan members often saw and still see themselves as sons of the clan chief or head of the clan (kul), as do the Hindu Rajputs of western India, who derive their origins from Sanskrit texts and ancient Hindu Kshatriya warriors and gods.57 Indeed, this legacy continues today in postcolonial South Asia, where ‘father’ or ‘bap’ is used to address prominent persons such as politicians,58 religious leaders, and community elders. Furthermore, the sharing of gifts, while more formalized in the traditions of nazar (a valuable gift often in the form of gold or silver coins) in the Mughal darbar,59 existed in pre-Islamic South Asia and was a fundamental part of Hindu and Buddhist kingship in the subcontinent.60 Mills concluded that jhum tax collection was originally merely a Mughal tribute required from the clan chiefs, who, in turn, forced it from their subjects in fear of Mughal military reprisals and, subsequently, used for their own purposes.61 He particularly emphasized the importance of history in formulating tribal customs, believing historical precedence to be the key to traditional sovereignty, authority, and the perpetuation of inalienable or customary practices and duties. As jhum tax was not an ancient tradition,62 it never was a legitimate part of tribal culture. To reinforce such historicist arguments for contemporary practice, Mills went on to include histories of each of the three circle chiefs in his report. But Mills’s reading of history was often troubling, as it was inflexible and insensitive to the inevitable social changes that occurred over time, frequently ignoring instances of intercultural and inter-religious expressions of hybridity. Mills similarly had negative views on the role of chiefs as lawmakers. With the exception of the Bohmong chief, he believed them incapable of ruling fairly on legal cases.63 He believed they forced extortionate fees, took too long to Page 11 of 41

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The Administrator (as) Anthropologist adjudicate cases, and did not keep good records.64 In the Chakma chief’s court, he saw ‘dilatory’ disposal of cases. Every part of the legal process involved extortionate fees, and claimants were forced to pay off members of the chief’s Bengali staff. Furthermore, he suggested the chief was rarely present on the dates assigned for hearings and that his brother-in-law, Krishna Kishore (p.180) Dewan, was becoming wealthy as he served as both complainant and judge in various cases.65 Thus, in arguing that the CHT chiefs were not like the princes of India proper,66 and by advancing their Indonesian roots, Mills, in fact, provided several instances of how they were similar to Indian chiefs and princes and how their ‘traditions’ were rooted as much in South Asian cultural histories as those from external points of reference. Indeed, while he might emphasize their dissimilarity and distance from the Indian princes, many of Mills’s subsequent suggestions for reform and prohibition of chiefly ‘excess’ were parallel to those deployed by the colonial government to address the Indian princes during the 1920s and 1930s. He would incorporate the same kind of language that his fellow colonial administrators, serving as residents and political agents in princely states, used when curbing native authority and sovereignty. What is also stunningly clear is that the chiefs, particularly the Chakma chief, saw themselves as Indian princes and aspired to be part of that larger royal fellowship. After the Simon Commission of 1930 and the ensuing Round Table Conference that proposed an all-India federation with the princely states, the hill chiefs, along with the recommendation of the then-CHT deputy commissioner, petitioned the Government of India to have the Hill Tracts be designated alongside the princely state of Tripura as a ‘Wholly Excluded Area’ in 1933.67 Such choices reveal that the chiefs saw themselves as connected to the semi-autonomous princely states, rather than British India, in addition to their desire to ally with northeast Indian hill regions over the Bengali plains.

Chiefs as Indian Princes: Defining ‘Tribal Authenticity’ Mills’s anthropological interpretations of tribal clanship and chieftainship were in many ways adroit semi-scholarly arguments for an old and familiar colonial policy: the construction and simultaneous suppression and subordination of traditional elites and their systems of power. The government of Bengal originally sent Mills to the CHT for the express purpose of bringing recalcitrant chiefs into line, particularly with regard to revenue collection and tribal law. Mills studied their histories and forms of status, privilege, and duty as a way to undermine those customs which he labelled not truly ‘tribal’ in nature, as noted above, (p.181) thereby legitimating colonial reform and intervention (the very kinds of interventions which he, ironically, argued had alienated the chiefs from their own people and prevented them from being effective rulers). He conceived of future roles and new tasks for them. Mills hoped that they would ultimately ‘advise’ the Bengal government not as ‘mere figure-heads’, but as reformed and superior local leaders with specific duties.68 Much of his language was similar to Page 12 of 41

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The Administrator (as) Anthropologist that used to describe the Indian princes, employing the oft-deployed themes of moral weakness, vice, and inefficiency. In recommending certain duties and privileges for the CHT chiefs, Mills was placing them within the established honours system used to reward Indian princes, which had been in place since the mid-nineteenth century. In 1858, after the Mutiny and subsequent transition from Company to Crown Rule, Queen Victoria had avowed to ‘“respect the rights, dignity and honour of native princes as our own” because they were the quintessential “natural leaders” of South Asian society.’69 Indian princes and indigenous rulers throughout the British Empire became part of a single hierarchy with the British monarch at its zenith.70 Princely states were placed on a graduated plane of seniority, reflected in gun salute order. Queen Victoria led with a salute of 101 guns, followed by the viceroy, as representative of the monarch, at 31 guns, commensurate with members of the British royal family, and then the Indian princes, whose salutes ranged between 21 and 9 guns. The leading states, at 21 guns, were Hyderabad (largest population), Kashmir (largest in territory), Mysore (third largest in size and population), and Baroda and Gwalior, due to their Maratha heritage.71 In 1876, Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli officially proclaimed Queen Victoria as the empress of India and in the year following, Delhi would host its first imperial durbar of 1877.72 The ensuing multi-day celebrations incorporated both the majesty of Indic and European kingship through the use of Mughal and Anglo Norman royal symbols.73 Most importantly, it served as a showplace for the assembled princes, who were awarded new honours and privileges for their service in suppressing the Mutiny. It thus adopted aspects of the pre-colonial Mughal ceremonial, where nazar (gold coins) was given by subordinates to the Mughal emperor in exchange for khilats (robes of honour and associated merits).74 Curzon, who served as the viceroy from 1899 to 1905, further incorporated the spectacle of Eastern courts, particularly royal (p.182) palaces, dress, and etiquette,75 in the even more elaborate pageantry of the 1903 Durbar. In the following decades, the colonial state would create imperial ‘honours’, such as medals, seating placement at durbars, and orders and knighthoods, in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Colonial administrators as well as members of the British royal family hoped that this honours system would make indigenous rulers loyal to the Empire through personal connections and, thereby, prevent a second Mutiny. They hoped that by respecting regional symbols and social etiquettes of kingship and by rewarding good governance and meritorious acts, the prices would become faithful subjects of the Crown. Many of the duties that Mills advocated were similar to those recommended to Indian princes with regard to agricultural, economic, legislative, or educational reform. His suggestions for certain privileges, many of which fall into the Page 13 of 41

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The Administrator (as) Anthropologist categories of symbolic rather than executive power, were also extensions of existing rights granted to Indian princes. Thus, Mills recreated the tribal chiefs as Indian princes (although he denied that they shared the same ancestry or customs and could not be classified similarly). In the process, he revealed how they already perceived themselves as India-wide princes in both their resistance to and acceptance of colonial policies.

Aspiring to Be Princes Having introduced an anthropological analysis to the layers of identity formation in the CHT, Mills then addressed the history of the chiefs. This was no easy task as there were no reliable sources of a written nature, and remembered history was only a few generations past.76 Without textual sources, Mills based much of his interpretations on a note by an earlier colonial administrator from 1898.77 All three chiefs, he argued, were Indonesian in origin but some were more or less Bengalized. In particular, I will address his reading of the then-Chakma chief, as many of his policies for reform were addressed to the Chakma leadership. He also argued that the Chakma rulers were most estranged from their ‘traditional’ roots. Arguably, they were the chiefs who resisted colonial interference the most, even while adopting many elements of colonial culture, education, and etiquette. In contrast (p.183) with the Chakma rulers, Mills was more favourable in his reading of the Bohmong chief, whom he believed was the most authentic of the chiefs, having adopted fewer external influences. I will begin with addressing Mills’s interpretation of the Bohmong chief before going into a fuller analysis of the Chakma raja and his connections with both Bengali and Indian princely hierarchies. The Maghs, Mills observed, were of Indonesian stock, a common heritage shared by peoples from northern Arakan to Borneo and even further. He argued that they had come to the Hill Tracts from Arakan, and those who dwelled in the Mong raja’s circle came after the Bohmong. Mills observed that the Bohmong chief was far more Burmese than Bengali in his cultural markers, for his people had adopted Burmese forms of dress and temple architecture, the Buddhist priests wore yellow robes, and the Bohmong raj family had long intermarried with the Burmese elite. He argued that the Bohmong chief should be the premier, senior chief, not the Chakma raja.78

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The Administrator (as) Anthropologist (p.184) While Mills admitted that the Bohmong chief, like his fellow chiefs, was ‘unscrupulous’, he also believed that the Bohmong chief had the greatest potential for positive reformation due to the respect and fear of his people. If controlled appropriately and wisely, the Bohmong raja could change for the better. ‘Troublesome though he has been, and may be, he would go excellently if ridden on a curb by a man with good hands,’79 Mills wrote. Here, Mills used the familiar language of colonial discipline in describing the chief as fickle, childlike, and animalistic: a horse to be ridden, curbed psychologically and literally by the firm hands of a gentle and strict taskmaster. For Mills, Bengalization was a dangerous influence on the chiefs. He particularly saw the Chakma chief as a pernicious

Figure 4.2 ‘Family Portrait (Bohmong’s Son and Wife).’ Source: Album V, Image V. 047, J.P. Mills Photographic Collection. SOAS Digital Collections. Reproduced by Permission of the SOAS archives, University of London, London, UK.

influence, whom he judged as the most corrupt of the chiefs. Indeed, much of his proposal on disciplining the chiefs is addressed specifically to the Chakma chief, Raja Bhuvan Mohan Roy. In part, this was due to the fact that Raja Bhuvan Mohan saw himself not only as the natural leader of his own peoples but also as a transformational figure within the larger sphere of imperial politics. Mills interpreted Chakma dynastic history in a way that delegitimized traditional forms of sovereignty. He privileged particular genesis stories over others and emphasized that Chakmas were of ‘mixed blood’ rather than ‘authentic’ or pure strains. Even the word ‘Chakma’ itself, he argued, was derived from a Maghi term, ‘soak’, a ‘somewhat offensive term’ translating as ‘of mixed blood’ or ‘of impure worship.’80 As expressed in Buchanan’s botanical readings of religious identity, Mills was similarly uncomfortable with ideas of ethnic, racial, or religious intermingling among the peoples of the CHT.

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The Administrator (as) Anthropologist Mills refuted Chakma claims of ancient Hindu or Buddhist ancestry, categorically denying the validity of their Hindu Kshatriya roots. He argued that the story of the Hindu princes of Champanagar, whom Lewin had earlier described, was an invalid myth, a constructed fallacy.81 Furthermore, he used racial, anthropometric references to argue for the Chakmas’ Southeast Asian rather than Indian ancestry. He denied that they had Hindu or Kshatriya origins due to their cephalic index, which he deemed clearly Indonesian in origin.82 Denied a Hindu or Buddhist prehistory, Mills argued that the Chakmas were the mongrel mixed offspring of three groups: the Maghs, who were retreating from the Mughals; Tippera communities, with whom they had intermarried; (p.185) and Mughal soldiers, who occupied the region around Cox’s Bazaar in the second half of the seventeenth century.83 Mills used two primary socio-cultural practices—local forms of ornamentation and the use of Muslim names—to present such misleading and troublesome claims of ancestry and religious conversion. He observed that Chakma women wore ‘Muhammedan ornaments’ in their ears,84 and that the dynasty had adopted Mughal titles, such as the honorific of Khan. He used both practices to support his theory of their earlier conversion to Islam. He argued that it was only later, in 1873, that Rani Kalindi reverted the Chakmas back to Buddhism (although he was also quick to assert her adoption of certain Hindu customs and attitudes towards succession law).85 These references to ornamentation and use of Islamic titles are poor examples to further a faulty argument. As Wolfgang Mey observes, neither practice indicates that the Chakmas were practitioners of Islam or ever had been, and merely reflect their adoption of certain Indo-Islamic forms of material culture, social etiquette, and privilege, which had been practised by Muslim and non-Muslim elites alike throughout the subcontinent during the medieval period, particularly by provincial princes wishing to ally with and show fealty to the imperial centre.86 Mey suggests that one reason Chakma women wore ‘Muslim’ ornaments was that there was no existing tradition of silver or goldsmithing in the Hill Tracts. Even during the late twentieth century, Chakmas wore Bengalimade silver jewellery.87 In terms of the adoption of ‘Khan’, it was an honorific, not a name sui generis, signifying religious affiliation, but a title equal to ‘Lord’ or ‘Prince’. Mey references Hobson-Jobson’s Anglo-Indian dictionary, noting it was a common affix used in Hindustan at every rank. In a system of shifting, competitive politics, the chiefs strategically incorporated these titles to forge diplomatic and political relationships with the Mughals.88 In a similar manner, they incorporated the use of ‘raja’ and ‘yuvraj’—Sanskritic, Hindu-derived titles—during the colonial period in order to associate themselves with the Indian (Hindu) princely elite and the Bengali aristocracy.

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The Administrator (as) Anthropologist Mills not only critiqued the ethnic and religious histories of the Chakma chief but also suggested that earlier chiefs had constructed an ‘artificial’ clan authority based on hereditary tribal leadership by stripping dewans and village headmen of power and centring it on the (p.186) Durbar or the Crown. He argued this began during the nineteenth century under Raja Dharam Bux Khan and his widow, Rani Kalindi. Mills suggested that Rani Kalindi created a new class of dewans, who were effectively deprived of political influence, which was further affected by the introduction of the mauza system.89 In Mills’s mind, such policies led to an era of oppression as she abused her position by employing Bengali ‘munsiffs’ and remained a thorn in the side of the government until her death in 1874, with the sole exception of her capture of mutineering sepoys.90 As one carefully reads through Mills’s various oral sources, it becomes clear that most of his interview subjects were village headmen and the families of powerful or aspirant dewans when he mentions them by their names. Dewans, like the aristocracy associated with any monarchy, were competitively engaged in stripping power from the sovereign or finding methods to overshadow him as counsellors, kinsmen through marriage or bankers to the crown. It would be in their interest to share such grievances with colonial officials, who, like Mills, were openly searching for examples of misconduct by the chiefs. For that reason, his interpretations should be read with some healthy scepticism. By questioning the Chakma chief’s authority through such re-readings of history, Mills bitingly critiqued Rani Kalindi’s three successors: Raja Harish Chandra, Raja Bhuvan Mohan, and his eldest son, the young heir, Nalinaksha. Much of his language focussed on character weaknesses, particularly instances of excessive indulgence and alienation from traditional lands and peoples, emphasized through living or travel outside their circle boundaries. His highly pejorative descriptions read eerily similar to those used by colonial administrators to stereotype Indian princes as ineffectual, hot-headed, and morally lax in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries.91 Mills emphasized for instance that Raja Harish Chandra was too weak to force his grandmother’s deposition (this is in marked contrast with Chakma sources, which lauded his devotion to her and acceptance of her maternal authority).92 Mills suggested that he was cowardly, being ‘far too frightened’ of his grandmother and, when he became raja upon her death, had little interest in living amongst his people (as he did not wish to leave Rajanagar for Rangamati), much like his grandmother. He even argued that the then-chief, Raja Bhuvan Mohan Roy, would prefer Chittagong to Rangamati.93 (p.187) Mills emphasized Harish Chandra’s vices, which he believed emerged despite the benefits of a colonial education. Mills argued that his was an ineffectual reign, which did not reflect well on his childhood as a ward of the government. Ultimately, Harish Chandra’s iniquities, such as ‘drunkenness, Page 17 of 41

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The Administrator (as) Anthropologist incompetency and contumacy’, were so great, that he was ordered to be deposed in April 1884, and he died within the year.94 His successor, also a ward of the British, received no better treatment in Mills’s report. Mills similarly characterized Raja Bhuvan Mohan as ‘weak’, but with the additional challenges of being inherently ‘obstinate’, ‘clever and shortsighted’.95 A minor at the time of his father’s death, he was made a ward of the British, and received an education under their auspices. In 1897, he became chief and was given the personal title of ‘raja’.96 From the beginning, Raja Bhuvan Mohan saw himself as a prince of the first order. In a photograph from the year of his investiture in 1897, the raja clearly ornamented himself in the formal regalia of Indic kingship: an amalgamation of Indo-Turkic symbolism, colonial Indian splendour, and Victorian gentility. He wore a plumed turban, a brocade tunic, and patent leather shoes, presenting himself to the camera as ‘a self-assured colonial Indian prince, completely at ease in a late-Victorian photo studio’.97 This identity would strongly inform how he interacted with the colonial government. According to Mills, Raja Bhuvan Mohan was angling for greater personal power, in the form of merits and honorariums within the CHT, as well as influence outside the region. Mills believed he was overly influenced by his powerful brother-in-law, Krisna Kishore Dewan of the Mulima clan, who was his senior in age and lived in the royal household.98 Mills particularly impugned Bhuvan Mohan Roy’s eldest son, the young Nalinaksha, for various physical and character flaws. Using emasculating language, he emphasized that Nalinaksha was a sickly youth of poor physique, a ‘vacant and negative young man’. Mills connected most of these character flaws with the corrupting influence of Bengali culture, for Nalinaksha was educated in Calcutta and had recently married the granddaughter of Hindu social reformer Keshub Chandra Sen, an eminent member of the Calcutta intelligentsia. It is possible that Mills feared she might one day govern through her husband (and indeed she later served as regent when she became a widow and, in the postcolonial period, as a minister (p.188) in the Bangladesh government).99 Such an interethnic marriage, Mills surmised later in his report, would ultimately yield children who were not ‘pure’ Chakmas and would be incapable or disinclined to fulfil their obligations as chiefs.100 Mills, in particular, records a private conversation with Raja Bhuvan Mohan Roy where he asks what a chief’s role should be. Raja Bhuvan Mohan ‘naively replied “to look after the welfare of the people, but we should be aggrandised.” He was always eager to talk about dignities and the smallness of his income as compared with what he deserved, but never about duties.’ This neglect of ‘traditional’ duties was reflected most egregiously, Mills argued, in the raja’s absence from his circle and his unfamiliarity with most of its territory, as well as his adoption of Bengali cultural practices. Mills bemoaned the fact that the raja spent too much time in Chittagong district rather than administrating the affairs Page 18 of 41

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The Administrator (as) Anthropologist of his circle.101 He also observed that Raja Bhuvan Mohan did not know the Chakma script, and believed Bengali culture was the ‘ideal’, even when Mills pointed out that there was no place for the chiefs within it. Mills argued that the raja wished to ‘ape a Bengali zemindar’. This ‘Bengalization’ was reflected most vividly in the marriages of the raja’s sons to Bengali ladies and Hindu princesses, as well as his adoption of Bengali aristocratic etiquette with regard to female seclusion, such as purdah.102 Raja Bhuvan Mohan’s marriages for his sons to Bengali women and his adoption of Bengali forms of ‘purdah’ were not simply endeavours to become more ‘Bengalized’, but also reflected his ambition to join a much larger fellowship: that of the India-wide princely states. ‘Purdah’ was practised by Hindu and Muslim royalty and aristocracy throughout Bengal, but it was also a broader custom adopted in the north Indian rajvada, or circle of royal dynasties, most notably by the Rajput courts of western India which most regional princes, including those based in eastern India, emulated due to their perceived antiquity, resistance to foreign invaders, and descent from Hindu gods and heroes. The Rajput kingdoms had adopted the practice of purdah during the Muslim conquest of western India,103 but remained staunchly Hindu throughout this period. Much of Indian royalty, whether the Maratha states of central India, the Sikh kingdoms of the Punjab, the eastern Indian kingdoms of Tripura and Cooch Behar, Mysore in the south, or the Hindu Bengali aristocracy, would model themselves on Rajput social norms and ally (p.189) themselves, with Rajput dynasties through marriage when possible.104 Raja Bhuvan Mohan, by introducing Bengali brides and forms of female seclusion, not only saw himself as a landed aristocratic Calcutta nobleman but also as a part of this larger princely order. Additionally, he did not choose any Bengali lady as a daughter-in-law. His son’s bride was the granddaughter of Keshub Chandra Sen, a leading Calcutta religious reformer and intellectual. Sen, believed to be the Martin Luther of Hinduism, propounded a ‘superstition free’ version of Hindu spirituality, which appealed to occidental, Christian sensibilities: a theistic view of divinity that emphasized a belief in one God, eradication of caste distinctions, monogamy, and greater education for women. In 1872, he recommended the British government pass the legislation known as the Brahmo Marriage Act, which increased the minimum marital age for girls to fourteen and boys to eighteen.105 His family was part of the larger Bengali literati and intelligentsia, being close associates of the Tagores, as well as eastern Indian royals and, in time, with Indian princes throughout the subcontinent. Keshub Chandra Sen’s daughters, Sunity Devi and Sucharu Devi, married the maharajas of Cooch Behar and Mayurbhanj in 1878 and 1904 respectively.106

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The Administrator (as) Anthropologist The maharanis, enterprising and educated women for their day, published their memoirs or later had biographies written of them, and Raja Bhuvan Mohan Roy most likely would have known of their life histories. In 1913, Sunity Devi’s son, Maharaja Jitendra Narayan of Cooch Behar, would elope with the Maratha princess of Baroda, Indira, whom he had met at the 1911 Delhi Durbar, in a scandalous love match of the day, and his daughter, Ayesha, in turn, wedded the Rajput maharaja of Jaipur in 1940.107 Other members of the Sen family married into the Sikh kingdom of princely Kapurthala.108 In addition, Raja Bhuvan Mohan wed his second son to a princess from Tripura, the neighbouring princely state. The CHT chiefs would attempt to join a confederation with Tripura in the 1930s and again in the 1940s (as a part of an eastern states agency) during the lead up to Partition. Furthermore, many of these royal families made connections into the broader world of the Empire. The Cooch Behar royals visited London for Queen Victoria’s golden jubilee in 1887, where they made a very favourable impression on the Queen, who later served as godmother to their son, Victor, born in 1888. They would maintain close connections with the English royals as well as the larger British aristocracy, hosting (p.190) them in England, Calcutta, and Cooch Behar, and kept a Europeanized household, serving European cuisine and enjoying Western sport and entertainment.109 Raja Bhuvan Mohan’s daughter-inlaw, Benita Sen, had herself been born in Surrey, when her father was studying for the Bar in 1907.110 Her English birth furthered the Chakma chief’s ambitions for global connections beyond India. For Raja Bhuvan Mohan Roy, these marriages were arranged to link the Chakma royal house to cosmopolitan, imperial Calcutta, which, until 1911, was the capital of British India, and at whose centre the Sens circulated. However, equally or more importantly, the aim was to link the Chakma royal house to princely India and, through princely India, to the metropole. As royal families before and after him, Raja Bhuvan Mohan Roy used marriage as a tool for social ascendency—to enter a privileged order and move up in a larger imperial hierarchy. In the process, he hoped to remake himself as an all-India prince, a maharaja, not a regional chieftain. His expectations regarding privileges may also have emerged out of his observations of fellow princes and through the advice of his relations. Furthermore, his use of the traditional Hindu royal titles, ‘raja’ and ‘yuvraja’ for his son further reflected his aspirations for princely connections. Often, British advisors and tutors were the ones who advocated for colonial education and arranged these cosmopolitan unions. Indeed, the Cooch Behar Maharaja, who had been a ward of the British, was married to Keshub Chandra Sen’s daughter, Sunity Devi, on the express advice and suggestions of his British advisors, who served quite literally as matchmakers in marriage negotiations. Sunity Devi, who married the young maharaja of Cooch Behar in 1878, was Page 20 of 41

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The Administrator (as) Anthropologist chosen by the maharaja’s British advisor, Mr Dalton, who first met Sunity in a Calcutta drawing room, where he asked her to play the piano and speak in English,111 before writing to the maharaja and recommending her as a future Cooch Behar maharani. In the process, the Englishman overstepped the role ordinarily taken by mothers of the ruler or indigenous state officials in establishing marriage alliances.112 Raja Bhuvan Mohan, also a ward of the British as a child, may have similarly been encouraged by British advisors to introduce educated, cultured Bengali women into the family, who had marital ties with other modernizing, eastern Indian states. Thus, these charges of absenteeism and Bengalization were familiar ones employed against Indian rulers, in branding them as products (p.191) of colonial confusion, estranged from their people and their regional histories. But this alienation was invariably the product of British influence itself, and it was British advisors and tutors who promoted such ideas of metropolitan or Western education, travel to British Indian capitals and Europe, and the adoption of occidental attitudes towards dress, manner, language, and etiquette. The ideal raja was meant to embody the best of the Empire, progressive in his attitudes towards governance, yet remaining deeply tied to his roots in his home state, as a living manifestation of tradition and ancestral allegiance to his people and geographic homeland. Following Queen Victoria’s accession as the empress of India in 1877, the colonial state emphasized that local princes and chiefs would serve as intermediaries between itself and larger India, embodying the most desirable qualities of East and West, the traditional and the modern. In the process, they were reinvented as not only regional rulers but as imperial princes, redefining both tradition and innovation. Ultimately, native rulers, such as the CHT chiefs, were products of a ‘colonial confusion’.113

Mills’s Proposals In the end, Mills’s readings of the chiefs’ family histories and his comparisons between them and Indonesian chiefs led to several proposals that ultimately denied them traditional forms of influence. His proposals followed the basic formula, which the British Raj had used earlier to reshape indigenous rulers as loyal servants of the British crown. It was a system of gentrification, which Britain had already used upon its own feudal aristocracy in recreating them as Victorian gentlemen, with the trappings and spectacle of authority, loyal to the British monarch.114 The incorporation of the princes into the imperial government was one way of recreating and perpetuating the ranked hierarchy of the metropole in its colony.115 This was achieved through a new system of duties and privileges.116 This formulation undermined fluid histories of social change, as mentioned in the last section, and redefined the powers and symbols of indigenous authority. Disregarding histories of hybridity, Mills ignored the possibility that tradition itself was constantly changing, altered by historical

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The Administrator (as) Anthropologist circumstance and associated political, economic, military, and social needs, even while he reinvented so-called traditional roles and honours. (p.192) Mills argued that the CHT leaders should serve as the intermediary ‘voice of the people’ between their subjects and the colonial administration, guiding the government on local issues.117 The chiefs would place their ‘knowledge and influence’ ‘unreservedly’ towards government needs118 through a set of new duties, which included: agricultural responsibilities, the crossbreeding of cattle, creation of new educational institutions more suited to the Hill Tracts,119 excise taxes, game reserves, the regulation of compulsory labour, better systems of communication, particularly roads and bridges, reconcentration of village populations favouring larger settlements, and regulating corporate licenses for colonial firms.120 In exchange for these new duties, the chiefs would receive a fixed income as well as certain honours and privileges, similar to those already awarded to Indian princes.121 The chiefs would be paid an annual income, which would not be determined by fluctuating jhum tax and could be lessened or completely voided if they neglected their obligations.122 In terms of privileges, Mills recommended that the chiefs maintain their own uniformed personal guards, build ornate city archways, which would serve as public monuments, wear ornamented badges with their own coat of arms, have personal privileges with regard to firearms, and drive state vehicles embossed with the state arms. These honours would, thus, include a guard of honour for formal occasions; an arched gateway at Rangamati to be opened only for the governor, high officials, and the chiefs; the rights to the same labour as those which government servants enjoyed;123 a suitable State Umbrella;124 and ‘a plaque suspended from a handsome gold chain to be worn round the neck and bearing on it his coat of arms in enamel.’ The chiefs would not need to renew arms licenses, which would be granted for life, and would be permitted use of government facilities, such as the P.W.D. inspection bungalows while touring in the hills,125 uniforms for their retainers, a coat of arms rather than a number plate for state vehicles and titles commensurate with their rank.126 Many of these honours were based upon existing princely privileges. For instance, Mills recommended an honour guard as it was already used by the maharaja of Manipur.127 Other symbols emerged out of European perceptions of public splendour. The ornamental archway was modelled on London’s Marble Arch for the use of privileged (p.193) persons and honoured guests. The wearing of jewels, such as the plaque enamelled with a state coat of arms, livery for palace retainers with ‘smart’ and ‘distinctive’ uniforms, and the substitution of embossed coat of arms on state vehicles for license plates128 were based upon existing symbols used by European royal and aristocratic families.

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The Administrator (as) Anthropologist In addition, he argued that the chiefs retain the use of their titles. Mills recommended that instead of ‘raja’, the Bohmong chief, who was more overtly Burmese and less amenable to Calcutta influences, should adopt the Burmese title of ‘Shawbwa’ derived from the Shan states. The Chakma raja, who had already adopted Hindu titles, including ‘Raja’, ‘Yuvraja’, and ‘Kumar’, should be demoted to a secondary position below the Bohmong and not have hereditary rights over the title of raja. He believed the Mong raja to be incompetent and because he had no male heirs, he insisted that the office of the Mong raja should be abolished on his death.129 In the process, Mills pushed for the formation of a new chiefly class in the Civil List: one that was beneath ‘Hill Chiefs’ and both beside and above ‘raja’ (personal).130 The adoption of these new privileges and imperial honours, such as medals, gun salutes, seating placement at durbars, orders and knighthoods, as well as these royal titles, tied indigenous rulers to their colonial masters.131 In the process, the British Raj ‘reinvented’ the tribal chiefs as Indian princes,132 with all the apparent pomp and circumstance of Indic kingship. Yet, in the process, local leaders were also painted as vassals of the state and collaborators with the colonial regime, no matter how much they resisted and resented such interventions.

Reforms in Colonial Administration Mills’s proposals not only addressed reforms in tribal governance, but perhaps as importantly, colonial administration of frontier provinces. In particular, he advocated that colonial administrators see their subjects through an anthropological lens with both empathy and curiosity, and live for a prolonged period in the region within which they were posted. In his 1935 ‘Note on the Backward Areas of British India and Their Position under the Government of India Act, 1935’, he recommended that an administrator in frontier provinces should have ‘a real liking for and understanding of primitive people’ as well as ‘tact, for in his work he is bound often to find the dividing line between advice (p.194) and interference a thin one.’133 He believed that administrators should leave tour diaries and transfer notes for their successors, which had not been done previously; good officials should stay for long durations and not have rapid transfers; and they should see the rich potential in such frontier zones and not complain that they were backwaters, for these were places for men of the ‘keenest minds’.134 In his attitudes and prescriptions, he held many similarities with his quixotic predecessor, T.H. Lewin. Like Lewin, he held a pejorative attitude towards the tribal chiefs, particularly the Chakma rajas, and worked to redefine and reconstruct indigenous leadership, often through a misguided reliance on anthropological methodology and misconstrued understandings of the ‘primitive’ and ‘authentic’. But at the same time, he was deeply interested in tribal culture, writing detailed notes on dress, language, religion, and architecture, and Page 23 of 41

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The Administrator (as) Anthropologist promoted himself as an empathetic advocate for tribal rights both against intrusion from the Raj and plains Bengal. At the end of his proposal, he (p.196) included various passages from Lewin’s writings on rapacious colonial capitalism and the thoughtlessness of the colonial government in its understanding of indigenous affairs. Wolfgang Mey argues that both administrators promoted the autonomy of tribal societies against the pervasive social transformations brought by colonialism.135

Figure 4.3 ‘Three Women with a Child.’ Source: Album V, Image V.017, J.P. Mills Photographic Collection. SOAS Digital Collections. Reproduced by Permission of the SOAS archives, University of London, London, UK.

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The Administrator (as) Anthropologist

(p.195) Figure 4.4 ‘Woman Pounding Rice.’ Source: Album V, Image V.071, J.P. Mills Photographic Collection. SOAS Digital Collections. Reproduced by Permission of the SOAS archives, University of London, London, UK.

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The Administrator (as) Anthropologist Nationalism and Postcolonial Realities Mills’s concerns with chiefly duties, privileges, and definitions of cultural authenticity were not only deeply intertwined with colonial administrative ambitions as well as their reform, but also developing Indian nationalist politics. Like several British administrators before him, Mills was aware that the hill peoples faced two possible eventualities: assimilation with or isolation from plains Bengal. He argued that the hill people, whose natures he saw as honest and loyal, could be fundamental partners in the ‘building of a New India’.136 Under the auspices of the ensuing 1935 Government of India Act, Mills

Figure 4.5 ‘Portrait of a Man (A Boy, Basanta Pankhu Kuki).’

advocated that frontier districts such as the Hill Tracts could be

Photographic Collection. SOAS Digital Collections. Reproduced by Permission of

likened to small republican city states (on the model of ancient

the SOAS archives, University of London, London, UK.

Source: Album V, Image V.010, J.P. Mills

Greece, Rome, and Italy), and needed local rulers in the form of indigenous tribal chiefs.137 Local traditions had to be protected and would only survive if the ‘tribes are given time and space to develop on their own lines’.138 As the Government of India Act, 1935 stipulated that all communities should have separate legislatures, so too, he believed, should the hill tribes whose customs and laws ought to be protected through a continued special and excluded status.139 Indeed, he argued that the city states of tribal communities could serve as a model for local government in the future after the British departure.140 He argued that the excluded status should continue based upon exigencies of cultural difference. The CHT, along with various other frontier districts in eastern India, subsequently became part of the ‘Totally Excluded Areas’ under the Government of India Act 1935, and a number of Mills’s recommendations on tribal leadership were incorporated. By 1937, the chiefs found their

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The Administrator (as) Anthropologist administrative powers more limited, and increasingly played advisory roles to the colonial government on policy matters.141 The special excluded status of the CHT from 1874 remained in place in the drafting of the Government of India Act of 1919, which changed (p.197) the structure of power to include more elected bodies. However, in 1921, the CHT was defined as a ‘backward tract’, where neither central nor provincial legislatures could determine local laws,142 and it was placed under the direct control of the governor-in-council.143 Colonial administrators saw vast differences between the ‘civilizations’ of hill and plains land peoples.144 Such ideas of ‘Backward Tracts’ would influence the later Government of India Act, 1935. They particularly looked to the examples of nearby Assam where they feared assimilation would not enable hill tribes to survive in competition with other groups.145 In particular, Mills was prescient in prophesying the marginalization of tribal peoples in the growingly contentious communitarian politics of religiously defined Indian nationalism. Protecting these tribal ‘city states’, especially forms of tribal law and local governance, would prevent assimilation into mainstream Bengali or Indian society, which Mills argued, was essential in preserving their histories and unique institutions in independent South Asia.146 Mills was especially concerned by the increasingly fractious debate between Hindu and Muslim politicians at the cost of ‘primitive’ groups whose voices were lost. As he observed, the ‘aboriginals’ or ‘tribals’ were the ‘voiceless peoples of India’,147 who were forgotten in the larger mainstream discourse dominated by the Congress and Muslim League representatives. ‘This dominating narrative’ ultimately precluded the concerns of lesser minorities, including the ‘depressed classes’, ‘criminal tribes,’ ‘aboriginals’, and ‘tribals’. According to Wolfgang Mey, Mills, unlike other administrators, recognized the importance of focussing on more ‘minor’ narratives of autochthone groups and highlighted their importance in governing Independent India.148 Arguably, it was this impulse to preserve forgotten life histories in an increasingly turbulent political climate, which led Mills to later submit his tour diary and proposals to library archives, so they can be read today.

Mills’s Legacy and Conclusions Like Buchanan and Lewin before him, Mills would eventually retire to England, where he would make a broader contribution to scholarly knowledge on northeast India and the academic development of the field of anthropology. After Independence, due to failing health from protracted bouts of malaria and other tropical diseases, Mills retired (p.198) from the Indian Civil Service and embarked upon a career as a university professor. In 1948, he was appointed lecturer at SOAS, London, and later was promoted to reader. During his academic career, he served as the president of the Royal Anthropological Page 27 of 41

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The Administrator (as) Anthropologist Institute from 1951 to 1952 and received various accolades, including the Rivers Memorial Medal in 1942 for his work on the Nagas of Assam and the Gold Medal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal for Indian cultural anthropology. However, illness continued to haunt him over the course of his academic career. He was forced to retire from university teaching in 1954, and died in 1960.149 In an obituary, the anthropologist Christof von Fürer-Haimendorf praised Mills’s personal attributes, particularly his courage, balanced temperament, and physical strength in conducting fieldwork in Assam and Burma.150 Mills’s proposals on the Hill Tracts had three primary purposes: to record tribal chieftainship; to discern how it was modified radically later through extraneous influences; and to suggest new proposals for the chiefs’ duties.151 His recommendations relied upon anthropological methodologies, which reinterpreted local histories, employing comparative analyses of cultural genesis to argue that certain tribal practices were not fundamentally indigenous or ‘authentic’, but later imperial inventions, Mughal and colonial in nature. In the process, Mills questioned the chiefs’ sovereignty and legitimacy over their tribes and clans, particularly traditional forms of revenue collection and customary law. He thereby advocated remaking the chiefs as Indian princes, who were given various privileges, merits, and duties, but only under the larger paramount umbrella of colonial rule. His arguments, often specious in nature, were based on poorly supported comparisons between Indonesian chiefs and their counterparts from the Hill Tracts that often had no real factual basis. While he did refer to written or material sources and records, he largely depended upon his own ethnographic eyewitness observations or the oral testimonies of individual tribal men and women he encountered during his tour. Indeed, the majority of his informants were dewans or village headmen, having their own grievances against the chiefs and wishing to undermine chiefly authority while increasing their own—a fact which Mills naively does not acknowledge or is wholly unaware of. In many instances, he makes sweeping pronouncements and recommendations, whether on religious or ethnic origins of specific tribes (p.199) or the contemporary administrative malfeasance of their leaders, which are largely based upon his own subjective interpretations, but which he nonetheless classifies as fact, as ‘anthropological’ findings. In this way, individual administrators like Mills, when assuming the mantle of the objective, scholarly ‘anthropologist’, spoke for and defined a whole community and region as well as an intellectual discipline. While Mills may not have been an admirer of the indigenous chiefs, he was very sympathetic to the tribal peoples as a whole, not unlike Lewin several generations before him whom he often cited (and praised) in his reports. And, as much as he questioned tribal leadership, he similarly criticized colonial administrative policies and Western capitalist greed in exploiting the tribal peoples.152 In a moment of foresight, he Page 28 of 41

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The Administrator (as) Anthropologist envisioned a postcolonial South Asia, where the hill people would be endangered as ‘voiceless’ minorities in a subcontinent divided between Hindu and Muslim majorities.153 But his atemporal interpretations of cultural genesis were simultaneously troubling as they precluded the possibility that culture itself was a fluid, elastic concept that changed over time, with historical catalysts emerging from both within and outside a given society. By undermining Mughal and British colonial influences in his search for the elusively ‘authentic’, Mills also fossilized people and societies in a static mode like a lepidopterist pinning butterflies immobile under glass. In this way, aboriginal peoples were placed outside space and time in a strange alternate dimension. ‘Primitive’ peoples, no matter how removed geographically from their neighbours, did not remain unchanged in a timeless Elysium. In taking an anthropological view, Mills denied the flexibility of tradition by undermining histories of cultural exchange in ways similar to Buchanan’s earlier botanical classifications that disregarded syncretic religious practice in the late eighteenth century. Like Buchanan and Lewin before him, Mills worked to ‘purify’ the hills of any traces of the Bengali Hindu or Muslim plainsmen154 but, in the process, also reinvented its leaders anew as progressive, reform-minded princes. Unfortunately, Mills, in his well-intentioned but misconceived, vision of protecting the hill peoples from colonial acculturation and other forms of external influence, inherently weakened their tribal institutions and leadership. The chiefs might have played a far more engaged role with the Indian nationalists in the lead up to Partition (p.200) had their sovereignty not been questioned and curbed in his report. By undermining the tribal chiefs, he diminished their ability to act as high stakes intermediaries in the increasingly antagonistic and religiously polarized climate of nationalist politics. While Mills wished to protect the hill peoples and their traditions and institutions, he also undercut their primary political representatives, further infantilizing the chiefs as puppet princes rather than real rajas with executive authority, economic capital, and legislative influence, who could skilfully speak on behalf of their people in the increasingly conflicted debate between the Indian National Congress and the Muslim League. Many of their pursuits that Mills derided (obtaining Western and Bengali education and travelling outside their regional peripheries) were the very characteristics that would enable the chiefs to meet and bargain with both colonial bureaucrats in metropolitan British India as well as Indian nationalists. The very cultural impurity that Mills perceived was the weakness of the chiefs may have been, if they had maintained greater authority, useful skills to represent their subjects (later constituents) more ably and ensure the protected status of the region which Mills had championed, perhaps through gaining their own independent state or acceding to the more ethnically and religiously diverse India.

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The Administrator (as) Anthropologist The work of scholars like Mills would also have a profound effect on the ensuing development of anthropology, both the succeeding generation of transitional European scholars in the decades shortly following Independence as well as later postcolonial South Asian scholars. Furer-Haimendorf, who much admired Mills’s work, was among his intellectual heirs, serving as a ‘bridge’ between colonial and postcolonial ethnography.155 Indian anthropology on the Northeast, with the work of scholars such as Sachin Roy (1960), Sarma Thakur (1985), Jayanta Sarkar (1987), and R.R.P. Sharma (1988), was largely modelled on early twentieth-century colonial monographs, like Mills’s corpus.156 Postcolonial scholarship would continue to use much of the language of colonial ethnography, often classifying the tribes as ‘others’ in contrast to dominant Hindu society, in the same manner occidental scholarship had exoticized and isolated the nonWest.157 Despite its inherent problems, colonial ethnography was often more meticulous than postcolonial scholarship. European ethnographers were immersed in their host cultures and stayed for far longer periods, living for years with their subjects rather than short stints of fieldwork. (p.201) Such exposure enabled them to formulate comparative studies with other tribes or cultures, in contrast to postcolonial scholarship, which often narrowed on one tribe or village or a single preferred method of analysis over more ambitious studies, which entailed extensive travel or comparative research. Some scholars have argued that colonial ethnographic literature on the northeast border was not as ‘problematic’ as the postcolonial work to follow, which has often reinterpreted colonial identities and ‘not always [in] well-orchestrated’ ways.158 Indeed, Mills’s work is invaluable as anthropological studies on the CHT were rare. During the colonial period, few ethnographers were given access to the region as it formed part of an excluded area. In the postcolonial era that followed, insurgency movements and government militarization made it difficult for anthropologists to study and travel to this dangerous border. Mills’s tour diary and report itself was buried by the colonial administration and few scholars would know of its existence for several decades.159 For all its shortcomings, it thus remains a vital account of the peoples of the Hill Tracts in the decades leading to India’s independence. The concluding chapter to follow will briefly discuss how the chiefs faced the looming reality of Partition. Notes:

(1.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, pp. 19–20. (2.) Pels, ‘The Anthropology of Colonialism’, pp. 175–6. (3.) Subba and Wouters, ‘North-East India’, pp. 196–7. (4.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 282.

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The Administrator (as) Anthropologist (5.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 14. (6.) James Philip Mills, ‘Note on the Backward Areas of British India and their Position under the Government of India Act, 1935’; Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 31. (7.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 283. (8.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 31; Roy, Land Rights of the Indigenous Peoples of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 29. (9.) Ian Copland, The Princes of India in the Endgame of Empire, 1917–1947 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997), p. 8. (10.) British administrators advocated that India’s native rulers adopt European systems of law, administration, dress, food, etiquette, religious practice, and marriage tradition to become more effective modern rulers in the larger system of indirect rule more effectively. To that end, aristocratic boys were often separated from traditional influences such as native courts and female relatives and placed under the guidance of British tutors and advisors, enrolled in British public schools and universities or Indian universities closely founded on the European model, and married into Westernized, progressive upper-caste and upper-class families. See Aya Ikegame, ‘Space of Kinship, Space of Empire: Marriage Strategies amongst the Mysore Royal Caste in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries’, in Indian Economic and Social History Review 46, no. 3 (2009): pp. 343–72; Amin Jaffer, Made for Maharajas (New Delhi: Lustre Press/ Roli Books, 2007), pp. 17–8; Jhala, ‘The Jodhpur Regency’, pp. 381–2; Courtly Indian Women in Late Imperial India; Royal Patronage, Power and Aesthetics in Princely India (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2011); Shruti Kapila, ‘Masculinity and Madness: Princely Personhood and Colonial Sciences of the Mind in Western India, 1871–1940’, Past and Present 187 (May 2005): 121–56, pp. 125–6; Barbara Ramusack, The Indian Princes and Their States (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), p. 134; Satradu Sen, Colonial Childhoods: The Juvenile Periphery of India, 1850–1945 (London: Anthem Press, 2005), p. 152. Such practices were also used in other parts of the Empire, such as in colonial Australia, where native children were removed from their families for educational purposes. See Fiona Paisley, ‘Childhood and Race: Growing Up in the Empire’, in Gender and Empire, ed. Philippa Levine (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), pp. 240–59. (11.) This was a common argument used against the Indian princes. The British, in an attempt to modernize young rulers, encouraged them to study under an English tutor or at public schools and universities in India or Europe. The princes, in the process, acquired a taste for Western-style living and travel, often at the cost of understanding their own cultural histories. The maharaja of Pudukkotai in the 1910s and the maharajas of Indore from the 1920s to 1940s Page 31 of 41

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The Administrator (as) Anthropologist were heavily criticized for travelling abroad, marrying Western women, and adopting Anglo-European social practices to the extent that they neglected their state duties. In a number of cases, such choices led to official censure, as mentioned in Mills’s indictment of the CHT chiefs. Refer to Chapters 2 and 5 of Jhala, Courtly Indian Women in Late Imperial India. (12.) Subba and Wouters, ‘North-East India’, p. 195. (13.) Misra, ‘J.H. Hutton and the North East’, p. 48; Subba and Wouters, ‘NorthEast India’, p. 197. (14.) Subba and Wouters, ‘North-East India’, pp. 196–7. This led to a number of monographs: The Khasis by Gurdon (1906), The Mikirs by Lyall (1908), The Garos by Playfair (1909), The Kacharis by Endle (1911), The Naga Tribes of Manipur by Hodson (1911), and The Lushei Kuki Clans by Shakespear (1912) (Subba and Wouters, ‘North-East India’, p. 197). (15.) Subba and Wouters, ‘North-East India’, pp. 197–8. This structure was used in Hutchinson’s Eastern India and Assam District Gazetteers. (16.) B.R. Rizvi, ‘J.P. Mills and the North-East’, in The Anthropology of North-East India, ed. Tanka Bahadur Subba and G.C. Ghosh (Hyderabad: Orient Longman, 2003), pp. 57–78, pp. 66–67. (17.) Misra, ‘J.H. Hutton and the North East’, p. 35. (18.) Hobson, ‘Foreword’, in Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 7. (19.) Hobson, ‘Foreword’ in Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 10; James Philip Mills, ‘Anthropology as a Hobby’, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 83 (1953): p. 1. (20.) Hobson, ‘Foreword’, p. 10; Mills, ‘Anthropology as a Hobby’, p. 2. (21.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 23. Refer also to the object catalogue for J.P. Mills’s extensive ethnographic collection at the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford, UK. (22.) Rizvi, ‘J. P. Mills and the North-East’, pp. 68–9. (23.) Hobson, ‘Foreword’, p. 7. (24.) Chatterjee, Forgotten Friends, pp. 347–9. (25.) Hobson, ‘Foreword’, pp. 7–9. (26.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 284. Page 32 of 41

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The Administrator (as) Anthropologist (27.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 19. (28.) Hobson, ‘Foreword’, p. 11. (29.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 15. (30.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 15. (31.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, pp. 15–6. (32.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 16. (33.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 18. (34.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 293. (35.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 282. (36.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 285. (37.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 284. (38.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 284. (39.) These include the Annual Administration Reports, Census Reports, the Ricketts Report of 1847, Lewin’s The Hill Tracts of Chittagong and the Dwellers Therein (1869), his Wild Races of South-Eastern India (1870), and A Fly on the Wheel (originally 1882, reprinted 1912), Hunter’s A Statistical Account of Bengal, Vol. 6: Chittagong, Noákhali, Tippera, Hill Tippera (1876), Hutchinson’s An Account of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (1906), and Alexander Mackenzie’s History of the Relations of the Government with the HiIl Tribes of the North East Frontier of Bengal (Calcutta, 1884), among others (Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 284). (40.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, pp. 284–5. (41.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 290. (42.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 291. (43.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 292. (44.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 297. This ethnographic lens, which was sympathetic to indigenous concerns, could also be troublesome to colonial administrations. There was always the fear that young officers could become too partial to the peoples they administered, advocate local ‘tradition’ over colonial reforms, and change sides. This was a constant anxiety for colonial administrations (Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 283).

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The Administrator (as) Anthropologist (45.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 24. (46.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 53. (47.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 64. (48.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 65. (49.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 66. (50.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 67. (51.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 26. (52.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, pp. 102–3. (53.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, pp. 67–8. (54.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 289. (55.) Refer to Charles Allen and Sharada Dwivedi, ‘Mother and Father of the People’, in Lives of the Indian Princes (New York: Crown Publishers, 1984; New Delhi: BPI India, 2002); Melia Belli Bose, Royal Umbrellas of Stone: Memory, Politics and Public Identity in Rajput Funerary Art (Leiden: Brill, 2015), p. 23. (56.) For instance, the current maharaja of Jodhpur is addressed as ‘bapji’ or ‘honourable father’, being the provider of his subjects’ welfare and head of his clan, the Rathores. Kings were also often seen as the terrestrial representative of their clan or kul deity (deva) as well (Belli Bose, Royal Umbrellas of Stone, p. 23). (57.) Refer to James Tod, Annals and Antiquities of Rajasth’an (New Delhi: M.N. Publishers, 1978) for a fuller account of Rajput clan genealogies; Jhala, Courtly Indian Women in Late Imperial India, p. 15. (58.) Jhala, Courtly Indian Women in Late Imperial India, p. 182. (59.) Gail Minault, ‘The Emperor’s Old Clothes: Robing and Sovereignty in Late Mughal and Early British India’, in Robes of Honour: Khil’at in Pre-Colonial and Colonial India, ed. Stewart Gordon, pp. 125–39 (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2003), p. 127. (60.) For instance, in the ancient Hindu text on kingship and statecraft, Kautilya’s Arthasastra, gift giving was a fundamental duty of kings to win political, military, and economic allies (Patrick Olivelle, trans., King, Governance and Law in Ancient India: Kautilya’s Arthasastra [New York: Oxford University Press, 2013], p. 321). Similarly, Buddhist kings were givers of gifts to their

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The Administrator (as) Anthropologist subjects and sites of worship (Pia Brancaccio, The Buddhist Caves at Aurangabad: Transformations in Art and Religion [Leiden: Brill, 2011], p. 97). (61.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 68. (62.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 70. (63.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, pp. 106–10. (64.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 26. (65.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, pp. 107–8. (66.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, pp. 66–7. (67.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 30. (68.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, pp. 15–6. (69.) David Cannadine, Ornamentalism: How the British Saw Their Empire (Oxford: Oxford University, 2001), p. 44. (70.) Bernard S. Cohn, ‘Representing Authority in Victorian India’, in An Anthropologist among the Historians and Other Essays, pp. 632–82 (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1987), p. 648. (71.) Ramusack, The Indian Princes and Their States, pp. 89–90. (72.) Mridu Rai, Hindu Rulers, Muslim Subjects: Islam, Rights and the History of Kashmir (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004), pp. 87–9. (73.) Bayly, Indian Society and the Making of the British Empire, p. 197. (74.) Cohn, ‘Representing Authority in Victorian India’, p. 660. (75.) David Cannadine, Aspects of Aristocracy (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1994), pp. 78–9. (76.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 74. (77.) Mr Oldham’s note of the 17 July 1898 (2 March 1898) on the chief’s memorial of the 28 February 1898 against the Land Rules of 1892 and the mauza system (W.B. Oldham, ‘Note on the Memorial, dated the 28th February 1898, from the Chiefs and others of the Chittagong Hill Tracts against the Land Rules of 1892’, in Selections from the Correspondence of the Revenue Administration of the Chittagong Hill Tracts 1862–1927, Government of Bengal, Revenue Department, Calcutta, 1929 [Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 74]).

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The Administrator (as) Anthropologist (78.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, pp. 74–5. Refer also to the short 16 mm film entitled, ‘Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bengal, India (Bangladesh), 1935’, filmed by an unidentified Aide-de-Camp to Sir John Anderson, governor of Bengal (1932–7) during an official visit for more such impressions on the Burmese nature of the Bohmong chief. The film is housed in the Christie Collection of the Film Archive, Centre of South Asian Studies, Cambridge University, Cambridge, UK. (79.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 77. (80.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 79. (81.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 78. (82.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 79. (83.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 78. He cites an article by Francis Buchanan to support his claims (Francis Buchanan, ‘On the Religion and Literature of the Burmans’. Asiatick Researches, VI [1801]: p. 227; Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 79). (84.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 79. (85.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, pp. 79–80. (86.) Jhala, Royal Patronage, p. 70; Rosemary Crill, ‘Patronage at Court,’ in Maharaja: The Splendour of India’s Royal Courts, ed. Anna Jackson and Amin Jaffer, pp. 134–65 (London: V & A Publishing, 2009), p. 143; Belli Bose, Royal Umbrellas of Stone, p. 12. (87.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 286. (88.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 287. (89.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 81. (90.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 85. (91.) Indeed, the two Holkar maharajas of Indore from the 1920s through 1940s were similarly described as barbaric, degenerate, and effeminate due to their choice to travel and live outside their states, their Western education and weddings to foreign women, who crossed racial, religious, and ethnic boundaries. In 1928, Maharaja Tukojirao Holkar was likened to a ‘dangerous lunatic keeping himself under control’ after marrying the American, Nancy Miller. His son, who spent much of his life travelling in Europe and America, was described as a sickly and troubled youth, who overindulged in narcotics and was nervous by temperament. When he married an American divorcee, Fay Crane, in 1943, British officials described him as a ‘lounge lizard’ of irresolute Page 36 of 41

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The Administrator (as) Anthropologist temperament. Refer to Chapter 5 of Jhala, Courtly Indian Women in Late Imperial India. (92.) Roy, Departed Melody, p. 43. (93.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, pp. 85–7. (94.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 86. (95.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 87. (96.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 87. (97.) van Schendel, Mey, and Dewan, The Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 35. (98.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 87. (99.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, pp. 88–9. (100.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 129. (101.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 87. (102.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, pp. 87–8. (103.) Varsha Joshi, Polygamy and Purdah: Women and Society among Rajputs (Jaipur: Rawat Publications, 1995), pp. 87–8. (104.) Jhala, Courtly Indian Women in Late Imperial India, pp. 92–4. (105.) Lucy Moore, Maharanis: The Lives and Times of Three Generations of Indian Princesses (London: Penguin, 2004), pp. 55–8. (106.) Refer to their memoirs: Sunity Devi, Autobiography of an Indian Princess (London: John Murray, 1921); Sucharu Devi, Maharani of Mayurbhanj: A Biography (Calcutta: Writers Workshop, 1979). (107.) Moore, Maharanis, pp. 10, 141, 212. (108.) Angma Jhala, ‘Daughters of the Hills: Legacies of Colonialism, Nationalism and Religious Communalism in the Chakma Raj Family, Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bengal c.1900–1972’, South Asian History and Culture 4, no. 1 (2013): 107–25, p. 120. (109.) Moore, Maharanis, pp. 103–8. (110.) Jhala, ‘Daughters of the Hills’, p. 114. (111.) Devi, Autobiography of an Indian Princess, p. 49.

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The Administrator (as) Anthropologist (112.) Jhala, Courtly Indian Women in Late Imperial India, p. 77. (113.) This concept is taken from the concluding chapter of my book, Courtly Indian Women in Late Imperial India. (114.) The British had incorporated the princes into the larger project of indirect rule for a number of reasons. Indigenous leadership was an inexpensive method for the British to patrol and administrate large areas of land that were inaccessible, and princes were later important contributors to British imperial military endeavours. Maintaining the trappings and symbolism of regal splendour, such as gun salutes, honours and privileges, durbars, viceregal visits and tours by the British governors and English royal family, fulfilled this need to reflect the image of the English sovereign at the head of a global hierarchy, which included both imperial and home subjects (Cannadine, Ornamentalism, p. 89; Cohn, ‘Representing Authority in Victorian India’, pp. 656–61). (115.) Cannadine, Ornamentalism, pp. 12–3. (116.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 28. (117.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 111. (118.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 27. (119.) In particular, he recommended that new educational institutions be introduced that better suited the needs of the hill youth, rather than schools that emphasized Bengali or English-language instruction; more primary and high schools be founded in Rangamati; and the boys of the elite especially not be mollycoddled like the sons of the Chakma chief, the civil surgeon, and the headmaster, who all had been excused physical exercise more strenuous than badminton. Further, he argued that they should not study subjects based on Calcutta exams as the hill boys could not compete with the Bengalis for admission to Calcutta University. Instead, they should focus their energies on gaining positions within the Hill Tracts by sharpening their skills in carpentry, jungle clearing, weeding, and reaping, which would be gained through the Forest Department (Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, pp. 117– 8). (120.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, pp. 112–21. (121.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 124. (122.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 122. (123.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 125.

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The Administrator (as) Anthropologist (124.) The State Umbrella was an ancient symbol of Indic kingship, both before and after the Mughals, representing royal sovereignty over a ruler’s subjects. The chattri (umbrella) had its origins in Hindu kingship but was also adopted by Buddhist rulers and, later, Muslim states (imperial and regional) as well as by the British, who retained it as a key symbol of Indic royal status during the British Raj (Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 126). (125.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 126. (126.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, pp. 124–6. (127.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 125. (128.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 126. (129.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, pp. 127–30. (130.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 130. (131.) Ramusack, The Indian Princes, pp. 90–2. (132.) For more on the invention of tradition, refer to Hobsbawm and Ranger, The Invention of Tradition. (133.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 297. (134.) Mills suggests Bandarban, for instance, as a place ideal for a young civilian just starting out, who could learn about the Maghs and study Maghi and other tribal languages, before gaining a more ambitious post running the entire district (Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, pp. 131–3). (135.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, pp. 298–9. (136.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 294. (137.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 294. (138.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 295. (139.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, pp. 295–6. (140.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 296. (141.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 31. (142.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 32. (143.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 29.

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The Administrator (as) Anthropologist (144.) From W.A. Cosgrave, Chief Secretary to the Government of Assam, To The Secretary to the Government of India. Reforms Office, Shillong, the 29 July 1931. Government of Assam. The Governor in Council. Appointment and Political Department. No. 4533A.P. p. 4; Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, pp. 32–3. (145.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 33. In particular, they were concerned with the effect of external migrants on the economic health of hill regions, noting that tea planters and migrant Bengalis disenfranchised the Nagas, Mishmis, and other tribal peoples of Assam, as well as the ensuing instances of revolt and rebellion marked by the Abor Rising of 1911 and the Kuki Rebellion of 1917. (146.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 296. (147.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 296. (148.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 299. (149.) Hobson, ‘Foreword’, p. 7. (150.) Hobson, ‘Foreword’, p. 9. (151.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 138. (152.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, pp. 296–8. (153.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 296. (154.) Chatterjee, Forgotten Friends, p. 348. (155.) While his work was academic in nature, Furer-Haimendorf was also a product of the colonial administration. He first joined Mills in a ‘punitive expedition’ to a Naga village, whose purpose was to punish tribes engaged in slave raiding and headhunting, and, later, as an Austrian with a German passport during World War II, used his connections in the British colonial administration to gain an appointment as special officer to the North-East Frontier Agency (Subba and Wouters, ‘North-East India’, pp. 198–9). (156.) Subba and Wouters, ‘North-East India’, p. 199; Sachin Roy, Aspects of Padam Minyong Culture (Itanagar: Directorate of Research, Government of Arunachal Pradesh, 1960); G.C. Sarma Thakur, The Lalungs (Tiwas) (Guwahati: Tribal Research Institute, 1985); Jayanta Sarkar, Society, Culture and Ecological Adaptation Among Three Tribes of Arunachal Pradesh (Calcutta: Anthropological Survey of India, 1987); and R.R.P. Sharma, The Sherdukpens (Itanagar: Directorate of Research, Government of Arunachal Pradesh, 1988). (157.) Subba and Wouters, ‘North-East India’, p.199. Page 40 of 41

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The Administrator (as) Anthropologist (158.) Subba and Wouters, ‘North-East India’, pp. 203–4. (159.) Mey, ed., J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 21.

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Epilogue

An Endangered History: Indigeneity, Religion, and Politics on the Borders of India, Burma, and Bangladesh Angma Dey Jhala

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780199493081 Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019 DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199493081.001.0001

(p.210) Epilogue Angma Dey Jhala

India’s independence from Britain and the partition of the subcontinent came sooner than Mills or any of his fellow scholar administrators in northeast India could have anticipated. A little more than a decade after the 1935 Government of India Act, the tribal areas of eastern India were no longer under colonial rule, and the region was partitioned. The CHT along with its close neighbours, the Lushai and Chin hills, were divided between East Pakistan (later Bangladesh), India, and Burma (today Myanmar).1 The cross-border histories of the hill peoples within this region not only influenced colonial isolationist policies, as we have seen, but also how the region would be defined by postcolonial nation states. One British administrator in Assam, Robert Reid, noted in 1944 that the peoples of the border area were ‘neither racially, historically, culturally nor linguistically’ part of the ‘people of India proper’.2 Similar attitudes were applied to hill peoples situated in Burma and East Pakistan, resulting in often violent erasures of tribal histories from the national memory and consciousness. After 1947, these borderlands became conflict zones, marginalized by new nation states in large part due to their disputed political boundaries, which had first been constructed during the colonial period.3 In many ways, it was Partition that created the troubled northeast India border. Its international borders dislocated peoples and disrupted centuries-old relationships4 by emphasizing national identities based on religious majorities. In the decades leading up to Independence, the developing idea of a two-nation theory advocated by the Muslim League created rifts between the dominant religious communities of the subcontinent, primarily Hindus and Muslims, leading to the (p.211) formal divide of the region in the creation of separate nation states with the Partition.5 The Muslim League ostensibly represented India’s Muslims, while the Indian National Congress, although expressing both Page 1 of 15

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Epilogue Gandhi’s and Nehru’s lifelong support of secularism, was seen as embodying Hindu interests by Muslim politicians. Groups that fell outside of these binary categories such as the tribal communities of the CHT were invariably marginalized in the larger discourse between the colonial government and the Indian nationalist elite. Neither political party made much effort to reach out to the CHT.6 How tribal peoples and their leaders interpreted their cultural origins during this volatile period, where history became so fundamental to political identity and nation state formation, is illuminating. They held strongly divergent views on the post–World War II, and soon to be post-imperial, territoriality of the CHT: some argued that it should remain an independent and separate state, while others insisted that it should merge with greater Bengal. Proponents of both views would root their arguments in the region’s unique cultural hybridity. Tribal chiefs attempted to retain regional sovereignty by advocating for the CHT’s continued special and secluded status and creation as an independent princely state along the lines of eastern Indian kingdoms. When the idea of a federated India seemed possible, with the princely states joining in federation with Britishgoverned India, the Chakma chief petitioned to merge with the eastern Indian princely states of Tripura, Cooch Behar, and Khasia, while the Marma raja advocated for union with Buddhist-majority Burma. In 1934, the Chakma yuvraja, the then-heir apparent, Nalinaksha Roy, requested the governor of Bengal to allow the hill peoples to remain under the chiefs’ protection, hoping to shield the Hill Tracts from the growingly divisive, polarized nationalist debate.7 Throughout this period, there was no clear consensus on the future administration of the Hill Tracts. The chiefs favoured traditional monarchies; the moderates, led by Kamini Mohan Dewan, a Chakma notable, recommended constitutional monarchy along the lines of the British model; the extremists, headed by Sneha Kumar Chakma, pushed for republicanism. Their lack of consensus, similar to that of the rulers of the Indian princely states, reflects how British policies of isolation failed to enable the CHT to make a smooth transition into the postcolonial political environment.8 (p.212) In particular, it is worth examining two letters sent by the CHT leadership to the government in 1945. The first, dated 1 June 1945, was signed by the three circle chiefs, the Bohmong, Chakma, and Mong rajas, and expressed the moderate view. It argued that the CHT should be restructured as independent, constitutional monarchies based on the territorial borders and governing traditions of the three primary circles. The rajas presented themselves as both cosmopolitan subjects and imperial princes, who were engaged with not only the British Raj in India but also with the Crown government in Britain. The letter was addressed to the viceroy and the governor of Bengal, as well as to the secretary of state for India and the British prime minister in London. A month later, in July, the republican, Sneha Kumar Chakma, Page 2 of 15

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Epilogue wrote a second petition to Viceroy Wavell. He also sent copies of his missive to ranking colonial and British government officials, including the British prime minister, the governor of Bengal, the commissioner of Chittagong District, and the CHT deputy commissioner, as well as the Indian National Congress leadership, including Mahatma Gandhi, Maulana Azad, and Jawaharlal Nehru. The two letters provide contrasting interpretations of cultural history and the role of colonial intervention on the cusp of Independence.9 In the first letter, the chiefs emphasized that they were the legitimate and natural leaders of their peoples, having ancient connections (as ‘families of great antiquity’), who had governed with ‘almost the same status as the other feudatory Chiefs in India’ for centuries as independent rulers. They reminded the British that they were loyal subjects of the Raj, having sent troops to assist them with colonial wars in India as well as abroad, including the Sepoy Mutiny, the Arakan War, Lushai Expeditions, and the World Wars I and II. They noted that their courts, like those of fellow South Asian princes and European monarchs, nurtured satellite aristocracies, in the form of dewans, who performed functions similar to those of the ‘feudal barons of England’. At the same time, the chiefs portrayed themselves as the mouthpieces of popular sentiment, being the ‘voice of the people’, not removed autocrats.10 The rajas argued that the CHT should remain semi-autonomous along the lines of the princely states of eastern India. Each circle should represent a separate entity—a Chakma state, a Bohmong state, and a Mong state—and all three would remain in Bengal and, along with (p.213) neighbouring Tripura and Cooch Behar, be placed under the Eastern States Agency.11 As constitutional monarchs, they would maintain state councils elected by the people in emulation of the British model.12 Throughout the letter, they relied upon the writings of colonial scholar administrators, such as Halhed, Hutchinson, and Lewin, in describing the region’s history and defining the rights of chieftainship. In arguing for separate and distinct states, the rajas invoked the unique crossborder history of the region. As ‘paterfamilias’ to their people, they had protected the hill tribes from foreign invaders, including Mughal and Burmese armies and warring frontier hill tribes from Assam. They now governed over a ‘variety of hill tribes.’13 In emphasizing this history of the CHT at the crossroads of diverse empires, the chiefs underlined the uniquely ‘complicated social manners and customs’ of the indigenous peoples. This social history distinguished them from neighbouring Bengali plainsmen with whom they had little ‘affinity’. Their majority religion itself, Buddhism, made them distinct and different from greater Bengal, they posited.14 ‘Because of their minority [status], singular culture, tribal customs and simple mindedness,’ the rajas argued that the peoples of the CHT could not be joined with the ‘more advanced and complex minded Hindus and Muslims of Bengal’. They also argued that they were uniquely distinct from the hill tribes of Assam and Burma, which were Page 3 of 15

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Epilogue ‘alien districts … mostly inhabited by the backward head-hunting Nagas, Lushais and Chins’, with whom they had long had conflicts.15 In the second letter, Sneha Kumar Chakma diverged from the traditional leadership in his attitudes towards Bengal. Unlike the chiefs, he claimed that the CHT was inseparable from Bengal in every facet of life. Sneha Chakma cited the very cultural practices that the chiefs used as examples to argue for the creation of separate states to recommend the region’s merger with the larger province. He observed that the CHT shared a contiguous geography with no ‘convenient bounding line’, a shared history, and people from various religions—mostly Buddhism but also Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity—many of whom were originally Bengali plains dwellers. The CHT also had an economy that saw the daily movement of goods from hills to plains and vice versa; a shared education and culture, where the CHT schools incorporated an Anglo-Bengali curriculum taught by Bengali teachers; and finally, the permeability of language, where peoples of the CHT (p.214) spoke Bengali.16 Even the private domain of marriage was inherently cross-cultural, as Sneha Kumar Chakma observed that there was a long history of intermarriage with Bengalis, citing the marriages of the new Chakma chief Nalinaksha Roy and his brothers to ‘Bengallee ladies from respectable families of Calcutta’.17 However, these connections with Bengal were interpreted very differently by these two letter writers. The chiefs saw themselves as autonomous sovereigns with India-wide aspirations and global subjectivities, which were channelled through the cosmopolitan Calcutta intelligentsia and literati. Bengal was, for them, a way to be connected with British India as a whole and the wider network of the Empire, in Europe and beyond. Sneha Chakma promoted regional linkages to a provincial centre in Bengal as a way to connect a ‘backward’ and ‘excluded’ area with the locus of national debate. Being Bengali, he argued, was a way to remain relevant in a national movement of anti-colonial resistance. In the CHT being deemed an ‘Excluded Area’, the peoples of the region were ‘being deprived of even the very basic rights of citizenship’.18 However, it should be noted that Sneha Chakma identified the CHT as a part of ‘Greater Bengal’, located in the state of India, and not as a part of east Bengal in post-Partition Pakistan. These two contrasting views illustrate, as Amena Mohsin argues, the ‘unpreparedness’ of the CHT for Independence.19 These debates over what type of political system to adopt (monarchy, constitutional monarchy, or republicanism), occurred alongside broader discourses on nationalism and the growing call for the creation of nation states defined by religious identity. Tribal peoples were sidelined and largely forgotten in these dialogues between the outgoing colonial government, weakened by a global war fought on home soil and abroad, and South Asian nationalists at the helm of a growingly effective anti-colonial movement. Peoples of the CHT and other tribal communities on the Page 4 of 15

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Epilogue northeast India border did not represent a major constituency or populist voice with strong bargaining power for the nationalists. When Partition became inevitable, the peoples of the Hill Tracts voluntarily opted to join India through plebiscite. As the population was 98 per cent nonMuslim,20 its leaders saw secular India as the only option, as they did not wish to join Muslim-majority Pakistan. As noted throughout this book, there had been a centuries-long (p.215) history of inter-religious and cross-cultural hybridity between Buddhists and Hindu Bengalis in the region. The CHT sent a delegation to Sardar Patel, the home minister at the time, to relay their grave concerns regarding merging with East Pakistan. Patel himself noted that it would be a ‘monstrous’ outcome and the people ‘would be justified in resisting to the utmost of their power’ with Congress’s support, while Nehru argued that the CHT should join India on ‘cultural and religious grounds’. The British had similar reservations. Viceroy Lord Mountbatten sympathized with Patel’s concerns, and the British governor of Bengal urged that the CHT be situated in India and Pakistan receive another region instead.21 Regardless of the agreement between the Congress leadership and the outgoing colonial administration, Pakistan nonetheless received the CHT based on the ‘contiguity clause’. Pro-Pakistan Muslim politicians argued that the Chittagong District held the Karnaphuli river, the only source for hydroelectric power in the region.22 Furthermore, Mountbatten, speaking on the decision of the Bengal Boundary Commission led by Cyril Radcliffe, who would draw the lines of territorial division between India and Pakistan, argued that the CHT was wholly dependent on east Bengal and should not be separated from the port city of Chittagong as it formed part of the city’s hinterland. Additionally, India had already received much of west Bengal with the inclusion of Calcutta as well as most of Punjab,23 which Radcliffe attempted to remedy by awarding the CHT to Pakistan. As Saradindu Mukherji suggests, these were the motivations which forced the Congress leadership to ‘impulsive[ly]’ hand over the CHT to Pakistan, leaving it ‘to the wolves’.24 It was an undesirable outcome for all parties. The Muslim League’s Muhammad Ali Jinnah, compelled to accept a truncated Pakistan without eastern Punjab and western Bengal, lamented that it was a sadly ‘maimed, mutilated and moth eaten state’.25 Subsequently, with India’s independence from Great Britain in 1947, the region became part of Muslim-majority East Pakistan. After 1949, there was growing discord between East and West Pakistan, which, though, initially tied by religion (Islam), was growingly divided on the basis of language and culture, leading to a several-decades-long autonomy movement. During this period, the hill people were politically and economically marginalized. They too began to use the language of identity politics.26 In 1971, East (p.216) Pakistan gained independence from West Pakistan in yet another secessionist movement during

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Epilogue the Bengali war of liberation, and the region thereafter fell into the new state of Bangladesh. Since Independence, the indigenous peoples of the CHT have faced various human rights violations, from rape and massacre to forced conversion to Islam, the desecration or demolition of Buddhist and Hindu temples and other places of worship, and the building of dams which has inundated their lands, all of which has led to thousands being forced to migrate. In 1960, a hydroelectric dam at Kaptai, financed by international aid organizations, including the precursors to the United States Agency of International Development (USAID) and the Swedish International Development Authority (SIDA), and supported by US multinational companies, dammed the major tributary, the Karnaphuli river. It led to 100,000 indigenous people being forced to flee from their ancestral lands as refugees to India and Burma.27 In that one environmental crisis, 40 per cent of the region’s land went underwater28 and innumerable populations of local wildlife have since vanished, such as the Bengal tiger, bison, sambur, barking deer, leopard, and panther.29 Not only was there widespread environmental destruction and displacement of people, but also sites of cultural heritage, for instance, the inundation of the Chakma raja’s residence.30 During the Bangladesh war for independence that followed in 1971, the indigenous peoples were labelled as collaborators. The construction of a Bangladeshi nationalism inherently eroded the civil rights of hill people. In 1972, Manobendra Larma founded the Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS), a political body that represented the hill people, and the Shanti Bahini (SB) or military wing was founded in 1973.31 Sheikh Mujib, the new prime minister who had led the Awami League party in the founding of Bangladesh, was not sympathetic to the needs of the CHT. He largely ignored the distinct political, cultural, and linguistic histories of the indigenous peoples.32 After Mujib’s assassination in 1975, with the subsequent succession of a far more Islamic, fundamentalist government with the army in power, the region became fully militarized.33 Manobendra Larma fled to India and the SB moved their headquarters to Tripura. By the 1970s, the SB had begun an insurgency. Thereafter, the Bangladesh government encouraged the militarization of the region and the migration of (p.217) plains-dwelling Bengali Muslims to the CHT. Both the military and Bengali settlers engaged in serious human rights violations. The indigenous people were increasingly susceptible to murder, massacre, gang rape, coerced marriage, and forced conversion to Islam by the new settlers up through 1997. The period saw 11 major massacres in the CHT. Forests were cleared and hill people evicted, leading to 54,000 people fleeing to India and 50,000 becoming internally displaced people.34 Women in particular were targeted as victims of rape by the military and settlers. In 1996, Kalpana Chakma, a first-year graduate student at Baghaicchari College and organizing secretary of the Hill Women’s Federation, who worked on behalf of indigenous Page 6 of 15

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Epilogue women’s rights, was abducted by the military.35 Her case particularly led to vociferous national outcry. In addition, the policy of resettlement has been rapidly changing the demography of the region36 with more and more Bengali Muslims representing the tribal region as candidates for seats in local and national assemblies. Beyond military activities, the PCJSS, in the mid-1980s, attempted to unify the different groups within the CHT under a larger Jumma nationalism. Jumma nationalism, with its base in jhum cultivation, promoted the ‘cultural, linguistic, religious, and historical distinctiveness of the Hill people’. The movement remained largely middle class, with the desire to retain the 1900 Regulation and maintain chieftain-based leadership, and was dominated by the Chakmas. Smaller groups, while supportive of the larger PCJSS cause, however, used their own generic names rather than Jumma.37 As I have argued throughout this book, it is important to situate and understand these postcolonial tragedies in the Bengal–Burma border within the context of colonial history.38 As Andrew May argues, histories of identity and constructions of tradition should not only be limited to early imperial historiography but also to later periods, including late colonial rule (1870–1930), when tribal peoples were depicted as ‘traditional, fixed, never modern,’ as well as the ‘poststatehood’ era after the 1970s, when debates relating to regional identity were mapped against the new ‘internal colonialism’ of nation states,39 including Bangladesh and India. Indeed, many of these new states, which have adopted European models of nation and democracy, would also inherit orientalist modes of ‘othering’ with regard to frontier peoples and porous borderlands.40 (p.218) Studies of borderland regions like the CHT, thus, serve as vital windows through which to understand the colonial encounter. In the process, they illuminate the inherently complex nature of this cross-cultural meeting. In frontier regions around the globe, the ‘asymmetrical’ relationship between imperialist and tribal also created spaces for convergence and collaboration,41 friendship and exchange, as well as resistance and distrust. Furthermore, these colonial archives have imbedded within them the distinct, resonant speech of indigenous subjects.42 Tribal voices are living expressions of intercultural encounter where subaltern lives are expressed through active agents, not merely the ventriloquist constructions of colonial auteurs. In many instances, colonial scholar administrators recorded the oral testimonies, genealogies, and mythological histories of their subjects, preserved their sacred texts, and provided meticulous, first-hand ethnographic observations of diverse practices, from agricultural production to marriage ceremonies, religious rites, and forms of material culture, including architecture, cuisine, clothing, jewellery, ornamentation, and hair dressing. They include, in certain cases, word for word transcriptions of interviews with autochthonous subjects, detailed sketches Page 7 of 15

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Epilogue (verbal or visual) of landscapes no longer extant as well as vegetal and animal populations now extinct, photographs of communities in traditional forms of clothing, and village spaces that are no longer part of remembered history or communal memory. In this way, their writings serve as ‘intercultural objects’ in the process of ‘recovering dialogue and diverse voices’ from the margins.43 Thus, these colonial records highlight instances of resistance and ambiguity as much as collaboration. When censuring or policing tribal peoples and their customs, colonial administrators simultaneously revealed the limited nature of colonial influence and knowledge production. There are numerous such instances. Francis Buchanan-Hamilton’s discomfort with the ‘troublesome’ interreligious and multilingual history of the region, expressed through the language of late eighteenth-century botany, revealed the many ways in which the hill peoples’ histories transcended essentialist categories of identity, whether region, language, culture, or religion. The CHT crossed the geo-cultural divides of South and Southeast Asia. It also saw the merging of Bengali and Tibeto-Burmese languages; the intercultural mix of Bengali, Burmese, and tribal social practices; and hybrid forms of (p.219) religious worship, which blurred distinctions of Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, and animist belief systems. Thomas H. Lewin’s relentless conflict with and condemnation of the mid-nineteenth-century Chakma regent queen, Rani Kalindi, exposed an important and vivid case of indigenous resistance, particularly female agency, against the colonial state and patriarchal hierarchies. His celebration of hill women more generally emphasized the egalitarian nature of tribal society and marriage law, which, he concluded, was more gender equitable than other contemporary societies, South Asian or European. W.W. Hunter’s 1876 survey illuminated the problems of using enumerative methods and labels on groups whose identities could not be standardized through simplistic overarching categories and the colonial state’s inherent unfamiliarity with the CHT’s uniquely diverse religious and cultural makeup. Sneyd Hutchinson’s racial and sociological typecasting of the indigenous tribes in his 1909 gazetteer emphasized fraught instances of colonial paradox and ambiguity, where the lines of ‘civilized’ and ‘uncivilized’ were blurred, even at the very moment they were articulated. Mills’s 1927 report and proposals, while critical of the CHT chiefs, in the process brought to the fore examples of a vibrant imperial cosmopolitanism and the significant connection between peripheral frontiers and global metropoles. Such first-hand accounts within colonial writings, from official tour journals, government reports, and surveys to unofficial letters and diaries, are invaluable records for indigenous people’s own histories, which is of importance to both scholars and indigenous peoples themselves in reclaiming forgotten pasts. In particular, these colonial histories of encounter and exchange contrast with postcolonial renditions of often narrowly defined tribal identity both within regional and transregional contexts. As Kyle Jackson has argued, contemporary readings of northeast India often highlight essentialist tribal identities that Page 8 of 15

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Epilogue privilege certain groups over others, in the process erasing memories of colonial cosmopolitanism. He cites the example of the ‘History’ room in the contemporary Mizoram State Museum, which displays only a Mizo past, ‘quarantining’ Lai, Bru, Chakma, and Mara peoples to an anthropology room across the hall. Such museological exhibitions forget histories of intercommunal exchange, let alone the historic existence of other ethnic groups in certain regions.44 The CHT similarly shared multi-ethnic, multi-tribal, and multireligious communities, as I have noted throughout this book. (p.220) The CHT also figured into transregional comparisons not only with other communities in the northeast border zone and colonial South Asia, but also within British and world geography. From the start, colonial administrators grafted foreign landscapes upon the CHT. The Scottish highlands and Scottish clan structures were applied to understanding Indian ‘tribes’ and hill landscapes in general, including those of the CHT; Buchanan-Hamilton contrasted the region’s soil with that of the West Indies, particularly Jamaica; Lewin compared the riverine beauty of the Hills with the European countryside, from England to Germany; and Mills contrasted the region with upland Indonesia and colonial Africa. Through such comparisons, this tribal hinterland was interlinked with a global cartography, revealing how important remote peripheries were in imperial imaginaries, thus reformulating ideas of home/nation/world both in the metropole as well as the colony. In this manner, such colonial writings reveal as much about the British as they do about the indigenous peoples they came in contact with. In attempting to define autochthone otherness, through the imagery of wild landscapes and the language of civilizational primitivity, colonial scholar administrators also exposed their views on British culture, institutions, and imperial governance. Several of the administrator scholars in this study began their careers as idealistic young men, and their writings reveal the inherent vulnerabilities of those far from home for the first time and, in many ways, little prepared for the ensuing tasks they faced. Accounts of meetings with tribal chiefs are interlaced with memories of school in England or taking tea at a family member’s home in London or Edinburgh; descriptions of the wide Karnaphuli river are interspersed with British and European garden and country scenes. Their writings are inherently rich resources not only on tribal histories, customs, and genealogies but also on British lives experienced both at the heart of the Empire and in a remote colonial frontier. Their letters include insightful (and often critical) observations on changing political, economic, and social conditions in Britain, the failings of colonial India and its administration, the global exchange of capital, peoples, and commodities in an expanding imperial map, and, as I have argued, the circulation of European intellectual ideas in a colonial context. Many would use their knowledge of the hill peoples as a mirror to question their own society and the legitimacy of imperialism altogether. The gender equity of the hill peoples and (p.221) their open cheerfulness and tolerance of foreigners Page 9 of 15

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Epilogue would be praised in contrast to the rigidities of both Victorian social mores as well as Hindu caste prejudice; the exploitation of hill lands and peoples by Bengali moneylenders and lawyers would often be cited to criticize the destructive nature of colonial capitalism and economic development; and the vulnerability of unique tribal languages and social systems were provided as evidence to argue for non-intervention by colonial institutions and administrations. In the process, such global, transnational histories intertwine both macro and micro narratives without sacrificing one for the other. As Andrew May argues, their writings can serve as micro narratives of individual lives, elite and subaltern, European, Indian, tribal or mixed race, as well as macro readings on histories of the environment, diaspora, decolonization, the transcultural encounter, and hybrid subjectivity.45 While I have attempted to cover several issues, as inevitably occurs in the writing of any book, there are various omissions and several potential areas for future scholarship. I will mention three such areas here. First, I had hoped to explore family histories of indigenous subjects, such as those of the Chakma raja’s household, in depth, but was ultimately unable to do so. As I have written elsewhere, family and personal accounts often provide lively and engaging information excluded from official records, and hint at wider networks of connection than earlier presupposed, such as accounts of political marriage and cultural cosmopolitanism.46 I have touched upon some of these issues in this book, but much more can be further mined through written and oral sources. Second, there are various postcolonial topics that warrant further exploration. These include a history of the 1960 Kaptai Dam within the context of postcolonial economic development and the role of international aid agencies and global multinationals, as well as the study of human rights violations, particularly crimes against women, in the CHT since the 1970s.47 While there is a growing literature on the postcolonial politics within the CHT, much more must be done. Third, it would be important to examine the CHT in the context of comparative religion as a vital and intriguing case study on the relationship between Buddhist and Muslim communities in contemporary South Asia. While there has been a lively (and often contentious) historiography on the relationship between Muslim, Christian, and Jewish (p.222) populations, as well as Hindu–Muslim conflict and Buddhist–Hindu relations, there are few accounts of the status of Buddhist peoples in Muslim-majority nations. In light of recent tensions between Buddhist and Muslim communities in the region (for instance, Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar), it would be useful to re-examine such histories of religious tolerance as well as polarization.

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Epilogue While the postcolonial history of the CHT is a tumultuous one of exploitation, this work (and others published in the past few years) reveals the growing interest in histories of borderland peoples. Slowly but surely, indigenous voices are entering into mainstream national historiography. In a recent omnibus on Bangladesh, which consisted of major sources on the country’s history, culture, and politics from antiquity to the present, numerous contributions addressed the CHT and Garo hill peoples, and several entries were by indigenous authors themselves.48 These pieces included extracts from tribal genealogies and mythohistories, colonial ethnographies, including Francis Buchanan’s 1798 travelogue and John Beames’s 1961 memoir, oral histories of hill people suffering migration and human rights violations in the twentieth century, the recollections of Chakma raja, Tridiv Roy, and Bohmong raja, Aung Shwe Prue Chowdhury, and the poetry and writings of women activists, such as Kalpana Chakma and Kabita Chakma, among others. It is heartening to note that such voices are being included and re-remembered in compilations of national history. More must be done to reclaim these endangered and oft-forgotten pasts, where the historian can intervene fruitfully. I hope that future scholars will continue the work only just begun here.

Notes Notes:

(1.) van Schendel and Pachuau, The Camera as Witness, p. 6. (2.) Chatterjee, Forgotten Friends, p. 353; Robert Reid, ‘The Excluded Areas of Assam’, Geographical Journal 103, no. 1–2 (1944): 18–29. (3.) de Maaker and Joshi, ‘Introduction: The Northeast and Beyond’, p. 384. (4.) Joy L.K. Pachuau and Willem van Schendel, ‘Borderland Histories, Northeastern India: An Introduction’, guest ed. Joy L.K. Pachuau and Willem van Schendel, Studies in History 32, no. 1 (February 2016): 1–4, p. 2. (5.) Meghna Guhathakurta, ‘Amidst the Winds of Change: The Hindu Minority in Bangladesh’, South Asian History and Culture 3, no. 2 (April 2012): 288–301, p. 288. (p.223) (6.) Mohsin, The Politics of Nationalism, p. 35. (7.) Mohsin, The Politics of Nationalism, pp. 34–5; Amena Mohsin, The Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh: On the Difficult Road to Peace (Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2003), p. 18. (8.) Mohsin, The Politics of Nationalism, pp. 35–6.

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Epilogue (9.) Letter from Sneha Kumar Chakma, B.A. to Viscount Wavell, The Viceroy and Governor-General of India, 1 July 1945. Rangamati. India Office Records, L/PJ/ 7/7859, British Library, London, UK. (10.) Letter from the three circle chiefs, the Bohmong Raja, Chakma Raja, and Mong Raja, to the British Prime Minister, Secretary of State for India, the Viceroy of India and the Governor of Bengal, 1 June 1945, Chittagong Hill Tracts, pp. 1–2. India Office Records, L/PJ/7/7859, British Library, London, UK. (11.) Letter from the three circle chiefs, the Bohmong Raja, Chakma Raja, and Mong Raja, to the British Prime Minister, Secretary of State for India, the Viceroy of India, and the Governor of Bengal, 1 June 1945, p. 2. Tripura would form part of the new state of Tripura in independent India, while Cooch Behar remained in west Bengal. However, the two kingdoms merged with the republican government of India in 1947–8, and ceased to be independent states with political autonomy. The royal families retained princely titles, privileges, and monies. However, in 1971, Indira Gandhi would rescind the constitutionally granted Privy Purse, which was a percentage of their state revenue. Today, Cooch Behar state and its formal royal properties are largely forgotten. However, the current maharaja of Tripura remains active in the politics and peoples’ movements within his state. (12.) Letter from the three circle chiefs, the Bohmong Raja, Chakma Raja, and Mong Raja, to the British Prime Minister, Secretary of State for India, the Viceroy of India, and the Governor of Bengal, 1 June 1945, Chittagong Hill Tracts, p. 3. (13.) Letter from the three circle chiefs, the Bohmong Raja, Chakma Raja, and Mong Raja, to the British Prime Minister, Secretary of State for India, the Viceroy of India, and the Governor of Bengal, 1 June 1945, p. 1. Note their telling omission of the East India Company and the British Raj from their list of foreign imperialists. (14.) Letter from the three circle chiefs, the Bohmong Raja, Chakma Raja, and Mong Raja, to the British Prime Minister, Secretary of State for India, the Viceroy of India, and the Governor of Bengal, 1 June 1945, p. 1. (15.) Letter from the three circle chiefs, the Bohmong Raja, Chakma Raja, and Mong Raja, to the British Prime Minister, Secretary of State for India, the Viceroy of India, and the Governor of Bengal, 1 June 1945, p. 3. (16.) Letter from Sneha Kumar Chakma to Viscount Wavell, The Viceroy and Governor-General of India, 1 July 1945, Rangamati, pp. 3–4. India Office Records, L/PJ/7/7859, British Library, London, UK. (p.224)

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Epilogue (17.) Letter from Sneha Kumar Chakma to Viscount Wavell, The Viceroy and Governor-General of India, 1 July 1945, Rangamati, p. 4. (18.) Letter from Sneha Kumar Chakma to Viscount Wavell, The Viceroy and Governor-General of India, 1 July 1945, Rangamati, p. 7. (19.) Mohsin, The Politics of Nationalism, pp. 35–6. (20.) There are some slight discrepancies in population statistics during this time. Some scholars believe that it was 95 per cent to 98 per cent non-Muslim. See the documentary, Dewan, dir., Life is Still Not Ours, 2013, and Mohsin, The Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh, p. 17. (21.) Mukherji, Subjects, Citizens and Refugees, p. 16. (22.) Nicholas Mansergh, The Transfer of Power: 1942–47, Vol. XII, 8 July–15 August 1947, Her Majesty’s Stationary Office, London, 1981, pp. 674, 691, 732, 737; Mukherji, Subjects, Citizens, Refugees, p. 16; Mohsin, Politics of Nationalism, p. 36. (23.) Mohsin, The Politics of Nationalism, pp. 36–7. (24.) Mukherji, Subjects, Citizens, Refugees, pp. 16–7. (25.) Sugata Bose and Ayesha Jalal, Modern South Asia: History, Culture, Political Economy (London: Routledge, 2004, 2nd edn), p. 154. (26.) Mohsin, The Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh, p. 19. (27.) Refer to his chapter on ‘refugees’ in Saradindu Shekhar Chakma, Ethnic Cleansing in Chittagong Hill Tracts. (28.) Mohsin, The Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh, p. 24. (29.) Gain, ‘Life and Nature at Risk’, p. 37. (30.) Jhala, ‘Daughters of the Hills,’ p. 116; Biplob Rahman, ‘Old Chakma Rajbari Surfaced in Kaptai Lake, a National Asset, Its Govt’s Duty to Protect It: Chakma Raja’, bdnews24.com, 8 May 2006. Accessible at https://bdnews24.com/lifestyle/ 2006/05/08/old-chakma-rajbari-surfaced-in-kaptai-lake-a-national-asset-its-govts-duty-to-protect-it-chakma-raja1. (31.) Mohsin, Politics of Nationalism, pp. 55–6; The Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh, p. 21. (32.) Mohsin, The Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh, pp. 21–2. (33.) Mohsin, The Politics of Nationalism, pp. 166–7.

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Epilogue (34.) Mohsin, The Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh, pp. 34–5. (35.) Meghna Guhathakurta, ‘Women’s Survival and Resistance’, in The Chittagong Hill Tracts: Life and Nature at Risk (Dhaka: Society for Environment and Human Development, 2000), p. 90. (36.) Jessica Skinner, Internal Displacement in the CHT and Rights-Based Approaches to Rehabilitation (Dhaka: Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit, 2008), pp. 8–11. (37.) Mohsin, The Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh, p. 35. (p.225) (38.) Andrew J. May, ‘“To Lay Down the Frontier of an Empire”: Circumscribing Identity in Northeast India’, Studies in History 32, no. 1 (2016): 5–20, p. 9. (39.) May, ‘“To Lay Down the Frontier of an Empire”’, p. 14. (40.) Subba and Wouters, ‘North-East India’, p. 199; Pachuau, Being Mizo, p. 35. (41.) May, ‘“To Lay Down the Frontier of an Empire”’, p. 15; G.D. MacLeitch, Imperial Entanglements: Iroquois Change and Persistence on the Frontiers of Empire (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011); Tony Ballantyne, Entanglements of Empire: Missionaries, Maori, and the Question of the Body (Auckland University Press, 2015). (42.) As Gunnel Cederlof has argued in her work on colonial northeast India, there is a misconception that colonial archives consist only of British-authored documents, when, in fact, indigenous voices were vocal and engaged participants within colonial archives (Cederlof, Founding an Empire, pp. 7–8). (43.) May, ‘“To Lay Down the Frontier of an Empire”’, p. 16; C. Ginzburg, Clues, Myths, and the Historical Method (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992). (44.) Jackson, ‘Globalizing an Indian Borderland Environment’, p.70. (45.) May, ‘“To Lay Down the Frontier of an Empire”’, pp. 10–11. (46.) I have addressed such family histories, particularly of women, in Jhala, ‘Daughters of the Hills’. (47.) See Kabita Chakma and Glen Hill, ‘Indigenous Women and Culture in the Colonized Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh’, in Everyday Occupations: Experiencing Militarism in South Asia and the Middle East, ed. Kamala Visweswaran (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013) for an important overview of such crimes against indigenous women. More recently, the rape of two Marma girls in February 2018 has led the current Chakma rani, Yan Yan, who is a human rights activist, to engage in a larger movement Page 14 of 15

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Epilogue addressing the emancipation and agency of indigenous women in the CHT, speaking in various venues such as the United Nations (‘Chittagong Hill Tracts: Attack on Chakma Queen Symbolises State Persecution of Indigenous Groups’, 9 April 2018. http://unpo.org/article/20731; ‘Rani Yan Yan, WHRD, Chakma Queen’, Front Line Defenders, accessible at https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/ profile/rani-yan-yan; 22 January 2019). (48.) Meghna Guhathakurta and Willem van Schendel, eds, The Bangladesh Reader: History, Culture, Politics (Durham: Duke University Press, 2013).

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Works Cited

An Endangered History: Indigeneity, Religion, and Politics on the Borders of India, Burma, and Bangladesh Angma Dey Jhala

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780199493081 Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019 DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199493081.001.0001

(p.226) Works Cited Angma Dey Jhala

Unpublished Primary Sources Private Papers, British Library, London

Papers of T.H. Lewin, MSS Eur. C 80. Papers of Francis Buchanan-Hamilton. ‘An Account of a Journey Undertaken by Order of the Board of Trade through the Provinces of Chittagong and Tiperah, in order to Look Out for the Places Most Proper for the Cultivation of Spices, by Francis Buchanan, MD’, Add MS 19286, 1798. India Office Library, British Library, London

J.P. Mills’s Tour Diary, IOR Neg 11712/2. Papers of John Henry Hutton, IOR/NEG/11712/4. India Office Records: Official Publications (IOR/V). India Office Records: Public & Judicial Department (IOR/L/PJ). India Office Records: Economic Department Records (IOR/L/E). Harvard Map Collections, Pusey Library, Harvard University

James Rennell, ‘To the Honorable Warren Hastings, Esquire, Governor General of the British Possessions in Asia this Map of Bengal and Bahar’, 1779, MAP-LC G7652.G3 1779.R4. Pitt Rivers Museum Archive, Oxford University

J.P. Mills Object Collection

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Works Cited (p.227) School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) Digital Collection, London

J.P. Mills Photographic Collection Senate House Library, London

Papers of T.H. Lewin, Mss 811/11/29–Mss 811/II/68. Centre of South Asian Studies Film Archive, Cambridge University

Christie Collection. Accessible at http://www.s-asian.cam.ac.uk/archive/films/ collection/christie-collection; 22 January 2019. Printed Primary Sources

Abul Fazl ‘Allami, Shaikh. A’in-i Akbarī, Vol. 1, ed. H. Blochmann (Calcutta, 1872). Barrow, John. An Account of Travels into the Interior of Southern Africa: In the Years 1797 and 1798: Including Cursory Observations on the Geology and Geography of the Southern Part of that Continent; the Natural History of such Objects as Occurred in the Animal, Vegetable, and Mineral Kingdoms; and Sketches on the Physical and Moral Characters of the Various Tribes of Inhabitants Surrounding the Settlement of the Cape of Good Hope (New York: G.F. Hopkins, 1802). Beames, John. Memoirs of a Bengal Civilian: The Lively Narrative of a Victorian District Officer (London/New York: Eland/Hippocrene, 1984). Black, Charles E.D. A Memoir on the Indian Surveys 1875–1890 (London: E.A. Arnold, 1891). Bronte, Emily. Wuthering Heights, ed. Hilda Marsden and Ian Jack (Oxford: Clarendon, 1976). ———. The Annotated Wuthering Heights, ed. Janet Gezari (Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2014). Buchanan, Francis. De febribus inte(r)mittenibus medendo (Edinburgi, 1783). ———. ‘A Comparative Vocabulary of Some of the Languages Spoken in the Burman Empire’, Asiatick Researches 5 (1801), 219–40. ———. ‘On the Religion and Literature of the Burmans’. Asiatick Researches VI (1801). ———. ‘On the Religion and Literature of the Burmas’. Asiatick Researches 6 (London reprint, 1807), 163–308. (p.228) Buchanan, Francis. ‘An Account of Journey Undertaken by Order of the Board of Trade through the Provinces of Chittagong and Tiperah’, in Francis Page 2 of 23

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Works Cited Buchanan in Southeast Bengal (1798): His Journey to Chittagong, the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Noakhali and Comilla, ed. Willem van Schendel (Dhaka: University Press Limited, 1992). Conrad, Joseph. Heart of Darkness (originally published in London: Blackwood’s Magazine, 1899). Corfield, Conrad. The Princely India I Knew: From Reading to Mountbatten (Madras, 1975). Devi, Sucharu. Maharani of Mayurbhanj: A Biography (Calcutta: Writers Workshop, 1979). Devi, Sunity. Autobiography of an Indian Princess (London: John Murray, 1921). Elphinstone, M. Report on the Territories Conquered from the Paishwa (2nd edn, Calcutta, 1821). Fitze, Kenneth. Twilight of the Maharajas (London: John Murray, 1956). Forster, E.M. A Passage to India (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1924). ———. The Hill of Devi (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1953). Gordon-Cumming, Roualeyn. Five Years’ Adventures in the Far Interior of South Africa: With Notices of the Native Tribes and Savage Animals (London: J. Murray, 1893). Hamilton, Walter. A Geographical, Statistical, and Historical Description of Hindostan and the Adjacent Countries, 2 vols (London, 1820). Hay, John Drummond. Western Barbary: Its Wild Tribes and Savage Animals (London: J. Murray, 1844). Hodson, T.C. Naga Tribes of Manipur (London: Macmillan and Co. Limited, 1911). Hunter, W.W. A Statistical Account of Bengal, Vol. VI: Chittagong Hill Tracts, Chittagong, Noakhali, Tipperah, Hill Tipperah (London: Trübner & Co., 1876). Hutchinson, R.H. Sneyd. An Account of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (Calcutta: Bengal Secretariat Book Depot, 1906). ———. Eastern Bengal and Assam District Gazetteers (Allahabad: Pioneer Press, 1909). ———. Eastern India and Assam District Gazetteers, Chittagong Hill Tracts (Allahabad: Pioneer Press, 1909). Page 3 of 23

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Works Cited Hutton, J.H. The Angami Nagas with Some Notes on the Neighbouring Tribes (London: Macmillan and Co. Limited, 1921). ———. The Sema Nagas (London: Macmillan and Co. Limited, 1921). Leach, Edmund. Political Systems of Highland Burma (London: G. Bell & Sons, 1954). Lewin, T.H. The Hill Tracts of Chittagong and the Dwellers Therein with Comparative Vocabularies of the Hill Dialects (Calcutta: Bengal Printing Company, Limited, 1869). (p.229) Lewin, T.H. Wild Races of Southeastern India (London: W. H. Allen & Co., 1870). ———. Hill Proverbs of the Inhabitants of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (Calcutta: Bengal Secretariat Press, 1873). ———. Progressive Colloquial Exercises in the Lushai Dialect of the ‘Dzo’ or Kuki Language (Calcutta: Calcutta Central Press, 1874). ———. A Manual Of Tibetan: Being A Guide To The Colloquial Speech Of Tibet In A Series Of Progressive Exercises (prepared with the assistance of Yapa Ugyen Gyatsho; Calcutta: G.H. Rouse at the Baptist Mission Press, 1879). ———, ed. ‘From Lady Eastlake to Mrs. Margaret Lewin, Fitzroy Square, January 29th, 1885’, in The Lewin Letters: A Selection from the Correspondence & Diaries of an English Family, 1756–1885, 2 vols (London: Archibald Constable & Co. Ltd, 1909). ———, ed. The Lewin Letters: A Selection from the Correspondence & Diaries of an English Family, 1756–1885, 2 vols (London: Archibald Constable & Co. Ltd., 1909). ———. A Fly on a Wheel or How I Helped to Govern India (originally published 1885, reprinted 1912. Reprint New Delhi: Rakesh Press, 1977). Mackenzie, Alexander. History of the Relations of the Government With the HiIl Tribes of the North East Frontier of Bengal (Calcutta: Home Department Press, 1884). Malcolm, Sir John. A Memoir of Central India, 2 vols (London: Kingsbury, Parbury and Allen, 1823). Mansergh, Nicholas. The Transfer of Power: 1942–47, Vol. XII, 8 July–15 August 1947 (Her Majesty’s Stationary Office, London, 1981).

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Works Cited Mey, Wolfgang, ed. J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, 1926/27: Tour Diary, Reports, Photographs (annotated and commented edition, 2009). Accessible at http://crossasia-repository.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/548/1/ J.P._Mills_and_the_Chittagong_Hill_Tracts.pdf; 12 January 2019. Mills, J.P. The Lhota Nagas (London: Macmillan and Co. Limited, 1922). ———. The Ao Nagas (London: Macmillan and Co. Limited, 1926). ———. The Rengma Nagas (London: Macmillan and Co. Limited, 1937). ———. ‘Anthropology as a Hobby’, The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland 83/1 (January–June 1953), 1–8. Parry, N.E. The Lakhers (London: Macmillan and Co. Limited, 1932). Prain, David. ‘A Sketch of the Life of Francis Hamilton (once Buchanan), Sometime Superintendent of the Honourable Company’s Botanic Garden, Calcutta’. Annals of the Royal Botanic Garden, Calcutta 10, Part 2 (1905), i–lxxv. Risley, H.H. The People of India (2nd edn, London: W. Thacker and Co., 1915). Scott, Walter. The Surgeon’s Daughter (Magnum Edition, 1829–1833). Sinclair, Sir John. Analysis of the Statistical Account of Scotland: Vol. I (originally published in Edinburgh: Arch, Constable & Co., 1825; repr. London: Johnston Reprint Corporation, 1970). (p.230) Skrine, Francis H. Life of Sir William Wilson Hunter (London: Longmans, Green and Company, 1901). Tod, James. Annals and Antiquities of Rajasth’an (New Delhi: M.N. Publishers, 1978). Walker, Lt. Col. A. ‘Reports on the Resources of the (Ceded) Districts in the Province of Gujarat 1804–1806’, in Selections from the Records of the Bombay Government, N.S. no. 39, pt. 1. 1856. Government Records

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Works Cited Lalruatkima. ‘“Wild Races”: Scripts and Textures of Imperial Imagination’. PhD Dissertation, Claremont Graduate University, 2014. Paidipaty, Poornima L. ‘Tribal Nation: Politics and the Making of Anthropology in India, 1874–1967’. PhD Dissertation, Columbia University, 2010. Films

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Works Cited Agnes, Flavia. ‘Law and Gender Inequality: The Politics of Women’s Rights in India’, reprinted in Women and Law in India: An Omnibus (New Delhi, 2004). Ahuja, Ravi. Pathways of Empire (Hyderabad: Orient BlackSwan, 2009). Ali, S. Mahmud. The Fearful State: Power, People and Internal War in South Asia (London: Zed Books, 1993). Allen, Charles and Sharada Dwivedi. ‘Mother and Father of the People’, in Lives of the Indian Princes (New York: Crown Publishers, 1984), pp. 287–305. Amrith, Sunil. Crossing the Bay of Bengal: The Furies of Nature and the Fortune of Migrants (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2013). Anderson, Clare. Legible Bodies: Race, Criminality and Colonialism in South Asia (Oxford: Berg, 2004). Appadurai, Arjun. ‘Number in the Colonial Imagination’. Orientalism and the Postcolonial Predicament, Perspectives on South Asia, ed. Carol A. Breckenridge and Peter van der Veer (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1993), pp. 314–39. Arasaratnam, Sinnappah. Maritime India in the Seventeenth Century (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1994). (p.232) Asian Ethnicity. ‘Special Issue: Borderland Politics in Northern India’. 14/3 (2013). Ballantyne, Tony. Webs of Empire: Locating New Zealand’s Colonial Past (Wellington: Bridget Williams Books, 2012). ———. Entanglements of Empire: Missionaries, Maori, and the Question of the Body (Auckland, New Zealand: Auckland University Press, 2015). Barnard, Timothy P. ‘The Rafflesia in the Natural and Imperial Imagination of the East India Company in Southeast Asia’, in The East India Company and the Natural World, ed. Vinita Damodaran, Anna Winterbottom, and Alan Lester (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), pp. 147–66. Baruah, S. Durable Disorder: Understanding the Politics of Northeast India (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2005). Bates, Crispin. ‘Race, Caste and Tribe in Central India: The Early Origins of Indian Anthropometry’, in The Concept of Race in South Asia, ed. Peter Robb (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1995), pp. 219–59. Bayly, C.A. Indian Society and the Making of the British Empire (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988). Page 7 of 23

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Works Cited ———. The Birth of the Modern World, 1780–1914: Global Connections and Comparisons (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2004). Bayly, Susan. ‘Caste and “Race” in the Colonial Ethnography of India’, in The Concept of Race in South Asia, ed. Peter Robb (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1995), pp. 165–218. Bentley, J.H., ed. The Oxford Handbook of World History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011). Berger, Peter and Frank Heidemann, eds. The Modern Anthropology of India: Ethnography, Themes and Theory (London: Routledge, 2013). Bernot, Denise and Lucien Bernot. ‘Chittagong Hill Tribes’, in Pakistan Society and Culture, ed. S. Maron (New Haven, 1957). ———. Les Khyang des collines de Chittagong (Pakistan oriental); Matériaux pour l’étude linguistique des Chin (Plon, 1958). Bernot, Lucien. Les Paysans Arakanais du Pakistan Oriental, L’histoire, le monde végétal et l’organisation sociale des réfugiés Marma (Mog) (Paris, La Haye, 1967). Bessaignet, P. ‘Tribesmen of the Chittagong Hill Tracts’. Asiatic Society of Pakistan, publication No. 1 (Dacca, 1958). Bhattacharya, Jayanta. ‘Travel Accounts and the Eighteenth Century: Indian Medicine and Surgery through Travelling Gaze’. Indian Journal of History of Science 48/1 (2013), 39–60. Bohls, Elizabeth A. and Ian Duncan, eds. Travel Writing 1700–1830: An Anthology (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005). Bose, Melia Belli. Royal Umbrellas of Stone: Memory, Politics and Public Identity in Rajput Funerary Art (Leiden: Brill, 2015). (p.233) Bose, Sugata and Ayesha Jalal. Modern South Asia: History, Culture, Political Economy (London: Routledge, 1998). ———. Modern South Asia: History, Culture, Political Economy (2nd edn, London: Routledge, 2004). Brancaccio, Pia. The Buddhist Caves at Aurangabad: Transformations in Art and Religion (Leiden: Brill, 2011). Brown, Iain Gordon. ‘Griffins, Nabobs and a Seasoning of Curry Powder: Water Scott and the Indian Theme in Life and Literature’, in The Tiger and the Thistle: Tipu Sultan and the Scots in India, 1760–1800, ed. Anne Buddle, Pauline Page 8 of 23

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Works Cited Rohatgi, and Iain Gordon Brown (Edinburgh: National Gallery of Scotland, 1999), pp. 71–9. Bryant, G.J. ‘Scots in India in the Eighteenth Century’. The Scottish Historical Review 64/177 (April 1985), 22–41. Buddle, Anne. ‘The Scots in India’, in The Tiger and the Thistle: Tipu Sultan and the Scots in India, 1760–1800, ed. Anne Buddle, Pauline Rohatgi, and Iain Gordon Brown (Edinburgh: National Gallery of Scotland, 1999), pp. 55–7. Cannadine, David. Aspects of Aristocracy (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1994). ———. Ornamentalism: How the British Saw Their Empire (Oxford: Oxford University, 2001). Cederlof, Gunnel. Founding an Empire on India’s North-Eastern Frontiers, 1790– 1840: Climate, Commerce, Polity (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2014). Chakma, Harikishore, Tapas Chakma, Preyasi Dewan, and Mafuz Ullah. Bara Parang: The Tale of Developmental Refugees of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (Dhaka: Centre for Sustainable Development, 1995). Chakma, Kabita and Glen Hill. ‘Indigenous Women and Culture in the Colonized Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh’, in Everyday Occupations: Experiencing Militarism in South Asia and the Middle East, ed. Kamala Visweswaran (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013), pp. 132–57. Chakma, Mangal Kumar. The Status of Adivasi Hill Women in Light of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Accord (Dhaka: Bangladesh Nari Progati Sangha, 2010). Chakma, Saradindu Shekhar. Ethnic Cleansing in Chittagong Hill Tracts (Dhaka: Ankur Prakashani, 2006). Chakrabarty, Dipesh. ‘Modernity and Ethnicity in India: A History for the Present.’ Economic and Political Weekly 30/52 (30 December, 1995), 3373–80. Chatterjee, Indrani. Forgotten Friends: Monks, Marriages and Memories of Northeast India (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2013). Chatterjee, Partha. ‘The Nationalist Resolution of the Women’s Question’, in Recasting Women, ed. K. Sangari and P. Vaid (New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1990), pp. 233–53. (p.234) Chen, Yu-Wen and Chih-yu Shih, eds. Borderland Politics in Northern India (London: Routledge, 2015).

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Works Cited Choudhury, Rishad. ‘An Eventful Politics of Difference and Its Afterlife: Chittagong Frontier, Bengal, c. 1657–1757’. The Indian Economic and Social History Review 52/3 (2015), pp. 271–96. Chowdhury, Tamina M. ‘Raids, Annexation and Plough: Transformation through Territorialisation in Nineteenth-Century Chittagong Hill Tracts.’ The Indian Economic and Social History Review 53/2 (2016), 183–224. ———. Indigenous Identity in South Asia: Making Claims in the Colonial Chittagong Hill Tracts (London: Routledge, 2016). Cohn, Bernard S. ‘The Census, Social Structure and Objectification in South Asia’, in An Anthropologist among the Historians and Other Essays (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1987), pp. 224–54. ———. ‘Representing Authority in Victorian India’, in An Anthropologist among the Historians and Other Essays (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1987), pp. 632– 82. ———. Colonialism and Its Forms of Knowledge: The British in India (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996). Cole, Simon A. Suspect Identities: A History of Fingerprinting and Criminal Identification (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001). Colley, Linda. Captives: Britain, Empire and the World, 1600–1850 (New York: Anchor Books, 2002). ———. ‘Wide-Angled’, London Review of Books 35/18 (26 September 2013), 18– 19. Collingham, E.M. Imperial Bodies: The Physical Experience of the Raj, c. 1800– 1947 (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2001). Conlon, Frank. ‘The Census of India as a Source for the Historical Study of Religion and Caste’, in The Census in British India: New Perspectives, ed. N. Gerald Barrier (Delhi: Manohar, 1981), pp. 103–17. Cooper, F. and A.L. Stoler, eds. Tensions of Empire (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997). Copland, Ian. The Princes of India in the Endgame of Empire, 1917–1947 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997). Crill, Rosemary. ‘Patronage at Court’, in Maharaja: The Splendour of India’s Royal Courts, ed. Anna Jackson and Amin Jaffer (London: V & A publishing 2009), pp. 134–65.

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Works Cited Crouch, Melissa, ed. Islam and the State in Myanmar: Muslim-Buddhist Relations and the Politics of Belonging (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2016). Dalmia, Vasudha and Rashmi Sadana. The Cambridge Companion to Modern Indian Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012). (p.235) Damodaran, Vinita. ‘Indigenous Agency: Customary Rights and Tribal Protections in Eastern India, 1830–1930’. History Workshop Journal 76 (2013), 85–110. Damodaran, Vinita, Anna Winterbottom, and Alan Lester, eds. The East India Company and the Natural World (Basingstoke, GB: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015). Das, S.K. ‘Ethnicity and the Rise of Religious Radicalism: The Security Scenario in Contemporary Northeastern India’, in Religious Radicalism and Security in South Asia, ed. S.P. Limaye, M. Malik, and R.G. Wirsing (Honolulu: Asia Pacific Centre for Security Studies, 2004). Delamont, Sara. ‘Speaking Volumes: Edmund Leach’s Political Systems of Highland Burma’. Times Higher Education, 3 January 1997. de Maaker, Erik, and Vibha Joshi. ‘Introduction: The Northeast and Beyond— Region and Culture’. South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies 30/3 (December 2007), 381–90. ———, eds. ‘Special Issue: The Northeast and Beyond: Region and Culture’. South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies 30/3 (December 2007). Devine, T.M. Scotland’s Empire, 1600–1815 (New York: Allen Lane, 2003). Dirks, Nicholas. Castes of Mind: Colonialism and the Making of Modern India (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001). Donaldson, G. The Scots Overseas (London: Robert Hale, 1966). Erni, Christian, ed. The Concept of Indigenous Peoples in Asia: A Resource Book, IWGIA Document No. 123, Copenhagen/Chiang Mai, 2008. Evans, Neil. ‘“A World Empire, Sea-Girt”: The British Empire, States, Nations, 1780–1914’, in Nationalizing Empires, ed. Stephen Berger and Alexei Miller (Budapest/New York: Central European University Press, 2015), pp. 31–98. Fara, Patricia. Sex, Botany and Empire: The Story of Carl Linnaeus and Joseph Banks (New York: Columbia University Press, 2003). Gadgil, Madhav and Ramachandra Guha. This Fissured Land: An Ecological History of India (Berkeley/Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1992). Page 11 of 23

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Works Cited Gage, A.T. A History of the Linnaean Society of London (London: Linnaean Society, 1938). Gain, Philip, ed. The Chittagong Hill Tracts: Life and Nature at Risk (Dhaka: Society for Environment and Human Development, 2000). ———. ‘Life and Nature at Risk’, in The Chittagong Hill Tracts: Life and Nature at Risk (Dhaka: Society for Environment and Human Development, 2000), pp. 1– 41. Gascoigne, J. Joseph Banks and the English Enlightenment: Useful Knowledge and Polite Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995). Gellner, David N. ‘Introduction’, in Borderland Lives: In Northern South Asia, ed. David N. Gellner (Durham: Duke University Press, 2013), pp. 1–23. Ghosh, Durba. Sex and the Family in Colonial India: The Making of Empire (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006). (p.236) Gill, K.P.S., ed. Terror and Containment: Perspectives on India’s Internal Security (New Delhi: Gyan Publishing House, 2001). Ginzburg, C. Clues, Myths, and the Historical Method (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992). Gordon, Eleanor and Gwyneth Nair. Public Lives: Women, Family and Society in Victorian Britain (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2003). Green, J. Reynolds. A History of Botany in the United Kingdom (London: Dent & Sons, 1914). Greenough, Paul. ‘Hunter’s Drowned Land: An Environmental Fantasy of the Victorian Sundarbans’, in Nature and the Orient: The Environmental History of South and Southeast Asia, ed. Richard H. Grove, Vinita Damodaran, and Satpal Sangwan (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1998), pp. 237–72. Grove, Richard. Green Imperialism: Colonial Expansion, Tropical Island Edens and the Origins of Environmentalism, 1600–1800 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995). Grove, Richard H., Vinita Damodaran, and Satpal Sangwan, eds. Nature and the Orient: The Environmental History of South and Southeast Asia (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1998). Guhathakurta, Meghna. ‘Women’s Survival and Resistance’, in The Chittagong Hill Tracts: Life and Nature at Risk (Dhaka: Society for Environment and Human Development, 2000), pp. 79–95.

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Works Cited ———. ‘Amidst the Winds of Change: The Hindu Minority in Bangladesh’. South Asian History and Culture 3/2 (April 2012), 288–301. Guhathakurta, Meghna and Willem van Schendel, eds. The Bangladesh Reader: History, Culture, Politics (Durham: Duke University Press, 2013). Guite, Jangkhomang. ‘Civilisation and Its Malcontents: The Politics of Kuki Raid in Nineteenth Century Northeast India’. Indian Economic and Social History Review 48/3 (2011), 339–76. Hacking, Ian. The Taming of Chance (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990). Haley, Bruce. The Healthy Body and Victorian Culture (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1978). Hall, Catherine. ‘Going a-Trolloping: Imperial Man Travels the Empire’, in Gender and Imperialism, ed. Clare Midgley (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1998), pp. 180–99. ———. Civilising Subjects: Metropole and Colony in the English Imagination, 1830–1867 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002). Handique, Rajib. British Forest Policy in Assam (New Delhi: Concept Publishing Company, 2004). Hardiman, David. ‘Power in the Forest: The Dangs, 1820–1940’, in Subaltern Studies VIII, ed. David Arnold and David Hardiman (Delhi: Oxford University Press India, 1994), pp. 89–147. (p.237) Hazarika, S. Strangers of the Mist: Tales of War and Peace from India’s Northeast (New Delhi: Penguin Books, 1994). Hobsbawm, Eric and Terence Ranger, eds. The Invention of Tradition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983). Hobson, Geraldine. ‘Foreword’, in J.P. Mills and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, 1926/27: Tour Diary, Reports, Photographs, annotations and comments edited by edition Wolfgang Mey, 2009. Accessible at http://crossasia-repository.ub.uniheidelberg.de/548/1/J.P._Mills_and_the_Chittagong_Hill_Tracts.pdf; 12 January 2019. Hunt, Margaret. ‘Racism, Imperialism, and the Traveller’s Gaze in EighteenthCentury England’. Journal of British Studies 32/4 (1993), 333–57. Ibrahim, Azeem. The Rohingyas: Inside Myanmar’s Hidden Genocide (London: Hurst Publishers, 2016).

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Works Cited Ikegame, Aya. ‘Space of Kinship, Space of Empire: Marriage Strategies amongst the Mysore Royal Caste in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries’. Indian Economic and Social History Review 46/3 (2009), 343–72. Inden, Ronald. Imagining India (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1990). Ishaq, M. Bangladesh District Gazetteers: Chittagong Hill Tracts (Dacca: Ministry of Cabinet Affairs, Establishment Division, Government of Bangladesh, 1971). Jackson, Kyle. ‘Globalizing an Indian Borderland Environment: Aijal, Mizoram, 1890–1919’. Studies in History 32/1 (2016), 39–71. Jaffer, Amin. Made for Maharajas (New Delhi: Lustre Press/Roli Books, 2007). James, Leighton. ‘Travel Writing and Encounters with National “Others” in the Napoleonic Wars’. History Compass 7/4 (2009), 1246–58. Jayapalan, N. Women’s Studies (New Delhi: Atlantic Publishers, 2000). Jena, Kashinathn and Bindu Ranjan Chakma. Ethnic Unrests and India’s Security Concerns (Delhi: Abhijeet Publications, 2008). Jhala, Angma. Courtly Indian Women in Late Imperial India (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2008). ———. ‘The Malabar Hill Murder Trial of 1925: Sovereignty, Law and Sexual Politics in Colonial Princely India’. The Indian Economic and Social History Review 46/3 (2009), 373–400. ———. ‘The Jodhpur Regency: Princely Education, Politics and Gender in Postcolonial India’. South Asian History and Culture 1/3 (2010), 378–96. ———. Royal Patronage, Power and Aesthetics in Princely India (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2011). ———. ‘Daughters of the Hills: Legacies of Colonialism, Nationalism and Religious Communalism in the Chakma Raj Family, Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bengal c.1900–1972’. South Asian History and Culture 4/1 (2013), 107–25. Joshi, Varsha. Polygamy and Purdah (Jaipur: Rawat Publications, 1995). Kabbani, Rana. Imperial Fictions: Europe’s Myths of the Orient (London: Pandora, 1994). (p.238) Kapila, Shruti. ‘Masculinity and Madness: Princely Personhood and Colonial Sciences of the Mind in Western India, 1871–1940’. Past and Present 187 (May 2005), 121–56. Page 14 of 23

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Works Cited Kar, Boddhisattva. ‘What Is in a Name? Politics of Spatial Imagination in Colonial Assam’, CENISEAS papers, Number 5, Centre for Northeast India, South and Southeast Asia Studies, Guwahati, Assam, 2004. Kathirithamby-Wells, Jeyamalar. ‘Unlikely Partners: Malay-Indonesian Medicine and European Plant Science’, in The East India Company and the Natural World, ed. Vinita Damodaran, Anna Winterbottom, and Alan Lester (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), pp. 193–218. Kaye, M.M. Shadow of the Moon (New York: St. Martin’s Press, c. 1979). Kejariwal, O.P. ‘The Indian History Congress and Historical Research in Northeast India’, in Proceedings of the North-East History Association (Kohima: North-East India History Association, 1987), pp. 33–81. Kidd, C. Subverting Scotland’s Past (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993). Koerner, L. Linnaeus: Nature and Nation (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1999). Kumar, B.B. ‘North East India: Crisis of Perception & Credible Action’. Dialogue 1/2 (1999), unpaginated. Kumar, Deepak. ‘Botanical Explorations and the East India Company: Revisiting “Plant Colonialism”’, in The East India Company and the Natural World, ed. Vinita Damodaran, Anna Winterbottom, and Alan Lester (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), pp. 16–34. Lalruatkima, ‘Frontiers of Imagination: Reading over Thomas Lewin’s Shoulders’. Studies in History 32/1 (February 2016), pp. 21–38. Lester, A. ‘Imperial Circuits and Networks: Geographies of the British Empire’. History Compass 4/1 (2006), 124–41. Lewis, Reina. Rethinking Orientalism: Women Travel, and the Ottoman Harem (London: I.B. Tauris, 2004). Lloyd, J. Meirion. History of the Church in Mizoram (Harvest in the Hills) (Aizawl, Mizoram: Synod Publication Board, 1991). Löffler, Lorenz G. ‘Khami/Khumi Vokabulare. Vorstudie zu einer sprachwissenschaftlichen Untersuchung’. Anthropos 55 (Fribourg, 1960). ———. ‘Patrilateral Lineation in Transition: The Kinship System of the Lakher (Mara), Arakan’. Ethnos 26 (Stockholm, 1960).

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Works Cited ———. ‘Chakma und Sak. Ethnolinguistische Beiträge zur Geschichte eines Kulturvolkes’. Internationales Archiv für Ethnographie 50 (Leiden, 1964). ———. ‘L’alliance asymétrique chez les Mru’. L’Homme 6 (Paris, 1966). ———. ‘A Note on the History of the Marma Chiefs of Bandarban’. Journal of the Asiatic Society of Pakistan III/2 (Dacca, 1968). (p.239) Löffler, Lorenz G. ‘Basic Democracies in den Chittagong Hill Tracts, Ostpakistan’. Sociologus 18/2, NF (Berlin, 1968). Löffler, Lorenz G. and S.L. Pardo, ‘Shifting Cultivation in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, East Pakistan’. Jahrbuch des Südasien-Instituts der Universität Heidelberg 3 (Wiesbaden, 1968–9), 49–66. Luthra, P.N. ‘North-East Frontier Agency Tribes: Impact of Ahom and British Policy’. Economic and Political Weekly 6/23 (5 June 1971), 1143–5. MacLeitch, G.D. Imperial Entanglements: Iroquois Change and Persistence on the Frontiers of Empire (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011). Mangan, J.A. Athleticism in the Victorian and Edwardian Public School (London: The Falmer Press, 1986). Mani, Lata. Contentious Traditions: The Debateon Sati in Colonial India (Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1998). Marriott, John. The Other Empire: Metropolis, India and Progress in the Colonial Imagination (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2003). May, Andrew J. ‘“To Lay Down the Frontier of an Empire”: Circumscribing Identity in Northeast India’. Studies in History 32/1 (2016), 5–20. McClintock, Anne. Imperial Leather: Race, Gender and Sexuality in the Colonial Contest (New York: Routledge, 1995). McLaren, Martha. British India & British Scotland, 1780–1830: Career Building, Empire Building, and a Scottish School of Thought on Indian Governance (Akron, Ohio: The University of Akron Press, 2001). Melton, J.V.H. The Rise of the Public in Enlightenment Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001). Metcalf, Thomas. The Aftermath of Revolt, India 1857–1970 (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1964). Mey, Wolfgang. Genocide in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh, IWGIA Document No. 51, Copenhagen, 1984. Page 16 of 23

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Works Cited ———. Politische Systeme in den Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh (Bremen, 1980). Meyer, Susan. Imperialism at Home: Race and Victorian Women’s Fiction (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1996). Minault, Gail. ‘The Emperor’s Old Clothes: Robing and Sovereignty in Late Mughal and Early British India’, in Robes of Honour: Khil’at in Pre-Colonial and Colonial India, ed. Stewart Gordon (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2003), pp. 125–39. Misra, P.K. ‘J.H. Hutton and the North East’, in The Anthropology of North-East India, ed. Tanka Bahadur Subba and G.C. Ghosh (Hyderabad: Orient Longman, 2003), pp. 33–56. Misra, Sanghamitra. Becoming a Borderland: The Politics of Space and Identity in Colonial Northeastern India (London: Routledge, 2011). (p.240) Mohanram, Radhika. Imperial White: Race, Diaspora and the British Empire (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2007). Mohsin, Amena. The Politics of Nationalism: The Case of the Chittagong Hill Tracts (Dhaka: The University Press Limited, 1997). ———. The Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh: On the Difficult Road to Peace (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2003). Moore, Lucy. Maharanis: The Lives and Times of Three Generations of Indian Princesses (London: Penguin, 2004). Mukherji, Saradindu. Subjects, Citizens and Refugees: Tragedy in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (1947–1998) (New Delhi: Indian Centre for the Study of Forced Migration, 2000). Myint-U, Thant. The Making of Modern Burma (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001). ———. The River of Lost Footsteps (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006). Nair, Janaki. Women and Law in Colonial India: A Social History (New Delhi: Kali for Women, 1996). Noltie, H.J. ‘Robert Wight and His European Botanical Collaborators’, in The East India Company and the Natural World, ed. Vinita Damodaran, Anna Winterbottom, and Alan Lester (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), pp. 58–79. Olivelle, Patrick, trans. King, Governance and Law in Ancient India: Kautilya’s Arthasastra (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013). Page 17 of 23

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Works Cited Pachuau, Joy L.K. Being Mizo: Identity and Belonging in Northeast India (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2014). Pachuau, Joy L.K. and Willem van Schendel. The Camera as Witness: A Social History of Mizoram (Delhi: Cambridge University Press, 2015). ———, ed. ‘Special Issue: Borderland Histories, Northeastern India’. Studies in History 32/1 (February 2016). ———. ‘Borderland Histories, Northeastern India: An Introduction’, guest ed. Joy L.K. Pachuau and Willem van Schendel. Studies in History 32/1 (February 2016), 1–4. Paisley, Fiona. ‘Childhood and Race: Growing Up in the Empire’, in Gender and Empire, ed. Philippa Levine (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), pp. 240–59. Pani, Narendar, Sindhu Radhakrishna, and Kishor G. Bhat, eds. Bengaluru, Bangalore, Bengaluru: Imaginations and Their Times (New Delhi: SAGE Publications, 2010). Peabody, Norbert. ‘Cents, Sense, Census: Human Inventories in Late Precolonial and Early Colonial India’. Comparative Studies in Society and History 43/4 (October 2001), 819–50. (p.241) Peers, Douglas M. ‘Colonial Knowledge and the Military in India, 1780–1860’. The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 33/2 (2005), 157–80. ———. ‘Soldiers, Scholars, and the Scottish Enlightenment: Militarism in Early Nineteenth-Century India’. The International History Review 16/3 (August 1994), 441–65. Pels, Peter. ‘The Anthropology of Colonialism: Culture, History, and the Emergence of Western Governmentality’. Annual Review of Anthropology 26 (1997), 163–83. ———. ‘The Rise and Fall of the Indian Aborigines: Orientalism, Anglicism and the Emergence of an Ethnology of India, 1833–1869’, in Colonial Subjects: Essays on the Practical History of Anthropology (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 1999), pp. 82–116. Pinney, Christopher. ‘Colonial Anthropology in the “Laboratory of Mankind”’, in The Raj: India and the British, 1600–1947, ed. C.A. Bayly (London: National Portrait Gallery Publications, 1990), pp. 252–63. Pirbhai, M. Reza. ‘Empire and I: Reading the Travelogue of a Late EighteenthCentury British Army Captain’. South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies 36/4 (2013), 661–77. Page 18 of 23

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Works Cited Pratt, Mary Louise. Imperial Eyes: Travel Writing and Transculturation (London: Routledge, 1992). Qanungo, Suniti Bhushan. Chakma Resistance to British Domination, 1772–1798 (Chittagong: Shanti Press, 1998). Rai, Mridu. Hindu Rulers, Muslim Subjects: Islam, Rights and the History of Kashmir (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004). Ramusack, Barbara. The Indian Princes and Their States (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004). Reid, Robert. ‘The Excluded Areas of Assam’. Geographical Journal 103/1–2 (1944), 18–29. Rizvi, B.R. ‘J. P. Mills and the North-East’, in The Anthropology of North-East India, ed. Tanka Bahadur Subba and G.C. Ghosh (Hyderabad: Orient Longman, 2003), pp. 57–78. Rogers, Nicholas. ‘Caribbean Borderland: Empire, Ethnicity, and the Exotic on the Mosquito Coast’. Eighteenth-Century Life 26/3 (2002), 117–38. Roy, Devasish. ‘Administration’, in Chittagong Hill Tracts: Life and Nature at Risk (Dhaka: Society for Environment and Human Development, 2000), pp. 43– 57. Roy, Rajkumari Chandra Kalindi. Land Rights of the Indigenous Peoples of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh, IWGIA Document No. 99, Copenhagen, 2000. Roy, Sachin. Aspects of Padam Minyong Culture (Itanagar: Directorate of Research, Government of Arunachal Pradesh, 1960). (p.242) Roy, Tridiv. The Departed Melody (Islamabad: PPA Publications, 2003). Saha, Jonathan. ‘Is It in India? Colonial Burma as a “Problem” in South Asian History’. South Asian History and Culture 7/1 (January 2016), 23–9. Said, Edward. Orientalism (New York: Vintage Books, 1978). ———. Culture and Imperialism (New York: Knopf, 1993). Saikia, Arupjyoti. Forests and Ecological History of Assam, 1826–2000 (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2011). Saikia, Yasmin. Fragmented Memories: Struggling to be Tai-Ahom in India (Durham: Duke University Press, 2004).

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Works Cited Sangwan, Satpal. ‘From Gentlemen Amateurs to Professionals: Reassessing the Natural Science Tradition in Colonial India 1780–1840’, in Nature and the Orient: The Environmental History of South and Southeast Asia, ed. Richard H. Grove, Vinita Damodaran, and Satpal Sangwan (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1998), pp. 210–36. Sarkar, Jayanta. Society, Culture and Ecological Adaptation among Three Tribes of Arunachal Pradesh (Calcutta: Anthropological Survey of India, 1987). Schiebinger, Londa. Plants and Empire: Colonial Bioprospecting in the Atlantic World (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2004). Scott, James. The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009). Sen, Satradu. Colonial Childhoods: The Juvenile Periphery of India, 1850–1945 (London: Anthem Press, 2005). Serajuddin, A.M. ‘The Rajas of the Chittagong Hill Tracts and Their Relations with the Mughals of the East India Company in the Eighteenth Century’. Journal of the Pakistan Historical Society 19, part 1 (January 1971), 51–60. Sharma, Jayeeta. Empire’s Garden: Assam and the Making of India (Durham: Duke University Press, 2011). Sharma, R.R.P. The Sherdukpens (Itanagar: Directorate of Research, Government of Arunachal Pradesh, 1988). Singh, Deepak K. Stateless in South Asia: The Chakmas between Bangladesh and India (New Delhi: SAGE Publications, 2010). Sinha, Mrinalini. Colonial Masculinity: The ‘Manly Englishman’ and the ‘Effeminate Bengali’ in the Late Nineteenth Century (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1995). Skinner, Jessica. Internal Displacement in the CHT and Rights-Based Approaches to Rehabilitation (Dhaka: Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit, 2008). Skutsch, Carl, ed. Encyclopedia of the World’s Minorities, Volume 1 (London: Routledge, 2005). Smith, James Edward. A Sketch of a Tour on the Continent: Vol. I (2nd edn, London: Longman, Hurst, Rees & Orme, 1807). (p.243) Spielmann, H.J. Die Bawm-Zo: Eine Chin-Gruppe in den Chittagong Hill Tracts (Ostpakistan) (Heidelberg, 1968).

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Works Cited Spivak, Gayatri. ‘Can the Subaltern Speak?’, in Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture, ed. C. Nelson and L. Grossberg (Illinois: Illini Books, 1988), pp. 271– 313. Stagl, Justin. ‘The Methodizing of Travel in the Sixteenth Century: A Tale of Three Cities.’ History and Anthropology 4 (1990), 303–38. Steinbach, Susie L. Understanding the Victorians: Politics, Culture and Society in Nineteenth-Century Britain (2nd edn, London: Routledge, 2017). Stoler, Ann. Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power: Race and the Intimate in Colonial Rule (Berkeley/Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2002). Strobel, Margaret. ‘Women’s History, Gender History, and European Colonialism’, in Colonialism and the Modern World, ed. Gregory Blue, Martin Bunton, and Ralph Croizer (London: Routledge, 2002), pp. 51–68. Subba, Tanka B. and Jelle J.P. Wouters. ‘North-East India: Ethnography and Politics of Identity’, in The Modern Anthropology of India: Ethnography, Themes and Theory, ed. Peter Berger and Frank Heidemann (London: Routledge, 2013), pp. 193–207. Subrahmanyam, Sanjay. Improvising Empire: Portuguese Trade and Settlement in the Bay of Bengal, 1500–1700 (Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1990). Tambiah, Stanley J. ‘Edmund Ronald Leach, 1910–1989’, British Academy, 1998. Accessible at http://www.britac.ac.uk/pubs/proc/files/97p293.pdf; 22 January 2019. ———. Edmund Leach: An Anthropological Life (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002). Thakur, G.C. Sarma. The Lalungs (Tiwas) (Guwahati: Tribal Research Institute, 1985). Tomlinson, B.R. ‘From Campsie to Kedgeree: Scottish Enterprise, Asian Trade and the Company Raj’. Modern Asian Studies 36 (2002), 769–91. van Schendel, Willem, ed. Francis Buchanan in Southeast Bengal (1798): His Journey to Chittagong, the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Noakhali and Comilla (Dhaka: University Press Limited, 1992). ———. ‘Introduction’, in Francis Buchanan in Southeast Bengal (1798): His Journey to Chittagong, the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Noakhali and Comilla, ed. Willem van Schendel (Dhaka: University Press Limited, 1992), pp. ix–xix.

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Works Cited ———. ‘Geographies of Knowing, Geographies of Ignorance: Jumping Scale in Southeast Asia’. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 20 (2002), 647– 68. ———. ‘A Politics of Nudity: Photographs of the “Naked Mru” of Bangladesh’. Modern Asian Studies 36/2 (2002), 341–74. ———. The Bengal Borderland: Beyond State and Nation in South Asia (London: Anthem Books, 2005). (p.244) van Schendel, Willem, ed. History of Bangladesh (New Delhi: Cambridge University Press, 2009). ———. ‘The Dangers of Belonging: Tribes, Indigenous Peoples and Homelands in South Asia’, in Politics of Belonging: Becoming Adivasi, ed. Daniel J. Rycroft and Sangeeta Dasgupta (London: Routledge, 2011), pp. 19–43. ———. ‘Afterword: Making the Most of “Sensitive” Borders’, in Borderland Lives in Northern South Asia, ed. David N. Gellner (Durham: Duke University Press, 2013), pp. 266–71. van Schendel, Willem, Wolfgang Mey, and Aditya Kumar Dewan, eds. The Chittagong Hill Tracts: Living in a Borderland (Dhaka: University Press Limited, 2001). Vermeulen, Han. ‘The Emergence of “Ethnography” ca. 1770 in Gottingen’. History of Anthropology Newsletter 19/2 (1992), 6–9. Vicziany, Marika. ‘Imperialism, Botany and Statistics in Early NineteenthCentury India: The Surveys of Francis Buchanan (1762–1829)’. Modern Asian Studies 20/4 (1986), 625–60. von Sneidern, Maja-Lisa. ‘Wuthering Heights and the Liverpool Slave Trade’. English Literary History 62/1 (Spring 1995), 171–96. Warren, Allen. ‘Popular Manliness: Baden-Powell, Scouting and the Development of Manly Character’, in Manliness and Morality: Middle-Class Masculinity in Britain and America, 1800–1940, ed. J.A. Mangan and James Walvin (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1987), pp. 199–219. Whitehead, John. Thangliena: The Life of T.H. Lewin (Hong Kong: Paul Strachan for Kiscadale Publications, 1992). Winterbottom, Anna. ‘Medicine and Botany in the Making of Madras, 1680– 1720’, in The East India Company and the Natural World, ed. Vinita Damodaran, Anna Winterbottom, and Alan Lester (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), pp. 35–57. Page 22 of 23

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Index

An Endangered History: Indigeneity, Religion, and Politics on the Borders of India, Burma, and Bangladesh Angma Dey Jhala

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780199493081 Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019 DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199493081.001.0001

(p.245) Index Abu’l Faz’l, xxi administrator-scholars, xviii, 83. See also British colonial forms of knowledge Addiscombe, 56–8, 65 Amrith, Sunil, l Andamans, 19 Anglicization, 146, 171 animism, xvi, xxxvi, 28 annexation of the CHT, 1860, xxix, 72 anthropology, xxxiv, xxxviii, xli–xlii, 157, 167, 175–6, 197, 219. See also ethnography colonial anthropology, 172–3 Indian anthropology, xlv, 200 anthropologist administrators colonial, xlv, 170 influence on administration, xlii–xlvi subsequent academic careers, xlii, lii, 197–8 anthropological readings of the CHT, xvii, xxxvi–xxxviii, lii, liii, 14, 50, 129, 134, 138, 144, 156–7, 163n105, 167–201, 219–21 anthropometry, xxxviii, 98n102, 136, 138 Arakan, xx–xxv, xxviii–xxix, lxn40, 1–3, 29–31, 42n141, 73, 85, 121, 123, 178, 183, 212 Arakanese, xxv–xxxvi, 2–3, 5, 24, 30, 142, 145 Asiatic Society of Bengal, xxviii, 28, 136–7, 173, 198 Assam, xix, xxii, xxv, xxxi, xli, xlix–li, 10, 29–31, 35n14, 81, 117, 123, 167, 172, 197–8, 209n145, 210, 213 Ashanti, xviii, 169 autochthone/aboriginal, xvi, xvii, xviii, xxiii, xxxix, l, 88, 114, 124–5, 130–1, 137–8, 142, 154, 177, 197, 199, 220 Ava, xxv, 1, 19, 30, 34, 35n14 bamboo, 20, 25, 30, 65, 123, 139 Bangladesh, xvi, xix, xlvii, xlviii–xlix, lii–liii, 94n22, 105n249, 177, 188, 210, 216–17, 222 Banjogi, 124, 141, 143, 152 Banks, Sir Joseph, 11–12 Page 1 of 9

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Index barbarism, 114, 143 Bengal, xvi, xvii, xix–xxi, xxiv, xxviii, xxxii–xxxiii, xxxv, xxxvii, xl, xlvii, l–li, lvi, 1–2, 4, 11– 13, (p.246) 16–17, 19–23, 27–8, 30–4, 47, 57–60, 71, 75–7, 89–90, 92, 94n18, 109, 112– 17, 123, 128–9, 135–7, 145–6, 149, 154, 160n79, 165n157, 167, 169, 180, 194, 196, 211– 15, 217 Bengal Boundary Commission, 215 Bengali, xix–xx, xxvi, xliv, 3, 5, 21, 23, 26, 31, 48–9, 59–61, 65, 71–3, 91, 102n194, 105n249, 142, 145–6, 213, 216–18 culture, 171, 183–4, 187–8, 190 language, xvi, xxi, xxviii, xxxvi, 23, 213–14 migration into CHT, xxvi, xxvii–xxviii moneylenders, xxvi, 13, 221 birdlife, 123, 139 Bohmong chief (Bohmong raja), xxviii–xxix, xxxi, 62, 76, 125, 184, 222 Cholafru, 141 Kong Hla Nyo, xxx, 76 circle, xxxi, 141 Bonzu, 22 borderland studies, xlvii–lii botany, xxxv–xxxvi, lv, lxivn127, 1, 9, 12–13, 19, 41n127, 65, 167, 218 botanical gardens, 9, 11–12 Brahmanical Hinduism, xxviii, 28 Brahmaputra River, 1, 19 British colonial administrators, work of, xvii–xviii, xxiii, xxvi, xxix, xxxiii, xl–xli, liii–liv, 24, 48, 53, 60, 69, 77, 83, 94n18, 112, 114, 116, 142, 146, 152, 157, 163n105, 168, 171–2, 176, 180, 182, 186, 193, 197, 218, 220 colonial forms of knowledge, xvii, xxxiv–xxxv, xxxix, lii, lv, 9–10, 14–15, 106, 108– 115, 117, 119, 153, 156–7, 170, 172, 218 Buchanan, Francis, xxvii, xxviii, xxxv–xxxvi, xl, xlv, lv, lxn40, 1–35 biography, 18–20 on Brahmanical Hinduism, xxviii, 28 on Chakmas, 24–8 critique of company policies, 28–9 on cultural fusion in the CHT, 22 impressions of the CHT, 24 on indigenous architecture in the CHT, 25–6 on jhumming (agricultural production), 21 on languages of the CHT, 23 reading of soil quality in CHT, 20 on religious practice in CHT, 23, 26–8 return to Scotland, 32–3 on tensions between the Burmese and the British, 29–32 travel diary, 6, 14, 20–32 on tribal peoples and indigeneity, 22–4 trip to CHT, 20–2 Buchanan-Hamilton, Francis. See Buchanan, Francis

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Index Buddhism, xvi, xx, xxiii, xxviii, xxxvi, 24, 26, 28, 30, 72–3, 128, 130–1, 141, 146, 154, 185, 213. See also Hindu–Buddhist comingling Burma, xvi, xviii, xix–xx, xxiii–xxv, xxviii, xxxv, xli–xlii, xlvii–l, (p.247) lv–lvi, 1–2, 19–20, 22–3, 27–32, 61, 64–5, 81, 90, 120, 128, 133, 146, 168, 170, 198, 210–11, 213, 216–17 Burmese, xix–xxi, xxiv–xxv, xxxvi, xliv, xlix, 3, 5, 19, 23–4, 28–32, 42n141, 59–61, 65, 73, 121, 128, 161n85, 170, 183, 193, 213, 218 conquest of Arakan, 2, 30–1 imperialism, 2, 29 Cachar, xix–xx, xxv, l, 1–3, 29, 82, 120, 149 Calcutta, xxv, xxx, xxxvii, xliv, 11–12, 16, 32–3, 48, 56, 58–9, 61, 73, 75, 84, 91, 118–19, 146, 170–2, 187, 189–90, 193, 214–15 Calcutta Botanic Gardens (Botanic Gardens at Calcutta), 11–12, 19, 32–3 cartography, 56, 109, 220. See also maps caste, xxxviii, xl–xli, xlv, lvi, 15, 23, 27, 49–50, 59–60, 77, 86–7, 91, 109, 112–14, 124–9, 131, 135–7, 143, 154, 160n79, 172, 189, 221 Cederlof, Gunnel, xlix–l, liii, lxixn205, 31, 225n42 census of 1871–2, xl, 106, 111, 117, 124–33, 153, 156 in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, 140–1 Chakma circle, xxxi, 141 chiefs Jan Baksh Khan, xxvi Raja Bhuvan Mohan Roy, xxxvii, xliv, 144–6, 171, 184, 186–8 marriages of his sons, 188–90 Raja Harish Chandra, 71, 75–6, 86–7, 100n151, 101n158, 186–7 Rani Kalindi, xxx, xxxvii, lvi, 48–9, 52, 71–4, 76, 82, 86, 91, 96n43, 101n160, 146, 185–6, 219 administration, xxxvii, 49 Raja Nalinaksha Roy, 211, 214 Tabbouka, 5, 24 dialect, 61 Chakma, Kalpana, 217, 222 Chakma raja. See under Chakma Chakma, Sneha Kumar, 211–14 Chandraghona/ Chandraguna, xxx–xxxi, 62–3 Chatterjee, Indrani, xlix–l, 34–5, 52, 98n92, 101n160 China, xv–xvi, xix–xx, xxiii–xxiv, xlvii–l, 1–2, 9, 35n14, 108 Chittagong, xx–xxii, xxiv–xxvi, xxix–xxxii, xliv, l, 2–3, 20, 34, 61–3, 72–3, 75, 82, 84, 120, 145, 161n83, 171, 186, 215 Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) census and survey of, xxxiv, xxxviii–xl, 108–115 health and sanitation, 25 historical overview, xix–lii, 2–3 Mughal intrusions, xxi–xxiii port city of, xx, xliv, 215 post-Mutiny reverberations, xxix–xxxi as separate district, xxxi trade route/as strategic gateway, xix, xxiv–xxv, xli, 2, 11, 120 Page 3 of 9

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Index transcultural engagement, xx tribal communities, xvi, xviii, xxviii, xxxi, xxxiii, 3, 22–4, (p.248) 141–53. See also Chakma, Magh, Kuki/Lushai CHT chiefs. See under Chakma, Mong, Bohmong, lushai cultural cosmopolitanism, xxviii, xliv, 5, 171, 221 education, xliv, lvi, 170–1, 182, 187, 207n119 governing patterns, xliii–xliv, 177–81 privileges, titles, xliii–xliv, liii, 169–70, 178, 181–2, 190–3, 196, 198, 223n11 Christianity, xvi, xx, xliv, 65, 121, 125, 141, 213 Clive, Robert, xxiv, 16–17 colonial anthropology, early twentieth-century, 172–3 Cohn, Bernard, xxxiv, 107 Cold War, xlviii Cooch Behar, xix, xxii, li, 89, 188–90, 211, 213, 223n10 Cooper, James Fennimore, 54 Conrad, Joseph, 51, 53, 95n30 Heart of Darkness, 51–3, 95n30 cosmopolitanism, xx, xxviii, xxxvi, xliv, liii, 3, 5, 86, 171, 219, 221 craniometry, xxxiv, xxxviii, 136, 138 Criminal Tribes Act, 1871, xliv, 137 Damodaran, Vinita, 6 Darwin, Charles, 137 Demagiri, 122 dewan, xxxvii, 3, 24–5, 72, 76, 79, 125, 129, 180, 185–7, 198, 212 Dewan, Kamini Mohan, 211 Dirks, Nicholas, xxxix, 107, 110 East Asia, lv East Pakistan, xix, 105n249, 133, 210, 215 Elizabeth I, Queen, xxiv English countryside, xviii, 58 English East India Company, xvii, xxii, xxiv–xxv, 1–2 Burmese state and, xxiv–xxv expansion into Bengal, xvii, xxiv–xxv proselytization of plough agriculture, xxvii–xxviii revenue collection from CHT, xxv–xxviii surgeons, xxxv, 3, 10, 16. See also Buchanan, Francis enumerative modality, xxxix, 107–8, 119 enumeration, xxxiv, 109–11, 113, 119–41 ethnography, xi, xvii, xxxiv, xxxvi, xli, xlii, li, 2, 8–9, 24, 55, 90, 172, 175, 200 and race theory, 138 European Enlightenment, xxxvi, lv, 6–14 Excluded Area, xxix, xxxii, xliv–xlv, 168, 180, 196, 201, 214 forest produce, 123 Forster, E.M., 53 Fürer-Haimendorf, Christoph von, xlii, 198, 200, 209n155 Gain, Philip, lii Gellner, David, xlix, 14 gender, x, xxxiv, xxxvi–xxxviii, lv–lvi, 3, 47, 50-51, 66, 76–80, 83, 85, 91–2, 151, 153, 219–20 Page 4 of 9

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Index genealogy, xxii–xxiii, liii, 109, 129, 218, 220, 222 genkhuli, xxiii Government of India Act, 1935, xxxii, xlv, lvi, 169-70, 193, 196–7, 210 (p.249) Gurkha, xxxi, 125–6, 128, 130, 132 gypsy, xv–xvi Haileybury College, 56 Handique, Rajib, l Hastings, Warren, xxv Heart of Darkness. See Conrad, Joseph Hindu, xviii–xx, xxiii, xxviii, xxxviii, xl, xliv, xlvi, xlviii, l, 4, 23–4, 26, 31, 49, 59, 71–2, 75– 8, 87, 91, 112, 116, 120, 125, 128–33, 135–6, 140–1, 146, 151, 154, 170–1, 177, 179, 184–5, 187, 188, 190, 193, 197, 199, 200, 210–11, 213, 215–16, 219, 221–2 Hindu–Buddhist comingling, 27 Hinduism, xvi, xx–xxi, xxviii, xxxvi, 28, 73, 154, 189, 213. See also Hindu–Buddhist comingling Hamilton, Walter, 17, 109 history gendered, xxxvi–xxxviii, 47–51, 92 natural, xxxv-xxxvi, xxxviii, lv, 1–2, 4, 6–14, 20–2, 32–3, 106, 153, 167 Hunter, W.W. 1871 census and its consequences, 124–33 A Statistical Account of Bengal, 106, 119–21, 153 Imperial Gazetteer, 106, 112, 115–19 jungle undergrowth, 122–3 life of, 107, 115–19 mineral, fauna, and flora measurements, 122–4 The Annals of Rural Bengal, 116 Hutchinson, R.H. Sneyd cartographic coordinates, 138 categorization of tribes, 141–4 Chakmas, 141, 144–6 Gazetteer on the Chittagong Hill Tracts, xxxix, 107 Kukis/Lushais, 149–53 Maghs, 146–9 population chart, 140 regional biodiversity, 138–40 Hutton, J.H., xli, 173 Imperial adventure literature, 106 Indian nationalism, lvi, 157, 171, 196–7 tribal groups, xxxi, xxxiii, xliv, 13, 114, 125, 129, 138, 147 Indian National Congress (INC), xlv, lvi, 200, 211–12 Indonesia, xviii, xliii, l, liv, 169, 176–80, 182–4, 191, 198, 220 Islam, xix–xxi, xxviii, xxxvi, 4, 23, 27–8, 108, 125, 128, 154, 185 Jaintia, xxv, l, lxixn205, lxixn209, 29, 35n14, 83 Jaintia Hills, xxix jhum (swidden, slash-and-burn agriculture), xvi, xxi, xxv, xxvii, xxxv, xxxvii, xxxix, 20–1, 114, 119, 149, 169, 217 jhum tax, xxxi, xliii, 72, 170, 178–9, 192 Page 5 of 9

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Index jhumiah, xxiii, 143 Jumma, 217 jhumming, xxvii, 4, 22, 25, 34, 123, 145 Jones, William, xxviii, 27–8, 38n63 Judaism, xx Kali worship, 27 Kaptai Dam, liv, 221 Karnafuli/Karnaphuli, xxviii, xxx, 23, 25, 27, 59, 121–2, 138, 146, 215–16, 220 (p.250) Kaye, M.M., 53 Keshub Chandra Sen, 77, 187, 189–90 Khan, Ramu, xxv–xxvi Khasia, 211 Khasi Hills, xxix, lxixn205, 83 Khyang/Khayeng/Khyeng, xvi, 3, 143 Khyoungtha, 124–5, 161n85 Kuki/Lushai, xxv–xxvi, xxix, xxxi, xl, 2, 22, 29, 82–3, 120, 122, 124, 141–4, 149–53, 155, 166n178, 178 Kumi, 124, 141, 143 Kumilla, 2 Kutcherry, 63, 73 Kyd, Captain Robert, 11–12 Larma, Manobendra, 216 Leach, Edmund, xli Leclerc, Georges-Louis, 8 Lewin, Thomas H. assassination attempt on, xxxi, 48, 74–6 childhood, 54–7 early education, 54–7 on British colonial administration/governance, 87–9 gendered descriptions of the CHT landscape, 50–1, 59–66, 92 on indigenous hill people, 59–60 on indigenous hill women, 47–8, 76–82 on indigenous patterns of marriage, 78–80 later life, 89–93 Lushai campaign and, 82–7 relationship with his mother, 66–9 relationship with Rani Kalindi, 49, 71–6 time in India, 46–7, 57–89 Linnaeus, xxxv, 8–9 Pamphlets, 8 principles of natural history, 8–9 Systema Naturae (The System of Nature), xxxv, 8 ‘Look East’ policy, xlix Lushai chiefs, 83–4, 102n194 campaign of 1871, 82, 143, 149 Hills, xxxi, 2, 81–3, 120, 133 Rutton Puia, 83 Magh, xxii, 22, 125, 128, 141–3, 146–50, 178, 183–4 Manikchari, xxxi, 122, 161n85 Page 6 of 9

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Index Manipur, xxii, xxv, xxxi, l, 1–3, 29–30, 32, 192 maps, 24, 50, 109, 111, 113, 135 Mrauk-U dynasty, xxi Marma, xvi, xxviii, 3, 22, 24, 42n141, 72, 76, 83, 120, 146, 211 May, Andrew, liv, 217, 221 Melville, Herman, 54 Mey, Wolfgang, lii, 175, 185, 196–7 Mill, John Stuart, 56 Mills, J.P. 1926–7 visit to the CHT, xlii–xliii, lvi, lxvin142, 167–9, 174–5 anthropological interpretations of tribal clanship and chieftainships, 175–91 on the chiefs and an honours system/privileges/titles, xliii–xliv, liii, 169–70, 178–9, 180–2, 190–3, 196, 198, 223n11 education, 173–4 report on the CHT, 167–70, 172, 175–6, 179, 187–8, 199–201 suggested reforms for the CHT circle chiefs, 193–6 (p.251) on tribal authenticity, 180–2 Misra, Sanghamitra, li Mizoram, 1, 3, 219 Mizos, xxv, li, 83, 143 Mohsin, Amena, xxvi, xxxiii, lii, 52, 214 Mong chief (Mong raja), xxx–xxxi, xliii, 72, 75–6, 78, 169, 183, 193, 212 circle, xxxi, 125, 130–1, 141 Mro/Mru, xvi, 124, 141, 143, 152, 178 Mroung, 3, 22 Mughal empire Mughal emperors and princes Akbar, xxi Jahangir, xxiv, lixn35 Shah Jahan, xxi Shah Shuja, xxi–xxii Mughal–Arakan marriages, xxiii Mughal expansion into Bengal, xxi Mughal expansion into the CHT, xxi–xxii Mughal forms of Indo-Persian ceremonial, xxii–xxiii Muslim, xviii–xix, xxii, xxviii, xxxviii, xl, xliv–xlvi, lvi, 3, 20, 24, 27, 30–1, 34, 49, 60, 72, 75–8, 87, 91, 112, 120–1, 125, 128–33, 140–1, 146, 151, 154, 177, 185, 188, 197, 199, 210, 213, 219, 221–2 Muslim League, lvi, 200, 210–11, 215 Mutiny, 1857–8, xxix–xxxi, xxxviii, 46–7, 53, 57–8, 81, 110, 181–2, 212 Nagas, xli, xliii, 174, 198, 213 natural history, xxxv–xxxvi, xxxviii, lv, 1–2, 4, 6–14, 20–2, 32–3, 106, 153, 167 Noakhali, 2, 20, 120–1 noble savage, 50, 147, 151–2 North America, 9, 17, 33, 55, 111, 114 northeast India colonial, xliv, xlix, 50 regional histories within, l, 112 Page 7 of 9

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Index Pachuau, Joy, xlvii, li, liii, 114, 157 Pankho, xvi, 124, 134, 141, 143, 152 Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti (PCJSS), 216 Parry, N.E., xli Partition, xvii, xix, lii, lvi, 133, 156, 189, 199–201, 210–11, 214 Patel, Sardar, 215 Petty, Sir William, 6 phrenology, 136 plough agriculture, xxv–xxviii Portuguese, xx, xxiv, 3, 23, 60, 114, 121 Pratt, Mary Louise, 12, 50 primitive vs. civilized, xxxix, xlv, 91, 114, 116, 143, 152–4, 173, 177, 193–4, 197, 199 primitivity, xvi, xlv, 220 princely India (princely states of India), xvii, 111, 180–1, 188, 190, 211–12 purdah, xxxvii, 49, 75, 77, 188 Radcliffe-Brown, A.R., xli Radcliffe, Cyril, 215 rajvada, 188 Rajput, xx, 179, 188–9 Rakhain, 5, 23, 30–1, 42n141 Rangamati, xxviii, xxx–xxxi, 102n194, 122, 133, 141, 161n85, 168, 177, 186, 192, 207n119 Rangoon, xliv, 1 (p.252) Rani Kalindi. See also Chakma chiefs alleged assassination attempt on T.H. Lewin, xxxi, 48, 74–6 conflict with Lewin, 73–4 and engagement with mutineering sepoys, 186 and the Lushai campaign of 1871, 82 patronage of religious institutions, 72–3 perception by the colonial government, 48–9, 71 relationship with dewans, 76, 186 and relationship with her step grandson, Harish Chandra, 71–2 Roy, Rammohun, 136 Reangs, 2 Regulation or Manual, 1900, xxxii Rennell, James, 24, 109 Rivers, W.H.R., xli Roxburgh, William, 9, 12, 16, 19–20, 32, 38n63 Ruskin, John, 56, 90 Saikia, Arupjyoti, l van Schendel, Willem, xxxii, xlvii, xlviii, li–lii, 2, 14 Scots Jacobites among, 15, 17 ‘legendary’ Scots, 17–18 Scottish in India, 15–18 Scottish highlands, xviii, liv, 14, 16, 83, 103n214, 220 Scott, James, xlii, xlviii Scott, Walter, 14, 52, 54 Seligman, C.G., xli Page 8 of 9

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Index ship surgeons, 3, 10 Sirthay Tlang, 45 Southeast Asia, xvi, xvii, xix, xxviii, xxxvi, xlvii, xlviii–l, 14, 23, 26, 29–32, 128, 168, 177, 184, 218 South Asia, xvi, xvii, xxiv, xxxvi, xxxix, xlv-xlvii, xlix, liv, 5, 9, 26, 49, 56, 78, 80, 89, 94n22, 114, 138, 154, 168–9, 177–81, 197, 199–200, 212, 214, 219–21 Spencer, Herbert, 56, 173 Tiperah/Tipperah/Tippera, 3, 22, 120–1, 124, 141, 143, 152, 178, 184 Toungtha, 124 travel writing, xxxv–xxxvi, 2, 6–14 and medico-botanical studies, 9 travelogue ‘foreign other’ vs. domestic self, 9 genres of, 7 as a literary genre, 6–7 Treaty of Yandabo, xxv tribal authenticity, xli–xlvii, 175–191 Tripura, xvi, xxii, xxix, xxxii, xliii, xlix–li, 1, 3, 5, 32, 35n14, 178, 180, 188–9, 211, 213, 216, 223n11 Victoria, Queen, 181, 189, 191 wildness, 14, 91, 114, 152–3. See barbarism; primitivity Winchester, Mary, 49 abduction of, 49, 82–7 women Chakma women, 79, 145–6, 185 Englishwomen, xxxviii, 47, 70, 77 Hindu women, 77 indigenous women (p.253) divorce or separation, 66, 68, 77–9, 91, 142–4, 151, 156 gender equity, 76–80 physical mobility, 49, 77 sexual choice, 79 Magh women, 148 Muslim women, 49, 77 women’s history, xxxvii. See also Chakma, Hindu, Indigenous, Magh, and Muslim women Wuthering Heights, xv–xvi zomia, xlviii–xlix, lxixn208, 14

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About the Author

An Endangered History: Indigeneity, Religion, and Politics on the Borders of India, Burma, and Bangladesh Angma Dey Jhala

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780199493081 Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019 DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199493081.001.0001

(p.254) About the Author Angma Dey Jhala

Angma Dey Jhala is an associate professor of history at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts, USA. Her work focusses on modern South Asian history and religion, with particular emphasis on politics, gender, material culture, law, and indigeneity in nineteenth- and twentiethcentury India. Her monographs include Courtly Indian Women in Late Imperial India (2008) and Royal Patronage, Power and Aesthetics in Princely India (2011). She has also edited Peacock in the Desert (2018) as well as published articles in leading journals of South Asian studies.

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