The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript notes made by W.G. Archer between 1946 & 1948, and miscellaneous papers and letters

caption: letter from W.G. Archer to D.C. about the proposed transfer of the Konyaks to Tirap District
caption: W.G. Archer's suggestions for dealing with present unrest in the Konyak area
medium: notes
date: 30.3.1947
person: Archer/ W.G.
date: 1946-1948
refnum: 13:8
text: IV
text: As will perhaps be clear from this note, immediate action is urgently necessary if the present state of war is not to get worse and if Konyak discontent is to be allayed. I would therefore like to make the following very tentative proposals-
text: 1. I am not in favour of a punitive expedition, as it is clear that a column is at most a temporary remedy while the policy forced on Government by the war has itself partly created the present situation. If columns go, they should now form an integral part of administration and should be regarded more as escorts than as incendiaries.
text: 2. Government should preferably now announce their intention of bringing the Konyak (Naga Hills) control area under formal administration and as a first step permanently post a subordinate officer at Wakching. (The continued presence of an officer on the spot is, I believe, the real remedy).
text: 3. The S.D.O. Mokokchung as well as the subordinate officer should be authorised to start moving in the area without being required to take Government's prior permission. A few short tours to nearby villages would be a useful preliminary. A platoon of the Assam Rifles is already at Wakching and could provide the escort.
text: 4. Where inter-village feuds have led to head taking I can see little point in trying to settle them. From what the Konyaks told me, it is the need for heads and the actual taking of them which starts a war and keeps it going. It would be better to concentrate on the future. All future head taking should now be prohibited and this should be rigidly enforced by regular touring.
text: 5. Where disputes have not involved heads, the local officers should give and enforce their decisions as in administered territory.
text: 6. A lump sum allotment of Rs. 50.000/- should be made for making bridle paths and bungalows next cold weather.
text: 7. Since the control area is in a disturbed state, it would seem wiser to get it into order before handing it over to Frontier Tract 'Supervision'. The latter type of 'order' is even vaguer than our own 'control' and without establishing the equivalent of a new Wakching Subdivision, it would be quite impossible for the Political Officer to cope with the present situation. If a new Subdivision is held to be necessary (and this is the solution which I would personally favour) the question whether it should be within the Naga Hills or outside might perhaps be finally decided after consulting the Naga National Council and the Sub-Committee of the Constituent Assembly.