The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

typescript 'Journey to Nagaland', by Mildred Archer. An account of six months spent in the Naga Hills in 1947

caption: trip to Kohima
caption: news of massacres in India
medium: diaries
date: 22.8.1947
person: Archer/ Mildred
date: 9.7.1947-4.12.1947
text: In Calcutta, Mahatma Gandhi is living in a Muslim quarter and peace is prevailing in the city. But in Delhi and the Punjab, anarchy has come in like a storm. In the East Punjab Sikhs and Hindus are exterminating (51) Muhammadans, while in the West the latter are killing off Hindus and Sikhs. Enormous convoys are crawling along the roads. Railway trains are being attacked. Aeroplanes are taking out officials. Already more than forty thousand people have been massacred and the end is still not in sight.
text: This ghastly bloodshed reminded me of Edward Thompson's analysis of Communal feeling during the Mutiny. In The Other Side of the Medal he says, 'The English memory is more easy going and brief than any other national memory, which is why we are so amazed when we find that other people remember hangings and shootings that are quite fifty years old; and these Sikhs remembered the ferocious tortures with which their ancestors had been executed by the Mughul Empire a hundred and fifty years before. That wheel came full circle in the Mutiny, when Sikhs against Delhi were our most savage and joyous auxiliaries.' There is no doubt that the present Communal troubles are calling up memories that have been repressed for a century and one dreads to think of the new memories that will spring from 1947.