The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

typescript - J.P. Mills, tour diary, July 1928

caption: Prevention of jhuming and moving of villages by railway; migration of Christian Lushais
medium: notestours
person: Calvert/ Mr
ethnicgroup: Kuki <BeteLushai
location: Maldam Molkoi
date: 29.7.1928
person: Mills/ J.P.
date: 7.1928
refnum: (from): J.P.Mills and others, "Tour Diaries and Administrative Notes from the North Cachar Hills, Assam. 1928-1940. Unpublished Government Papers" at SOAS Library, London. Pam. Assam B 314349.
text: 29th July 1928. To Maldam 15 miles 7 - 1, A really hard march. Mr. Calvert and I walked for six hours without a rest. Had one sat down for a minute leeches would have swarmed over one. They were bad enough moving. The path was partly up a four thousand foot hill and partly through swampy jungle. All the time it rained pitilessly. We arrived soaked and cold and too weary to face lunch.
text: Had there been a village on the way we would have stopped there, but they have all been moved. There is an executive order that no jhuming is allowed within one quarter of a mile of the railway on either side. That is reasonable enough, though it means that the railway have stopped jhumming on some 40 square miles. But in addition to this a former Deputy Commissioner was persuaded by the Railway Authorities to turn out of its land every village on the slopes above the railway however high up it might be, in case sparks led to fires near the line. What harm a village 2000 feet above the railway can do I do not know! The order seems to me iniquitous.
text: Maldam is a dull little Christian village of mixed Nagas and Bete Kukis in rolling grass country. The enterprising 'gaonbura' wishes to try potatoes and terraced rice, and we have brought the demonstrator with us to advise.
text: Molkoi carried some of our loads. This is a Christian Lushai village. There are no old orders forbidding Lushais from coming in numbers, and they have then proceeded to bring in their friends. The mission now realises that we have not land for this and has undertaken to bring in no more Lushais. On this understanding I shall let Molkoi stay.