The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

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

caption: Problems of 'kuti' land-owners' debts
medium: notestours
ethnicgroup: Nepali
location: Khartong Kothir Gotodoing Bengal
date: 31.7.1928
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 Unpublished Government Papers" at SOAS Library, London.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: 31st July. Halted Khartong. Visited Kothir in the morning and Gotodoing in the evening, both villages which have split off from other villages owing to the poorness of the land.
text: The grazing here is excellent. The reserve is an old established one of twenty square miles. Of the seven 'kuti' owners one is nearly out of debt, but the others are the slaves of money lenders under the harsh terms usual in this area. A Nepali borrows, say, Rs.2500/- to start a 'kuti' on the following terms:- he has to supply so many maunds of ghee a year to the lender at about two thirds the current price, he must not sell ghee to anyone else and he is expected to buy all his stores from the lender. As a result most of the Nepalis are hopelessly in debt all their lives. The lenders are all upcountry shop-keepers and at least 90% of the ghee goes down to Bengal. The grazing grounds bring practically no benefit to Assam.