The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

manuscript - H.H. Godwin-Austen, Journal of a Tour in Assam, 26th November 1872 to 15th April 1873

caption: ramifications of Raja's letter
medium: tours
person: Mackenzie/ A.Thompson/ Col.Tangal Major
date: 21.2.1873
person: Godwin-Austen/ H.H.
date: 26.11.1872-4.4.1873
person: Royal Geographical Society, London
text: 21st Feby.
text: A letter came in by post next morning from Govt of India with a copy of my D O written to A Mackenzie on the 16th Jany warning Raja to take care what he did to the Boundary Pillars & that the orders of Govt could not be withdrawn & that the Survey must go on. Copy of this was sent to Raja & we were in great hopes that he would now change his mind. During the day the rest of his letter was translated & the latter part was most arrogant & directly insulting (52) to Col Thompson & the Govt for having reference to that officer's written statements it denied different parts of it in toto & wound up by saying he believed the report of the Nagas who had come in, & this when one of the said statements made by them was to the effect we had entered the village when all the women & children were in it which was the cause of the old woman's being shot, that we staid there 3 days looting the place & set fire to it when we went away, & other denials of like tenor. He said he placed no trust ("barosa") in the Survey work, the translation being, "I do not believe in Survey". They have an idea that when the country is surveyed the Indian Govt will take it. When this was stated in the morning when Tangal Major came over on being sent for by Thomson to hear the contents of the Govt letter, I said at once, "Why, if the Govt wanted to take Munipur they would do so tomorrow without waiting for a survey," and Butler added "Did the Govt do so after Capt Pemberton's survey?" Thomson while Tangal was present said he should write & give the Raja another chance (it must be remembered that this conversation was in the early morning & the full contents of the Munipur ultimatum were not known). We all said it would be no use & even Tangal Major said so too, that what was in the letter was the combined opinion of the whole country. Wrote a long letter to Colonel.