The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

published - extracts from 'Account of the valley of Munnipore and of the Hill Tribes' by Major W. McCulloch

caption: attempt to educate the Raja; benefits of British rule
medium: articles
person: Pemberton/ Capt.
person: McCulloch/ Major W.
date: 1858
refnum: from: Selections from the Records of the Government of India, No. 27 (Calcutta) 1859
text: The present Raja was to have been educated under the auspices of the British Government; indeed, he had commenced taking lessons when his mother carried him out of the country and prevented the project being consummated. Great, however, as the influence of the reigning Prince, in a country in which his will is the law, is, I doubt whether it is a matter for regret that the education proposed was not (41) given. Superficial acquirements might have imparted a gloss, but with the stronghold of error, Hindooism untouched, little could have been effected for the benefit of the country. When that stronghold has been attacked, I shall agree with Captain Pemberton in these the concluding words of his Report. In Assam, Munnipore, and Arracan, a propitious commencement has been already made; and standing on the neutral ground which separates Hindooism on the one hand, from Boodhism on the other, the disseminators of sound knowledge, aided by all the influence and talent of the local authorities, are kindling an intellectual flame, which spreading East and West, will illumine the gloom of superstition and ignorance in which their benighted inhabitants now rest, and qualify them for higher destinies than they have ever yet fulfilled. If such be the result of the extension of British influence over the numerous tribes and nations which dwell on our Eastern Frontier, the recollection of the horrors of the Burmese war will fade before the glorious prospect of redeeming many millions of men from such mental debasement, and elevating them to that higher station in the intellectual and moral world, upon which the favoured inhabitants of Europe now stand. We rescued them from a yoke, which has bowed to the dust, the energies of every people, over whom it has been cast; and we may fearlessly refer those who doubt the ameliorating influence of our rule to Arracan, to Cachar, to Munnipore and Assam, and abide the result of a comparison between their past and present condition, between the sufferings they formerly endured and the peace they now enjoy.