The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

book - 'Naga Path', by Ursula Graham Bower, published John Murray 1950

caption: Chapter twenty. The Land and the People
caption: quality of colonial administration in the Naga Hills and North Cachar
medium: books
person: Mills
person: Graham Bower/ Ursula
text: Had the area only been under Naga Hills, the story might have been different. There the administration was of an extremely high standard and tribal problems were studied and understood. Despite his disaffection towards an abstract Government, the Zemi liked and respected the individual European officer, while his mistrust of the plains Indian was considerable. Over a term of years an experienced man could have done much to save the position. But unhappily, by an accident of geography, the area lay in the " Cinderella of Subdivisions ", mixed, nondescript North Cachar, and North Cachar was tacked on to Silchar, a plains district with which it had no connection except by proximity. North Cachar's officers were often temporary, holding the post for a while between better jobs; they seldom had hill experience; they were not always of the best type. Hardly ever did it enjoy such skilled handling as Naga Hills next door. The few periods when it did are spoken of to this day as Golden Ages. It was in one of these that Mr Mills, then Deputy Commissioner, Silchar, visited the Barail and realized what was wrong, the first officer to do so; and his discoveries and efforts to clean up the mess are recorded in a series of caustic tour-diaries. Clean up a very great deal of it he did, and took immediate steps to deal with the economic problem.