‘State and Indigenous Intermediaries:
Aspects of administrative arrangements in British India’s
Naga Hills, 1881-1945’
Mr. Sodolakpou Panmei,
From the foothills at Samaguting, the British occupied the hills of the Angami Nagas at Kohima as headquarters of the Naga Hills district in late 1879, a move made permanent by February 1881. In the aftermath, innovative administrative measures were implemented into the social structure of the hill communities. The paper traces the formation of indigenous intermediaries and their part in the transition from conquest to occupation and everyday practices of a frontier regime. Scattered evidences suggests that the administrative arrangement along with major local-global upheavals created a class complementing colonial rule but also responding to what modernity had ushered in. A study of these intermediaries, much overlooked by scholarships so far, seems pertinent precisely to: first, elaborate the oft-cited abstract sounding ‘British administration’ used for explaining changes in the Naga Hills; and second, contribute to what was termed a study of ‘colonialism from the middle’.
Mr. Sodolakpou Panmei submitted his PhD thesis titled ‘Colonial Knowledge and Frontier Practices: Northeast India, 1824-1947’ to the Centre for Historical Studies, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, in 2014.