Feudatory states of Nagaland
The ancient history of the Nagas is unclear. Tribes migrated at different times, each settling in the northeastern part of present India and establishing their respective sovereign mountain terrains and village-states. There are no records of whether they came from the northern Mongolian region, southeast Asia or southwest China, except that their origins are from the east of India and that historical records show the present-day Naga people settled before the arrival of the Ahoms in 1228 AD.
Before the arrival of European colonialism in South Asia, there had been many wars, persecution and raids from Burma on Naga tribes,(meitei people) and others in India’s northeast. The invaders came for “head hunting” and to seek wealth and captives from these tribes and ethnic groups. When the British inquired Burmese guides about the people living in the northern Himalayas, they were told ‘Naka’. This was recorded as ‘Naga’ and has been in use thereafter.
With the arrival of the British East India Company in the early 19th century, followed by the British Raj, Britain expanded its domain over the whole of South Asia, including the Naga Hills. The first Europeans to enter the hills were Captains Jenkins and Pemberton in 1832. The early contact with the Naga tribes were characterised by suspicion and conflict. The colonial interests in Assam, such as tea estates and other trading posts suffered from raids from tribes who were known for their bravery and “head hunting” practices. To put an end to these raids, the British troops recorded 10 military expeditions between 1839 and 1850. In February 1851, at the bloody battle at Kikrüma, people died on the British and the Kikrüma Naga tribe side; in days after the battle, intertribal warfare followed that led to more bloodshed. After that war, the British adopted a policy of respect and non-interference with Naga tribes.
Despite this, between 1851 and 1865, Naga tribes continued to raid the British in Assam. The British India Government, fresh from the shocks of the Indian Rebellion of 1857, reviewed its governance structure throughout South Asia including its northeastern region. In 1866, the British India administration established a post at Samaguting with the explicit goal of ending intertribal warfare and tribal raids on property and personnel. In 1869, Captain Butler was appointed to lead and consolidate the British presence in the Nagaland Hills. In 1878, the headquarters were transferred to Kohima — creating a city that remains an important centre of administration, commerce and culture for Nagaland.
On 4 October 1879, G.H. Damant (M.A.C.S), a British political agent, went to Khonoma with troops, where he was shot dead with 35 of his team. Kohima was subsequently attacked and the stockade looted. This violence led to a determined effort by the British Raj to return and respond. The subsequent defeat of Khonoma marked the end of serious and persistent hostility in the Naga Hills.
Between 1880 and 1922, the British administration consolidated their position over a large area of the Naga Hills and integrated it into its Assam operations. The British administration enforced the rupee as the currency for economic activity and a system of structured tribal government that was very different than historic social governance practices. These developments triggered profound social changes among the Naga people.
In 1944 during World War II, the Indian National Army with the help of Japanese Army, led by Netaji Subhashchandra Bose, invaded through Burma and attempted to take India through Kohima. The population was evacuated. British India soldiers defended the area of Kohima and having lost many of their original force were relieved by British in June 1944. Together the British and Indian troops successfully repelled the Japanese troops.The battle was fought from 4 April to 22 June 1944 from the town of Kohima, coordinated with action at Imphal, Manipur.The Indian National Army lost half their numbers, many through starvation, and were forced to withdraw through Burma.
There is the World War II Cemetery, and the War Museum, in honour of those who lost their lives during World War II during the fighting between British Empire and Japanese troops. Nearly 4,000 British Empire troops lost their lives, along with 3,000 Japanese. Many of those who lost their lives were Naga people, particularly of Angami tribe. Near the memorial is the Kohima Cathedral, on Aradura hill, built with funds from the families and friends of deceased Japanese soldiers. Prayers are held in Kohima for peace and in memory of the fallen of both sides of the battle.Final Destination for Nagaland PSC Notes and Tests, Exclusive coverage of NPSC Prelims and Mains Syllabus, Dedicated Staff and guidence for NPSC NPSC Notes brings Prelims and Mains programs for NPSC Prelims and NPSC Mains Exam preparation. Various Programs initiated by NPSC Notes are as follows:-
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