In 1841, the Welsh sent their first missionary, Thomas Jones, to evangelise the tribal peoples of the Khasi Hills of north-east India. This book follows Jones from rural Wales to Cherrapunji, the wettest place on earth and now one of the most Christianised parts of India. It is about the piety and practices, the perceptions and prejudices of people in early nineteenth century Wales. The book is also about the ways in which the religious ambitions of those same people operated upon the lives and ideas of indigenous societies of the distant Khasi Hills of north-eastern India. It foregrounds broader political, scientific, racial and military ideologies that mobilised the Khasi Hills into an interconnected network of imperial control. Its themes are universal: crises of authority, the loneliness of geographical isolation, sexual scandal, greed and exploitation, personal and institutional dogma, individual and group morality. In analysing the individual lives that flash in and out of this history, the book is a performance within the effort to break down the many dimensions of distance that the imperial scene prescribes. It pays attention to a 'networked conception of imperial interconnection'. The book discusses Jones's evangelising among the Khasis as well as his conflicts with church and state authority. It also discusses some aspects of the micro-politics of mission and state in the two decades immediately following Thomas Jones's death. While the Welsh missionary impact was significant, its 'success' or indeed its novelty, needs to be measured against the pre-existing activities of British imperialists.
The policing of nineteenth-century Bengal and Bihar
nature of the government it served - for example, by elements of
indirect rule. 1 But
how far did it serve imperial purposes, and thus become identified with foreign
oppression, while also being inhibited by the fear of confronting a
society united against it? The main aim of this chapter is to define the
role of the police in north-easternIndia, and thus to account for the
pace and manner of its
, Insurgency Movement in NorthEasternIndia (New Delhi: Vikas
Publishing House, 1993), pp. 127–46.
24 “459 Blasts in 63 Districts in 30 Minutes,” Daily Star, August 18, 2005.
25 “India-Bangladesh Trade May Almost Double to $10 Billion by 2018: CII,”
Economic Times, June 24, 2014.
26 This view has been articulated very forcefully by a former Foreign Secretary
of Bangladesh, Farooq Sobhan. See his paper, “India-Bangladesh Relations: The
Way Forward,” 2005, www.bei-bd.org. Also World Bank, “India-Bangladesh
Bilateral Trade and Potential Free Trade Agreement,” Bangladesh
Identity in Burma , Copenhagen, NIAS, 2003, and Za tawn Eng, The Impact of Christian Mission Work on the
Hualngo People’s Music and Culture in Myanmar , Cambridge, Anglia Polytechnic
University Press, 1999. They focus on non-Burman peoples.
For example, Prophet Harris and Rev. William Platt in West Africa met
with phenomenal successes, as did missionaries working among the Mizos and Nagas of
north-easternIndia. In each case the indigenous peoples followed primal religious
is intended to help readers understand how their own work is in dialogue with a history of ethnographic ﬁlmmaking and how to select techniques from any tradition that might suit their own project.
A tantric adept who had taken a vow of silence communicating ideas for The One and the Many in the cremation grounds at Tarapith in north-easternIndia
Tomorrow will be the time … of a camera that can so totally participate that it will automatically pass into the hands of those who, until now, have always been in front of the lens
solution is necessary. A senior government
official in the ministry of home affairs, Mr Padmanabhaia, admitted this to the
Star Plus TV channel in August 1997. He further explained that violence must
not be allowed to ‘escalate’ and this was the main reason for deploying the army
in these areas. If violence were to escalate negotiations would not take place.8
One of the insurgent groups operating in north-easternIndia, the United
Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) was willing to negotiate with the Indian
government. It did not make withdrawal of the army a precondition for
fieldwork for two of my films I spent time in the jungles of north-easternIndia. In this dense forest, yogic practitioners sit motionless in small cabins for extended periods of time, concentrating on two-dimensional diagrams they call ‘yantra’ – a Sanskrit word for ‘machine’. Such drawings depict a deity of the Hindu pantheon and their purpose is to inspire a three-dimensional form that will eventually appear to enlighten the seeker. The form in which this godly figure arrives is an expression of the thought patterns of the practitioner, so unless these ideas are
of thousands of workers themselves pouring into
Calcutta from across north-easternIndia. While the jute wallahs
frequently complained about the wild fluctuations in the jute futures
market run by the ‘gambling Marwaris’, they also relied on
the bazaar capitalists to soak up their excess production, just as they
depended on Indian shareholders to keep investing in their mills. A.V.
Phillips of the