Amalgamation Policy Revisited: Three British Proposals toward the Indo-Burma Frontier

By Pum Khan Pau

The paper probes the trajectories of colonial policy towards the Indo-Burma frontier and to what extent they affected the local population. It focuses on the Zo people, or Chin, Kuki and Lushai people, with whom the British had a long history of relations in the Indo-Burma frontier. The paper basically focuses on three British proposals for “amalgamation” of Zo inhabited areas in the Indo-Burma frontier. It argues that colonial policy towards the Chin-Lushai hills largely hinges on its larger policy in Burma, Bengal and Assam respectively. Because colonial policy was driven by an underlying objective to fulfill “administrative convenience” and local interest found no place for consideration; thus, the net result achieved was fragmentation rather than amalgamation.