History of TuraThe early history of the Garos is concealed in mystery. The ancestors of the Garos that are allied to Chutiyas, Koches, Meches and Kacharis came from the north-west. Another tradition attributing some support to this theory, maintains that the Garos are decedents of their forefathers from Asong Tibetgori. The Garos in the Kamrup plain, relate their tradition from the forefathers who came eastward from the Himalayas and reached Gondulghat where they made a short stop, and on leaving that place, traveled to Sadiya, from where they trekked on into the north bank of Brahmaputra.
After a long westward walk, they reached Amingaon. In the north bank, their life was not secure, so they crossed the Bahmaputra River and occupied Kamakhya. They occupied it for some generations until the Koches came to invade the Garo Kingdom. Then from Gauhati, wave after wave of westward migration poured to the Garo outer hills, and later on pierced in the interior hills of their present abode. Probably those who crossed the hills and advanced further south to Mymensing in Bangladesh were the earliest immigrants whereas those who came later on, now limited into their present settlement at Kamrup and Goalpara belonged to the later immigrants.
If we have to critically examine, the ancient history of Garos would seem to have been a period marked by tenacious and persistent internal warfare and many blood feuds seem to have occurred between villages or families and between the neighboring Chiefs or Nokmas.
During medieval period, while the Garos in the hills were still divided into a number of petty Nokmaships, the plain area along the fringes at the foot of the hills came to be included in the many Zamindari Estates, which finally developed into fewer but larger complexes with the passage of time.
During the Mughal and Medieval era the more important estates bordering the Garo Hills were Mechpara, Karaibari, Kalimalupara, and Habraghat in Rongpur district, Bijini in the Eastern Duars, Susang and Sherput in Mymensing district of Bengal. Early records characterize the Garos as being in a state of irregular conflict with Zamindars of these large estates.
The contact between the Garos and the British started towards the end of the 18th Century after the British East India Company had secured the Diwani of Bengal from the Mughal Emperor. Subsequently, all the estates bordering Garo Hills, which for all practical intentions had been semi-independent, were brought under the control of the British.
Though political mastery had passed from the Mughals to the British, the latter, like Mughals, had no interest to control the estates or their tributaries directly. The Zamindars were not allocated the internal management of their estates. In fact, they were authorized, as they had been by the Mughals, with the authority of keeping the Garo hills in check with help of their staffs.
Thus, in the beginning, the regular conflict between the Garos and the Zamindars and went on unabated until the situation deteriorated to the extent that the British were forced to take notice. This development ultimately led to the annexation of the Garo Hills in 1873. The district was bifurcated into two districts namely East Garo Hills and West Garo Hills districts in October 1979. Captain Williamson was the first Deputy Commissioner of the unified district.
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