by Rubu Tani
In the frontier history of British India, the Khamti and the Singpho tribes of Arunachal Pradesh occupy a very prominent place, as these two tribes were the first frontier tribes which came into a limelight after the expulsion of Burmese from Assam (1824-26 AD). The areas occupied by these tribes were strategically important from the military as well as from the commercial point of view. The Khamti and the Singpho tribes being amongst the last migrant tribes from the other side of patkai hills and who still had connection with their brethren inhabiting in the Burma. Therefore, British who had driven away the Burmese from Assam, wanted to use both the tribes as screen against the Burmese and their area as a buffer zone between Assam and Burma; the expulsion of Burmese from Assam did not only halted the imperial ambition of the Burmese but also hurt the national prestige of Burmese people. Therefore, the British were anxious and anticipating another reinvasion of Burmese in Assam. But in due course of time when British tried to encroach and invade in their ancestral domains; they undertook arms rebellion against the British respectively in 1839 and 1843 A.D.
Tani R. 2016. The Buffer Zone: British Perception of the Khampti and singpho in the early 19th Century, Dera Natung Government College Research Journal, 1, 81-89.