The British East India company occupied Assam in 1826. Soon began half-hearted attempt to control the floodplains of the Brahmaputra. Much of it posed serious challenges. Resistance came from different corners: from the monsoon climate, the shifting river courses, and the unruly floodplains. Over the next decades, the imperial officials, learning from the intricacies of coexisting with water, embarked on a complex as well as the difficult task of redesigning the floodplain landscape. By bringing the river Brahmaputra into the center-stage of Assam, this talk recounts this imperial project.
Part of South Asian Studies Council Colloquium Series Fall 2018