History Of The Koch Kingdom: 1515-1615
This book is the first of its kind to study both political and socio-cultural aspects of a tribe that formed, along with numerous others, a state in the north-eastern region of India. The Koches belonging to the stock of the present day Meches, Garos, Rabhas, Lalungs, Hojais, Hojongs and other Bodo groups of the greater Mongoloid race established a kingdom in the western Brahmaputra valley in the early 16th century. Very soon the state extended over almost the entire north-east India at the cost of the other neighbouring tribes and for a time it was found that this was the greatest kingdom that any tribe had ever formed in the region. Such political glory was, however, short-lived. Internal strife and external aggression made the state dwindle into insignificance. But its importance lies in other aspects as well. The Brahmins left no stone unturned to Hinduise the royal family immediately after they had acquired political power. It so happened that the near relatives of the king not only became stern followers of Brahmanical Hinduism, but also tried their best to patronise both Brahmanic and Vaishnavite cultures and institutions in the court. Sanskrit learning became an ideal of the neo-Hinduised royal family. The Brahmins and the royal officers receiving grants or assignments of land, the members of the royal households and other feudal landlords e.g. the ?Bhuyan?s formed the culturally and economically advanced class. The vast masses of people remained at the bottom of the society. This is how the socio-political elite of the state acquired the identity of a separate class and the whole tribe became a caste-tribe continum. Besides dealing with the problem of the original habitat and racial affinity of the tribe, the rise and fall of the Koch political power is also discussed in this volume. The way of administration, the nature of the society and economy and the patronage of religion and literature by the kings are also dealt with in proper perspective.
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