The Frontier Peoples Of India
It is a rare book that forms a class by itself. In fact such books are not the meat of every author. It not only makes a bird?s eye-view but also surveys and gives a graphic account of the geography, history and social and political life of the people (some of them most eferocious and warlike tribes) living in the land frontiers of India, stretching over four thousand miles from Baluchistan on the Arabian Sea to Bhutan and Balipara and Sadia frontier tracts in the East, bordering China and Siam. The book was written more than half a century ago when the means of communication, specially in the mountainous area of the Frontier regions, were difficult and dangerous beyond imagination. The author not only travelled but also resided in nearly every part of the Area surveyed by him in the book. This speaks volumes for the extraordinary stamina and resilience displayed by him in surmounting formidable difficulties. The author has divided his work into four parts. Part-I deals with Muslim Frontier region of Baluchistan, North West Frontier province and the state of Jammu & Kashmir. Part-II deals with the Hindu-Buddhist Frontier area which now forms part of the present day Himachal Pradesh and the Kumaon and Garhwal Hills of the present day Uttar Pradesh. To quote as an instance of the excellence and beauty of language of the excellence and beauty of language and style of the author in describing these Himalayan regions: ?This also gives special importance, among rivers, to the Ganges, importance, among rivers, to the Ganges, for it drains most of the sacred land. The main sources of the river are beyond the first range of mountains, but they come down through the gorges and gather together in Garhwal to form what is the most sacred river in the world --. Admist the striking scenery surrounding the peaks and gorges of this region, many of the great events in the legendary history of Hinduism are reputed to have taken place. Temples and sacred shrines, rocky paths worn during centuries by the feet of myriads of pilgrims and all the accompaniments of a mystic creed meditated by priest and Brahman tell the traveller that here the soul of India has through innumerable generations sought satisfaction.? Part-II deals with the Buddhist & Hindu Frontier of Nepal, Sikkim, Darjeeling, Bhutan and Balipara and Sadiya Frontier Tracts. Finally. To enhance its usefulness and to make it more exhaustive, Part IV of the book incorporates a number of informative documents as Appendices. Though his object is writing such a book was to acquaint the Christian missionaries with the progress they made and the perils they would face in the discharge of their evangelistic duties in those regions, he has left, for posterity, a remarkable account of the history, geography, science beauty and social and political conditions, then prevailing, in their entire frontier region, including native States in that area. A book of this kind should be a must for every home and every library and also should be the proud possession of every enlightened person.
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